property law


November 06, 2021



| Your comment matters, please click here to rate article!

Wide-ranging UAE law reform has boosted the country's appeal

More changes to UAE laws are likely in near future, judge believes

Reforms to the UAE's legal system in November last year increase the country's appeal as a place to live, work and invest, a senior Emirati judge said.

Changes to personal and civil laws last year involved divorce, assault, harassment, jointly-owned assets, and bounced cheques.

Many of the measures had been discussed in the UAE for some time and were hailed last year as milestones in the country's continued judicial progress.

Prosecutions for unmarried couples living together and for drinking alcohol without a licence were already rare, but last year's changes removed any uncertainty for residents and tourists alike.

"Any amendments to the legal system must serve a goal and, in this case, they served the country's pursuit of innovation and attracting investments and talents," said Ahmed Ibrahim Saif, senior judge at the Dubai Civil Court and former chief justice of Dubai's Criminal Courts.

"They have also led to increasing residents' sense of security, which is another goal that reflects the UAE's efforts to promote tolerance and coexistence." Mr Saif said changes to the law governing marital disputes were not at odds with Islam.

"We have residents following different faiths, and Islam does not prohibit them from resorting to the rules of their religions," he said.

The overhaul was an example of the UAE's commitment to reforms that would better serve justice, preserve families, and expedite progress that would make UAE safer for all, he said.

"Looking at recent surveys, we see that so many people made the UAE their first choice to live and invest," he said.

Changes that allow people to settle disputes over family-owned assets in courts have solved a big problem, said Dr. Hassan Elhais, a legal consultant from Al Rowaad Advocates.

"Owners of family businesses were not allowed to sell their share of the business to anyone except to one of the owners themselves," Dr Elhais said.

"I have seen numerous cases filed because of this sort of dispute. But following the amendments which gave courts authority to allow selling outside the family, cases about this type of dispute disappeared."

More changes expected

Judge Ayman Abdul Hakam, former head of Dubai's One Day Court, predicted more changes to UAE laws.

"These significant changes made by the government complement the rapid progress of the country that is home for 200 nationalities," he said.

"I expect more changes in the near future, because laws must keep pace with the developments UAE is constantly achieving – a necessity the country's government is aware of."

Despite leaving Dubai last year to serve as chief justice of Giza Criminal Court in Egypt, Judge Abdul Hakam is certain that there are fewer files on judges' desks as a result of the amendments.

"A significant drop in the number of cases heard by judges happened when bouncing cheques cases were handled by prosecutors," he said.

"And now with these recent changes, the number must haven even fallen further." He also stressed the importance of translators being present for defendants.

"Amendments made it mandatory [that] translators are present during police questioning, which is a first in the region," he said.

"Other changes concerning cohabitation and drinking alcohol gave people more personal freedom, as long as they cause no harm to anyone."

Related Links


No comments found.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Want to know more?
Then talk to us.

Client Testimonials

I owe the success of my case to Dr. Hassan's diligent approach. He remained focused, put me at ease and always went the extra mile. Dr. Hassan tirelessly put my case in the best possible light and I cannot thank him enough. I would highly recommend Dr. Hassan - I am grateful to him from the bottom of my heart.

Raphael Lauria
Manager, FME General Trading

Dr. Hassan Elhais is among the best legal consultants I have ever worked with. He has an amazing ability to reduce complex issues into a simple concept that non-legal people can understand. He consistently develops innovative litigation strategies that help us to achieve our ultimate legal goals.

Zhuo Liu

...the extraordinary effort that has been exerted by the staff, and we specially thank Dr. Hassan Mohsen Alhais. Wishing your continues success & excellence...

H.H. Sheikh Saeed Bin
Mohammed Hashir Al Maktoum

I believe everyone should recognize what a difference Dr. Hassan Elhais work has made to people's lives; and especially to our family's life, because we will remain forever grateful to each and every one of his team.

Luis Pozueco

Dr. Hassan Elhais never fears cases that involve exposure and he always gives me his honest assessment of our chances of success, which is invaluable to me.

Bassam Yamout
Director, JM Metal Trading LCC

He aided us not only in providing legal advice but also in all legal issues that required a long term strategic approach to achieve most favorable and optimum outcomes he provided us with high level of professional service.

Philippe Delbecq

Dr. Hassan Elhais is a responsible, reputable counsel who operates to high levels of service.

British Client

Dr Hassan Elhais is responsive, thorough and creative with his advice, and is a valued advisor and legal consultant.

Asma Mattar
Manager, Italian Style

Regardless of the complexity of the matter I know Dr. Hassan Elhais will consider not only legal strategy but also business practicalities in providing advice and litigation options.

Dr. Massimo Hakim
Chairman, Italian Style

I recommend Dr. Hassan Elhais to anyone who says 'I'm in legal trouble'. I was extremely satisfied with the high standard of his work. He has always been there when I have needed him and I refer all my clients, family and friends to him/his firm.

Manish Gupta
Marketing Manager, Express Digital System

Dr. Hassan Elhais was very professional and he listened to my needs. He was very prompt, efficient and always kept me informed. Dr. Hassan Elhais's service was excellent and I would definitely recommend him to friends and colleagues.

James Horsley
British Client

Contact Me

I Agree to Terms and Conditions
Please check this box if you want to proceed.

Select your Language:


Main Menu