UAE LAW: A Complete Guide to the Legal System

Middle Eastern nation of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has a distinctive legal structure that combines civil law with Islamic law.

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Although each emirate in the UAE has its own local rules and regulations known as UAE Law, the legal system is based on federal laws and regulations that are applied across the whole nation.

UAE law categories:

  • Sharia in the UAE
  • Emirati Labour Law
  • Occupational Law
  • Immigration legislation
  • Public Law
  • law governing families
  • UAE Penal Code
  • Business Law
  • Law of Intellectual Property
  • Property law
  • Security Regulations

The UAE's legal framework has the following salient characteristics:

Sources of law: Both federal and local legislation are the foundation of the UAE legal system. The UAE Federal National Council and the UAE President pass the country's laws at the federal level, while each emirate's rulers are responsible for passing local laws.

Sharia in the UAE:

The United Arab Emirates is a nation that upholds Sharia Law, the legal structure originating from Islam. The UAE's legal system is founded on Sharia Law, which is used in both criminal and civil proceedings. The UAE judicial system includes Sharia courts, civil courts, and criminal courts, which is an important element to keep in mind.

Sharia law plays a significant role in the UAE legal system, especially when it comes to issues of family law, inheritance, and social standing. Civil law is also interpreted according to Sharia law.

UAE is a developed nation with a sizable expatriate population. Non-Muslims in the UAE are not often subject to sharia law, despite the fact that they are expected to obey local customs and regulations.

Public law:

UAE civil law is a significant factor for people and companies doing business in the UAE and plays a significant role in the nation's legal system.

The civil law system in the United Arab Emirates is based on French law. Family law, labour law, contracts, torts, property law, commercial law, and company law are all covered by UAE civil law.

The UAE's civil law places a strong focus on written contracts and agreements, which is one of its main characteristics. Written contracts and agreements are typically regarded as the final legal record in any individual or company transaction in the United Arab Emirates, including legal disputes.

The protection of workers' rights is a key component of UAE civil law.

Emirati Labour Law:

The UAE Labour Law sets down the rights and responsibilities of both employers (businesses) and employees (workers) when it comes to the employment of people.

UAE Labour Law's most important clauses include:

  1. a job contract and an offer letter
  2. Working Schedule
  3. yearly leave
  4. Sick Time
  5. Service-End Gratuity
  6. Contract termination and resignation
  7. Visa Revocation
  8. Safety and Health
  9. Conflicts and grievances
  10. Workplace safety insurance

It's crucial to remember that the UAE Labour legislation is occasionally subject to modifications, therefore both employers and employees are encouraged to be informed about any updates to the legislation to maintain compliance.

Dubai Immigration Law:

The entry, residence, and exit of foreign nationals in the UAE are governed by an advanced immigration system. Additionally, it oversees businesses, tourism and GCC national admission into the nation.

Federal authority for identity, citizenship, customs & port security (ICP UAE - is in charge of regulating immigration rules in the UAE, and the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFAD) in Dubai is in charge of implementing immigration regulations.

An overview of UAE immigration law is provided below:

Entry restrictions: Unless they are exempt from visa restrictions, all foreign nationals entering the UAE must have a valid passport and a visa. Here is a list of nations that accept UAE visas upon arrival.

A variety of visas are available for admission into the UAE, including visit and tourist visas, work and investor visas, freelancer and student visas, as well as visas for job seekers and investors.

Sponsorship: A foreign national must have a sponsor who is either a UAE national (citizen) or a UAE-based business in order to acquire a UAE visa. The visitor's legal standing while they are in the UAE is the sponsor's responsibility.

Employment Requirements: Foreign nationals wishing to work in the UAE must have a work visa. These documents must be acquired by the employer (UAE Company) on behalf of the worker (employee).

Foreign nationals who intend to live in the UAE for a period of time longer than a year must get a residency permit. A contract that has been signed, a medical exam, an offer letter from the sponsor, and sponsorship from an employer or individual with UAE citizenship are all necessary for this.

Dubai ID: ICP Emirates ID, commonly known as the UAE identity card, is issued by the UAE (also known as UAE Immigration). The applicant must visit the local id centre to finish the Emirates ID process when the contract is signed and the residency visa is approved. Depending on the kind of visa, Emirates IDs are issued for periods of two or three years.

