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A Legal Guide to the Use of eSignature in UAE

24 March 2021 08:01 PM

The United Arab Emirates has been at the forefront of promoting advanced technologies that aim at easing human lives. It has been one of the first countries that approved usage of electronic signature or eSignature and promulgated laws accordingly. The federal laws of the country have been amended accordingly and E-commerce law has been included in the same. Federal Law 1 of 2006 explains the clauses and rules of usage of electronic signature in UAE and affirms its authority in the legal domain.

Although the framework, supporting regulations confirming the legality and firms aiding the technical support has been available, the facility was not popular until the recent past.  The COVID-19 situation, subsequent lockdown and travel restrictions have imposed limitations on the physical presence of individuals at the required places. It has eventually augmented the popularity of eSignature. Presently, the majority of the firms and business entities in the UAE have embraced the eSignature facility. The remaining are incorporating the frameworks for the same.

ePillars has been one of the leading firms in the country that facilitate eSignature and other electronic verification technologies, as well as, software support in the said field. You can get in touch with us anytime, to know more about the eSignature regulations and policies. This article is intended to provide an insight into the legal aspects of eSignature in UAE.

Legality and Other Important Factors Regulating the eSignature in UAE

The following orders and resolutions corroborate the legality of eSignature and confirm the usage of an electronic signature at documents, certificates and agreements identified by the regulatory bodies.

  • Federal Law 1 of 2006 details the eSignature facility and elaborates the policy regulations governing it. The subject law is known as the E-commerce law of the country.

  • The Ministry of Economy and Commerce in the UAE resolution no.1 of 2008 indicating the eSignature facilitating agencies and providers in the country. Approved by the Telecommunication Regulatory Authority (TRA) of the UAE.

  • Amendments made in the federal laws with the approval of usage of eSignature. The subject amendment states that eSignature bears the legal validity and authority as the case of a physical signature at the court of law, in case of any disputes or disagreements between the parties. The Civil Evidence Law framed erstwhile, namely Federal Law 10 of 1992, has been included with the said clause accordingly.

  • In addition to the above-mentioned, Article 18 of the E-commerce law of 2006 states that a person can rely on an eSignature only if the laid down circumstances are met meticulously.  

  • Article 17 of the e-commerce law states about “secure” or “protected” e-signature, wherein

                    The identity of the person should be verifiable

                    He or she has the authority and control of the tool for putting the eSignature

                    Secure lines have been used to transmit and receive the eSignature

  • Article 6(3) stipulates government organizations and firms with specific directives regarding eSignature.  The procedure specified must be pursued for those departments to accept the documents constraining the electronic signature. 

However, the e-commerce law of 2006 is not binding upon the Dubai International Finance Centre (DIFC). DIFC, as an independent jurisdiction within the UAE, is governed by the Electronic Transactions Law, which is the prime legislation administering electronic signatures. The DIFC is considered a special jurisdiction and hence DIFC Law 2 of 2017 has been prepared for this domain.

Electronic Transaction Law of Dubai International Finance Centre (DIFC)

The Electronic Transaction Law (ETL) of DIFC Law 2 of 2017 is pursued by the DIFC jurisdiction. Accordingly, the following articles regulate the usage of electronic signatures in the jurisdiction.

  • The conditions of usage of electronic signature and the basic requirements are laid down in Article 21 of DIFC Law 2 of 2017. Article 21 of the Electronic Transactions Law approves the usage of e-signatures where a document is needed to be signed.

  • Article 22 of the law affirms the identification of the relevant person and the person’s intention wrt the information included in the Electronic Document provided that the type of eSignature used is as reliable as appropriate for the purpose. 

  • Article 8 of DIFC law promulgates the usage of a physical signature in the following documents. Hence, eSignature will not be legally approved in such cases.

                         Power of Attorney

                         The declarations made according to Trust Law of 2005 of the UAE

                         Wills and Affidavits

                         Registration of immovable property

The Conclusion

We request you to reach out to us for further discussion regarding eSignature provided by ePillars, and other advanced e-verification methodologies including DocuSign, emSigner, ZohoSign and so on.

Dial us now.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter.

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