Cheques in the United Arab Emirates

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Cheques are one of the primary payment methods utilized in the United Arab Emirates, in lieu of cash.

They represent an effective payment medium and typically cannot be returned even if the account holder raises objections. The issuance and processing of checks in the United Arab Emirates are regulated by the Commercial Transactions Act No. 18 of 1993.

The return of checks is a common issue faced by residents of the United Arab Emirates. These cheques are governed by the stipulations outlined in the Commercial Transactions Act.


Under the laws of the United Arab Emirates, it is prohibited to issue unpaid cheques or to have insufficient funds in your account to cover the value of the cheque. Such actions would entail legal consequences. Familiarizing yourself with the validity period of cheques in the United Arab Emirates is essential to ensure timely encashment before they expire.

In the United Arab Emirates, cheques are valid from the date of issuance.

If presented to the bank before the cheque’s date, it will be rejected.

The expiry date of cheques is set at six months from the date indicated on them. Beneficiaries are required to present cheques to the bank to realize their value within a six-month timeframe. The payee must submit the cheque to the bank to claim its value within six months from its issuance date.

However, some individuals delay submitting it for more than six months due to either unawareness of the legal submission period or excessive trust in the drawer.

Consequently, they might forfeit their right to claim the cheque’s amount. Nevertheless, the payee retains the right to initiate a commercial case against the drawer to seek payment as per the UAE Commercial Transactions Act.

This legal action applies to both natural and legal persons. The drawer may also be subjected to travel restrictions until a verdict is reached regarding the full cheque amount, and the associated penalty against the signatory is executed.

Failure to adhere to the court’s ruling could result in imprisonment for a duration determined by the court. Ultimately, engaging an experienced lawyer is a prudent decision to preempt any potential damages or legal entanglements.


Written by:

Mr. Mohammad Salah

CEO / Dubai – UAE


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