Finance, Property & Assets in UAE for a Husband & Wife

In terms of financial gains there are no laws with respect to divorce settlement the property assets will remain in the name of their respective owners and co-owned property will be dealt under general civil laws.

The finances and maintenance of spouses under UAE laws cannot be claimed by husband to his wife even when he holds custody of the children but a wife may do so even if she has wealth.

An application has to be made to evaluate the financial position of a couple that is planning separation. If the parties are muslim and are married to enforce it an application has to be made by the receiving party and not the giving party which can either be husband or wife who is going to divorce cannot enforce a settlement.

Any party can apply to the court for sale of their jointly owned property or for someone else to buy out shares. The basic assumption is that both parties made equal payments in property purchase but if they one party made higher investment then capital share will be large. However UAE courts have jurisdiction over property owned within UAE and not abroad otherwise jointly owned bank accounts and some other assets will be dealt the same.

The claims that can be made by the wife are as follows,

1- The first claim can be made for not supporting her during the last year
2- Second claim can be made for the supporting her during the waiting period called “Nafket Eda”.
3- To cover moral damage of the wife after being divorced by her husband against her will a claim can be made by her covering 25% to 40% of husbands salary or income called “Nafket Motaa”.

As per child maintenance rules for a divorce in UAE implies that either a claim for a carer’s allowance be made depending on the husbands income or the standard of living for a child would be equal to what he already had which includes schooling, medical, rent and other expenses.

Compensation Claim by Victims of UAE

A person who files a criminal case against another person or party is seeking justice in terms of the crime having been committed. This will not, however lead to a payment of compensation being made to them without further action. Even in the event the accused is found guilty and made to pay a fine, that fine is paid to the court and not to the person who made the complaint (in essence, the person was found guilty of committing a crime against the law of the UAE). To make a claim for compensation, a case must be filed in the civil court.

With the case filed in civil court, it is possible for the judge in the criminal case to make the award of compensation at the time of judgement in the criminal matter, provided there is not an onerous burden placed on the criminal court in terms of determining the weight or validity of the damages claimed. If this is the case, the criminal judge will insist the claim for compensation is pursued in the civil court.

Even if the defendant is found not guilty of the criminal proceedings, the case for compensation may still have merit if there are elements such as breach of contract to consider (which are not covered by the criminal proceedings).

If during the crime, damage was done with financial consequence to an insurer, the insurer can make a claim for compensation at any time during the criminal proceedings.

How to start a Law Firm in Dubai

There are four basic procedures which must be followed for a person to start a law firm in Dubai,

a- Local Lawyer
To start operating in Dubai the very first thing anyone would need is to collaborate with a local lawyer having a law license which has to be valid in first instance court at least.

b- Acquire License
The person needs to acquire an establishment license from the Ministry of Justice to open a law firm from where he will get papers and card

c- License Submission
Documents which you receive from the Ministry of Justice as part of the license which later you will have to submit to the economics department.

d- Location
The ideal location would not be in JAFZA or Freezone because it is cheap and the area must be at least 40ft for the law firm to begin its operations

Things you need to know:

e- Professional Ethics
Lawyers must refrain from committing any criminal or deviant acts. There is a set of principles which have to be adhered to.

f- Charge Reasonable Amount
Whatever the case is and no matter how big the law firm is, the chargeable price for a disputed case should always be reasonable.

g- Dual Courts System
There are federal and local courts which are the dual courts in Dubai with Supreme Court based in Abu Dhabi covering different parts of the law. There are three stages to the Dubai court system, court of first instance, court of appeal and court of cassation.

h- UAE Laws Source
UAE law is mainly based on Sharia and International law. It is a civil law jurisdiction with reliance on French, Roman and Egyptian laws.

i- Rules of Law
As per rules & regulations the lawyers and advocates have to register with Ministry of Justice to practice in federal courts or other emirati courts.

j- Compliance to License & Regulations
To provide legal services outside the court lawyers & law firms need to get licensed with registration documents from Department of Legal Affairs.

