Category: Legal Articles

Requirement of Will Registration in the UAE for Expatriates



This article is based on the premise that if a non-Muslim expatriate dies intestate (without a will), you have assets in the UAE, or has children residing here, then sharia law will apply automatically, regardless of your religion or nationality.

Governing Laws

  • Federal Law no. 28 of 2005 would be applied by UAE courts.
  • Art 17(3) the Federal Law no.5 of 1985 of the civil transaction law of UAE as amended by Federal Decree-Law No. 30 dated 2020/09/27.
  • Article No. 11 of the UAE Federal Decree No. 41/2022 concerning the family law for non-muslims in the UAE

Concerns about the absences of a Will

  1. The distribution of assets may not be as per the will of the deceased.
  2. Bank assets like individual accounts and joint accounts can be blocked.
  3. Vehicles owned by the deceased cannot be transferred or sold.
  4. To protect the guardianship of your minor children by appointing a permanent & temporary guardian
  5. As a business owner, it’s very important to consider business succession planning as part of the Wills process. 

Registration and notarization of Wills

Will registration can be registered in Abu Dhabi Judicial Department (ADJD), Dubai Courts, Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC), and Abu Dhabi Global Markets (ADGM) there is a variety of Will registration forums.

There is no denying the fact it is in the best interest of every ex-pat in the UAE to draft a Will in advance per their wish and personal laws (home country laws) they would prefer to apply to the Will. You can request a lawyer/Firm for a well-drafted Will and they can help you notarize the Will in UAE.

Al Bahar Associates & Legal consultants (“the Firm”) can help you draft and conclude private notary services for a Will registration based on providing the following documents:

   The  following details and information is required to execute a Will  :
Valid Passport copy & Emirates ID of the Testator

Documentary proof for property ownership in UAE ( title deed)

Details of Assets like vehicle number plates, bank account details, and insurance details within the UAE

In case either of you would like his part of the assets to go to a certain person in the family, please provide the details of the person (Nationality, relationship, country of residence, Passport, if possible).

The executor of the Wills in case neither of the spouses was alive. This could be anyone you trust. If yes, please provide the details of the person (Nationality, relationship, country of residence, Passport “if possible”).

Details relating to donating any funds of the inheritance to a charity or certain association of the Testator’s choice

To book your appointment with a Will specialist, please feel free to get in touch with our team to avail of our legal services at or by phone at +97124410825 to discuss further.

Tax in UAE

Tax – in general –  is an amount of money that a person or a company have  to  pay to the government so that it can pay for public services such as healthcare, educations ,social services ..Etc.Tax – in general –  is an amount of money that a person or a company have  to  pay to the government so that it can pay for public services such as healthcare, educations ,social services ..Etc.

UAE – as party of GCC – will implement Tax regulations to improve sources of revenue that will help government departments to provide high quality public services .The introduction of Tax in UAE will be for 2 types of Tax,

(i) Excise Tax

(ii) Value Add Tax (VAT).


UAE governments had issued the following Tax legislations:

1- Federal law by decree no. 13 of 2006 concerning the Establishing of Federal Tax Authorities on 26 / 9/ 2016

2- Federal law no. 7 of 2017 for Tax Procedures on  11/ 6 / 2017.

3- Federal Law by Decree no. 7 of 2018 on Excise Tax on 17 / 8 / 2017

4- Federal law by Decree no. 8 of 2017 on VAT on 23 / 8/ 2017.

5- The Executive Regulation is approved by Government and soon will be release to public.

The above legislations provide the guide lines of the legal Procedures, Financial rules and grounds for the Tax Registration, Tax Return, and Exempt Supply, Tax evasion, Legal Representative, Tax Agent, violations, penalties and punishments.

Excise Tax is indirect tax lived ( as of 1st October 2017) on certain goods such as carbonated & Energy Drinks , Tobacco , and other good that will be nominated by concerned Authorities as per regulations set forth in law no. 7 of 2017 on Excise Tax. Federal Tax Authority (FTA) announced on 14/9/2017 that the registration will start on 17/9/2017 at FTA website ( and any person or company involves in of the said activities must register prior to October 2017. FAT also announced that the Tax Excise revenue will be collected through  e-dirham  electronic system.

Value Add Tax is (VAT) is a type of consumption tax that will  placed on a product whenever value is added at a stage of production and at final sale. The UAE had announced its intention to the introduce value added tax (VAT) in the country starting January 1, 2018. The Vat ( 5% ) levied at each stage of Supplying , manufacturing ,   importing, selling  goods or   providing Services will applicable to the  buyer / beneficiary/ Customer  or End User. Any company whose turnover is quantified to be AED 375,000 (which is the    Mandatory Registration limit) needs to register-  as Designate Party – with Federal Tax Authorities as per Standard Form of Registration. The Executive Regulation Decree will define the Exempt Activities.

