UAE law: Do I need wife’s permission to marry a second time?

'Will the second marriage done here be legal in my home country?'


Ashish Mehta

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Alamy file
Alamy file

Published: Sun 30 Jan 2022, 10:07 AM

Question: Could you explain the legal requirements for an expatriate to take a second wife in the UAE? Would a man require permission from his first wife for it? Will the second marriage done here be legal in my home country?

Response: Pursuant to your queries, it is assumed that you are Muslim by faith, and you are a resident in the UAE. As per the prevailing Shariah requirements, a Muslim man may marry a second wife in the UAE and he does not require a permission from his first. An individual needs to approach a Personal Status Court (the ‘Court), which has jurisdiction to register marriages in the UAE.

At least one party to the marriage contract (either bridegroom, bride, or bride’s guardian) should have a residence visa in the UAE. Further, the bridegroom and bride need to undergo pre-marital screening tests and the certificates related to the same should be obtained from relevant medical facilities in the UAE.

Below are the requirements for an expatriate Muslim man to marry in the Court of UAE.

>> The marriage needs to be registered in the Court which has jurisdiction in the UAE in accordance with Sharia. The bridegroom or bride needs to submit an online application through the web port of the Court to register their marriage.

>> Both the bridegroom and bride need to fulfill the minimum age criteria to marry.

>> Requirement of a premarital screening test certificate.

>> The bridegroom and the bride need to physically attend the registration of marriage in the Court.

>> Further, the bride’s father or his proxy and two male Muslim witnesses needs to attend the registration of marriage in the Court.

>> The bride needs to obtain consent from her guardian to marry if he is inside the country.

>> In case of death of bride’s father, then the presence of the nearest male guardian such as elder brother of the bride, is required to be present during the registration of the marriage;


>> If the father of the bride is not in the UAE, then the bride needs to obtain a power of attorney from him duly attested in the country where he is living. Thereafter, the same needs to be attested by Ministry of Foreign Affairs and by Ministry of Justice, UAE, once the same is translated to Arabic. The power of attorney should mention that the father of the bride has no objection for his daughter to get married to the bridegroom.

>> Certain nationalities may require mandatory no objection certificate issued by their embassy or consulate in the UAE.

You should consult a legal counsel or relevant authorities in your home country to determine if your faith and/or the laws of your home country permits a second marriage. You may also contact the personal status matters court in the emirate you reside in the UAE for further clarifications on this matter.

Ashish Mehta is the founder and Managing Partner of Ashish Mehta & Associates. He is qualified to practise law in Dubai, the United Kingdom and India. Full details of his firm on: Readers may e-mail their questions to: or send them to Legal View, Khaleej Times, PO Box 11243, Dubai.

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