Galadari Alerts: English now permitted in the UAE mainland courts from 2nd January 2023

Effective from 2 January 2023, Arabic will no longer be the only language permitted in trials, proceeding and the issuance of judgements before UAE mainland courts. Further to the Federal Decree Law No. 42 of 2022 (The New Civil Procedures Law), English will be the government language for cases heard before certain judicial courts, as an exemption from the general rule.

The introduction of English as a secondary language for certain and specific cases across the UAE Courts will be very beneficial to advocates. However, there are limitations which include:

1) Many UAE nationals may not speak English or have adequate proficiency since Arabic is our native tongue.
2) Many Emiratis do not have any social experience in terms of dealing with non-Emiratis, especially non-Arabs.
3) Every member in the judicial system has issues interpreting articles in both languages, which may add to delays.

Hopefully, UAE Courts will consider putting the effort into clarifying the above-mentioned and develop strategies to strengthen our performance.

The author of this thought piece is Essa Ziyad Galadari. Essa is a qualified advocate with full rights of audience before all UAE Courts. Essa obtained his L.L.B degree in Sharia & Law from the University of Sharjah in 2018. To speak with Essa, please email him on