Non-Muslims with assets in RAK may now include them in Dubai wills – Nita Maru

A digital platform will be launched on Sunday allowing non-Muslims with assets in the emirate of Ras Al Khaimah to include these items in their Dubai-registered will.

Dubai International Financial Centre Wills & Probate Registry (DIFC WPR) has extended its coverage to RAK, said Nita Maru, a solicitor and managing partner of TWS Legal Consultants, who is part of the working panel of the DIFC registry.

“The DIFC registry allows non-Muslims, whether they are individual, business owners or investors, to have the freedom to decide what happens to their assets upon their death,” Ms Maru wrote in a release.

Ms Maru said there will be a will amendment fee of Dh550 for registered DIFC wills that need amending.

The DIFC WPR was first set up in May 2015 to allow non-Muslims with assets in Dubai to bypass Sharia law and instead abide by common law, which is recognised internationally.

Sean Hird, the director at DIFC Wills & Probate Registry, said that this new platform and jurisdiction came after “witnessing an increasing demand in the market for property wills”. The online property will be a “digital platform where users can protect their assets through a few simple clicks”.

He said that the site took the headache out of securing English language, common law legal protection for real estate assets in Dubai and RAK.

Under Sharia law, assets are divided equally among all living relatives rather than the majority going to a spouse or children.

“As more people are choosing to set up businesses, work and live in Ras Al Khaimah, using the successful DIFC Wills and Probate Registry system will increase their confidence and commitment, allowing them to put down roots and build happy lives and a thriving business,” said Ahmed Al Khatri, chairman of RAK Courts Department.

Wills must be registered at the DIFC WPR and validated by the DIFC Courts.

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