The law firm based in DIFC has to obtain a commercial license from the authority and register itself with Dubai Financial Services Authority. Department of Economic Development has also major role to play as the formalities are to be fulfilled by the law firm.

Only local lawyers can attend court whereas foreign lawyers can practice law. For litigation and federal supreme courts only registered lawyers can attend and appear.

For practicing law in the country lawyers need an individual office in each emirate of UAE whereas main Dubai has freedom of the Rulers court.

k- Arab Gulf Cooperation Council
As a member lawyer of Arab Gulf Cooperation Council countries, you may obtain license to practice in Dubai & UAE courts. Expat Arab lawyers could practice in federal courts before but it is restricted to only Emirati nationals only.

l- License
There was a law passed in 2011, making compulsory for lawyers to get a license (requires a law degree) to offer their services legally adhering to the strict standards set by the government.

Child Abduction by Parents in UAE

There are increasing numbers of child abduction cases in UAE due to broken marriages where it is common for one parent to take custody of the child.

For abduction cases where the father is a Muslim and mother is a non-muslim importance will be given to the Muslim father because UAE is an Islamic state whereas in case of both being non-muslim and non-nationals then laws of their land will be given preference. In case there is a UAE resident involved then local courts will favour the resident by applying local laws thus making the foreign laws non-applicable.

UAE is very strict when it comes to child abduction making it impossible for the abducted child in UAE to return.

To return abducted children to their country of residence or to the uniform child custody jurisdiction and enforcement act, for which the UAE is not a part of 1980 Hague Convention of the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.

For the welfare of children, UAE follows its own federal laws even though they have bilateral ties with other countries.

These child abduction cases are viewed as enforcing child custody whereas serious abduction cases are to be dealt with as criminal cases. For the return of the abducted child to the parent, one must make an application through the UAE courts.

Setting up a business in Dubai

There are six legal procedures which have to be fulfilled for every individual who seek to start a business in Dubai which lasts a week or eight days. Below are some required components which are as follows,

1- Name of Company: Your trade name being an important component must clearly indicate the company’s nature of business unless a branch of company.

2- Type of Business: The type of your business will determine the kind of license you require may it be professional, industrial or commercial. Furthermore you need to get higher authority approvals for legal consultantcy and more

3- Local Partner: It is required to have a local partner for DED license which is a good support for expats however it is not mandatory.

4- Owning the Company: As an expat, to get 100% ownership of your company, you will have to choose one of the free zones in UAE. Each free zone is unique catering to specific kind of activities.
For local ownership you need to get a license from Department of Economic Development (DED), however there are certain restrictions on share of ownership.

5- Legal Formation: There are some rules on forming a company that is based on the type of business and location. Furthermore there are restrictions for companies relating to company structure in each freezone.
For example to open a law firm in UAE, it has to be a branch of a company or a stand-alone company and not a sole proprietor.

6- Minimum Share Capital: The memorandum of association has to mention minimum share capital for the upcoming company, while setting up a company you don’t need to pay in most cases.

7- Office Premises: It would be best now to shortlist few offices on the basis of rent, area and location. You may select a free zone as well to get assistance on selection of a suitable place.

8- Hiring Employees: While setting up a business you may need to hire a manager to get your registration approved and in most cases like Intelaq license holders, they cannot hire staff but are able to hire contractors.

When does an Arrest of an Individual happen in UAE

An expat living in UAE or a tourist must know the national law of the UAE to avoid being arrested or hand cuffed even if the committed crime was not intentional.

