Power of attorney in UAE law for a person with the full legal capacity to conduct the legal actions himself, and he has the right to set up someone else on his behalf to carry out those actions on his behalf according to an agreement between a person called the principal and another person. In a simplified way, through its definition, types, how to sign, and procedures for its documentation and termination.
Definition of agency in general: Power of Attorney
An agency is a legal document signed by a person (called the principal or the principal) authorizing another person (called the agent) to act on his behalf before third parties. If it relates to the right of someone else or is issued in favor of the agent, in this case he may not cancel it without the consent of the person in whose favor it was issued pursuant to the provisions of Article 955 of the Civil Transactions Law.
The UAE Civil Transactions Law defines it in Article 924, which states that: (An agency is a contract whereby the principal establishes another person in place of himself in a known permissible act).
Types of Power of Attorney in UAE Law
Article No. 927 of the UAE Civil Transactions Law states that:
1- The agency is private if it is limited to a specific matter or matters, and general if it includes every matter that is acceptable for representation.
2- If it is private, the agent has nothing but to undertake the specific matters in it and the necessary consequences related to it required by the nature of the behaviors entrusted to it or the current custom.
3- If it is general, the agent may initiate compensation and disposals, except for donations, which must be declared.
Through the previous text in the first paragraph of it, we see that there are two types of agency: a general agency and a private agency, through which the powers of the agent and the limits that he may not exceed are determined. Comprehensive for every order that accepts representation was general, as we note in the text that there are matters that are not accepted by prosecution such as acknowledgment and taking an oath in litigation, and in the following we will show each type of agency separately.
First – the general agency:
A general agency is a legal document that enables a person (the principal) to appoint a person, persons, entity or entities called (the agent) to represent the principal in all legal, commercial and financial affairs.
A general power of attorney gives the agent the authority to do on behalf of the principal anything that he would have done had he been present at the place. in a way that may harm the client. For this reason, it is essential that the person whom the principal chooses as his agent is a reliable person.
That is why we advise the client to issue a general power of attorney only to someone he trusts completely, because this document gives the agent the authority to represent him and take decisions on his behalf, otherwise it is better and safer for the client to issue a special power of attorney.
A general power of attorney is used in the UAE when the principal requires the agent to perform any or all of the following:
1- Buying and managing real estate.
2- The main representation before government departments, the ministry, public utilities and communications providers.
3- Merger of legal entities.
4- Purchase of shares in legal entities.
5- Purchase of vehicles and basic materials.
6- Signing contracts and other documents.
7- Representing the director in legal cases and hiring lawyers.
Clearly formulated POA with the mentioned authorities are usually accepted by the external parties and government departments in the UAE.
Second – the special agency:
Special agency: it is limited to a specific matter or matters that the agent cannot override, but rather he must abide by what is stated in the special power of attorney and the necessary consequences related to it necessitated by the nature of the behaviors entrusted to it or the current custom, that is, the authority of the agent in the private agency is narrow and limited.
In some cases, a third party or government department that relies on a power of attorney may require the agent to provide a special power of attorney detailing the transactions in which the agent represents the principal. These types of conditions often include:
1- Sale of real property.
2- Selling shares in legal entities.
3- Property disputes.
4- Vehicle sales.
5- Inheritance issues.
6- The guardian’s consent to the marriage.
7- Agreeing for the minor (a person under 21 years old) to travel with a person other than the legal guardian.
For your information, the agency may be general in a general term without authorization or assignment. This agency is not suitable for carrying out legal actions, but is limited to management and preservation works only, and then the agent, in other than management and custody works, needs a special agency to carry out these actions.
Procedures for notarizing a power of attorney in the UAE law
The process of authenticating the power of attorney, signing it or ratifying it varies according to the place of its issuance, as there are agencies issued within the country itself and also used within the country, and there are agencies issued from outside the country and used within the country, and for all procedures to authenticate it, and this is what we will show in the following:
First: Documenting the power of attorney in the UAE
The power of attorney must be signed in the UAE in front of a notary public before it becomes legally valid and acceptable to third parties and government departments. There are two steps by which a power of attorney can be prepared and signed:
- Project preparation
The power of attorney draft is prepared in two languages (English and Arabic) or in Arabic only. The power of attorney should be carefully drafted and include all necessary powers that the proxy must exercise on behalf of the principal. Once the power of attorney is prepared, it will be originally printed for signature by a notary.
2. Sign it in front of a notary
In this step, any notary public in the UAE will be visited to sign the power of attorney in a process called notarization of power of attorney. The principal must appear in person at the notary public to sign / certify the power of attorney, and the agent is not necessarily present with him.
Once the principal signs the power of attorney, the notary public immediately stamps and records one original in official court records and returns two originals to the principal. Once this is done, the agent can start using the power of attorney.
After the power of attorney is drafted and adapted to the specifics of the principal’s position, the power of attorney is reviewed by a notary public and stamped as a legal document after payment of the applicable certification fee.
In general, for a standard personal power of attorney, the following documents must be carried at the time of notarizing the power of attorney before a notary public in the UAE:
- The original passport (copy) of the client
- Three copies of the power of attorney to be attested
- Original Emirates ID (+ one copy) for the manager (applicable to residents of the UAE)
- If the power of attorney is for real estate or for the benefit of or on behalf of a company, it is necessary to submit documents of ownership of the property or documents of incorporation of the company before a notary.
In general, the general power of attorney to sell the property is no longer valid or accepted by the Dubai Land Department. Any power of attorney must be accompanied by the title deed and have the address of the unit to which it is being served.
