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UAE redefines crime of Bounced Cheques UAE redefines crime of Bounced Cheques


The UAE Cabinet has approved the issuance of a federal decree-law to amend several provisions of the Federal Law on Commercial Transactions. The amendments include changing certain provision covering bounced cheques and the issuance of cheques without value, by providing fast, advanced and civil mechanisms to collect the required payments.
According to the Decree, which will come into force in January 2022, crimes involving cheques have been redefined. The amendments include amendments aimed at avoiding criminal prosecution and streamlining recourse against a dishonoured cheque amongst others, throughout the Emirates.
Forthcoming amendments aim to expedite and streamline recourse against a dishonoured cheque including a mechanism for collection of the value of the bounced cheque in terms of which banks will be required to partially pay out the value of the cheque that is available in the corresponding bank account. Additional penalties in respect of convicted persons are proposed, these penalties are to include:
 cancellation of their cheque books and prevention of re-issuance of their cheque books for up to 5 years;  their suspension from professional or commercial activities in the Emirates; and  penalties for legal persons, which shall include license suspension or revocation of license in the case of repeat violations by entities in the Emirates.
The amendments also define circumstances in which a bounced cheque will be considered a criminal offence and aims to avoid prosecution for such infractions unless bad faith is present. Provision of an alternative to criminal proceedings should help to remove the stigma associated with bounced cheques and enhance debtor accountability.


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.