The Marriage Ceremony
Understand what's involved in the marriage ceremony and the types of wedding which can take place in Qatar...
Marriages between two Muslims take place at the Sharia Court (on Al Rayan Road in Doha). Marriages between Muslim men and Christian women are not permitted in the Qatar Sharia Court. Marriages between Qatari men and non-Qatari women need to be approved from a body called the Marriages Committee before the marriage can take place at the Sharia Court.
Marriage ceremonies in Qatar are formal rather than celebratory. The father of the woman as well as two witnesses are required to attend the proceedings. The father must give his permission for the daughter to marry, or alternatively send a letter declaring his permission. If the father is deceased, then the relative who is officially responsible for the woman must act in his place. ID cards for both parties are also required.
Once the certificate of eligibility to marry has been obtained, there are two main places in Doha where marriages for non-Muslims can take place. Both are churches, and require at least one of the couple to be Christian. In some cases, country embassies can also carry out a marriage ceremony.
Church of the Epiphany (Anglican church; one person must be a Christian): At this church, the couple must attend three preparation interviews with a priest, which are spread over at least three weeks.
Documents required include:
- Certificates of eligibility from the embassies of the countries of both couples
- Copies of passports and visas
- Birth certificates
Two witnesses must be present, and a fee is payable.
Catholic Church Of Our Lady Of The Rosary (one person must be a Roman Catholic): Requirements to be married here include the attendance of a Marriage Preparation Course, which is held once every two months and must be signed up for in advance. The church requires three months' notice to schedule the wedding. The following documents are required:
- Marriage Preparation Course certificate
- Passport and visa copies
- Two passport photos (of each person)
- Certificates of eligibility to marry from the relevant embassies
- Certificate of Baptism
- Certificate of Confirmation
- Catholic Church Certificate of Freedom to Marry
Registering a Christian Marriage
Once the marriage has taken place, the churches provide a marriage certificate, which needs to be translated into Arabic and registered with the Ministry of Justice, opposite City Centre Doha mall, and then attested by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. There is a fee for this, and the church can carry out the registration on behalf of the couple, or at least advise on how to do it.
Authentication of official documents
Registering the marriage with the couple's embassies can be done after all of the above has been completed. It is not imperative to do so for some countries, but the regulations regarding this should be checked.