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Under UAE law, a written signature is not always required for a binding contract – contracts are generally binding if legally competent parties reach an agreement, regardless of them being agreed verbally, electronically, or in writing. To prove the legitimacy of a contract in case of conflict, parties have to present evidence in court.
In the United Arab Emirates, e-signatures are recognized in the eCommerce Law. A vital principle of the eCommerce Law is that a person can use any form of electronic authentication, as long as a statute doesn’t provide otherwise. Further, if a signature is required on a document by the rule of law, this requirement is satisfied if a reliable electronic signature is employed.
The E-Commerce Law within the UAE distinguishes between Electronic Signatures and Secure Electronic Signatures.
An Electronic Signature is defined as any letters, numbers, symbols, voice, or processing system in electronic form applied to, incorporated in or logically associated with an electronic message to authenticate or approve the same.
A Secure Electronic Signature is one by which, through the application of a prescribed or commercially reasonable Secure Authentication Procedure agreed to by the parties, it can be verified that an Electronic Signature was:
Legal sanctity of electronic signatures under UAE Laws
Laws focusing the use of electronic signatures in the UAE include:
Use cases of electronic signatures in the UAE:
The COVID-19 pandemic has radically changed our lifestyles and how one conducts business. Most non-essential companies have established completely remote work setups. This “new normal” has concentrated more attention on electronic means of transactions. The “new normal” in the age of Covid-19 proceeds to facilitate the use of eSignatures.
Documents that cannot be e-signed in the United Arab Emirates:
Certinal is making available the information and materials in this article for informational purposes only and is meant to help companies understand eSignature’s application in a legal framework. Laws change rapidly and Certinal makes every reasonable effort to keep the content of this article current, hence Certinal makes no claims or representations that the information contained in this article is true, accurate, correct, or current. The law is different from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, and even similar laws may be interpreted differently in different courts or in different places. Since these factors differ according to individuals and businesses, Certinal is not liable for any consequence of any action taken by any third party relying on material/ information provided under this article. The contents hereof should not be construed as legal advice in any manner whatsoever. In cases you require any assistance; you must seek independent legal advice.