Bahrain’s Cabinet has approved a Financial Action Task Force-compliant real estate Decision. The Decision defines the anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing procedure obligations of licensees in the real estate sector. The aim is to ensure they comply with the highest international practices, rules and standards. It has also been issued in line with recommendation from the Ministerial Committee for Legal and Legislative Affairs. The Cabinet also approved the National Risk Assessment Report and the Interim Action Plan for Combating Money Laundering and the Financing of Terrorism and instructed all Ministries to enhance compliance with Financial Action Task Force standards and recommendations.
Saudi Arabia’s Labour and Social Development Minister has issued a Decision to Saudise management and specialist jobs in the hospitality sector. It is expected to come into force on 29 December 2019. The Decision means 100% of reservation, purchase, marketing and front desk roles in three, four and five-star hotels, resorts, hotel suites and villas with a four-star or higher rating have to be filled by Saudi nationals. However, the Saudisation requirement does not apply to bellboy, parking valets, drivers or doormen roles. In addition, food and beverages supervisors, room service supervisors, event section supervisors and laundry supervisors should have at least one Saudi employee. At least 70% of sales manager and events and conference sales manager roles must also be filled by Saudi nationals.
Oman’s Ministry of Manpower has extended the temporary ban on hiring expats to four more professions in the private sector as part of the Omanisation strategy. The ban will be extended for another six months starting from 5 August 2019 and will be extended to certain professions in the fields of IT, accounting and finance, sales and marketing, management and human resources, insurance, media, the medical profession, airports, engineering, and roles that involve technicians. The ban was specified in Oman Ministerial Decision No. 73/2019.
The UAE has a new work permit which allows men sponsored by a family member to work. While the General Directorate of Foreign Residency Affairs has previously allowed women working in professional jobs to sponsor their husband on a dependent visa, the husbands were not legally allowed to work. As a result women who had jobs in these categories often ended up living alone as sponsoring husbands who could not work was often an additional financial burden. This now looks likely to change.
The Kuwait Fire Service Directorate (KFSD), Public Security Sector and Environment Public Authority have launched an inspection campaign to identify those violating safety regulations in the Qurain Market area. A number of warnings have been issued during the campaign, after violations of public safety were discovered in public markets and restaurants. Decisions will be issued to close down places where these violations could lead to serious dangers.
Kuwait plans to issue multiple entry visas to nearly 400 Iraqi businessmen following an agreement between the two countries, according to the Minister of Commerce and Industry and State Minister of Services Affairs Khalid Al-Roudhan. A special committee has been formed with Iraqi officials called the ‘White List’, and its activities will include issuing multiple entry visas to nearly 400 Iraqi businessmen. The plan is to have free markets operating between Kuwait and Iraq and discussions have reached an advanced stage in this area.
Egypt’s Prime Minister has promulgated executive regulations for the National Press Authority Law, Egypt Law No. 179/2018. These regulations revoke the second part of the executive regulation of the Institutional Press and Information Regulation, Egypt Law No. 92/2016, and repeal anything which contravenes them. As a result of these developments, the National Press Authority will administer national press institutions, create a comprehensive inventory of all the press and national institutions, and establish a mechanism for monitoring and evaluating economic and other performance indicators for the national press. This Authority will also have a role in dispute settlement, training, pricing, and licensing of new media outlets.
Salary and not job title is now the basis for residence visa applications for both male and female expats wanting to sponsor family members in the UAE, the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (FAIC) has clarified. Some women had been told by authorities in Dubai that only certain professions were eligible to sponsor their families. An FAIC spokesperson has now stated all expats male or female can now sponsor their spouse or children, provided they earn a monthly salary of 4,000 AED or at least 3,000 AED and have accommodation supplied by their employer. A FAIC official explained that the reason for the confusion was that a government website still states the previous requirements because it has not been updated yet.
According to reports, the Dubai Municipality is going to delay the introduction of compulsory calorie information on menus in the Emirate. In May, a Circular was issued to all food outlets requiring this information to be shown which would have made Dubai the first Emirate to do so. The Municipality has decided to make displaying the information optional for the next two years and then make a Decision.
Saudi Arabia’s Cabinet has approved a Decision allowing shops and restaurants to open 24 hours a day. The Decision has prompted confusion over whether shops will have to close five times a day for daily prayers. Entities wanting to open for 24 hours a day will also have to pay a fee to do so. The Municipal and Rural Affairs Ministry will set the fee and state which activities can benefit from the Decision.