The following consists of a list of offences which an individual must be aware of:

a- Using offensive/vulgar language or making rude gestures can render an individual liable of a criminal offence.

b- Adultery which implies having an affair outside marriage with your married partner is an offence.

c- Display of affection such as cuddling or kissing.

d- Tourist couples who are unmarried are strictly not entitled to book a single hotel room.

e- It is not allowed to drink in public or unlicensed venue due to sharia law but you may drink in pubs, clubs and bars (licensed venues)

f- Like all other countries bringing drugs to UAE is unlawful and using or selling is also an offence and can get you a jail sentence for a minimum of four years or even death penalty in some circumstances

g- Charity fundraising without government approval can get you in trouble for doing good due to strict fundraising laws

h- Don’t even think of posting anything that is anti UAE or antigovernment on social media as this can get you in trouble

i- Public protests are not likened by the UAE government and to prevent them the government can arrest you and put you in jail

j- Any kind of racist, insulting or sending derogatory text messages can get arrested and jailed

Tenancy Obligations in Dubai

There are some obligations for the tenant that he or she must fulfill to avoid any legal charges against them which are as follows,

a- No changes can be made to the property by the tenant prior to landlord and higher authorities approval

b- There is a requirement to pay certain amount of deposit to the landlord which will be returned once the tenancy contract expires

c- Rent has to be paid on due date or else legal action would be taken against the tenant

d- Maintaining the property in a manner as any ordinary individual would take care of his own property

e- As per the rule the tenant may not remove the leasehold improvements made by the tenant

f- Without the written consent of the landlord, the tenant cannot invite someone for the use or sub lease the property to third party

g- The tenant must hand over the property the same means the condition should not deteriorate except ordinary wear and tear

h- If not stated in the contract the tenant has to pay fees and taxes for the use of property or for sub lease

Tenancy and Landlord rights in Dubai

As an expat living in Dubai requires that you should familiarize yourself with tenancy rules and regulations which of course include the tenancy contract. Following are the rights of the tenants,

a- No changes are to be made by the landlord to the amenities or annexes of the property preventing its full use
b- Any decoration work or any other such work that requires approval from the authorities must be given to the tenant provided that does not affect the structure
c- The landlord is bound by law to give the house in good livable condition which is not bad allowing its full use
d- All the repairing and maintenance is to be done by the landlord and not the tenant during the term of the contract without affecting tenant’s usage
e- Rent can only be increased as per RERA rental bracket for contract renewal for different areas and properties
f- For any reason the landlord is not allowed to withhold the security deposit if done so then tenant can file complain to rent dispute committee
g- Disconnection of services to the property by landlord is not allowed if such incidence happens then tenant can complain to the police or the rent dispute committee for compensation

Please note that the contract can only be terminated with the mutual consent of both parties.

Bounced Cheque in UAE

A bounced cheque is considered a crime in UAE and as per new rules instead of jail term there will be fines issued considering bounced cheque as a misdemeanor on the following basis,

– There is no date mentioned
– It is not signed by the drawer
– Does not clearly state the word “cheque”
– Does not specify the amount issued
– If it does not mention drawer and the beneficiary name

The new rule states that a bounced cheque of upto 50,000 will be given a fine of aed 2,000, for cheque between 50,000 to 100,000 will be given a fine of aed 5,000 and lastly for cheque between 100,000 to 200,000 will be given aed 10,000 fine.

A postdated cheque is not considered a crime. However, the cheque will be invalid if the date is not incorporated on the cheque or it contains fake duplicate signature or any sort of mark.

Please note that a bounced cheque crime may not be intentional but still the offence takes place once the cheque has been presented

Extradition request in the UAE

1- The law governing the extradition process is under Federal law No. 39 (2006) which is about International Judicial Cooperation in Criminal matters
2- Anyone residing in UAE can make an extradition request against the accused or the person who has committed a crime.
3- To process the request of extradition, a treaty has to be signed between UAE and the country of extradition and the provisions of such treaties may include additional requirements
4- For the extradition to be considered in the UAE, the offence should also be considered a crime in the country of the accused.
5- If the offence of the accused relates to execution of custody, then the custody should be no less than six months for extradition
6- Interpol is the body through which a request can be made against the accused.
7- The severity of the crime will decide the type of notice to be issued. For serious offences and crime the red notice is given to the accused.
8- Notices issued by Interpol are official and has an international effect and the accused can be held under custody.
9- If the crime in the UAE is under a different name, description or has other components then the extradition country, it will not be considered the same