Notarial and documentary services guide for the United Arab Emirates
Documents, certificates, letters and notes available at British embassies in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
The British consulate can provide a range of notarial and documentary services for British nationals in the United Arab Emirates.
Where local notaries can provide services, the British consulate will not provide them. In many cases, local notaries or lawyers can provide services more cheaply, quickly and conveniently.
You must make an appointment for each service that requires your personal attendance.
Before booking, make sure you have selected the correct service and that the document will be accepted by the relevant authority. This could be the local town hall, registry office, tax authorities, immigration office or another authority either in the United Arab Emirates, the UK or a third country. Only the relevant authority can confirm which service you will require. This information cannot be verified by the British consulate.
What to bring to your appointment
For all services, you must attend in person and bring:
- your passport
- originals of all documents
We accept payment by credit card or in cash.
Proof of address and identity
For all appointments for notarial services, you will need to bring acceptable proof of your identity.
We accept passports as proof of identity.
Services we provide in the United Arab Emirates
Issue a no objection to adopt letter
The British embassies in Abu Dhabi and Dubai are unable to advise on the legalities or the procedures for inter-country adoption. Further information can be found on the adoption pages and on the website of the Inter-country Adoption Centre.
The embassy will only become involved when the government of the country that the child is being adopted from requests a letter of no objection from the British authorities.
The embassies in Abu Dhabi and Dubai can only issue such a letter if at least one of the parents is not habitually resident in the UK. It is the responsibility of the prospective adoptive parents to check with a lawyer that they have not retained habitual residence in the UK and to prove this to the embassy. The embassy will need to see a sworn declaration, witnessed by a lawyer, confirming that the prospective adopted parents have received independent legal advice and that they are not habitually resident in the UK.
An example of the acceptable form of wording is “I (name) confirm that I have received independent legal advice and with reference to all the circumstances of my particular case and in light of existing UK law I can confirm that I am not habitually resident in the UK.” Please ensure you bring this document to the appointment.
Other documents required:
- passport and copy
- residency visa and copy
- marriage certificate (original), if required
- partner’s passport and copy, if required
We cannot give guarantees that children adopted abroad will be eligible for British citizenship or be granted entry clearance. These are both granted at the discretion of the Home Secretary and decisions cannot be prejudged. We can only give a factual statement outlining the normal approach and procedures.
Getting married in UAE
For information about documents relating to marriage, such as affirmations or affidavits of marital status, see getting married abroad.
Visa recommendation letter
If you are a British nationals and have been asked to provide the UAE authorities with a British ID card as proof of identity, please refer to the (visa recommendation letter) Visa recommendation letter (PDF, 262KB, 2 pages)
No objection letter
The British embassies in Abu Dhabi and Dubai will no longer issue No Objection Letters to British nationals to sponsor their relatives. We have notified the UAE government. There is a (sponsorship note) British national sponsoring a non-British national (PDF, 312KB, 2 pages) for British nationals sponsoring a non-British relative which you can use as necessary.
Consular civil marriages
In exceptional circumstances we can perform a consular civil marriage if you have evidence that no other option is available in the UAE. You can contact us using our online form for this service.
Services provided elsewhere
Local lawyers can provide the following services:
- witnessing signatures or administering declarations on powers of attorney
- witnessing signatures or administering declarations on wills
- witnessing signatures or administering declarations on company documents
- witnessing signatures or administering declarations on name change deed polls and similar documents
- certificates or statements of law in the UK
- certified photocopies of British passports, UK educational documents (including those issued in the UK by a recognised institution and listed in the Legalisation Office website), British driving licences, British divorce decrees and foreign documents including passports, educational documents and ID documents
- certifying your identity for British banks, building societies and other institutions
See our information on getting a document legalised in the United Arab Emirates.
Copies of certificates
For copies of British birth, death and marriage certificates, visit the General Register Office.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office holds and uses data for purposes notified to the Information Commissioner under the Data Protection Act 1998 (which may be viewed at Information Commissioner’s Officer. Such personal data may be disclosed to other UK government departments and public authorities.
This information is provided as a general guide and is based upon information provided to the embassy by the relevant local authorities and may be subject to change at any time with little or no notice. Accordingly the FCO and the British embassy will not be liable for any inaccuracies in this information. British nationals wishing to obtain any further information must contact the relevant local authority.
Published: 5 April 2013
Updated: 9 May 2016
- Minor amendment
- Upadate: May 2016
- Update to issuing a no objection to adopt letter
- Notarial update: Marriages
- Remove information and update
- Number system under legislation in-accurate
- Minor changes
- Minor changes to number system and un-highlighting text
- Minor changes
- Minor changes
- Email address added to page
- deleted wording regarding Letter confirming that a British national has lived outside of the EU for a certain period of time
- Added information about education certificates.
- First published.