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Legal Requirements for Destination Weddings to Dubai


1.  Non British passport holders can be married at an outside venues in Dubai i.e. desert/beach etc. No restrictions apply; a religious ceremony in the church is not required. However, couples would need to check with their embassy to determine what is required for the marriage to be considered legal in their country of origin. While at the embassy they should have an official, witness them sign the LEGAL ELIGIBILITY FOR MARRIAGE form, which representatives can supply from the pastor. This is a legal document that is signed under oath at their embassy or consulate. It is advised that the couple obtain a few sessions of pre-marital counseling to help with marriage preparation. The Pastor will need confirmation that this has been done. The service includes signing the documents for the wedding with two witnesses present. The ceremony includes a short Biblical meditation on marriage. Documentation required: Statement of Legal Eligibility for Marriage and the Information Form for the completion of the Certificate of Marriage. Both can be supplied by representatives

2. For British Citizens, the marriage ceremony should be conducted at the Holy Trinity Church or Christ Church in Jebel Ali or St Mary’s Catholic Church so that the marriage is recognized under both the laws of Britain and the United Arab Emirates. 

3. The vicar would require, in most cases, a pre wedding meeting when documentation is completed, for those divorced or widowed the final divorce paper or death certificate are required. Photocopies of passports, one passport photograph of each. Bans would need to be placed for both parties  to prove they are free and single to marry. At least one of the parties should have been baptized in the Christian faith.

All requirements will be given by the church directly upon application.

4. The ceremony is conducted in English

5. A minimum notice period of two weeks is required

6. Allow a minimum of two days for the documentation process to be completed. Please note that government offices are closed on Thursday and Friday.


Please note that the above is applicable to non Moslems only. Islamic marriages are conducted by the Dubai Sharia Court, only if you are a resident of the UAE.

Neither nor their representatives, The Chaplain, nor the Chaplaincy Council, accepts any responsibility or liability as to the validity of any marriage solemnized. Each and every individual must satisfy themselves as to their own country’s requirements and regulations before a marriage should take place in the United Arab Emirates.

(Dated November 2004)


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Please note:  The information provided above is to be used only as a guide.  We advise in all cases that you contact the relevant official government offices of the destination at which you choose to marry, for up to date legal requirements, before booking your wedding.  

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