The requirement for obtaining true copies of original documents is one of the most common features of expat life in Dubai and other Emirates. The residents in Dubai carry out various transactions either in their home countries or other offshore jurisdictions from time-to-time. A common characteristic of these transactions is the expats are required to provide true copies of their documents such as passports, DEWA bills, bank statements and other documents to establish the true identity of the expat and the documents in question.

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Obtaining true copies of documents has thus become a day-to-day requirement in Dubai and across the UAE.

This article clarifies certain confusions around the use of terminologies such as notarization and true copy attestation in Dubai and UAE. It outlines the simple process whereby expats can obtain true copies of their documents easily.

1. Removing confusion between notarization and true copies

To start with, it is important to understand that the expats are often requested to notarize or obtain notarization of their passports, DEWA bills, Emirates IDs or other documents that are presented to any government department or third party outside the UAE. Notarization is a common terminology used for true copies around the world.

In a number of countries, documents are certified as true copies by notary public, hence this certification is referred to as notarization. This is not the case in the UAE. The notary public in the UAE does not certify true copies of any documents other than the documents that are issued by the notary public himself or are witnessed to have been signed in his presence. A common example of document for which a notary public in the UAE can issue a true copy is a power of attorney registered with the notary public himself. In such a case, the notary public retrieves the original power of attorney from the records and issues a certified true copy of that power of attorney.

In other words, it is not possible for the expats to obtain the notarized copies of their passports, DEWA bills or other documents that they present to government departments or third parties outside the UAE.

2. What is a true copy attestation in the UAE then?

A true copy attestation in Dubai and elsewhere in the UAE is thus a certification of a document by a lawyer on a photocopy of the original document.

3. Process of issuance of certified true copies in the UAE

The process is thus simple and straightforward. The expat is required to present the original document to the lawyer who verifies the original document to ensure its authenticity. Once the lawyer is satisfied with the authenticity of the original document, he takes a photocopy of the original document and stamps the photocopy to typically state the following language:

‘This document is the true and correct copy of the original document’.

The lawyer also signs the document with the current date and contact details of himself.

This completes the simple process of issuance of true copies in the UAE. Once issued, the document can be presented to any government department or third party outside the UAE.

It is important to note that the lawyer may be contacted by the parties relying on the true copies outside the UAE. These parties may typically contact the lawyer either by phone or by email to verify the following:

  1. The lawyer is a registered lawyer member of a recognized body regulating the profession of lawyers.
  2. The certified copy in question is issued by the lawyer himself.

Once the lawyer has confirmed the above, the document is then confirmed and used for the relevant purposes. The process of verification of the lawyer may or may not take place depending upon the party relying on the certification.

Just POA arranges certified true copies of documents in Dubai and other Emirates for its clients in a hassle-free manner.