The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Courts and Emaar Properties have signed a cooperation agreement to promote the Wills Service provided by the UAE’s English-language common law court.
The new agreement is expected to encourage awareness across Emaar Properties’ portfolio of the Wills Service, offering both investors and residents additional protection on real estate investments in the UAE.
Last month, Emaar Properties said that its group property sales in Q1 2021 were $1.937bn, up 83 per cent compared to $1.058bn it reported in Q1 2020. It added that it had handed over more than 74,500 residential units in Dubai.
Launched through a partnership in 2015 between the DIFC Courts and the Government of Dubai, the Wills Service was established to enable non-Muslims who are investing and living in the UAE to pass on their assets and appoint guardians for their children in line with their wishes through a Will registration service.
“This is a public service designed and introduced to provide people with choice. The UAE is home to over eight million expatriates, many of whom have settled in the country and purchased a home for their family. In addition, the UAE has welcomed and enabled many foreign investors to make property investments. The DIFC Courts has, therefore, created a mechanism that can contribute final peace of mind where property is concerned, “ said Justice Omar Al Mheiri, deputy chief justice at the DIFC Courts. “This new alliance with one of the UAE’s flagship developers, will ensure that another layer of awareness for those choosing Dubai and the UAE as a destination for property ownership.”
In April last year, as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, the DIFC Courts introduced a new video conferencing facility to aid in the online registration of wills.
A testator and two witnesses can join via video conferencing from different locations, rather than having to be in the same place as was previously the case.
Wills can subsequently be directly uploaded on to the system and electronic signatures can be affixed to verify and witness the will.
There is also an option for overseas residents to use the Virtual Registry facility to register wills related to property, business ownership and financial assets in the DIFC Courts.