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Power of Attorney (POA) in Dubai

Tuesday ,November 01, 2016

A Power of Attorney (POA) is a legal document in which one person (Grantor) appoints and authorizes another person (Grantee) to perform certain functions or acts on his or her behalf.

A POA can be granted for a specific purpose (eg. to sell a property) or for more general purposes (eg. to handle all affairs of the Grantor). It becomes effective upon signing, unless otherwise stated. A POA becomes void upon the death of the Grantor, or if Grantor loses mental capacity.

If issued locally in Dubai, the POA must be notarized by the Dubai Notary Public (part of Dubai Courts). If it is issued in a foreign country, the POA must be signed before a Notary Public in that country, then legalized at the UAE Embassy in that country (or the closest country with a UAE mission) and finally sent to the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs for attestation.

As per UAE law, a POA must be in Arabic. If the document is in both Arabic and English, and there is an inconsistency in the two language versions, the Arabic language interpretation will prevail. Dubai Courts has an additional rule requiring that a bilingual POA be stamped by a licensed legal translator before being notarized.

Dubai Courts have also placed restrictions on POA’s used for real estate matters. It only issues specific POA’s that specify the property and the acts allowed by the Grantee in regards to that property (eg. to sell the property, rent the property, collect rent cheques, etc.). General POA’s are not issued by the Dubai Notary Public for real estate purposes. Dubai Courts and Dubai Land Department (DLD) also limit the validity of real estate-related POA’s to two years.

In addition, the Notary Public requires the Title Deed to be in the name of the Seller when issuing a POA to sell a property. Therefore, if the property has not yet been transferred from the Developer (or previous Seller) to the current Seller, the Notary will not issue the POA allowing the sale of the property.

It is important to note that DLD rules only allow the cheque for sale proceeds to be in the name of the Seller, even if the POA allows the Grantee to accept it in his or her name. DLD has also prohibited real estate brokers (or anyone under a real estate company visa) from being a Grantee under a POA.

To conduct due diligence during the transaction, the parties (or their brokers) should confirm that a POA is valid and has not been revoked by the Grantor. This can be done via the Dubai Courts’ website www.dubaicourts.gov.ae under Public E-Services (then Inquiries/Inquiries about a document/Authentication Register) using the year of registration and serial number of the POA. If it is issued overseas, the POA should have both a UAE Embassy stamp and one from the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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