United Arab Emirates

Constitution of the United Arab Emirates

Year of Version:1971
Date of Text (Adopted):December 2, 1971
Type of Text:Constitution / Basic Law
Subject Matter:Other
The United Arab Emirates is a Federal State founded in 1971 which consists of seven emirates: Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm al-Quwain, Ras al-Khaimah and Fujairah.
The Constitution of the United Arab Emirates was adopted in 1971 and contains basic rules of the political and constitutional organization of the State.
The System of governance is monarchic with the exception that there is a federal head. According to Article 7 of the Constitution, Islam is the State religion and Islamic Sharia the main source of legislation.
The Constitution provides for five different State authorities under Article 45:
1 - The Supreme Council of the Union which is the highest constitutional authority in the United Arab Emirates, which is the highest legislative and executive body. It establishes general policy and sanctions federal legislation. The Supreme Council also formulates government policy, proposes and ratifies national laws, and ratifies treaties (Articles 46 to 47 of the Constitution).
2 - The President of the Union is the President of the Supreme Council of the Union. His deputy is the Prime Minister (Articles 51 to 54).
3 - The Union Council of Ministers which is the executive authority of the Union (Article 60).
4 - The Federal National Council which serves as the legislative authority of the Union. The Council exercises an advisory role only (Articles 68 to 93).
5 - The judiciary.

The Constitution contains provisions for protection of private property and intellectual property.
Article 21 states that the right to private ownership is guaranteed to every citizen property.
Article 121 guarantees the protection of cultural, technical and industrial property and copyright, printing and publishing.
Available Texts: 

دستور الامارات العربية المتحدة دستور الامارات العربية المتحدة, Complete document (pdf) [177 KB]


Constitution des Emirats Arabes Unis Constitution des Emirats Arabes Unis, Complete document (pdf) [148 KB] Constitution des Emirats Arabes Unis, Complete document (htm) [79 KB] (Version with Automatic Translation Tool)

Related Legislation:
WIPO Lex No.:AE017