Skip to main content

Impact of new laws on expat marriages in Abu Dhabi


The expat community in Dubai and Abu Dhabi has exploded in recent years; accounting for around 90% of the UAE’s overall population. There are many expatriates from India, Pakistan, and Asia. However; the British expat population, which numbers over 250,000, is the largest among Westerners.

In this article we shed light on the new marriage laws and its impact on expat marriages in Abu Dhabi.

Previous UAE laws

Until very recently; the UAE strictly followed the Sharia Islamic law; which meant it was prohibited for a Muslim to marry a Non-Muslim unless the partner decides to convert to Islamic.

However; in the latest step taken by the United Arab Emirates and to maintain its competitive edge commercial powerhouse, and attract more foreigners and expats living from different parts of the world; new laws have been implemented that reflect the modernized Abu Dhabi.

New laws in Abu Dhabi

According to the new laws; announced on Sunday by Abu Dhabi’s ruler, non-Muslims would be permitted to marry, divorce, and have shared child custody under civil law.

The law includes civil marriage, divorce, alimony, shared child custody and proof of paternity, and inheritance, according to Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahayan of Abu Dhabi, who is also president of the UAE federation of seven emirates.

Final Verdict of New laws on expat marriages in Abu Dhabi

Last year, the UAE made a number of federal-level law changes, including decriminalizing premarital sexual encounters and alcohol consumption.

The new laws definitely would be seen as a positive impact on expat marriages in Abu Dhabi. Couples of other faith would now be able to get married without be penalized or convicted for being in love with someone other than their own religion.

After Dubai, Abu Dhabi is considered to be the next big hub for expats living in the Middle East. The new laws along with other initiatives like extending visas, are a way for the Gulf being more appealing to international investment, tourists, and long-term residency.

Share this good news with someone living in Abu Dhabi; who’d be excited to hear this.

Interesting readings for you

August 30, 2022

Honeymoon in Georgia: A dream trip for Dubai expats

Weddings in the Middle East are about parents, grandparents, and having a wonderful time with your friends. On your honeymoon, the two of you can f…
October 24, 2022

Snow wedding venues in Georgia for Dubai expats

Is there a better time of year to tie the knot than during the winter? These snowy wedding accents, such as Christmas music and winter flowers, may…
September 23, 2020

What is an apostille wedding certificate and why it matters?

The Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents also known as the Apostille Convention or Apostille Tr…
There is a right order in everything and following the order is important to keep things streamlined. When it comes to sharing life with someone, first we find the one, plan and get married, again plan and get pregnant and have a child. But we also know that life works in mysterious ways and sometimes […]
Will UAE expats find Winter Wedding in Georgia cheaper ?
The answer is ‘Yes’. Dubai by itself is extremely expensive for any size of a wedding; may that be in summers or the winters. With that said; since the weather gets a lot more cooler towards the month of December many couples opt to get married then. Unlike most colder countries though, a beach wedding […]
Looking for a second marriage in the UAE
Life has its ups and downs. It could be that a spouse dies, your circumstances change, or you simply fall out of love and realize that being happy with other people is the greatest decision for both of you. Second marriages can be particularly remarkable in this regard, as they represent a second opportunity at […]
Was the content useful?