Issuing a personal status law decree for foreign residents in the UAE

A few hours ago, the United Arab Emirates issued a new federal law on the personal status of non-Muslims residing in the country.

Federal law on the personal status of non-Muslims in the Emirates

The United Arab Emirates has issued a federal decree-law regarding civil personal status, which will be enforced before all courts in the country as of February 1, 2023.

The issuance of this decree-law comes as part of the state's efforts to develop its legislative system, to support the state's endeavors and aspirations for the next fifty years, and to strengthen its leadership as a destination for tolerance, coexistence, family stability and demographic diversity.

The target groups of the new federal law

The provisions of the Decree-Law shall apply to non-Muslim foreigners residing in the State unless one of them adheres to the application of his law. It is also permissible for those addressed by the provisions of this Decree-Law to agree on the application of other legislation regulating the family or personal status in force in the State instead of the provisions of this Decree-Law.

Competences of the personal status law decree for non-Muslims in the Emirates

The decree-law defines the provisions, conditions, and procedures for marriage, its documentation before the competent court in the state, procedures for divorce, alimony, and the right to joint custody of the father and mother, in addition to procedures for inheritance, wills, and proof of parentage.

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