 Duties of Taxable party:

The legislations specified the general obligations & duties of Taxable person or entity (individuals or Companies) including registration with Federal Tax Authorities, maintaining proper Financial Records for day to day activities, submitting Tax return and settle the Tax amount on due date, releasing all records to the officer of Federal Tax Authorities who has the legal capacity and authorities to exam all records relates to the business of designate party.

The decree-law provides that all supplies of goods and services are subject to VAT at a standard rate of 5 per cent with the exception of specific supplies subject to the zero rate and what is exempted as specified in the decree-law.

According to the decree-law, a supply of goods includes the transfer of ownership of the goods or the right to use them as an owner from one person to another and an entry into a contract between two parties triggering the transfer of goods at a later time. A supply of service is any supply that is not considered a supply of goods.

The decree-law made two exceptions as to what constitutes a supply: the issuance or sale of any voucher unless the received consideration exceeds its declared monetary value; and the transfer of whole or an independent part of a business from a person to a taxable person for the purposes of continuing such business that was transferred.

Record Keeping:

It is mandatory for every taxable person to maintain books of accounts under UAE VAT law. In addition to that the authority can ask for additional documents such as, annual accounts, general ledger, purchase day book, invoices issued, invoices received, credit notes, debit notes, VAT Ledger etc. Under the UAE VAT law the books of accounts and records are to be maintained for five years.

For most businesses, VAT returns should be filed every three months. Filing of returns can also be done online using the government’s eServices.

Businesses are also strongly advised to ensure that in all the commercial contracts they enter into, they include a clause that spells out that the VAT burden can be passed on to the consumer.

The easiest way to do this is to alter your IT systems to automatically calculate and add VAT to the invoices.

VAT is not only a finance issue. It flows through all operational departments of the company.  This is because wherever a company acquires products or services, it may pay VAT and it would need to capture all the documentation relating to VAT paid, in order to claim refunds.

Advertisement affecting the brand in UAE

Advertisements affecting the image of a brand


This article is based on the premise that a company circulated a picture/image of four major car brands operating in the UAE depicting one brand as inferior to the other brand in an image/picture reflecting their brand incompetency in the market. The said advertising is accessible online/publication in the UAE, therefore the laws of UAE apply.

Question of Laws

  1. Does such advertisement violate any specific Laws in the UAE?

In the UAE, brand tarnishing is a form of unfair competition and is punishable under the following laws.

  1. The UAE Federal Law no.18 of 1993 on Commercial Transactions Law, Section 3, Art 66 details about (Unfair Competition) intentional damage to the reputation of a brand or business, they can face penalties under the law.
  2. The Federal law no.37 of 1992 on Trademarks (the “trademarks Law”) provides the legal framework for protecting trademarks by prohibiting a party from unlawful use of another party’s trademark and preventing unfair competition.
  3. Federal Law no.4 of 2012 governs competition law principles for organizations in the UAE and includes provisions related to fair trade practices. The law prohibits any act or practice that is considered to be in violation of fair-trade principles anti-competitive behavior.
  4. The National Media council is authorized under the advertisement standards to apply various penalties for non-compliant advertisement. Such penalties may not be isolated from any other penalties detailed under Federal law no. 15 “On Publishing House” of 1980 regarding printed matters and publications.
  5. The UAE Law no.5 of 2012, Article 29 of the Cybercrime Law criminalizes the act of intentionally damaging the reputation of a natural or legal person through the use of information technology and shall be punished by imprisonment and a fine.
  • What is the remedy available to the aggrieved brand?
  • Violation of advertising activities may result in administrative, civil, and criminal liability. The supervisory authority may decide to impose sanctions on the advertiser in the form of a fine, removal or blocking of the advertisement, suspension, and revocation of the license. Trademark law & competition law violation can result in significant penalties, including fines and/or imprisonment.
 Al Bahar Associates & Legal consultants ( “ the Firm”) can support the affected brands
The affected brand can approach through the Firm to file a case based on all the regulatory laws above. The Firm can help you approach a dedicated authority in the UAE, the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Authority (FCCPA) for violations claims.The Firm also specializes in providing consultation and litigation support in the area of unfair competition by traders, handling intellectual property violations for content, ideas, logo trade names, brand identification, manufacturing processes, trade secrets, music, art- all of the  key business assets. Feel free to get in touch with our team to avail our legal services on or by phone on +97124410825 to discuss further.

Arbitration in the UAE

Globalization has led to rapid developments in today’s fast-paced corporate world, among which an increasingly growing interest in arbitration.

