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Types of Power of Attorney in the UAE

4 things you need to know about powers of attorney in the UAE:

United Arab Emirates has become a major business hub in the world. The country provides state-of-the-art business infrastructure and quality of life that attracts businesses and expatriates from around the world. Given the fast-moving environment, power of attorney has become one of the most used documents relied upon by businesses as well as individuals to meet their day-to-day needs.

Here are the four 4 most important things you need know about powers of attorney in the United Arab Emirates:

1. What is a power of attorney?

A power of attorney is a legal document signed by a person (often referred to as the ‘principal’) to authorize someone else (referred to as the ‘agent’ or ‘attorney-in-fact’) to act on principal’s behalf in front of third parties. Depending on the nature of the power of attorney, the agent can typically be a relative, friend, partner, employee or a lawyer.

2. Personal vs Business power of attorney
It is important to understand the difference between a personal and a business power of attorney in the UAE.
A personal power of attorney is given by an individual to someone, whereby the principal grants general or specific powers to the agent. This type of power of attorney is often used by individuals to ensure that work is carried out in situations such as illness or disability or when the principal is abroad or cannot be present to sign necessary legal documents.
A business power of attorney is given by a company to someone (an employee or a third party) to carry out general or specific transactions on behalf of the company.

3. Types of Powers of Attorney in the UAE
(a) For Individuals
There are two (2) types of powers of attorney typically used by individuals in the UAE:

  •  General power of attorney
    A general power of attorney in the UAE authorizes an agent to act on behalf of the principal in a variety of situations. The powers granted in this type of power of attorney are very broad. A general power of attorney is usually used to allow the agent to handle all the affairs of the principal during a period when the principal is unable to do so.
  • Special power of attorney
    A special power of attorney in the UAE authorizes an agent to act on the principal’s behalf in specific situations only.

(b) For Companies
Companies typically use the following two (2) types of powers of attorney:

  • General Manager power of attorney
    This type of power of attorney is granted by the owner(s) of the company to the general manager of the company to authorize the general manager to manage the day-to-day affairs of the company. This power of attorney also lists the specific transactions that the general manager may be authorized to undertake on behalf of the company to ensure smooth operations.
  • Special power of attorney
    A special power of attorney is granted by a company to an employee or a third party in situations where the company requires the individual to carry out specific transactions such as signing contracts or sale of assets.

4. Process of signing
The process of signing a power of attorney in the United Arab Emirates is as follows:

  • Power of attorney is prepared in a bilingual format (English and Arabic). Arabic translation is mandatory as the official language of the United Arab Emirates is Arabic. It is also possible to have the power of attorney prepared in Arabic only, but this is only recommended for Arabic speaking individuals only.
  • Three originals of the power of attorney are signed/notarized at the Notary Public’s office. The Notary Public registers the power of attorney and returns two (2) originals to the principal.

This article only provides a high-level understanding of four (4) major facts about powers of attorney in the United Arab Emirates. The requirements and process may however vary from one situation to the other.