What is law and Procedures for a Second Marriage in the UAE?

Many of us might be wondering whether the UAE Personal Status Law allows for second marriages in the UAE. If the answer is yes, what are the laws and conditions that must be followed when entering into a second marriage in the country? In this article, we are going to discuss the laws and requirements for both Muslims and non-Muslims who intend to perform a second marriage in the UAE. You can also take advice from Dubai Court Marriage experts.

Law Governing Marriage in the UAE

In the UAE, all personal affairs such as marriage, divorce, child custody, guardianship, and other related family matters are governed by the Federal Law No. 28 of 2005 on Personal Status, as amended (Personal Status Law). The provisions of the Personal Status Law apply equally to all citizens and non-citizens in the UAE. However, non-Muslim UAE Nationals and non-citizens have the right to ask for their home country’s law to be applied in their personal affairs. Now, we have to look into the Personal Status Law regarding the provision of Second Marriage in the UAE.

  1. Second Marriage under Islamic Marriage or Sharia Marriage:

All UAE citizens and expats have the right and authority to perform their marriage in the UAE. If we talk about Muslim marriage in the UAE, then in the UAE, Sharia law applies to such marriages, irrespective of the nationality, in the following cases:

  • where the groom and the bride are both Muslims
  • where the groom is Muslim and the bride is from ‘Ahl Al-Kitaab’, such as a Christian.

Under the Personal Status Law, a Muslim man can marry a non-Muslim woman; the law forbids a Muslim woman from marrying a non-Muslim man unless she can provide evidence of his conversion to Islam. Further, the Personal Status Law allows for polygamy. Polygamy means a Muslim man is allowed to have four wives as long as he treats each one equally and provides for their needs.

Therefore, in the UAE, a Muslim man is allowed to perform a second marriage provided that he must treat his both wives on equal grounds. It has been stated under Article 55 (6) of the Personal Status Law that “Rights of the wife towards her husband include equitable treatment between her and the other wives, in case the husband has married more than one wife.”

Further, a Muslim man is allowed to marry a second wife in the UAE without his first wife’s consent, according to current Shariah law. To get a marriage legally registered in the UAE, a person must apply to a Personal Status Court (the “Court”).

  1. Second Marriage for Non-Muslims in the UAE:

The UAE Personal Status Law does not specifically provide any provision for the second marriage for non-Muslims. However, when registering a marriage at their embassy or consulate in the UAE, non-Muslim expatriates have the option of allowing the laws of their home country to regulate their family matters.

Nevertheless, Federal Decree Law No. 41 of 2022 will apply to non-Muslim expats of the state and non-Muslim national citizens of the UAE, unless any of them chooses to follow the laws of their home country regarding family matters. However, the non-Muslims may agree to apply the personal status law in effect in the UAE that regulates family or personal status concerns.

Under Article 6(3) of Federal Decree Law No. 41 of 2022, it is stated that “the marriage contract form shall include a disclosure by each of the married couple of the existence of any other prior marital relationship established by either of them, indicating the date of divorce, if any, and the wife’s acknowledgment that there is no existing marital relationship, taking into account that the husband shall submit this acknowledgment if his legislation does not allow him Polygamy and that, in all cases, the husband shall disclose any existing marital relationship before the authentication judge”.

So, if a non-Muslim residing in the UAE applies the laws of their home country, and if the law allows him to practice polygamy, then it is permissible for the husband to perform a second marriage as per the law of his home country.

How to Proceed with a Second Marriage

In the United Arab Emirates, getting married again entails following certain legal procedures and a number of stages.

  1. Documentation is needed

To continue with a second marriage, several documentation is required, such as:

  • A UAE residency visa shall be held by at least one of the parties to the marriage contract—the bride, the bridegroom, or the bride’s legal guardian,
  • Birth certificates,
  • Government-issued identification cards,
  • Certificates of premarital screening tests, and
  • Certified marital status certificates.
  1. Application in Court

A marriage application must be filed with the local court by a couple. Other factors, such the husband’s capacity to uphold the equality of his wives, also need to be taken into account for Muslims.

  1. Other essential requirements for Muslim expat performing second Marriage in the UAE

The prerequisites for a Muslim foreigner to be married in the UAE Court are listed below:

  • In compliance with Sharia law, the marriage must be officially registered with the UAE court that has jurisdiction.
  • For their marriage to be registered, the bridegroom or bride must file an online application on the court’s website.
  • The minimum age requirement must be met by both the bride and the groom in order to be married.
  • A certificate of the premarital screening test being necessary.
  • Both the bride and the bridegroom must physically attend the court registration of their marriage. In addition, the marriage registration in the court requires the presence of two male Muslim witnesses and the bride’s father, or his proxy.
  • If the groom is in the nation, the bride must get permission from her guardian to be married.
  • In the case the bride’s father is not alive, the bride must have the closest male guardian, such as her older brother, present when the marriage is registered.
  • If the bride’s father is not in the UAE, the bride must be present when the marriage is registered. An example of a male guardian who may be present is the bride’s elder brother.
  • Once the document has been translated into Arabic, it must next be attested by the UAE’s Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Justice. That the bride’s father has no objections to his daughter marrying the bridegroom should be included in the power of attorney.
  • The UAE embassy or consulate of certain nationalities may be required to produce a No-Objection Certificate.
  1. non-Muslim marriages in the UAE

Non-Muslims may complete the marriage ceremony in a church or temple, or at the embassy or consulate of their nation in the UAE. Some nations mandate that their nationals submit an application to their embassy or consulate in the United Arab Emirates if they want to get married. It is recommended that you consult your embassy and take appropriate action. Additionally, the marriage has to be officially registered at each partner’s UAE embassy.

Seek Legal Advice from Dubai Court Marriage

If you’re doubtful about a second marriage in the UAE, it is always advisable to seek legal advice. Being Muslim or Non-Muslim, it is required that you must adhere to the legal requirements relating to second marriage in the UAE. For more information on the subject matter, you’re requested to talk with marriage lawyer at Dubai Court Marriage for more updated information.

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