(MENAFN- Khaleej Times) Published: Sun 24 Sep 2023, 8:47 AM
Question: I have a civil case in a Dubai court, but my residency is about to expire. What option do I have to continue staying in the country to pursue the case?
Answer: Pursuant to your queries, it is assumed that you as a plaintiff have filed a civil case in Dubai Court against an individual. It is also assumed that you are currently representing yourself before the Dubai Court in the said civil case. Therefore, the provisions of Federal Decree Law No. 42 of 2022 on the Promulgation of the Civil Procedure Law and Federal Decree Law No. 29 of 2021 Regarding the Entry and Residency of Aliens are applicable.
In the UAE, if an individual files a civil case, he/she or his/her power of attorney holder or his/her lawyer needs to attend all the court hearings. In the event an individual (plaintiff) who files a case does not attend a hearing either personally or through his/her power of attorney holder or his/her lawyer, the civil case filed by such individual (plaintiff) may be dismissed by the court. This is in accordance with Article 53(2) of the UAE Civil Procedures Law, which states, "The Court shall issue a judgement of nonsuit if the plaintiff fails to attend any session and the defendant appears unless the latter requests the court to issue its judgement in the case."
If an individual (plaintiff) is not able to attend the court hearings in person, he or she may appoint a power of attorney holder to represent him or her before the court in the relevant civil case. This is in accordance with Article 58 of the UAE Civil Procedures Law, which states,“1. The court shall accept from the parties whoever they appoint as attorney according to the law.
2. The attorney shall establish his appointment proxy for his principal by an official document.
3. The power of attorney may be done through a declaration recorded in the minutes of the session.”
Furthermore, in the UAE, individuals or entities may appear before the court remotely (online – audio video conference) in the cases filed by them or against them. This is in accordance with Article 328 of the UAE Civil Procedures Law, which states,“The use of remote communication technology in the civil procedures shall mean the use of audiovisual communication means between two parties or more for the purpose of achieving remote appearance and exchange of documents, including the lawsuit registration, procedures of declaration, trial and execution carried out through this technology.”
Based on the aforementioned provisions of law, if your UAE residency visa is due to expire, you may renew the same or obtain a new UAE residency visa and continue to attend the court hearings in person or virtually related to the civil case filed by you. However, if you are not able to renew your UAE residency visa and have to travel out of UAE after the cancellation of your current UAE residency visa, you may attend the court hearing virtually from your home country or any other country.
In the event the court requires your physical attendance in the civil case filed by you, you may have to travel to the UAE on a visit visa to attend the court hearing(s). Alternatively, you may also consider granting a power of attorney to an individual or to a lawyer in UAE to represent and appear on your behalf in the civil case filed by you.
If you continue to reside in the UAE upon expiry of your UAE residency visa, you may have to bear the penalties for each day of overstay after the completion of the grace period to reside in the UAE. This is in accordance with Article 11 of the UAE Immigration Law, which states,“Any Alien whose visa or residence permit has been cancelled or whose residence has expired with the expiration of the period of the visa or residence permit, and does not initiate renewal - in cases in which this is permissible - or if he did not leave the State within the periods determined by the Executive Regulations of this Decree-Law, an administrative fine shall be imposed on him for each day in which he resides illegally in the State as of the date of the expiry of these periods, and the value of this fine shall be determined by a decision of the Council of Ministers.”
Ashish Mehta is the founder and Managing Partner of Ashish Mehta & Associates. He is qualified to practise law in Dubai, the United Kingdom and India. Full details of his firm on: Readers may e-mail their questions to: or send them to Legal View, Khaleej Times, PO Box 11243, Dubai.
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