Muscat: People of Oman have welcomed the Royal Decree allowing its citizens to marry without approval from the Ministry of Interior.

The new Royal Decree on the marriage of Omanis to foreigners abolishes the requirement of Ministry of Interior’s approval before marriage, a lawyer Salah Al Maqbali, said.

His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik on Sunday issued Royal Decree No. 23/2023 on Omanis’ marriage to foreigners, notifying the changes. “It is a good decision. I don’t understand why a person should seek approval of the Ministry of Interior to marry someone of his/her choice?,” Mohammed Al Darai, a citizen of Jalan Bani Bu Ali said.

The lawyer, Al Maqbali said that in the second article, the Royal Decree clarified that the marriage should not be in violation of the provisions of the Sharia or the public order in the Sultanate of Oman, which are the two basic conditions for marriage with foreigners.

Citizens also recalled that the rules for marrying foreigners were relaxed when Omanis were allowed to marry GCC citizens without seeking permission.

Salah Al Maqbali also said; “Earlier, Minister of Interior was authorised to issue provisions regulating the marriage of Omanis to foreigners. Now, it is not required.”

Legally correct

On the people who have been charged for marrying foreigners without approval from the Ministry of Interior, Salah Al Maqbali said: “According to Article 4 of the Decree, their status has become legally correct, and they currently face no more charges.”

Another lawyer, Jassim Al-Balushi, said: “Everyone wishing to marry foreigners can now do so provided that their contract is documented before the competent authorities, and that the contract is compatible with Islamic law.

Nasr Al-Busaidi from the Wilayat of Nizwa in Al Dakhiliyah believes that the new Royal Decree will facilitate the marriage process for many who are currently stuck.

“For example, many young men and women from Asian mothers, such as India, Pakistan and the Philippines, have been deprived of wedlock opportunities as the marriage of their parents was not registered. Currently, they are facing the stigma of rejection in society, except for a few of them.”

He also added: “Marriage from abroad will also avoid genetic diseases, the percentage of which has become very high among Omanis.”

He also felt that marriage from abroad will also help many Omani families who couldn’t marry due to exorbitant costs.

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