Parties would rather resort to this alternative contract-based form of dispute resolution than going to Courts given its numerous advantages. These include but are not limited to its speed, privacy, economy, efficiency, and the flexibility when it comes to choosing the applicable laws, regulations and arbitrators. Thus explains why, more frequently than before, an arbitration clause is being included in contracts. Alternatively, parties may agree on signing a separate arbitration agreement in the event a dispute related to the implementation of their contract arises.

The final award rendered by the arbitral tribunal has furthermore a final and binding effect in the sense that it represents an enforceable decision to which the parties are obliged to comply.

 Within this context, the UAE legislator, wishing to position itselfas a regional leader in this field, established key arbitration institutions in its major cities (Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Ras Al Khaimah, Dubai) in addition to the International Islamic Centre for Reconciliation and Arbitration.

The most significant however remains the Dubai International Arbitration Centre (DIAC) established in 2004, which has become the “largest and most preferred Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) entity in the Middle East”, with disputes amounting to 5.5 Billion AED in 2020 and covering a wide array of sectors, ranging from construction, Commerce, Real Estate, commercial and civil transactions, corporate governance, to IP, finance and banking to oil and gas.

The DIFC-LCIA Arbitration Centre and Emirates Maritime Arbitration Centre were both abolished pursuant to the Decree No. 34 of 2021 of the Ruler of Dubai and merged into the DIAC in an effort to concentrate institutional arbitration there.

As for Abu Dhabi, its Commercial Conciliation and Arbitration Centre (ADCCAC), established in 1993, represented the first center in the GCC to solve national and international commercial disputes. An initiative by the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, its mission is to build “an independent, effective and just structure for the mechanisms of conciliation and arbitration to serve the local and international business community”.

Both the DIAC and ADCCAC have their own rules and regulations that are regularly updated, taking into account the international standards and best practices.

How can we help you?

Al Bahar Advocates and Legal Consultants’ prides itself in its knowledgeable team of legal consultants, solicitors, paralegals, and arbitrators with over two decades ears of experience in various types of arbitration, whether it be institutional, ad hoc, national or international.  

Our offices in Dubai and Abu Dhabi provide arbitration and other Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) methods such as conciliation and mediation, before the DIAC, ICC, DIFC and ADCCAC. We are specialized and up-to-date with the latest trends in these subjects; we aim to get our clients the most beneficial and cost-effective outcome while taking into consideration the circumstances of their case.

Please reach out to us by email on or by phone on +97124410825 to discuss further.


Le Mariage Civil Aux Emirats Arabes Unis

Le mariage civil a récemment été instauré dans tous les Émirats arabes unis suite au décret-loi fédéral No. 41 du 3 octobre 2022. Ce dernier est actuellement dans l’attente de règlements d’application correspondants et entrera en vigueur en Février 2023.

Ce décret-loi explique en détail les procédures de formation d’un mariage civil et définit les principales exigences légales ainsi que les documents requis pour sa conclusion. Elle traite en outre des questions relatives au divorce, à la garde, aux testaments et aux tribunaux compétents; plus généralement, il réglemente les questions relatives au statut personnel des ressortissants non musulmans locaux et étrangers. Parmi les multiples objectifs de cette loi figurent en premier lieu la garantie d’un mode flexible de règlement des différends pour les questions similaires.

Abou Dhabi fut un pionnier parmi les Emirats par sa promulgation, l’année dernière, de la Loi n° 14 de 2021 relative au droit de la famille pour les expatriés non musulmans à Abu Dhabi, en vertu duquel le mariage civil y a été autorisé pour la première fois pour les non-musulmans.

L’équipe d’avocats compétents et expérimentés d’Al Bahar Associates Advocates & Legal Consultants fournit tous les services légaux relatifs au statut personnel, qu’il s’agisse de mariage, testaments, divorces ou autres, en gérant pour votre compte toutes les formalités requises. Veuillez nous contacter par e-mail à ou par téléphone au +97124410825 pour en savoir davantage.

Civil Marriage in UAE

The Federal Decretal Law No. 41 of 2022 established in October 2022 the civil marriage all across UAE. Its implementation is still under process.

The law sets out in detail the procedures for forming a civil marriage and defines the key legal requirements for its establishment in addition to the documents needed. It further deals with matters related to divorce, custody, wills and the related competent courts. It regulates more generally personal status matters for Non-Muslims nationals and foreigners. Among the multiple goals of this law are the guarantee of a flexible dispute resolution method for Personal Status matters related to non-Muslims nationals and foreigners.

Abu Dhabi was a pioneer among the Emirates when it promulgated last year Law No. 14 of 2021 regarding Family Law for Non-Muslim Expatriates in Abu Dhabi, pursuant to which civil marriage was allowed for the first time in Abu Dhabi for non-Muslims.

We at Al Bahar Associates Advocates & Legal Consultants are ready to simplify the process for you and willing to save your precious time by handling the formalities on your behalf. Please reach out to us by email on  or by phone on +97124410825 to discuss further.