x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Ask Ali: Car accident etiquette isn't all that complicated

Ali Al Saloom offers tips and advice for living and working in the UAE.

Dear Ali: Since I got my driving licence here in the UAE, I've been confused. If, God forbid, an accident occurs, should I move my car away from the road or do I have to stay in the car and not move? What would be the best and smart thing to do? FI, Al Ain

Dear FI: This question is a classic and it is what I call an "it depends" situation. You see, under the law, moving a car that was part of an accident is not allowed until a police officer arrives, or an officer from Saaed, a company that assists the police in such situations.

Of course, you need to wait at the scene for the police to identify the accident location and the damaged cars so they may draw a sketch for the accident report. However, if you are blocking the road or in a dangerous place, you simply have to move. This is really just common sense, especially if you are blocking a main road - move the car so it won't cause damage to other vehicles or anyone who is injured.

Make sure you and the person with whom you were in the accident agree on what happened before you move. If you rear-ended someone and it is your fault, then it would be clear to the officer what happened based on the condition of the cars, so it would not be a big issue if you moved. But if the situation is not clear, you will need witnesses to the accident, so it would be best to stay put. My advice would be not to move unless you are forced to do so, but if it is a straightforward accident then move the cars to a nearby car park and wait for the police to come.

Dear Ali: If an expat dies in the UAE, what is the procedure for probate in this case? TR, Sharjah

Dear TR: God forbid if such a sad incident happens. It is recommended for anyone to have their will written already while they are living or working in the UAE. Like other similar documents, this will have to be attested and certified by their embassy.

For the will to be accepted legally, you will have to go to your embassy, where you will be given what is called a "grant of representation", in which you nominate a trustee and an executor who will grant the validity and execution of the will. It should be signed by two witnesses who should not be the beneficiaries. Any properties or inherited money will be claimed through legal authorities in the country where they are based and handled through both the trust and the embassy of the expatriate.

Still, it is best to contact a lawyer and your own embassy to check the details, as each country's regulations differ, even in the different emirates' judicial courts in the UAE - some might have slightly different ways of accepting these documents.

Ali Al Saloom is a cultural adviser and public speaker from the UAE. Follow www.ask-ali.com to ask him a question and to find his guidebooks to the UAE, priced at Dh50.