UAE LAW | A Comprehensive Guide on UAE Legal System

UAE Law, dubai laws,

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a country located in the Middle East, and it has a unique legal system that blends civil law and Islamic law. The UAE legal system is based on federal laws and regulations that are enforced throughout the country, but each emirate has its own local laws and regulations known as UAE Law.

Types of UAE Law:

  • UAE Sharia Law
  • UAE Labour Law
  • Employment Law
  • Immigration Law
  • Civil Law
  • Family Law
  • UAE Criminal Law
  • Commercial Law
  • Intellectual Property Law
  • Real Estate Law
  • Cybersecurity Law

Here are some key features of the UAE Law and legal system:

Sources of law: The UAE legal system is based on both federal and local laws. The federal laws are enacted by the UAE Federal National Council and the UAE President, while the local laws are issued by the rulers of each emirate.

UAE Sharia law:

The United Arab Emirates is a country that adheres to Sharia Law, which is the legal system derived from the Islamic religion. Sharia Law is the basis for the UAE's legal system and is applied in both criminal and civil cases. The important point to be noted is that UAE court system includes Sharia courts, civil courts, and criminal courts.

Sharia law is an important part of the UAE legal system, particularly in matters relating to family law, inheritance, and personal status. Sharia law is also used in the interpretation of civil law.

UAE is an advance country with large number of expatriate population. While the country follow sharia law, non-Muslims in UAE are generally not subject to it, although they are expected to respect local customs and laws.

Civil law:

UAE civil law plays an important role in the country's legal system and is an important consideration for individuals and businesses operating in the UAE.

The UAE has a civil law system that is based on the French legal system. The UAE civil law covers areas such as family law, labour law, contracts, torts, property, commercial and business law.

One of the key features of the UAE's civil law is its emphasis on written contracts and agreements. In UAE, written contracts and agreements are generally considered to be the definitive legal document in any individual or business transaction including legal dispute.

Another important aspect of UAE civil law is protecting the rights of it's workers.

UAE Labour Law:

The UAE Labor Law governs the employment of workers and outline the rights and obligations of both employers (companies) and employees (workers).

Some key provisions of UAE Labours Law include:

  1. Offer Letter and Job Contracts
  2. Working Hours
  3. Annual Leave
  4. Sick Leave
  5. End of Service Gratuity
  6. Resignation and Termination of contract
  7. Visa Cancellation
  8. Health and Safety
  9. Disputes and complaints
  10. Worker protection Insurance

It's important to note that the UAE Labour Law is subject to amendments from time to time, so employers and employees are always advised to stay updated on new changes to ensure compliance with the updated law.

UAE Immigration Law:

UAE has an advance immigration system that regulates the entry, residence, and departure of foreign nationals. It also manage businesses,  the entry of tourists and GCC nationals to the country.

The UAE immigration laws are overseen by Federal authority for identity, citizenship, customs & port security (ICP UAE - and the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFAD) in Dubai, which is responsible for enforcing the immigration policies and procedures.


Here are some key points of UAE immigration law:


Entry Requirements: All foreign nationals entering the UAE must have a valid passport and a visa, unless they are exempt from visa requirements. Check the UAE Visa on arrival countries list here.


Visa Types: There are several types of visas available for entry to the UAE, including visit and tourist visas, Job seeker visa, employment visas, investor visas, freelancer visa and student visas.


Sponsorship: To obtain UAE visa, a foreign national must have a sponsor who is either a UAE national (citizen) or a UAE-based company. The sponsor is responsible for the visitor's legal status while they are in the UAE.


Employment Regulations: Foreign nationals who wish to work in the UAE must obtain an employment visa (work permit). The employer (UAE Company) is responsible for obtaining these documents on behalf of the employee (worker).


Residency Permits: Foreign nationals who wish to reside in the UAE for more than a year must obtain a residency permit. This requires an offer letter from sponsor, signed contract, medical examination and sponsorship from a UAE-based company (employer) or UAE citizen.


Emirates ID: ICP UAE (also known as UAE Immigration) issues the emirates id which is also known as UAE identity card. Once the contract is signed and residence permit is approved, the applicant must visit nearest id center in-order to complete emirates id process. Emirates ID is issuing for 2 and 3 years depending up to the type of visa.


