Marriage in Abu Dhabi

Getting married in Abu Dhabi

Residents of Abu Dhabi regardless of their religion, nationalities or backgrounds, may get married at Abu Dhabi Judicial Department (ADJD – Shari’a Courts) as it is the official entity responsible for issuing marriage certificates in Abu Dhabi. Muslims can perform the marriage ceremonies at the ADJD or with authorized religious clerk at home.


  • Bride’s guardian’s approval for the marriage. In case of the father’s absence, the closest next-of-kin male can be the guardian, and in certain exceptional cases, the cleric sheikh himself may assume the guardian’s role.
  • Bride and groom have to be residents in the UAE. If one or both parties don’t have an official recognition documents proving their nationality or a valid residency visa the court will decline to perform the marriage.

Required Documents

  • Birth certificate.
  • Original passports and copies of the data page and residence visas.
  • Original Emirates ID and copy
  • A marital status certificate stating whether the applicant is divorced, single or widowed. The certificate has to be authenticated and translated into Arabic. Information regarding authentication can be accessed at (Authentication).  In the event the person was never married, he or she can write an affidavit to that effect and have the Embassy notarize it.  An online notary appointment with the Embassy is required.


As requirements might vary from one situation to another, it is important for the couple to consult their countries’ missions in the UAE to get additional details about the requirements.

Once the above requirements along with the marriage application are submitted to the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department, marriage can be officially performed with the presence of two witnesses. The marriage certificate will be issued within a couple of days.

Getting Married at Church

Churches in Abu Dhabi may perform marriage, but both parties have to be Christians. If a marriage is performed in a church, the marriage certificate must still be obtained from ADJD.

Getting Married at Your Embassy

Some of the Embassies may also perform marriages for their nationals. However, neither the US Embassy in Abu Dhabi nor the US Consulate in Dubai can provide such service.

Special Conditions
  • Expatriate men marrying a UAE national woman have to provide good conduct certificate from the General Directorate of Abu Dhabi Police.
  • UAE women who obtained the UAE citizenship by dependency are not allowed to get married to expatriates.


Further information on getting married in Abu Dhabi will be found HERE


Is your UAE marriage certificate recognized in the US?

If you are married abroad and need to know if your marriage will be recognized in the United States and what documentation may be needed, contact the office of the Attorney General of your state of residence in the United States.