Newsletters

  • UPDATE – Economic Substance Regulations in the UAE

    The UAE Government has revised the UAE Economic Substance Regulations (“ESR”) by issuing UAE Cabinet Resolution No. 57 of 2020 concerning Economic Substance and the updated guidance Ministerial Decision No. 100 of 2020 on the issuance of directives for the implementation of the provisions of the Cabinet Decision No. 57 of 2020 concerning Economic Substance Requirements (“the Regulations”). The Regulations require UAE onshore and free zone companies and certain other business forms that carry out any of the defined “Relevant Activities” listed to maintain and demonstrate an adequate “economic presence” in the UAE relative to the activities they undertake (“Economic Substance Test”). MENA LEGAL informed about the introduction of the ESR in our respective previous newsletters.

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  • Economic Substance Regulations in the UAE - Update

    The UAE Government has released the Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers No. (31) of 2019 concerning Economic Substance Regulations ("ESR") with effect from 30 April 2019 and furthermore on 11 September 2019, the UAE Ministry of Finance issued Ministrial Decision No. 215 of 2019 containing further guidance on how the ESR may be met.

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  • The New DIFC Data Protection Law

    The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) passed Data Protection Law DIFC Law No.1 of 2007 (Current Law) 13 years ago. The Current Law was amended by Data Protection Law Amendment Law, DIFC Law No.5 of 2012 and by DIFC Laws Amendment Law, DIFC Law No. 1 of 2018 and now replaced by the new Data Protection Law DIFC Law No. 5 of 2020 (New Law), which will come into effect from 1st July 2020. 

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  • What are the impacts from employment and immigration perspectives in the UAE?

    Note that according to the last statement of the Dubai Economy, all private sectors - with the exception of selected industries- are now requested to implement remote – work schemes for at least 80% of their workforce for a period of 2 weeks renewable.

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  • Economic Substance Regulations in the UAE

    The UAE Government has released the Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers No. (31) for 2019 concerning Economic Substance Regulations ("ESR") with effect from 30 April 2019. The Resolution requires that UAE entities carrying on specific categories of licensed activities in the UAE satisfy prescribed economic substance criteria and report annually on compliance.

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  • UAE Cabinet approves economic activities eligible for up to 100% foreign ownership

    The news alert covered also the intention of the Cabinet to issue a positive list, which will contain the eligible economic activities and industries. Before the FDI law, 100 percent ownership of business was possible only in the designated business zones known as Free zones.

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  • DMCC implements new set of rules for ease of doing business

    Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) is a Free Zone and Government of Dubai Authority with focus on commodities trade and enterprise. 
     
    Since its establishment in 2002 the ease of doing business has been at the heart of DMCC's offering.

    The new regulations will be effective as of January 2, 2020 and will update DMCC's existing company law framework, providing greater flexibility and ease of operations for businesses registered within DMCC and increasing the remit of their activities. The new regulations also make it easier to set up a company in DMCC.

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  • The New UAE Product Safety Law

    A new Federal Law on product safety has been published in the UAE Official Gazette and will come into force in July 2019. This new law aims to ensure the safety of products supplied in the UAE and to facilitate trade between the UAE and international markets and is part of the UAE’s wider legal framework including the Food Safety Law and the Consumer Protection Law.

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  • New Employment Law In The DIFC

    The Dubai International Financial Centre Authority (“DIFCA”) has recently enacted a new DIFC Employment Law (the “New Law” or “Law”), which replaced the DIFC Employment Law (Law  No. 4 of 2005), as amended by Law No. 3 of 2012 (the “Previous Law”) in its’ entirety and will enter into force on 28th August 2019. Much of the structure and contents of the Previous Law is retained but in a number of instances existing principles were expanded or refined and would have to be considered for existing and new employment contracts. 

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  • Introduction of VAT in the GCC

    It has been officially confirmed that the UAE will implement VAT at the rate of 5% on 1st January 2018.

    Other GCC countries may do so at the same time or by 1st January 2019, at the latest. It is now understood that the six GCC countries have now all signed the VAT agreement paving the way for VAT introduction across the GCC in 2018.  The next steps are for local implementation laws to be agreed in each country. Businesses with operations in the GCC countries of the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman, and Kuwait will all be affected.

  • Is Crypto Currency Halal?

    The European Central Bank explains virtual currency as a “digital representation of value that is neither issued by central bank or a public authority, nor necessarily attached to a fiat money or currency, but is accepted by natural or legal persons as a means of payment and can be transferred, stored or traded electronically”. Examples for virtual currencies include non-cryptocurrencies (e.g. in-game credits) and crypto currencies such as Bitcoin, Litecoin, Stellar and many more.

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  • Implementation date for the issuance of long-term visa announced

    As part of the resolution in May 2018, and subsequent to the UAE Cabinet’s approval of the comprehensive long-term visa system for investors, entrepreneurs, specialised talents and outstanding students in November 2018 - also covered in our November news alert - the implementation date has now been announced as February 3, 2019 along with the formation of two committees to evaluate eligible candidates.

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  • Requirement of an Annual General Assembly Meeting

    The compliance requirements under UAE laws have reached new standards since the entry into force of the new UAE Federal Commercial Company Law No. 2 of 2015 as well as the VAT Decree-Law No. 8 of 2017, the Tax Procedures Law No. 7 of 2017 and the UAE Federal Bankruptcy Law No. 9 of 2016 In the past these aspects were disregarded by most companies and the absence or rarity of sanctions from the Ministry of Economy or the Ministry of Finance made various of the legal requirements subject of this newsletter relevant for those companies with more than one shareholder. 

