The New UAE Personal Insolvecy Law

The UAE Insolvency Law No. 9 of 2019 (the “Law”) has been issued and published in the official gazette. The Law comes into force 3 months after publication, meaning it will become effective on 29 November 2019.

The Law deals with the insolvency of natural persons, a move that has been widely anticipated following the announcements by the UAE Government at the time Law No. 9 of 2016 concerning Bankruptcy was introduced (“Corporate Bankruptcy Law”).


  • Introduction of new regime for the insolvency of natural persons.
  • Introduction of rehabilitation framework through a Court supervised settlement plan (Settlement Plan).
  • Liquidation process for insolvent persons unable to be rehabilitated.
  • Suspension of legal proceedings during bankruptcy process.
  • Establishment of a public bankruptcy register.

Who does the Law apply to?

The Law applies to any natural person in the UAE (“Debtor”) excluding any natural person who is deemed to be a ‘trader’ under the Corporate Bankruptcy Law.

What are the options under the Law?

Unlike the Corporate Bankruptcy Law which had three routes (preventative composition, restructuring and liquidation), the Law has been simplified to follow two principle routes with the trigger for each being the amount of days the Debtor has failed to pay his/her debts.

1. Settlement Plan (less than 50 business days)

2. Insolvency/Liquidation (more than 50 business days)

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