Visitors who want to enter the UAE for tourism purposes and remain for a short time can apply for a visit visa, also known as a tourist visa, in the UAE. People who want to go to the UAE for employment purposes must apply for a UAE Job Seeker visa.

Overstaying: Foreign citizens who break UAE immigration law by exceeding the validity of their visa or residency permit may be subject to penalties, incarceration, deportation, and a lifetime ban on reentering the UAE.

Criminal code: The UAE's penal code is based on Islamic law and is applied uniformly across the nation. Theft, fraud, drug trafficking, and mu**er are only a few of the offences that are covered by the criminal code.

In the UAE, criminal offences are punishable by fines, imprisonment, and, in some circumstances, the de*th penalty.

A number of courts, including Sharia courts, criminal courts, and courts of appeal, regulate the UAE's criminal justice system. These courts are in charge of hearing criminal cases and rendering decisions in accordance with the evidence offered during trial.

When an expat resident is found guilty of a crime in the UAE, they may face severe fines and eventual deportation, along with a visa ban that may prevent them from returning.

Federal courts and local courts comprise the UAE's judicial system. The Federal Supreme Court, the Federal Court of Cassation, and the Federal Court of Appeal are examples of federal courts. The courts of each emirate, including the Court of First Instance and the Court of Appeal, are included in the local courts.

The following is a list of official UAE Courts websites:

  1. UAE Federal Supreme Court
  2. UAE Ministry of Justice
  3. Abu Dhabi Court
  4. Dubai Courts
  5. Sharjah Court
  6. Ajman Court
  7. Ras Al Khaimah Courts
  8. Fujairah Courts
  9. Umm Al Quwain court

Legal representation is required in every court case in the United Arab Emirates. In this nation, only licenced solicitors are permitted to practise law.

The UAE provides a variety of processes for resolving disputes, including arbitration and mediation. These procedures are used to settle disagreements between parties without going to court.

UAE cybercrime law:

A comprehensive legal framework for the defence of vital information infrastructure and the avoidance of cybercrime is intended to be provided by the UAE Cybersecurity Law. Numerous cyber-related actions are covered by the law, including hacking, unauthorised data access, phishing, identity theft, and the use or distribution of dangerous software.

The UAE Cybersecurity Law's primary provisions include:

Protection of key information infrastructure: Under the cyber security law, owners of important information infrastructure must put in place sufficient security safeguards to defend their networks and systems against online dangers.

Standards and guidelines for cybersecurity: The UAE National Electronic Security Authority (NESA) is in charge of creating and enforcing cybersecurity standards and guidelines for governmental organisations and operators of key information infrastructure.

Reporting of cyber events: Managers of key information infrastructure are obligated to promptly notify the appropriate authorities of any cyber incidents or attacks.

Data protection: According to the legislation, sensitive and private information must be shielded against unauthorised access, use, and disclosure.

Depending on the form and seriousness of the offence, the law prescribes consequences for cybercrime, such as fines, incarceration, and deportation.
UAE Emirates:

The United Arab Emirates is a federation of seven emirates, each of which is led by an emir who also serves as head of the federal supreme council. Seven UAE emirates are listed by name below.

  1. Abu Dhabi (UAE Capital)
  2. Dubai
  3. Sharjah
  4. Ajman
  5. Ras Al Khaimah
  6. Fujairah
  7. Umm al Quwain

Law in Dubai:

The differences between UAE Law and Dubai Law are often unclear. Please keep in mind that while Abu Dhabi is the capital of the UAE, Dubai is one of the emirates. Similar to the legal system of the United Arab Emirates, Dubai's legal system combines civil law and Islamic Sharia law. Dubai does, however, have its own local court system, which is divided into various levels.

Dubai's legal system has several important aspects, including:

Dubai Courts: The judicial of First Instance, the Court of Appeal, and the Court of Cassation make up the major judicial system in Dubai. These courts deal with a variety of situations, including family law, business, criminal, and civil cases.

The DIFC Courts are an independent common law judicial system that function within the DIFC, a financial free zone in Dubai. Commercial and civil disputes involving persons and businesses with a base in the DIFC are handled by the DIFC Courts.

DIAC, the Dubai International Arbitration Centre Located in Dubai, the DIAC is a significant arbitral organisation serving the Middle East and North Africa. The DIAC offers commercial dispute arbitration services.

Dubai's own rules and regulations cover a wide range of topics, including commerce, real estate, employment, and immigration. The Dubai government enacts these laws, and the local courts carry them out.

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