- The United Arab Emirates has issued the first civil marriage license to a non-Muslim couple.
- The UAE has taken this step at a time when it wants to stay ahead of its regional competitors.
- About 90 percent of the total population of the country are foreigners, while the total population of the country is about 10 million.
The United Arab Emirates has issued the first civil marriage license to a non-Muslim couple. The UAE has taken this step at a time when it wants to stay ahead of its regional competitors. About 90 percent of the total population of the country are foreigners, while the total population of the country is about 10 million. The UAE is trying to show itself as liberal in this fundamentalist region.
The UAE’s official news agency reported that a Canadian couple married as non-Muslims under the new law in the country’s capital, Abu Dhabi. Through this move, Abu Dhabi will become the preferred destination for skilled and expert people in the world, the agency said. In West Asia, the birthplace of Islam, Christianity and Judaism, civil marriages are uncommon and are usually performed under a religious authority.
This new law came to gain an edge in the competition
Civil marriages are allowed in Tunisia and Algeria. Earlier, in Abu Dhabi, UAE, non-Muslims were given the right to marry, divorce and get joint custody of the child under the new civil law. This was allowed in a new order issued by the rulers of the UAE. It is believed that Abu Dhabi has issued this new order to gain an edge in the competition over other areas that are becoming commercial hubs in the Gulf countries.
Until now, laws on marriage and divorce in Abu Dhabi were based on Islamic Sharia law, as in other Gulf countries. The order, issued by Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan of Abu Dhabi, said it covers civil marriage, divorce, alimony, joint custody of children, proof of paternity and succession. Al Nahyan is the President of the Federation of the Seven Emirates of the UAE.
A new court formed in Abu Dhabi, disputes will be resolved
The report said that civil law for non-Muslim families is the first of its kind based on international beliefs. A new court will be set up in Abu Dhabi to settle disputes between non-Muslim families. This court will function in English and Arabic. Earlier last year, the UAE made several legal changes at the federal level. This includes the removal of alcohol consumption, consensual sex from the category of crime and leniency in murder in the name of false prestige. Experts say that the long-term golden visa and this law is a major effort on the part of the UAE to make itself a preferred destination for foreign investment, tourism and long stay.