UK and UAE Improve Relationship with New Regulations

The partnership between the UAE and the UK has never been stronger. With an estimated 240,000 Brits living in the UAE, effective and bilateral economic relationships have always been a necessity. However, recent actions are seeking to strengthen that partnership even further. 

UK - UAE Partnership

As the world becomes increasingly more globalised, remote work becomes a legitimate possibility and the UAE’s economy strengthens, more and more UK citizens are moving to the UAE to take advantage of attractive policies and opportunities. This has led to a number of benefits, such as a more international population in the UAE and new business opportunities. However, the two different legal systems and cultures have led to some confusion. 

Partnership for the Future (PftF)

This 2021 agreement between the UK and the UAE seeks to promote collaboration between the two countries on the following issues: 

  • Foreign Policy

  • Security & Defence

  • Intelligence Sharing

  • Law Enforcement

Prior to this agreement and even though similar agreements were in place, it was nearly impossible for the UAE to enforce English rulings in the UAE. However, there’s a notable exception; separate jurisdictions such as the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) and the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) have their own courts and therefore have separate regulations when it comes to enforcing UK rulings. 


uae trade agreements

On the other hand, UK courts were also not eager to enforce UAE judgements in their land, creating a lack of reciprocity between the two countries. 

The Lenkor Case

This landmark case was the foundation for the new reciprocity case between the two nations. After being convicted of falsifying checks in Dubai, the defendant tried to appeal the decision in the UK Court of Appeals; however, the UK help up the decision with the following statement: 

      “the principle has been considered by the English Courts upon previous enforcement of a judgement issued by Dubai Courts by virtue of a final judgement issued by the High Court of the United Kingdom in Lenko Energy Trading DMCC v Puri (2020) EWHC 75 (QB), which constitutes a legal precedent and a principle binding on all English Courts according to their judicial system.”

The statement continued, confirming the newfound connection between the UAE and the UK, requesting that Dubai courts: 

    “take the relevant legal actions regarding any requests for enforcement of judgments and orders issued by the English Court, in accordance with the laws in force in both countries, as a confirmation of the principle of reciprocity initiated by the English Courts and assurance of its continuity between the English Courts and the UAE Courts.”

investment relationship

The Future of the PftF

In principle, this agreement will facilitate the application of rulings in both countries, as long as the following conditions are met: 

  • The foreign court that issued the judgement is competent 

  • The decision was properly made and ratified under the local law

  • The defendant was properly summoned and represented

  • The decision has a res judicata effect

  • The judgement does not conflict with UAE courts

  • The decision does not contain anything against public order and models

  • The court has the right to ask for additional or supporting documents

What This Means

The UAE is becoming increasingly pro-enforcement and therefore providing more judicial certainty to both local and international companies. At Europe Emirates Group, we know this means that there’s never been a better time to incorporate your company in the UAE and take advantage of the improved UAE and UK relationship.

Written by
Adrian Oton


Adrian Oton
CEO, Europe Emirates Group

UAE Setup Guide

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