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  • The Foreign Direct Investment law and associated sector list

    In our news alert dated 21st of May 2018, we announced the decision of the Cabinet to draft a federal law on the 100 % foreign ownership of UAE- based enterprises. Within 4 months the UAE government drafted and enforced the Federal Law by Decree No. (19) of 2018 regarding Foreign Direct Investment (FDI law). This law outlines, among other considerations, the framework under which it will be possible, in the near future, to establish a 100% foreign owned enterprise in the UAE.

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  • Video & Radio Interview with Celine Farhat, MENA LEGAL Consultant in Dubai business registration opportunities for investors

    Vivre a Dubai: s'expatrier a Dubai, s'implanter a Dubai, investir a Dubai [2014]

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    Céline Farhat, une Française à Dubaï [2014]

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  • Cabinet’s approval on long term visa system for UAE residents

    The decision of the Cabinet follows the previous decision approved earlier this year to grant investors ten-year residency visa, as well as to grant residency visas of up to 10 years for specialists in the medical, scientific, research and technical fields, and for scientists and creative talents of culture and arts. The visa benefits also include the spouse and the children to ensure a cohesive family and social structure and to create a stimulating environment for stability and growth.

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  • Abu Dhabi court introduces compulsory translation

    The Abu Dhabi Judicial Department (ADJD) has announced the initiation of procedures that oblige the plaintiff in the civil and commercial cases to translate the case documents into English, in case the defendant is a foreigner.

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  • The new DIFC Companies Law

    On 12th November 2018 the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) enforced the new Companies Law (Law or New Law) with the objective to promote better shareholder and creditor protection and adapt the international best practice and comparable models by introducing a new classification of companies. The law intends to provide greater certainty and flexibility for companies.

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  • Cryptomania in Africa

    Through its cooperation offices in Morocco, Egypt, Seychelles, Mauritius and South Africa, MENA LEGAL is specialized in providing consulting services for the benefit of our clients interested in investing in the African markets.

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  • UAE plans ICO Regulations for 2019

    The UAE Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA) recently announced that its Board of Directors has approved a plan to regulate initial coin offerings (ICOs) and recognize them as securities, which will allow companies to issue crypto tokens instead of shares. The regulation is expected to be in place in the first half of 2019. The proposed framework will regulate crypto-asset activities, including ICOs, exchanges, and other intermediaries, and will cover key risks such as anti-money-laundering and counter-terrorist financing, consumer protection, technology governance, and safe custody.

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  • Regulation Of Crypto Asset Activities In Abu Dhabi

    The Financial Services Regulatory Authority ("FSRA") issued on 25th June 2018 a guidance to the regulation of crypto asset activities in Abu Dhabi Global Market ("ADGM"). It should be read in conjunction with the Financial Services and Markets Regulations 2015 ("FSMR"), the relevant Rulebooks of the FSRA and the FSRA's Guidance & Policies Manual and its 'Guidance – Regulation of Initial Coin/Token Offerings (ICOs) and Crypto Assets under the FSMR ("ICO Guidance").

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  • How Blockchain And Cryptocurrencies Conquer The Sports Industry

    The terms “blockchain” and “cryptocurrencies” are nowadays very common in the daily business and the awareness and interest of the society is substantially growing. Thus, also the sports industry has detected the utility of fintech and the plans to implement its instruments for their purposes are present.

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  • UAE Cabinet approves new rule for retired expats

    On September 16th, 2018 the UAE Cabinet has approved a law to implement special residency visa privileges for expats retirees provided the requirements are met.

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  • Implementation of VAT in GCC countries up from 2018

    It has been officially confirmed that the UAE will implement VAT at the rate of 5% on 1st January 2018.

    Other GCC countries may do so at the same time or by 1st January 2019, at the latest. It is now understood that the six GCC countries have now all signed the VAT agreement paving the way for VAT introduction across the GCC in 2018. The next steps are for local implementation laws to be agreed in each country. Businesses with operations in the GCC countries of the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait and Qatar will all be affected.

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  • U.A.E. - Long Awaited new legal framework for non-Muslims to create Wills

    In his capacity as Ruler of Dubai, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum issued end of October Law No. (15) of 2017 regulating inheritance, wills and probate for non-Muslims. The Law hasn’t been published yet. Pursuant to the law, any non-Muslim who will register at Dubai Courts or DIFC Courts prior to this Law remains valid.

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  • BITCOIN on the radar of UAE Government and UAE Central Bank

    Certainly, bitcoin and blockchain appear to be on the radar of the UAE Government and the UAE Central Bank. The UAE Central Bank and Dubai Supreme Legislative Committee are considering the legal status of bitcoin and may issue regulations in which bitcoin is clearly treated as a form of currency and permitted to be used as such in the UAE. The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) is gathering these days to discuss the regulations of the cryptocurrency within the DIFC. However, the authorities in the UAE are not reaching consensus on their views of this subject which is leading to some confusion.

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  • UAE – Corporate – 100% Ownership of Companies

    This morning, 21 May 2018, and as expected since few months, the UAE Federal Government Cabinet, executive branch of the UAE Federation in charge, among other duties, to draft and prepare federal laws and submit them to the Federal National Council, announced a still vague decision allowing 100% ownership of UAE-based enterprises for international investors. It seems that it relates to the current obligation for foreign companies to establish UAE companies with a UAE national holding a certain percentage of the shares in the concerned company.

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  • EU Data Protection Regulation Implication

    The new European Union (EU) General Data Protection Regulation (the "GDPR" or the "New Regulations") adopted by the 28 EU members will take effect on 25th May 2018 and impose major changes to the way data is collected and processed by companies, including those companies located outside the EU but that happen to process personal data of data subjects residing in the EU.

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