How to be a witness in a UAE court case

Court reporter Salam Al Amir on how to behave as a court witness in the Emirates.

The judge's gavel in the State Security Security Court room at the Federal Supreme Court building.
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Witnesses should dress conservatively, have an official form of ID - passport, driving licence or Emirates ID - and arrive at the courtroom on time.
Do not leave the room for long periods or you risk missing the case and being fined.
When taking the oath, make it loud and clear.
Keep thoughts in order before testifying. Answers should be short, to the point and truthful. Do not be nervous - you are a witness, not a suspect. Wait for the judge to finish his question before answering.
Witnesses should further respect the court by controlling their body language, says Yousuf Al Bahar, a lawyer.
Unless you are a legal professional, refrain from trying to use legal terms, otherwise you risk misusing the term and giving an answer you did not intend. If you do not understand the question, do not be afraid to ask for it to be explained further.
If a witness feels the full truth has not been told, they may ask for permission from the court to add to their statements.
"Don't add anything until after the approval of the court," Mr Al Bahar says.
If you cannot attend the hearing, make sure you send a written apology to the court with someone. Resist the temptation to give false testimony in favour of friends or relatives.
"I have seen many people do this unaware of consequences," says Mr Al Bahar.
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