Second: Signing a power of attorney outside the UAE
In order for a power of attorney to be signed outside the United Arab Emirates, and used within the United Arab Emirates, the power of attorney must go through the process of ratification and authentication in the country of origin, as well as in the United Arab Emirates. This follows two phases:
The first stage: ratification and authentication in the country of origin
These steps will first be carried out outside the UAE before bringing the power of attorney to the UAE.
- The principal will first sign the power of attorney before a notary public in the resident country.
- Once the power of attorney is signed with a notary public, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or an equivalent government department in that country will attest to the document.
- The UAE Embassy/Consulate in the resident country will eventually certify the power of attorney.
The second stage: the power of attorney in the Emirates
After the first stage, the power of attorney can be brought to the UAE to complete the authentication process. Follow these steps:
- Power of attorney stamp from the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
- Translating the agency into Arabic by legal translators authorized by the Ministry of Justice to carry out legal translation.
- After completing the translation, the UAE Ministry of Justice must ratify this translation from the power of attorney.
Power of attorney procedures for more than one person:
Article No. 933 of the UAE Civil Transactions Law states that:
1 – If there are several agents and each of them has an independent contract, he has the sole authority in what he is entrusted with, unless the principal stipulates that they are not independent, then none of them may be independent in disposition and the principal is not obligated to everything that he is independent.
2- If the agents are appointed in one contract without permission for them to work alone, they must work together, unless the work cannot be agreed upon, such as a litigation, provided that an opinion is taken from whomever is assigned with him, or if it is something that does not require an exchange of opinion, such as receiving the debt or paying it.
The agency may be for a specific person or for several specific persons, as it may be for more than one person in one document or in separate documents for each agent separately. The question here is: Does each agent act individually, or do they have to act together?
If there is more than one agent and each of them has an independent agency, then each agent has the right to act individually unless the principal stipulates to act jointly, then none of them may act alone, and that action is not obligatory.
But if the agency contract includes more than one agent, then the basic principle is that they work together unless it is stipulated in the contract that it is permissible for them to work alone, unless the work is something that cannot be combined, such as a litigation, provided that the opinion of the rest is taken, or the work is one that does not require taking an opinion.
Does the agent have a power of attorney for someone else to do the work authorized by the principal?
Article No. 934 of the UAE Civil Transactions Law states that:
- The agent may not delegate what he has been entrusted to others in whole or in part unless he is authorized by the principal or authorized to act according to his opinion. The second agent is considered an agent of the original principal.
- If the agent is entitled to appoint a third party without limitation, then he shall be responsible towards his principal for his mistake in appointing another person or for the instructions he issued to him.
- The agent in the special agency may, if his work is multiplied, delegate someone else to assist him and not as a matter of independence in disposition.
Sub-agency is not permitted in UAE law except with an express provision in the agency contract authorizing the agent to delegate the right to delegate someone else to do the work entrusted to him or to appoint a person appointed by the principal in the original agency contract. He was appointed by him, but if he chose the agent without specifying who the principal was, then he shall be responsible towards his principal for his selection of the sub-agent.
Likewise, the agent in the special agency may delegate someone else as a means of assistance, not as a matter of independence, to act without the need for prior permission from the principal.
Power of attorney expires:
The agency contract is considered one of the unnecessary contracts that can be terminated by any of the parties to the contract, provided that no harm is caused to the other party or to a third party whose rights are related to the contract.
Also, this contract is considered one of the specific contracts that ends with the end of its specified period or the end of its purpose, and it also ends with the lapse of legal capacity that the legislator made a condition for the validity of the contract, within certain legal limits, as the UAE Civil Transactions Law stipulates in Article No. 954 of it that: 🙁 Agency expires:
- completing the work assigned to him.
- by the expiry of the specified period.
C- With the death of the principal or his incapacity, and the right of others to be attached to the agency except in the agency to sell the mortgage, if the mortgagor has assigned the justice or the mortgagor to sell the mortgage at the end of the term.
d- By the death of the agent or his incapacity, even if the right of others is related to the agency. However, if the heir or guardian is aware of the agency and has the capacity, he must notify the principal of the death and take the necessary measures in the interest of the principal.
The principal can also dismiss the agent at any time if the time is appropriate or he has an acceptable justification, otherwise he will be bound by the harm he causes to his agent. 957 of the UAE Civil Transactions Law.
Cancellation must be done in writing using a declaration of power of attorney revocation, and the agent must be notified of this and an official power of attorney revocation form must be signed in front of a notary and the principal can choose to notify the agent through the notary’s bailiff or he can notify his agent by registered mail.
When changing the content of the power of attorney, it is important to cancel the previous power of attorney and issue a new power of attorney, since the previous power of attorney can be considered valid unless expressly revoked in writing.
One of the important aspects that many people do not pay attention to is that the agency does not end by simply canceling it. Rather, the agent must be informed of this and inform him of the expiry of the powers granted to him according to the power of attorney. He has rights and obligations.
The announcement shall be by all the means prescribed in the law, including the announcement to the person of the agent, in his place of residence or domicile, by fax or e-mail approved for correspondence between the two parties, or through companies and private offices. Procedures followed in this regard.
Without the announcement, there is no effect for the cancellation, and of course there is no effect for any action taken by the agent after his announcement of the dismissal in the face of the principal, and he has the right to return to him for compensation for the damage he sustained as a result of this act, if any.
According to the text of Article 959, the attorney in litigation shall be dismissed if he acknowledges his client in a court other than the Judicial Council, and he shall also be dismissed if the acknowledgment is excluded from the agency and approved in the Judicial Council or outside it.
According to the text of Article 961, the agent’s agent shall be dismissed upon the death or bankruptcy of the principal principal and upon the dismissal of the principal or agent thereof, and shall not be dismissed upon the removal or death of the principal.