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12° Nicosia,
18 May, 2022
 
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First ever civil marriage of non-Muslim couple in Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi court sets a precedent in the region

Kathimerini Greece Newsroom

An Abu Dhabi court has issued a civil marriage certificate for a non-Muslim couple, for the first time in the United Arab Emirates, a Gulf country seeking a more liberal and progressive image, the Emirati news agency WAM reported.

The Emirates, where 90% of the nearly ten million inhabitants are foreigners, have allowed cohabitation, eased restrictions on alcohol and facilitated the process of obtaining a residence permit.

A Canadian couple is the first to benefit from this new law on the non-Muslim status of the Emirati capital.

"The issuance of this first civil marriage agreement by an Abu Dhabi court sets a precedent in the region," the WAM reported.

This rich Muslim Gulf state has been trying to emerge as a modern state in recent years.

The Emirates, where 90% of the nearly ten million inhabitants are foreigners, have allowed cohabitation, eased restrictions on alcohol and facilitated the process of obtaining a residence permit.

Civil marriage is a rare occurrence in the Middle East and is generally performed under the authority of a priest.

Also in early December, the United Arab Emirates decided from 2022 to shift the weekend from Friday-Saturday to Saturday-Sunday and to establish a four-and-a-half-day work week, mainly for the sake of competitiveness.

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