A New Trend in the UAE Attribution Rules according to Federal Decree-Law No. 30 of 2020

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Dr. Ahmad Fadli


The Emirati Legislator has changed the procedure adopted in applying the Nationality Law on the objective conditions of marriage, keeping it active only if one of the spouses is local at the time of marriage conclusion , The amendment taken by the legislator on the objective conditions has led to unifying the law that is applicable to the conditions of marriage, whether objective or formal, The personal and financial consequences of marriage are subject to the law of the country .where marriage has been concluded as in most cases the spouses are settled in that ,country, or at least the spouse is settled there and his wife lives with him there. ,The Emirati Legislator has restricted the application of public order to issues that have occurred outside the country by excluding the rules of attribution related to personal status, such as marriage, its termination as well as inheritance and will issues from the idea of public order wherever there is a conflict between laws because they are connected with religious and social believes, The Emirati Legislator, in the subject of the will and post-mortem arrangements, has added another rule of attribution. In addition to the law of the dead man’s country, being the law of determination as long as the post-mortem arrangements are considered as actions taken by a single decision, priority has been given to the law chosen by the dead man and stated in the will. If such law has not been identified, then the applicable law shall be the law of the dead man’s country at the time of his death. Regarding the form of the will and post-mortem arrangements, the Emirati Legislator has added a single rule of determination without identifying a priority, and thus expanding the judge’s options to three rules with no specific sequence. These rules are the single determination, the law of the dead man’s country at the time of issuing the will, and the law of the country where the will or disposal has been issued. An amendment has been made to the UAE Personal Status Law by the Federal Decree Law No. 29 of 2020 related to the obligatory issue of resorting to the rules of attribution that concern personal status affairs. Article No. 01, Paragraph 03 stipulates that “the provisions of this law shall apply to non-locals unless they adhere to the application of their law without affecting the provisions of Articles 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 27 and 28 of the Civil Transactions Law promulgated by the Federal Law No. 05 of 1985.” These are the UAE rules of attribution related to personal status issues, and thus, the mandatory aspect of these rules in the Emirates is quite confirmed. A foreigner therefore cannot adhere to his law if the UAE rules of attribution do not refer to the jurisdiction of his law. Accordingly, we believe that there is no need for the phrase “unless someone adheres to the application of his law” as the final decision is based on the national attribution rule.

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