Wedding ceremonies vary depending on the couple’s culture and branch of Islam, and the celebration details are left to the tradition of each community. Many of today’s ceremonies might still have some traditional elements but they are becoming grander and, in many ways, much more similar in some aspects to western marriages.
Are you familiar with UAE Marriage Customs on Wedding and Engagement Rings? In some cultures and religions, the ring is placed on the fourth finger on the left hand, while in others the ring is placed on the index finger so that it’s more easily seen. Some cultures do not even exchange them.
Wedding rings are not part of the religious tradition or included in most Islamic ceremonies, however, nowadays rings are often exchanged and are actually even going beyond simple band to being more extravagant and articulated. The rings, of course, do not present the same meaning as found in other religion’s ceremonies, but are often a simple gift made by the groom to the bride.
It is generally not permissible for the Muslim male to wear a gold ring but silver, or any other precious metal is possible. However, the woman may have her ring made out of gold. Other precious jewelry has also been part of traditional wedding gear.
Procedures for marriage of Muslims and Non-Muslims in the UAE. While marriages belonging to the same religion are allowed without difficulty, couples belonging to different religions might encounter a stumbling block; the groom must be Muslim while the bride can be of any religion. If the groom is not Muslim, he will need to convert into Islam before marrying his Muslim partner.
The UAE Government encourages Emirati men to marry Emirati women. To this aim, “to build and maintain a stable and consolidated Emirati family and to fortify the Emirati social and demographic structure” it has established “Marriage Fund” under Federal Law No. 47 of 1992. As of 2014, according to government figures, 61,844 recipients have received grants amounting to AED 4.3 billion. Marriage Fund can also provide matching help and counseling for newly-weds.
Arranged marriages still happen and polygamy (up to 4 wives) is allowed. It is important to remember that Islam forbid couples to live together before marriage.
The bride and groom must be UAE citizens or hold a valid UAE residence visa to marry. In general only religious marriages are considered in UAE and if looking to perform a civil ceremony, a couple should check with their local Embassy to see if they provide this service.
It is important to remember that marriage paperwork (translated in Arabic) for certification will need to be brought to the Notary Public at the Dubai Courts and then authenticated with a visit to the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA). The last stop for non-UAE citizens is, again, the embassy or consulate to make sure all is in order for recognition of the union in the home country. Muslim marriages, instead, need to be registered in a Sharia court in the UAE.