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Guide to Notary Services in the UAE

Notarization, a vital process in the UAE, involves the verification and certification of legal documents by a government-authorized individual. This crucial step is designed to thwart fraudulent activities and uphold the document’s legitimacy and genuineness. In the United Arab Emirates, notary services come in two forms: public notary services and private notary services. The choice between these two options hinges on the specific requirements and preferences of the client. In this article, we aim to provide you with a comprehensive understanding of notary services in the UAE, enabling you to make informed decisions when the need arises.

The Role of a Notary Public in the UAE

A notary public in the UAE is a government-authorized professional entrusted with the task of documenting and certifying a wide range of legal documents. These documents may include contracts, wills, power of attorneys, affidavits, and more. Furthermore, a notary public plays a pivotal role in confirming the identity and validating the signatures of the parties involved in these documents. Depending on the jurisdiction and the nature of the document in question, a notary public in Dubai can be either a public official or a private lawyer.

The Duties of a Notary Public in the UAE

As stipulated in Article 2 of Federal Law No. 4 of 2013, a notary public in the UAE is responsible for:

1. Drafting contracts and instruments.

2. Authenticated the signatures of the relevant individuals.

3. Establishing the date of standard law documents as required by the law.

4. Administering oaths.

5. Drafting and certifying sworn statements.

6. Notifying the individuals concerned of any warnings and protests contained within documents that they have written or authenticated, upon their request, by the provisions of this law.

7. Attaching the writ of execution to the documents they have prepared or authenticated, as per the provisions of this law.

8. Executing any other duties assigned to them by other laws.

It’s important to note that these competencies apply to both public and private notaries, unless otherwise specified by relevant laws.

What types of Notary Public exist in the UAE?

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) offers two distinct categories of notary public services in Dubai: public notaries and private notaries.

1. Public Notary Services in Dubai

A public notary serves as a government-appointed official stationed either at the central offices or the satellite branches of the courts or the Ministry of Justice. Public notaries extend their notarial services to all individuals seeking them, provided that the documents involved adhere to the law and do not contradict public order. Furthermore, public notaries possess the authority to issue duplicate copies of notarized documents in cases of damage or loss.

Requirements for Becoming a Public Notary in the UAE

In the UAE, the practice of public notary is regulated by Federal Law No. 4 of 2013 on the Regulation of the Notary Public Profession. This law outlines specific prerequisites and procedures for those aspiring to become public notaries in the UAE. According to Article 16 of the law, individuals seeking appointment as public notaries must:

– Be UAE citizens.

– Hold a degree in Law or Shari’a from a recognized university within the UAE.

– Not having a criminal record involving moral turpitude, even if their civil rights have been restored.

– Complete the stipulated procedures and examinations.

Appointment of a Public Notary in the UAE

The designation of a notary public is made through a decision issued by the Minister of Justice. The Minister also designates the location of the public notary’s office, which may be situated within the courts or another suitable location as determined by the Judicial Inspection Department.

The law also establishes that accredited UAE consuls or their representatives at diplomatic missions can perform the duties of a public notary outside the UAE, by guidelines issued by a Council of Ministers’ decision upon the Minister’s recommendation.

2. Dubai’s Private Notary Services

Private notaries in Dubai are licensed attorneys authorized by the government to offer notarial services exclusively from their offices. These legal professionals are permitted to extend notary services solely to their clients or individuals with a pre-existing contractual relationship. Additionally, private notaries can facilitate online notary services using government-approved secure platforms.

Eligibility Criteria for Private Notaries in the UAE

In compliance with the law, the Minister of Justice established the Private Notary Public Admission Board, tasked with evaluating and approving applications from aspiring private notary publics.

This board is responsible for granting authorization to individuals who have accumulated a minimum of five years of experience in judicial roles or their equivalents across various legal domains, such as public prosecution, issuing fatwas and legislation, managing state affairs, teaching Islamic sharia or law, or other legal occupations deemed equivalent per the implementing regulations of the law.

Candidates must also satisfy the following conditions:

– Hold a bachelor’s degree in law or sharia.

– Successfully pass a written and oral examination.

– Maintain a commendable reputation and exhibit good conduct.

– Have no convictions for crimes that impinge upon honor or honesty.

Moreover, the implementing regulations of the law may specify additional conditions and procedures for authorization.

4. Exemption for Practicing Lawyers

The law includes a provision that grants an exemption to practicing lawyers possessing the requisite experience to carry out the responsibilities of a private notary public. However, they must secure consent from the Private Notary Public Admission Board to exercise this role.

How to obtain notarization for documents in the UAE?

To secure notarization for your documents in the UAE, adhere to these steps:

1. Decide whether to opt for a public or private notary, considering your preferences and their availability.

2. Prepare the original document necessitating notarization and ensure you have your valid ID card or passport ready.

3. Visit the chosen public or private notary’s office, or request online or home service if offered.

4. Present your document and ID card or passport to the notary, then sign the document in their presence.

5. Fulfill the requisite fees for the notary service, which can vary based on the document’s nature and complexity.

6. Receive your notarized document from the notary, accompanied by an official stamp and signature validating its authenticity.

You may be interested in Ensuring Trust in Business Deals with Notary Public Sharjah

What are some instances of documents requiring notarization in the UAE?

Certain documents in the UAE necessitate notarization, including:

1. Power of Attorney: This document grants legal authority to an individual to act on behalf of another in legal matters. It must undergo notarization by a public or private notary before being recognized in court or other institutions.

2. Family Ownership Contract: To regulate the collective ownership of a family in Dubai, a family ownership contract must be notarized by a public or private notary before it can be registered with the Dubai Land Department.

You may also read What exactly is a Notary Public? What sets apart Public and Private Notary Services?

3. Eviction Notice: An eviction notice informs a tenant of the requirement to vacate a property within a specified period. To be legally enforceable by the landlord, an eviction notice must undergo notarization by a public or private notary.

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