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The Importance of E-Signature in the Time of Covid19

Legal Frame for e-Signature in the UAE

The situation of coronavirus (COVID-19) has led to various preventive measures such as; social distancing and remote working. In this current environment it may not always be possible for proposed signatories to be physically present to provide live signature documents. However, under the UAE Law, electronic signatures can generally be provided in place of wet ink signatures.
1. On Federal Level: UAE Federal Law No.1 of 2006 concerning Electronic Transactions & Commerce (E-Commerce law) regulates electronic signatures (e-signatures) in the UAE. The E-Commerce Law recognizes 3 types of e-signatures: (1) Protected e-signatures This category of e-signatures is the most legally protected. Protected e-signatures are accepted as valid and have probative value unless otherwise established. (2) Other e-signatures E-signatures which are not considered “protected” pursuant to Article 17 of the E-Commerce Law may also be recognized as having legal force and effect, as long as reliance on the e-signature is reasonable. Reasonableness is not presumed in such cases; the court will, in order to determine whether reliance on an e-signature is reasonable, take into account several factors. (3) Foreign e-signatures (Article 23 of the E-Commerce Law) Foreign e-signatures are e-signatures having an authentication certificate issued by a foreign certification provider.
2. On Dubai Level: The Dubai Electronic Transactions and Commerce Law No.2/2002 recognizes the legal validity of electronic documents and electronic signatures as acceptable substitutes for paper documents and ink signatures, respectively. Accordingly, electronic records may be used to comply with a statutory writing requirement, original document requirement and retention requirement, and an electronic signature attached to an electronic document may be used to comply with a statutory requirement for a paper‐and‐ink signature. If all parties are in agreement, a contract may be in electronic form and is just as legally enforceable as a written one.
3. Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC): DIFC Law No. 2 of 2017 (“Electronic Transactions Law”) clarifies, for all purposes in the DIFC, that electronic signatures are enforceable, that electronic records have equivalent effect to hard copies and that references to “writing” include electronic means.
At Al Jallaf we are in a good position to advise on any issue related to e-Signature. Please do not hesitate to contact us should you have any inquiries or thoughts you wish to share with us.


Ihab is an Italian attorney-at-law and expert in the aviation sector. He has been engaged in commercial and regulatory law practice for many years, with a focus on aviation.

He has an extensive experience in high-profile litigation, aircraft financing and leasing, aviation regulation, aircraft accident investigations and policy & business aviation issues.

During his career, he has been actively involved in a full range of legal matters arising in the aviation industry, including drafting aviation legislations, participating in major Privatization and Public–Private Partnership projects, delivering regulatory consultations & proceedings, handling general aviation and commercial issues including sale, purchase and lease of aircraft transactions, aircraft & air navigation services’ insurance and reinsurance, and other environment, security & safety issues.

Ihab has addressed numerous conferences on aviation law and aircraft financing & leasing in the Middle East, Europe and Canada, and published on a variety of issues, including commercial aviation developments, environmental regulation impacting the aviation sector and the Cape Town Convention and its Aircraft Protocol.

He is a member of ICAO’s Commission of Experts of the Supervisory Authority of the International Registry (CESAIR) for the purposes of the Cape Town Convention (CTC) and the Aircraft Protocol.