MENA LEGAL Newsletters

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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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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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.

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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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