For most people, document attestation is a topic that they never have, or maybe never will, come across. For many a year it has been something that has mainly only been associated with international companies, although nowadays it is certainly becoming more open to the general public.
In the case of this guest contribution, the aim is to display just how the document attestation industry is opening up – specifically for those individuals who liaise with the United Arab Emirates. It’s a well-known fact that the UAE has become an increasingly popular holiday destination over recent years, with tourists desperate to see the sights of the highly developed Dubai amongst other affluent countries in the region. Therefore, the nation now doesn’t just attract those high-flying businessmen looking to clinch their next deal with the Middle East, but an array of individuals who are traveling for a host of different reasons. Unfortunately, for those not in the know, there are several legislative issues that can really turn and hit them hard if they do not prepare for their trip. Document attestation is one of these and this contribution will look to show just why it’s important to travel to the UAE completely prepared and not incur any nasty surprises (such as possible jail time).
It’s worth mentioning that document attestation doesn’t involve the legalisation of every document for the general traveller. In truth, only a few can be legalised, but legal advisors should make clients aware that certain ones should be prioritised before they travel to the UAE. Here are three of the prime examples of where individuals should seek to have their documents subject to UAE embassy legislation prior to traveling to the region:
Going with your partner? Get a marriage certificate attested.
Anybody that follows the news will probably be aware of the case of a British woman being imprisoned after being caught in the midst of intercourse with her partner. It happens to be illegal for unmarried couples to engage in sexual relations in Dubai and the woman the story focussed on has subsequently been sentenced to two months in prison. Therefore, married couples are being encouraged to take along an attested marriage certificate, to avoid any unnecessary trouble in the country. Admittedly, some sources will state that these precautions are bordering on the ridiculous, yet there have been an increasing number of Westerners falling victim to the country’s differing laws and it might be worth the small fee for the sake of an enjoyable, trouble-free holiday.
Traveling for business? Get as many documents in order as possible.
While some may describe the above scenario as a little far-fetched for married couples, it goes without saying that business travellers have a lot more obligations when it comes to legalisation of documents. If one is traveling to the UAE for business, they will require any financial documents to be legalised for use in the country. This could be anything from a bank statement to export certificates and without such attested documents; there is an increased chance of that potentially lucrative trip becoming a wasted one.
Taking medication? Get your document legalised as a matter of URGENCY.
This is unquestionably the most crucial example of when to get a document legalised. Any individual taking medication could be at risk as soon as they enter the UAE, as the region has a no-nonsense policy in relation to banned medication. Unfortunately, a lot of medicines which are perfectly legal to use in the UK are not permitted for use in the UAE. Codeine is a prime example and while your condition may merit the consumption of this substance, without a UAE legalised doctor’s note one will have some severe explaining to do to the UAE authorities – and you may not be allowed into the country or even worse, thrown into prison until the matter resolves.