Getting Married in Dubai and the Translation Requirements
Date: 4th of January, 2022
Author: Julia Nasri
Getting married is a joyous occasion where two people make a commitment to love and cherish each other for the rest of their lives. Whether this is done in a religious ceremony or through the municipal courts, this occasion requires a bit of planning. There’s what to wear, who to invite, when you will do it, and of course, all of the paperwork that is required to get married. Let me do my best to break it down for you.
Paperwork is no joke in the UAE and making sure you take the time in advance to know which documents need to be prepared will help your special day go as smoothly as possible. Along with the consent of both parties, at least one or both parties must be residents of the UAE and both parties should receive a positive pre-marital screening certificate from a public healthcare facility.
For a Muslim marriage, the marriage contract needs to be registered in a Sharia court in the UAE. The couple must be present at the ceremony, which is conducted by a Mazoon, an authorized marriage official with the courts. Along with the couple, the bride’s father or guardian must be present or have a proxy to give consent to the marriage. In case of father's death, the presence of the next closest male guardian i.e. closest kin such as elder brother is required. If the bride is Muslim but her father is not, she needs a 'No Objection' letter from her embassy or consulate, and divorced or widowed women must produce proof of status.
For non-Muslims, the process is a little different. The formalities for these marriages must be determined by the embassy or consulate of their country in the UAE or by the temple/church as per their religion. Some countries require their citizens to file an application of intention to marry at their embassy or consulate in the UAE. You are advised to check with your embassy and proceed accordingly. The marriage must also be registered in the embassies of both partners in the UAE.
In order to complete these steps, whether Muslim or non-Muslim, the couple must consider the paperwork. For example, the ‘No Objection’ letter received from the bride’s embassy or consulate MUST be stamped by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, then translated by a sworn translator into Arabic, and then certified by the Ministry of Justice in order to be submitted to the Mazoon for official use. These same steps apply to any letters of proxy, death certificates, proofs of divorce or of being widowed. Some of these steps can be done online through e-government portals, but other steps must be taken in person. It is best to consult with your embassy/consulate as a non-Muslim to understand what is exactly required. For Muslim marriages, it is best to contact the courts of the emirate in which you reside.
Once all of your paperwork is done, then celebrations are in order. After you are officially married, then there is still one more document that should be translated. If married through the courts, your marriage certificate will be issued to you in Arabic, which you will likely need to translate in order to submit to your own embassy. This should ALSO be a sworn translation, as the document is coming from the courts and may be used within and outside of the UAE.
Getting a sworn translation might seem like a hassle but knowing which steps to take in order to get that translation can simplify the whole process. With Idiomatic Dubai, we want you to focus on the joy that comes with getting married, not the stress of preparing your paperwork. Our sworn translators are able to handle whatever your document needs, and we have language experts in over 100 languages to accommodate our wide variety of clients. Get a free quote of any document you need translated here.