UAE: The country issues first civil marriage license for a non-Muslim couple

One of the richest countries in the world, UAE has now amended a rule that allows civil license for a non-Muslim couple in the country. The country thus issued the first civil marriage license to non-Muslims. The decision came after the country’s plan to outdo its local rivals. 

The UAE is amending its laws to present itself as a modernizing force in a large conservative sector because most of the residents in the country are foreigners. Under the law, a Canadian couple was the first to marry under a new law on the personal status of non-Muslims in the Emirati capital Abu Dhabi, the WAM news agency said.

In the middle east, Civil marriage the birthplace of Islam, Christianity, and Judaism, is uncommon and usually conducted under a religious authority of one of the three monotheistic beliefs. 

UAE has already made revelations on changing its laws that help and support expats and local residents in the country. Recently, the UAE announced it will move to a Western-style Saturday-Sunday weekend. 

In the Gulf region, some countries allow civil unions based on certain conditions, some only recognize civil marriages conducted abroad, and others not at all. Currently, Civil marriages are allowed in the countries Tunisia and Algeria. 

Read Also: UAE lifts the ban on import of poultry products from India

In 2020, the UAE updated an array of laws in a social liberalization drive designed to burnish its progressive brand. These included lifting a ban on unmarried couples living together, loosening restrictions on alcohol, and offering long-term residencies.

Similarly, in Saudi Arabia, some of the changes in the law have been made by the authorities earlier. Saudi has lifted a ban on women drivers and eased its strict Islamic dress code. Also, Riyadh said it would not sign contracts with companies that have their regional headquarters outside the kingdom.