WATCH: All you need to know about giving Power of Attorney in the UAE

Power of attorney
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Dubai: Whether you wish to give someone the right to buy or sell a property on your behalf in the UAE, or require legal representation in a court of law, there are several instances where you may need to give someone a Power of Attorney (POA).

But what exactly is a Power of Attorney and what is the process for applying for one? Here is all you need to know.

What is a Power of Attorney?

As a document, the Power of Attorney allows you (the principal) to give the legal rights to another person or company (referred to as the attorney, the attorney-in-fact or the agent).

Speaking to Gulf News about how a Power of Attorney functions as a legal document, Hari Wadhwana, Associate at Dubai-based law firm OGH Legal, said: “The Principal appoints the Attorney to do certain acts – mentioned in the POA – on behalf of the Principal.”

Surabhi Vasundharadevi/Gulf News

When do you need a Power of Attorney?

According to Wadhwana, this document is usually required when you have to conduct some business, or complete an official process, but you are unable to do so for some reason, or you simply wish for someone else to do it on his behalf.

“For example, when one has a legal case, a Power of Attorney can be granted to a lawyer so that the lawyer can represent the Principal in courts. Another example is of a situation where the Principal resides out of the UAE and holds a property in the country. He may give a Power of Attorney in favour of a friend or a company for the purpose of renting out or selling the property. The Attorney or Agent can then legally sign on the sale agreement or Ejari on behalf of the Principal,” Wadhwana said.

When one has a legal case, a Power of Attorney can be granted to a lawyer so that the lawyer can represent the Principal in courts. Another example is of a situation where the Principal resides out of the UAE and holds a property in the country. He may give a Power of Attorney in favour of a friend or a company for the purpose of renting out or selling the property.

– Hari Wadhwana, Associate at Dubai-based law firm OGH Legal

What is the process of preparing a Power of Attorney?

There are two steps involved in this process – drafting the Power of Attorney and then getting it notarised.

When it comes to drafting a Power of Attorney, the document should include the following details:

• What act/acts does the Principal wish to assign?

• Who does the Principal wish to appoint as attorney?

• What is the duration of the Power of Attorney?

“In Dubai the Power of Attorney can be issued for perpetuity or have a specific term. In case you wish to cancel the Power of Attorney for perpetuity or prior to the fixed term, you can simply visit the notary public and request for cancellation of the document. Thus, the Power of Attorney will have no effect whatsoever for any acts done post the cancellation. If you believe that the attorney has acted in a wrongful manner or done acts beyond the scope of document, you have an option to register an appropriate civil or criminal case against the Attorney for breach of trust or loss,” Wadhwana said.

Should the Power of Attorney be in English or Arabic?

“Prepare the Power of Attorney in Arabic or in both Arabic and English. However, in case of any ambiguity, the Arabic document will prevail over the English,” Wadhwana said.

Registering a Power of Attorney in Abu Dhabi

Considering the current pandemic circumstances, the notarisation process can be completed online. In order to give an individual-to-individual Power of Attorney within Abu Dhabi, you can visit an authorised typing centre, like Tasheel or Enjaz, which are located all over Abu Dhabi.

– El Bashir Mustafa, a legal consultant with Elnaggar and Partners, Advocates and Legal Consultants

El Bashir Mustafa, a legal consultant with Elnaggar and Partners, Advocates and Legal Consultants, spoke about how the process for applying for a Power of Attorney can vary based on who you are giving the Power of Attorney to – an individual or a firm.

“Considering the current pandemic circumstances, the notarisation process can be completed online. In order to give an individual-to-individual Power of Attorney within Abu Dhabi, you can visit an authorised typing centre, like Tasheel or Enjaz, which are located all over Abu Dhabi,” Mustafa said.

He also detailed the steps that need to be followed:

1. Visit an authorised typing centre for the Power of Attorney to be drafted.

2. Present the Emirates ID and/or passport copy of both the Principal and the Agent.

3. The typing centre will fill a special form for the Power of Attorney, which will be generated automatically by the notary public’s portal.

4. The typing centres should submit the Power of Attorney to the notary public via the portal https://www.adjd.gov.ae/AR/pages/notary-public.aspx

5. Once the notary public approves the Power of Attorney, a date will be sent to the Principal’s email address to be summoned before the notary public, via video call for the authentication purpose.

6. The Principal will be required to show their original identity documents during the video call.

7. Once the call is completed, the Principal will receive a copy of the notarised Power of Attorney on his or her registered email address.

In order to generate a Power of Attorney from an individual to a law firm or lawyer registered with the Abu Dhabi Court or with their branch or office located in Abu Dhabi or Al Ain, you should follow these steps:

1. The Power of Attorney application should be submitted by the law firm (the “Attorney”) through the firm’s portal.

2. The Emirates ID and/or the passport copy of the Principal should be attached to the application along with the Attorney’s Trade Licence and the lawyer’s Emirates Id Card, Bar Association Card and Family Book.

3. After submitting the application, the system will generate a date for the Principal to be summoned before the notary public via video call for authentication purposes.

4. The Principal will be required to show the original identity documents during the video call.

5. Once the call is completed, the Principal will receive a copy of the notarised Power of Attorney on his/her registered email address.

The time frame for the notarisation of the Power of Attorney is five working days. The notarisation cost is around Dh300 (excluding VAT) and also depends on the duration of the Power of Attorney. You would also need to add the typing centre fee, which starts from Dh80 (excluding VAT).

– Ahmed Gabr, legal consultant at Elnaggar and Partners, Advocates and Legal Consultants

Registering a Power of Attorney in Dubai

If you are in Dubai, you may approach the public notaries online here: https://www.dc.gov.ae/PublicServices/ContactUs.aspx?lang=en or private notaries here: https://www.dc.gov.ae/PublicServices/PrivateNotaryOffices.aspx?lang=en

Only the Principal’s presence is required for notarisation of the Power of Attorney and one must carry three copies of the document – one for the Principal, one for the Attorney and one for the Notary Office records. The process at the notary public should not take more than 10 to 15 minutes, subject to other appointments at the notary office.

What is the cost of the entire process?

Ahmed Gabr, legal consultant at Elnaggar and Partners, Advocates and Legal Consultants, said that while the notarisation process can take approximately five working days, the cost may vary depending on the duration of the Power of Attorney, as well as the additional service fees of the typing centre.

“The notarisation cost is around Dh300 + VAT (Value Added Tax) and can vary depending on the duration of the Power of Attorney. Also, you would need to add the typing centre fees, which start from Dh80, excluding VAT,” Gabr said.

What if I am outside the UAE?

According to Gabr, an option available to people who are outside the UAE is to notarise the Power of Attorney in the country they are in.

“In this situation, the notarised Power of Attorney will be attested by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in that country and by the UAE Embassy in that country. Once the Power of Attorney is attested by the UAE Embassy, the original Power of Attorney will be couriered to the UAE, where it will be attested by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MOFAIC) and translated into Arabic. The Arabic translation will be attested by the Ministry of Justice. Once the Power of Attorney is translated into Arabic and attested by the relevant authorities inside the UAE, it can be used for the purpose it was issued,” Gabr said.