The Financial and Economic Committee of Kuwait’s Parliament has approved the amendments to the Tenders Law. Under the amendments, the National Fund for Small and Medium Enterprise Development’s will join the board of directors of the Central Agency for Public Tenders. Membership terms and grievance periods are also laid out. It will receive its second reading next week.
Saudi Arabia’s Labour and Social Development Ministry has announced the midday working ban in the Kingdom will start on Saturday this week. The Ministry has stressed all private sector companies must comply with the ban which runs until 15 September. It means affected workers cannot work between 12pm and 3pm. However, the Ministry also said there are certain exemptions from this ban including those working in the oil and gas industry and emergency maintenance workers. The necessary procedures should be followed to protect these workers.
The Head of the Conservation and Energy Efficiency Department at Qatar’s General Electricity and Water Corporation (Kahramaa) has announced new regulations to the Tarsheed law are expected to be issued by the end of this year. The aim is to make air conditioners and other electric home appliances more energy efficient. If approved, the energy efficiency ratio of split unit air-conditioners will be increased from the existing 9.5 to 10.5. The move is part of the National Programme for Conservation and Energy Efficiency which is aiming to reduce electricity consumption by 6% per capita, water by 10% and carbon footprints by 7% by the end of 2022.
Bahrain’s Cabinet has approved draft amendments to the Commercial Companies Law promulgated by Bahrain Decree-Law No. 21/2001 proposed by Parliament, following a recommendation from the Ministerial Committee for Legal and Legislative Affairs. The amendment will facilitate procedures for attending General Assembly meetings on behalf of partners using special power of attorney, without having to be authenticated by the relevant authorities.
According to local newspaper reports, Saudi Arabian authorities have established a joint committee with the UK to introduce a visa-free document to allow Neom investors and employees to move freely between several Red Sea countries including Egypt and Jordan. Holders of this document will also be exempt from specific Saudi legislation. In addition, those who have this document will have visas and residency rights.
The UAE’s Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship has announced it has issued the first golden residence permit in Abu Dhabi. The issuing of the visa follows the issuing of Cabinet Decision No. 56/2018 on permanent residence for investors. The Authority said it had started a communication programme with investors in the country who are eligible for this residence permit to make them aware of the new law and explain the benefits.
The Undersecretary of Kuwait’s Health Ministry has asked all assistants, departments, health zone and hospital directors to list the employees authorised to work overtime, the work they do and how much they get paid. The aim is to ensure proper systems are in place for overtime and prevent profiteering. Overtime must also be approved by the Undersecretary and social media guidelines are also being drafted. Anyone who violates the guidelines will be punished.
Oman’s Manpower Ministry has announced a professional visa ban for sales and marketing professionals has been introduced. The ban is contained in Oman Decision No. 268/2019 and means the visa ban will continue for another six months from 31 May. It will not apply to visa renewals but will apply to new visa applications.
Foreign nationals seeking employment in Qatar in select professions, including Project Coordinators and General Supervisors, must now have a degree certificate to support their immigration process, even though it was previously not required. In addition to a degree certificate which must be legalised, the affected individuals must support their application with a transcript and university verification letters attested by Qatari consular post in the country of issue of a document.
Saudi Arabia’s Cabinet has approved a new Tobacco License Regulation which will mean cafes and restaurants in the Kingdom will have to pay up to 100,000 Riyals annually to sell tobacco products in their premises and outside them. It is the latest move to tackle smoking in the Kingdom. The Kingdom has signed up to the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control which aims to reduce smoking rates from 12.7 to 5% by 2030.