Visit/Tourist or Job Seeker Visa: People who wish to enter UAE for tourism purpose and stay for limited time period can obtain UAE visit visa also known as UAE tourist visa. People who wish to visit UAE for job purpose; they need to apply for UAE Job seeker visa.


Overstaying: Foreign nationals who overstay their visa or residency permit or violate UAE immigration law can face fines, imprisonment, deportation, and a life time ban on future entry to the country. Details of UAE overstay fines are written here

Criminal law: The UAE criminal law is based on Islamic law and is enforced throughout the country. The criminal law covers a wide range of offenses, including theft, fraud, drug trafficking, and mu**er.

Punishments for criminal offenses in the UAE can include fines, imprisonment, and in some cases, the de*th penalty.

The UAE's criminal justice system is overseen by a series of courts, including Sharia courts, criminal courts, and courts of appeal. These courts are responsible for handling criminal cases and delivering verdicts based on the evidence presented in court.

Expat residents who are convicted of a crime in UAE may be heavily fine and later deported from the country including visa ban so the same person may not able to enter UAE again.

Court system: The UAE court system is divided into federal courts and local courts. The federal courts include the Federal Supreme Court, the Federal Court of Cassation, and the Federal Court of Appeal. The local courts include the courts of each emirate, including the Court of First Instance and the Court of Appeal.

Below is the list of official websites related to UAE Courts:

  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: In the UAE, legal representation is mandatory in all court cases. Only licensed lawyers are allowed to practice law in the country.

Dispute resolution: The UAE has a number of mechanisms for dispute resolution, including arbitration and mediation. These mechanisms are used to resolve disputes between parties without resorting to litigation.

UAE Cybersecurity Law:

The UAE Cybersecurity Law aims to provide a comprehensive legal framework for the protection of critical information infrastructure and the prevention of cybercrime. The law covers a wide range of cyber-related activities including hacking, unauthorized access to data, phishing, identity theft, and using or distribution of malicious software's.

Some key provisions of the UAE Cyber security Law includes:


Protection of critical information infrastructure: The cyber security law requires operators of critical information infrastructure to implement adequate security measures to protect their systems and networks from cyber threats.

Cyber security standards and guidelines: The UAE National Electronic Security Authority (NESA) is responsible for developing and implementing cybersecurity standards and guidelines for government entities and critical information infrastructure operators.


Reporting of cyber incidents: Operators of critical information infrastructure are required to report any cyber incidents or attacks to the relevant authorities in a timely manner.


Data protection: The law requires the protection of personal and sensitive data from unauthorized access, use, and disclosure.


Penalties for cybercrime: The law imposes penalties for cybercrime, including fines, imprisonment and deportation, depending on the nature and severity of the offense.


Emirates of UAE:

UAE is a country formed from a federation of seven emirates, each emirate is governed by an emir (ruler) and together the emirs form the federal supreme council. Below are the names of 7 emirates of UAE.

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

Dubai Law:
Many people are confused between UAE Law and Dubai Law. Please keep in mind that Dubai is one of the emirates of UAE whereas Abu Dhabi is the capital of UAE. The legal system in Dubai is a combination of civil law and Islamic Sharia law, similar to the UAE's legal system. However, Dubai has its own local court system, which includes several levels of courts.

Some key features of Dubai's legal system include:


Dubai Courts: The Dubai Courts is the main court system in Dubai and includes the Court of First Instance, the Court of Appeal, and the Court of Cassation. These courts handle a range of cases, including civil, criminal, commercial, and family law cases.


Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Courts: The DIFC Courts is an independent common law judicial system that operates within the DIFC (a financial free zone in Dubai). The DIFC Courts handle commercial and civil disputes involving DIFC-based companies and individuals.


Dubai International Arbitration Centre (DIAC): The DIAC is a leading arbitration institution in the Middle East and North Africa region, located in Dubai. The DIAC provides arbitration services for commercial disputes.


Dubai Laws and Regulations: Dubai has its own laws and regulations that cover a wide range of areas, including business, property, employment, and immigration. These laws are enacted by the government of Dubai and enforced by the local courts.

Hope this comprehensive guide to UAE Law and it's legal system will help many of our readers, if you are inside UAE and are facing any issues related to law and legal system, we recommend you to hire only licensed layers in Dubai, UAE. You can also search for law firms in dubai or check this list of licensed layers published on official Dubai court website.

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