The Dubai remote notary service is a direct reaction to the challenges caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. The ramifications of the covid-19 pandemic adversely affected many businesses and company formation in Dubai and the wider UAE. Travel bans and lockdowns severely limited the mobility of the individuals hence affecting the quality and pace of work activities.
In the UAE, the appointment and availability of authorised signatories is essential to the conduct, execution and delivery of business. To avoid fraud and ensure proper execution, businesses are mandated to notarize all relevant documents.
As per the health and safety measures put in place due to the pandemic while ensuring steadfast business operation, Dubai Courts announced that public notaries will be conducted remotely. The new policy has the advantage of allowing certain groups of people unable to leave their homes or travel can opt for remote notary services and still maintain operational business running.
The following sections outline the various categories of notary services and how a remote notary is a viable option for individuals with limited mobility or who do not have a physical presence in Dubai.
Dubai remote notary service: Public notary
Since March 29th Dubai Public Notaries have been ceased up and will remain so until further lift of Covid-19 restrictions. As a consequence, all notarization requests and services will be conducted remotely in this period.
The following document types are included in the remote notary service:
- Power of Attorney (PoA) notarization
- Legal notices notarization
- Local agency service agreement
- Civil companies’ Memorandum of Association (MoA), addendums and annexure
Other types of documents, in particular, applications related to companies subject to Commercial Law seeking to incorporate, amend constitutional documents or other activities pertaining to company formation in Dubai, have been suspended and can only be notarized by private companies in collaboration with Dubai’s Department of Economic Development (DED).
For notarized documents they are issued in Arabic or in certified dual format (Arabic and English).
Dubai remote notary service: Process and requirements
To initiate any remote notarization process applicants must subscribe to BOTIM, a voice and video application available on personal computers or smartphones. When setting up a BOTIM, Dubai Courts’ notary office will contact the attestor through video to establish the identity of the principal and full knowledge of the content of the document.
A dedicated email is then sent to firstname.lastname@example.org containing the relevant information and attaching the relevant documents (all in PDF format)which include but not limited to:
- The applicant’s and signatory’s name, mobile number, address, Emirates ID and verification of the applicant’s capacity/ authority;
- Underlying documentation that proves the applicant’s authority
- In case the application is issued on behalf of a company, the applicant should provide the company’s trade licence
Furthermore, Dubai’s Public Notary mandates the inclusion of the newly introduced declaration in the footer every page in the attached documents, stating the following:
“I, the undersigned, declare with my full capacity and through video communication, using BOTIM, my consent on all what is stated in this application and I sign accordingly”
Applicants are contacted after reviewing the application via BOTIM either for further amendments or furnishing or to approve the notarization request and verify relevant details with the applicant and authorised signatory.
In the final step, applicants will receive an SMS and an email with details of the payable fees and a payment link. Once payment has been completed the original notarized document will be sent to the applicant’s address.
Private notaries are local lawyers granted authorisation by Dubai Courts to conduct specific notary services. According to the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation, private sector employers in certain (non-essential) sectors were only permitted to have up to 30% of their workforce physically attending their place of work, and required to limit visitor numbers.
Being considered as non-essential and non-support, the private legal sector was severely constrained by the Supreme Committee of Crisis Management restrictions limiting the numbers of private notaries providing services. This provided an additional venue for remote notary services.
Range of documents can be notarized by Private Notaries
Private notaries can assist with the same span of documents that could be notarized by Public Notary. Such documents include commercial companies’ related documents, sale and purchase agreements of all types of assets, undertakings and acknowledgements, employment offers, assignment agreements and mortgage transactions.
Application process and requirements
Similarly to Public Notary, applicants need to send an email to the Private Notary indicating the type of service and attach the relevant documents in word format. Documentation should include the following information:
- Applicant’s name, mobile number, address, Emirates ID or passport and confirmation of capacity
- Proof of applicant’s authority to appoint powers
- If the application is issued on behalf of a company, the applicant should provide the company’s trade licence
After approval by the notary representative, the applicant will be contacted via the BOTIM app for eligibility verification and confirmation of the transaction and the documents submitted for notarization.
The Private Notary will then share an electronic copy of the document that requires notarization and schedule an appointment with the applicant for finalization and fee payments.