The UAE Cabinet on Monday approved a raft of amendments to laws governing public notaries and digital signatures.
During a meeting chaired by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, the changes were approved to laws on "evidence in civil and commercial transactions".
The term "notary public" refers to those authorised by the country's judicial authorities to attest and notarise legal documents.
The amendments essentially allow the notary to do the job remotely and use teleconferencing. It allows digital signatures and documents and e-hearing minutes that document witness testimonies, as well as the decisions of judges and signed notary documents. The amendments also stipulate that e-signatures and e-documents will be approved and treated as official documents.
It is envisaged the changes will improve customer experience and enhance the digital transformation of government services.
Under the amendments, documents must be created and saved electronically and will be kept confidential and may not be circulated, copied or deleted from the electronic system without permission from the relevant administration of the notary public at the ministry.
The move follows sweeping changes announced at the weekend to the UAE's legal system with changes to family law and other areas affecting people's daily lives.