Seeking to claim a domicile of choice in the UAE?

August 25, 2020 10:23 am Published by

Written by Graeme Beattie 

Under English Law the concept of domicile involves an intent to reside in a location indefinitely. In other words, it is an individual’s permanent home.

Under UAE law, if someone is not married to an Emirati, they cannot legally reside in the country past the age of 65 (working age).

Although there has been no precise ruling on the subject from the English Courts, it is unlikely that an individual will acquire a domicile of choice or permanent home in the UAE.  This is as a result of the inability to stay in the jurisdiction indefinitely, with the automatic expiration of any residency permits coming to fruition at age 65.

The exception would be if someone married an Emirati and as a consequence acquired citizenship of the UAE, after 10 years of marriage. In this case, the right to remain in the UAE would exceed the age of 65.  One’s domicile of choice under English Law could well be argued to be the UAE in this instance.

Accordingly, the majority of expatriates in the UAE will maintain their domicile of origin which is acquired at birth from the domicile of their parents, even if they spend decades abroad in the UAE.

Careful analysis of an individual’s particular circumstances is required on a case by case basis in determining their domicile.

If you would like any more information on this, please contact us.

Categorised in:

This post was written by Caitlin Roxburgh