Saudi Arabia’s Commerce and Investment Ministry has called on the public and interested parties to give their feedback on draft Implementing Regulations to the Kingdom’s Commercial Franchise Law by 20 February 2020. The Ministry said the Regulations aim to encourage franchise businesses and set strong foundations for their activities. It also aims to ensure details about the rights, duties, and risks related to each opportunity are properly disclosed.
Five Kuwaiti MPs have proposed amending the procedural law by adding new articles to the Civil and Commercial Law issued by Kuwait Decree-Law No 38/1980. The MPs want to make changes to regulate disputes involving judges and members of the public prosecution office by adding a new chapter. The aim is to set the situations in which a judge or a member of the prosecution office can be disputed and the deadlines to be met.
Dubai Tourism and Commerce Marketing has issued directives, which among things, state developers and owners association in the Emirate cannot stop licensed holiday home operators from accessing their buildings or communities. Dubai Tourism and Commerce Marketing is responsible for licensing holiday homes. The new rules also apply to facility management firms who operate on behalf of developers or owners associations in maintaining buildings.
Qatar’s Emir has issued amendments to the country’s Penal Code. Under the amendments, anyone who broadcasts, publishes, or re-publishes rumours, fake news, or biased news, locally or abroad, with the intent to harm national interests, stir up public opinion, or infringe on social harmony or public order will be jailed. Biased broadcasting or publication will be jailed for up to five years and fined 100,000 Riyals. The amendments have been published in the Official Gazette.
Qatar’s Prime Minister and Interior Minister has issued Qatar Decision No. 95/2019 on controls and procedures for the exit of some categories of expatriates who are not subject to the Labour Law. The Decision allows expatriates to exit the country during the validity of their work contract. It applies to workers in Ministries and other Government agencies as well as public bodies and institutions. In addition, it applies to those in the oil and gas sector, maritime industries, agriculture and grazing, domestic and private office workers. An employer has the right to submit a request to the Interior Ministry with the names of those who may require approval before they leave the country because of the nature of their work, up to 5% of the number of their employees. Domestic workers should inform their employer at least 72 hours before they want to leave.
The Rapporteur of the Educational Affairs Committee of Kuwait’s National Assembly has announced the Committee has discussed amendments to the Audiovisual and Publication Laws. The amendments being considered relate to the penalties under both laws. If they are approved, those who violate either law will not be jailed. The Committee also discussed a draft law on media protections for young people and is waiting to get feedback on the Government.
The Head of Bahrain’s Execution Court has announced it is going to expedite procedures in the Court. The Courts have been split to hear different cases and enable them to provide more effective e-services. The number of Execution Court judges have also been increased from six to eight. The changes have been introduced together with the Supreme Judicial Council and the Justice, Islamic Affairs and Endowments Ministry. Private firms will also be able to act as legal notaries if they are licensed.
According to local newspaper reports, Kuwait’s Social Affairs Minister has presented a draft law to allow the children of Kuwaiti female nationals and non-Kuwaiti men to receive social assistance. It has been referred to the Fatwa and Legislation Department to consider. The aim is to improve their living conditions and create a more equal system.
Qatar’s Financial Centre Regulatory Authority is understood to have banned crypto currency trading although no official announcement has been made. The ban apparently applies to ‘anything of value that acts as a substitute for currency, that can be digitally traded or transferred and can be used for payment or investment purposes’. However, digital forms of securities or any other financial instrument under the remit of the Authority, the Qatar Central Bank or the Qatar Financial Markets Authority, will apparently still be allowed.
Saudi Arabia’s King has issued a Royal Decree to amend the tax objection procedures for income tax, excise tax and VAT. The Decree states ‘Anyone against whom a decision has been issued by the commission may object to it in accordance with the provisions of the work rules of the committees for adjudication of tax violations and disputes’. It applies to Article 66(a) of the Income Tax Law, Article 49 of the VAT Law and Article 27 of the Excise Tax Law. The Deputy Prime Minister, Ministers and heads of relevant independent bodies have been instructed to implement it as appropriate.