Help for British nationals overseas – guidance

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.

Services we provide in the United Arab Emirates

Consular staff in the United Arab Emirates can:

For information about documents relating to marriage, such as affirmations or affidavits of marital status, see getting married abroad.

In exceptional circumstances we will also:

  • administer an oath or attest a British national’s signature on a declaration or affirmation where you can produce evidence that the requesting authority will not accept any alternatives
  • perform consular civil marriages (if you have evidence that no other option is available in the UAE)
  • make a certified copy of a passport (if you have evidence the request authority will not accept any alternatives)

You should email us for these services at

You can download the following information notes to help you with the local authorities:

We do not provide legalisation services in Abu Dhabi or Dubai. However, we have produced guidance on getting a document legalised in the United Arab Emirates.

If you cannot find the service you’re looking for on this page, see other services provided by the British Embassy Dubai or the British Embassy Abu Dhabi.

What to bring to your appointment

For all services, you must attend in person and bring:

  • your passport
  • proof of your residential address
  • 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 and address.

We accept passports as proof of identity.

We accept a utility bill or a tenancy contract as proof of your address. If these are in your company’s name, please bring a letter from your company to say where you reside. You can send in copies for the purposes of confirming your appointment but you must bring the original documents when you come to the embassy. You need to be able to show the full residential address (the PO Box alone is not acceptable).

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.

Book an appointment to request a no objection letter at the British Embassy Dubai.

Book an appointment to request a no objection letter at the British Embassy Abu Dhabi.

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, 260KB, 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, 307KB, 2 pages) for British nationals sponsoring a non-British relative which you can use as necessary.

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

Copies of certificates

For copies of British birth, death and marriage certificates, visit the General Register Office.

The British embassy no longer handles applications for renunciation and naturalisation or registration as a British citizen. All applications are now handled by the UK Border Agency.

Renew British driving licences

Contact the DVLA if you need to renew a British driving licence or or provide certificates regarding British driving licences.

Certificates of good conduct

For information on obtaining a Police Clearance Certificate / Certificate of Good Conduct from the UAE, visit the UAE Embassy website. More information is also on the Abu Dhabi e-government website, Dubai Police and Sharjah Police websites.

If you are asked for a “certificates of good conduct” or “police clearance certificate” from the UK Police, see the Metropolitan Police website.

Data Protection

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.