According to local newspaper reports, Kuwait’s Interior Minister has approved draft residency law amendments. The aim is to reduce the numbers of non-Kuwaitis employed in the country. The focus will be on skilled migrants rather than manual workers. There will also be limits on the number of foreign nationals recruited by companies each year and regulations based on their skills will be included. The legislation will be ready by October. It is part of efforts to reduce the numbers of expatriates in the country from 70 to 30%.
Oman’s Supreme Anti-Coronavirus Committee has called for the fines on those who don’t wear face masks to be increased from 20 Rials. It follows the Committee’s latest meeting. The suggestion was made by the Sultanate’s Transport Minister. He also called for the names of violators to be published and monitoring to be intensified.
According to sources in Dubai, bank guarantees could have to be provided by property management companies acting on behalf of homeowners associations. They could have to be provided for each of their projects. This could equate to 20% of the annual service charge budget for a building. It is envisaged as being similar to the escrow account developers have to maintain on all off plan projects. There has always been a provision for this type of guarantee but it has never been fully implemented before.
Oman’s Commerce and Industry Minister has issued a Ministerial Decision amending the classification of SMEs in the Sultanate. The aim is to take account of the classification of these establishments in other GCC states. It means these entities will be classified according to their workforce and revenue. Under the new classification, a micro establishment will have one to ten employees and its annual revenues will be less than 150,000 Rials. A small establishment will have 11 to 50 employees and an annual revenue of between 150,000 and 1,250,000 Rials. A medium establishment will have 51-150 employees and an annual revenue of between 1,250,000 and five million Rials.
Sources have confirmed Kuwait’s General Authority for Manpower is working on a number of decisions and reviewing old decisions related to regulating the labour market to increase the employment of nationals in the private sector. The sources said this will be achieved by replacing expatriate employees with national employees in many roles. The Authority is also working on setting a workflow for recruitment of foreign employees by increasing the restrictions. The Decisions have been sent to the board to review and approve.
Bahrain’s Cabinet has discussed amendments to the Kingdom’s Sports Dispute Resolution laws. The aim is to enable disputes related to athletes and technical and administrative staff at clubs as well as sports entities to ensure they are consistent with the Olympic Charter and FIFA laws. A memorandum on this subject was submitted by the Youth and Sports Affairs Minister and has been referred to the Ministerial Committee for Legal and Legislative Affairs.
Saudi Arabia’s Justice Minister has announced the Implementing Regulations to the Commercial Courts Law have been approved. The Regulations include various procedures and rules for the Kingdom’s commercial court system. They include controls for using the private sector and licensing technical opinions and expanding experts. They also set out procedures for grievances and objections to performance orders, raising appeals, defining judgments and decisions with or without pleadings, seeking reconsideration and denunciation, the length of consideration of uncomplicated cases, their procedures and the conditions and rules of collective lawsuits. The aim is to raise judicial quality in this area and ensure disputes can be adjudicated quicker. It is also aimed at consolidating the Kingdom’s commercial environment and providing better protection of commercial rights to attract more investment.
Qatar’s Interior Ministry has announced a relaxation of the requirement to register their national address for nationals and residents. The relaxation means nationals and residents who are abroad for education or treatment reasons and cannot return to the country because of the anti-Coronavirus measures being implemented worldwide. It means they will not be fined for submitting their national address details late. However, they will have to provide a certificate verifying this. Those who do not fall into this group will have to submit their national address details by 26 July.
Saudi Arabia’s Justice Ministry has launched a new e-litigation service as part of the Ministry’s digital transformation drive. On the first day it saw 7,200 written pleadings, 750 video conferencing hearings and 550 judgments. 1,050 of them were held in Jeddah and 450 in Mecca. Its procedural guide will be reviewed every month to resolve any issues. Among other things, the service enables the exchange of pleadings, submission of documents, remote hearings and proceedings, issuing of verdicts and copies of judgments and appeals to the higher court.
Bahrain’s Central Bank and Bahrain Bourse have launched a new service for Sukuk Murabaha for customers and banks to make the necessary liquidity and lending based on Islamic Sharia principles available. The aim is to enhance the capital market in the country. The Manager of the Banking Services Department at Bahrain’s Central Bank said these kinds of product give more variety of Islamic transactions and will help increase the depth of the market and Bahrain’s position as an Islamic banking centre.