About the Registry
The DIFC Wills and Probate Registry (the ‘Registry’) is a public entity of the Dubai Government and an ancillary body of the DIFC’s Dispute Resolution Authority established by Resolution Number 4 of 2014 issued by HH Sheikh Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the President of the DIFC. It was established to provide non-Muslims with assets and/or children in Dubai with the option to choose the DIFC Courts through which to enforce their inheritance wishes as an alternative to other judicial routes. At its opening in May 2015, in the presence of prominent members of the Dubai community including the Head of Cassation of the Dubai Courts, Essa Kazim, Governor of the DIFC, commented that the:
“Registry reflects respect for the diversity of the UAE community and the keenness of our country to provide new frameworks for strengthening the legal environment in line with the community’s needs and requirements. The initiative confirms the country’s leadership in various sectors and further enhances Dubai’s attractiveness as a destination for investment, supporting greater economic growth, stability and prosperity.”
The Registry provides a first-of-its-kind service in the MENA region, one that allows eligible individuals greater choice in determining how their assets would be distributed following their death and who would be appointed as the guardian of their children. The Registry’s services are governed by a set of detailed rules (the ‘Registry Rules’) which establishes a system that combines operational speed, efficiency and cost effectiveness with the certainty of judicial enforcement through the DIFC Courts.
The DIFC Courts is responsible for issuing grants and court orders that allow those persons appointed under the DIFC Will (the ‘Executors’) to give effect to its terms and directions. The DIFC Courts will also deal with any claims, further applications and objections that may arise during the Probate proceedings, in line with the Registry Rules and other applicable laws.