The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a federal states constitutes of Seven Emirates (Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ras Al Khaimah, Um Al Quwain, Ajman and Fujairah). The Federal Constitution splits authority between the Emirates and the federal government.
In General the UAE Federal Law recognizes three classifications of lawyer: Practising Lawyers, Non-Practising Lawyers and Lawyers in Training.
Dubai regulates the legal profession refer to two classifications of lawyers: Legal Consultants and Advocates.
Lawyers in mainland Dubai are subject to the discretion of the Ruler’s court. Lawyers that are otherwise qualified to practice law in the country may be required by an individual Emirate to operate an office in that Emirate in order to practice law there.
Foreign lawyers are permitted to practice local law. However, only Dubai nationals are permitted to appear in court. Only registered advocates are allowed to appear before the Federal Supreme Court and take part in litigation.in order to practice law in the UAE you should be aware of the Federal law and the Law of each Emirates (three Emirates have their own emirates law system Abu Dhabi , Dubai and Ras Al Khaimah) the rest of the Emirates come under the umbrella of the Federal Law.
A lawyer in Dubai is classified as either an advocate or a legal consultant. The Federal Law on the Regulation of the Profession requires that advocates cannot practice unless he is registered on the Ministry of Justice’s role of practicing lawyers if they are practicing in the federal courts. Otherwise, if the lawyer is to practice law in the other Emirates, he must be licensed by the Rulers Court. And in other Emirates the Rulers court permission may not be required.
However, to apply for the law license the following criteria must be met;
- Be a UAE national.
- Be at least 20 years or more of age.
- Hold a certificate from an accredited university or higher institute.
- Have carried out at least one year of continuous practical legal training.
- Good conduct certificate issued by the local police authority
Article 7 of Federal Law No. 23 of 1991 provides alternative paths for local attorneys to be registered as attorneys practicing in the UAE. This includes people who worked for two years as proponents or in public prosecution and have practiced law for no less than three years in a federal or local government body, public organization, public authority or the private sector.
In order to comply with the Regulation, lawyers required to register with the Department of Legal Affairs. This step is necessary for them to be licensed to provide legal services outside the court (legal consultation services).
The Department of Legal Affairs is also responsible for licensing law firms. The law firm must also fulfill formalities established by the Department of Economic Development. If a law firm is based in the Dubai International Financial Centre, the firm must acquire a commercial license from this entity and be registered by the Dubai Financial Services Authority as an Ancillary Service Provider. Furthermore, in Dubai the Ruler’s court must approve this establishment. Other Emirates of the United Arab Emirates have different licensing and regulatory requirements for lawyers to fulfill in order to legally practice law in those jurisdictions.