Date Published: 24th August 2022

Registration of a Will for Non-Muslims in Dubai

Dubai has become a very important city, not only because it is a popular destination for tourism but because of its economic growth. Allowing investment and labour opportunities for immigrants who in that matter have a large share and contribute immensely.

A big concern for immigrants before coming to UAE is the Legal uncertainty. This is mainly in regards to wills and inheritance for non-muslims.
In the past few years, the UAE has implemented laws and regulations to provide an advanced judicial framework for the personal status of non-muslims. These steps have made a positive impact on the immigrant community. In the UAE when an individual passes away their bank accounts and joint accounts will be frozen in case there is no registered will.

To avoid this scenario Law No (15) of 2017 was designated to regulate the inheritance, wills, and probate for non-muslims in the Emirate of Dubai. According to this, expats are encouraged to register their wills.

The process for registering a will is as follows:

- Find a Legal Specialist in Dubai for drafting your will.
-Designate an executor of the will. The individual must be over 21 years of age. Could be family or friends.
-There are two options for registering a will in Dubai, it could be done at Dubai Courts Public Notary where will cost less and it's in Arabic and English, or at DIFC Wills Service Centre, where the wills are more expensive and are completely in English.

We Jasim Al Maeeni Advocates & Legal Consultants recommend registering your will. Our vast experience in this matter allows us to give you the appropriate guidance to ensure compliance with the will therefore your assets will be assigned as you wish.

Published by : Maria Julia Quiroga


Date Published: 12th March 2024

United Arab Emirates: Personal Status Law for Non-Muslims Enters into Force

On February 1, 2023, family courts in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) began implementing Federal Decree Law No. 41 of 2022 regulating matters of family law for non-Muslims residing in the United Arab Emirates.

Contents of Law No. 41 of 2022

Law No. 41 of 2022 consists of 18 provisions that institute a substantive secular personal-status legal regime exclusively applicable to non-Muslim foreigners, in contrast to Muslims in the Emirates, whose personal-status matters are governed by Islamic Law. The law regulates civil marriage and divorce, child custody, alimony payments, and inheritance matters.

Marriage and Divorce

The law sets the minimum age for marriage at 21 years for both males and females. (Federal Law No. 41 of 2022, art. 5(1).) It requires that an authentication judge officiate at a civil marriage. (Arts. 5(3) & 6(1).) Both the man and the woman who wish to marry must disclose before the judge any previous marital relationships. (Art. 6(3).)

The law applies the principle of unilateral “no-fault divorce,” according to which either spouse can express before the court the desire to separate from the other spouse without providing any justification. (Art. 7.)

Child Custody and Alimony Payments

The law regulates child custody after divorce, stipulating that both the husband and the wife enjoy joint custody of their children. (Art. 10(1).) The family court adjudicating family disputes for non-Muslims has jurisdiction to adjudicate disputes related to child custody. (Art. 10(3).)

Following the pronouncement of a divorce, the wife has the right to petition the court to order alimony payments. (Art. 9.)

Child Legitimacy

The paternity of the child is established by marriage or by the acknowledgment of the father and mother. (Art. 14(1).) The court has the authority to order a DNA test to establish the paternity of a child. (Art. 14( 2).)


In contrast with Islamic law rules regarding inheritance, Law No. 41 of 2022 states that foreign non-Muslim men and women are to receive equal shares of inheritance. (Art. 11(2).)

Related Developments

In accordance with Law No. 41 of 2022, Dubai courts have announced the launch of the Civil Marriage for Non-Muslims service to regulate family matters for non-Muslim foreigners residing in the Emirate of Dubai. The Dubai courts have required that the age of both the foreign man and woman who are interested in marrying in a civil marriage ceremony be 21.

Additionally, on February 9, 2023, the UAE Judicial Inspection Department, in cooperation with the Judicial Training Institute at the Ministry of Justice, organized a specialized workshop for judges on the provisions of this law. The workshop discussed a variety of issues regulated by the law, including the scope of the law’s application, divorce provisions and procedures, alimony, the custody of children after a divorce, and the distribution of inheritance.