Does your jurisdiction maintain a list of trusted entities to qualify e-signatures?
To add another layer of protection, the electronic signature may be supported by an electronic authentication certificate issued by an authentication services provider which confirms the identity of the person or entity holding the electronic signature and the signature tool used. The UAE Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority maintains a list of approved authentication services providers.
Please provide a quick overview of the law, i.e., types of contracts that qualify for use with e-signature.
According to the Electronic Transactions Law, an electronic signature is a signature composed of letters, numbers, symbols, sounds or electronic processing systems attached or logically connected to an electronic message imprinted with intent of ratification or adoption of that message. An electronic signature can be used in any type of contract except for the list noted under Section III below.
An electronic signature is considered a secured electronic signature if at the time of execution, it:
(i)Is attributed only to the person who used it.
(ii)It is possible to prove the identity of person who used it.
(iii)It is fully controlled by the person who used it whether concerning its creation or usage at the time of signing.
(iv)It is connected to the concerned electronic message by a link that provides reliable proof as regards to the signature validity, accordingly, if the electronic record is changed, the electronic signature will no longer be protected.
What is the legality of e-signatures in your jurisdiction? Are there key exceptions?
Electronic signatures have the same legal authority as a physical signature. A party may rely on electronic signatures whenever such reliance is deemed reasonable and for any transaction except for the following:
(i)Transactions and matters concerning civil status like marriage, divorce and wills.
(ii)Title deeds of real estate.
(iii)Bonds in circulation.
(iv)Transactions concerning the sale and purchase of real estate, its disposition and rental for periods in excess of ten years and the registration of any other rights related to it.
(v)Any document required by law to be notarized before a Notary Public.
(vi)Any other documents or transactions to be excluded by a special legal term.
What is the e-signature law enforceable in your jurisdiction?
The UAE Federal Law No. 1 of 2006 Concerning Electronic Transactions and Commerce (the “Electronic Transactions Law”) regulates electronic signatures in the UAE.