How to be a translator certified by UAE Ministry of Justice?

Legal translation in Dubai and United Arab Emirates is governed by Cabinet Resolution 7 of 2014 promulgating the Executive Regulation of Federal Law 6 of 2012 Regulating Profession of Translators issued by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Ruler of Dubai, which states that the translation profession shall be practiced in the UAE only after the translator is listed as a certified translator by the Ministry of Justice and a license from the competent authority of the concerned emirate is obtained. The conditions of being listed as certified translator subject to the below:

Documents Submission:

Each translator wishing to be listed as a certified translator in the Ministry of Justice takes the following procedures:

  1. The translator must be sponsored by any UAE based- translation office and must obtain NOC from the same translation office.
  2. Certificate Equivalency: The translator submits to the Ministry of Education in the concerned Emirate a secondary School certificate, an academic transcript and graduation certificate from one of the official faculties proving the translator has studied the concerned language certified by the University Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the UAE Embassy and Consulate.
  3. The translator obtains security permit from Police General Headquarters of the concerned emirate.
  4. The translator except for Emirati national provides five-year experience certificate after the date of graduation from a translation company certified by Notary Public and Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the concerned country.
  5. The translator submits equivalence certificate, NOC, graduation certificate, security permit and 6 passport photos to the Ministry of Justice in the concerned emirate, and completes online translator registration form.
  6. Technical and security committees will meet at the UAE Ministry of Justice to consider and decide on the applications with approval or rejection, and there is no specified date for this joint committee meeting.
  7. The Ministry of Justice contacts with accepted applicants and inform them of examination date. The rejected applicant may approach appeal court to challenge the decision within 30 days from the date of issuing the mentioned decision.

Legal Translator Examinations in Dubai

5 translators are to be present in exam hall, all translators are allowed to bring any dictionary, and exchange these dictionaries. The exam duration is approximately two hours.

The exam consists of 10 paragraphs; each paragraph contains about 100 words, 5 paragraphs from English to Arabic and 5 paragraphs from Arabic to English (for example). The legal translator translates in the same paper of the source text.

The following are samples of translation fields according to the experience of some who passed the exam with their percentage:

Legal 30%                 Economic 25% Medical 10%     Commercial 10%

Environmental 10%    General 20% Technical 10%   other 20%

Procedures to list the legal translator in Dubai

The representative of the Ministry of Justice contacts the legal translator to inform him/her of examination results after about two weeks and of the procedures that must be taken in case of passing the examination. The translator approaches the Ministry of Justice in the concerned Emirate to receive the letter of referral to the competent judge before whom the translator administers an oath and receives a summary of the regulations governing legal translation profession in the UAE; this will be explained in another article. Then, the translator approaches the Ministry of Justice in Abu Dhabi to administer the oath before the judge. The translator is then requested to obtain a valid medical certificate from the medical center recognized in the concerned Emirate and obtain a three year warranty from Al Wathba Insurance Company of AED 6,000 and a registration fee of AED 3000 to receive the legal translator card.

The translator submits to the Ministry of Justice in the concerned Emirate his/her signature and stamp form on 6 copies of the paper of the translator’s legal translation office to be distributed to the UAE authorities. The translator can practice legal translation profession and abide by the form submitted without any change.

Hoping the best of luck for all of you and May Allah rewards us greatly

Written by: Gomaa Fouda

Alsun Translation Services