Amendment to allow digitalization of Notary Public Services in Dubai

November 30, 2021by Admin0

‘Notary Public’ services are expected to go digital as a result of the recent amendments to Law No. (4) of 2013 which deals with the Notary Public Activities in the Emirate of Dubai. His Highness Sheikh Muhammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum in his capacity as ruler of Dubai, issued Law No. (26) of 2021, amending 15 clauses of the former Law No. (4) of 2013. The focal point in the recent developments is the inclusion of ‘electronic notary public’ to the law, which in effect, would remove the need to avail the services of an actual physical person to get a document notarized.

Notary Public Services in Dubai

Notarization refers to the process of authentication of some important document as presented by the individual. Important documents such as POA, MOA, and such other documents which are required to be attested by a notary to use them for official purposes. Article 15 of Law No. (4) of 2013 reads, The concerned persons or their agents shall appear before the Notary Public by themselves.” The implication in Article 15 that the individual who seeks to get a document notarised should be present before the notary in person or through an agent, has been clarified by the latest amendment.

Changes brought about by the new amendment

The crux of the changes that have been brought about by the amendment is the removal of the need for a person to be present physically before a notary to get any document notarized.

Other important changes brought by the amendment include:-

  • Addition of ‘electronic notary provision’ to Article 14 of Law No. 4/2013. This provides for the creation of an automated system that performs the functions of a notary public without the need for human interaction.
  • Amendment of Article 8 of Law No. 4/2013 stating that the Notary Public Affairs Committee should include at least one judge from Dubai.
  • Amendment to Article 10 of Law No. 4/2013 regarding conditions for listing a notary public in the registry of Dubai Courts.
  • Amendment of Article 14 of Law No. 4/2013 regarding the duties of individuals or private companies obtaining a license to provide notary public services. It has been mandated under the article that the companies providing notary public services should inform the Courts about the licensed notary publics working in the company. The amendment goes on to impose fines on the company for errors made by notary publics employed by them.
  • Amendment of Article 37 of Law No. 4/2013 to form a grievance committee which would include at least one judge from a Dubai Court.

A farsighted move

The amendments can be seen as a development from the decision of the Dubai Courts in April of 2020, during the COVID-19 lockdown, to allow remote notarization of a selected class of documents. The remote notarization process required the use of the BOTIM platform to establish the identity of the persons seeking the service.

The recent amendments are to be lauded as they would cater to the needs of Dubai as a global hub for corporate activities. The process of notarization is widely used when it is required that documents obtained in a foreign language or one provided by a foreign state be submitted. As Dubai aims to grow further, services such as notarization will only grow in demand. The changes brought about will be published in the Official Gazette and will be effective from the date of publishing.

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