Marriage contracts for expats are now easier in Saudi Arabia

The service will initially be for non-Saudis who speak Arabic. (AFP)
Updated 02 January 2018
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Marriage contracts for expats are now easier in Saudi Arabia

JEDDAH: The Ministry of Justice now gives marriage officers in the Kingdom the power to hold home-based marriage contracts for expats, just like Saudi citizens, after it was previously limited to the courts.

On Thursday, Dec. 29, Jeddah witnessed the first marriage contract for “non-Saudis” from their homes and the picture of the documented contract by a legal marriage officer went viral on social media networks. One spouse holds Jordanian nationality.

This decision will facilitate procedures of marriages to expats and will take into account the social and humanitarian dimension.

The Ministry of Justice pointed out that it will reduce the flow of couples to the courts, where it used to require the presence of the non-Saudi and the spouse in the court to sign the agreement of the marriage contract, in addition to the presence of the wife’s guardian (her father) and the witnesses.

The service is available in the personal status courts in Riyadh and Madinah in this initial stage. It will extend to 14 other personal status courts in other areas, namely, the courts of Makkah, Jeddah, Buraidah, Dammam, Taif, Tabuk and Al-Ahsa, as well as the general courts in Alkhobar, Hafr Al-Batin, Najran, Al-Kharj and Abha.

The service will initially be for non-Saudis who speak Arabic.

Ibraheem Al-Shareef a Saudi legal marriage officer told Arab News: “This permission is given to specific marriage officers under certain conditions where they get a book of contracts to document the expats’ marriage contracts from their homes.”

Petitions for a marriage contract for expats used to be submitted via a form at the court or through the electronic service to register an appointment for a marriage contract in court.

Petitions can now be easily submitted to the marriage officer. “It is important to have a valid Iqama ID, also the presence of the wife’s guardian, in case if she was divorced a divorce contract should be there,” Al-Shareef said.

“No fees are specified to be given to the marriage officer; it is optional,” he added.

Courts will only issue marriage contracts for Saudis in case one of the spouses is a Saudi citizen and the other is not. The matter requires obtaining a marriage permit to ensure that the conditions are met.


Riyadh to host forum to observe World Heritage Day next year

Riyadh hosts the sixth National Urban Heritage Forum in April with its focus on investment opportunities in the urban heritage. (Reuters)
Updated 17 min 5 sec ago
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Riyadh to host forum to observe World Heritage Day next year

  • Forum will encourage private investment to capitalize on the country’s rich urban heritage
  • Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage hosts the forum each year in a different part of the Kingdom

RIYADH: The Saudi capital will host the sixth National Urban Heritage Forum (NUHF) next April to coincide with World Heritage Day, with its focus on investment opportunities in urban heritage.

“The four-day National Built Heritage Forum will be launched in Riyadh on April 15,” said Majed Alshadeed, a spokesman for the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH), on Thursday, adding that the forum will culminate on April 18, World Heritage Day. World Heritage Day is celebrated every year on April 18 with the aim of preserving the human heritage and recognizing the efforts of the relevant organizations in the field.

Organized by SCTH under the umbrella of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Cultural Heritage Program, the 6th forum will encourage private investment to capitalize on the country’s rich urban heritage.

The forum will look at developing business models in the management and development of — and investment in — urban heritage sites, as well as the development of crafts and handicrafts.

The heritage forum is organized each year by the SCTH in a different province in collaboration with the relevant governorates, municipalities and local universities, following the recommendations of the first International Conference for Urban Heritage in the Islamic Countries, which was held in Riyadh in 2010.

The first session of the NUHF was organized in Makkah province, the second in the Eastern Province, the third in Madinah province, the fourth in Asir province and the fifth in Al-Qassim province.

Next year’s forum seeks to invest the expertise, knowledge and experience that the SCTH has gained and transfer it to the four economic sectors working in urban heritage. These sectors are construction, restoration and contracting, site operation, human resources development, and services and industries related to urban heritage.

The forum will include the distribution of prizes to the projects winning the Prince Sultan bin Salman Urban Heritage Awards, exhibitions, scientific sessions, workshops and business meetings with Saudi and international experts and consultants to discuss investment opportunities in urban heritage. There will also be a specialized expo for companies and institutions working in the sectors of the economics of architectural heritage, restoration and engineering consultancy.