Head of the family court at the Dubai Courts Judge Salem Obaid Othman has ruled that the marriage officiants in the emirate of Dubai have the legal authority to solemnize contracts of marriage between Muslims, regardless of their nationality, provided that the couple are legal residents in the Emirate, reported the official news agency WAM.
The system earlier in force in Dubai did not give this right to the Marriage officiant except in the case of citizens of GCC countries. Even if each of the spouses hailed from different countries of the 6-member GCC states, the officiant could perform a marriage ceremony. In the case of other nationalities, the marriage officiant could solemnize a contract if both the bride and groom hailed from the same country. But if their nationalities differed, it necessitated a special written permission from the President of the Courts to officiate a marriage.
Judge Salem Obaid noted in his ruling that the decision was made due to the increased number of persons turning out at the court for solemnizing marriages. The decision also comes in line with the strategy of the Dubai Courts to ease up procedures at its various sections.
He also explained that there are no special conditions for the conclusion of a marriage contract except that both the spouses should hold a valid residence in Dubai.
If either the bride or groom is under 18 years, or the age of groom is double the age of the bride or more, a special permission should be issued by the Chief of the Dubai Courts, the ruling clarified.