Exemption from Shari’a Law For Foreign Residents

The United Arab Emirates is a Muslim country and is therefore subject to Shari’a Law, whereby heirs and descendants have the right to claim on an estate of a deceased which would then be distributed accordingly to the law irrespective of the deceased wishes.

A resident that is non-Muslim can produced a will with a notary public and/or register a will with the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Wills Service Centre.  In this instance the courts must respect the wishes of a foreign will in the event of death.  If you are Muslim or do not register a will then Shari’a Law will automatically apply.  There are also Trust and Foundation vehicles available to assist individuals concerned about the distribution of their assets upon their death.

In you are resident in the UAE or have assets there and are concerned how the local laws might affect this in the event of untimely passing then please do not hesitate to contact us to discuss possible implications and solutions thereof.