Oman’s Labour Minister has issued Oman Ministerial Decision No. 301/2020. Under this Decision, a central council for administrative accountability will be established. The Decision also specifies the remit of its work and has been issued in line with Oman Sultani Decree No. 120/2004 and Oman Sultani Decree No. 89/2020. These Decisions specify the competences of the Labour Ministry and approve its structure. It has also been issued in line with Oman Decision No. 3/2017 on forming the central council for administrative accountability. Under the Decision, the council will consist of the Undersecretary of the Justice and Legal Affairs Ministry who will be the Chairman and the Undersecretary of the Labour Ministry for HR Development and the Undersecretary of the Transport, Telecommunications, and Information Technology Ministry.
The Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Abu Dhabi’s Global Market has announced it has signed a FinTech cooperation agreement with Israel’s Securities Authority. The agreement is a first in the region and provides a framework for information sharing and facilitating the movement of start-ups, knowledge and talent between the two countries. The two bodies will work together to promote economic growth in financial services by adopting new technology and boosting their respective FinTech sectors. The agreement will allow information on trends, services and products to be exchanged and facilitate the collaborative development of FinTech initiatives between the two bodies. Both jurisdictions will also work together on professional knowledge transfer, accelerator programmes and promote the development of relevant technologies, like digital payments and blockchain. The agreement will also allow FinTech start-ups to access information from the respective jurisdictions through a single point of contact.
The UAE’s Finance Ministry has announced all companies in the UAE which engage in any of the relevant activities under the Economic Substance Regulations have to submit a notification to the Regulatory Authority by 31 December 2020. This applies to those entities whose financial year ended on 31 December 2019. If they do not, they will face administrative penalties.
The Undersecretary to the Finance Ministry added the Ministry will launch the Economic Substance Regulations portal in the first week of December 2020. The aim of the portal is to simplify the process of submitting these reports and notifications by allowing companies to submit reports, notifications and supporting documents electronically.
To help affected companies prepare the necessary applications on the Portal, the Finance Ministry has published sample notification forms on its website and social media platforms. They have also published relevant guides and documents, and a notice regarding the submission requirements and deadlines.
Saudi Arabia’s Industry and Mineral Resources Ministry has announced it has published draft implementing regulations to the Mining Investment Law. They have launched a public consultation on them and this ends on 30 November. The Ministry will then review the proposals and feedback and make any appropriate changes. The announcement follows the report last week that the authorities are looking to accept new mining license applications next month.
Qatar’s Supreme Judicial Council has announced it has established new departments. The new departments will be part of the Court of Cassation and Court of Appeal and there will be two new appeal-hearing chambers. A new criminal department will be established in the Court of Cassation. There will also be a chamber to hear implementation disputes and a specialist department for reviewing pretrial appeals.
Oman’s Justice and Legal Affairs Ministry has announced it has launched an Oman Portal for International Agreements or Duwaly. It will provide agreements in Arabic and English. It is part of the Omani Government’s digital transformation plans and will make information about international agreements and treaties which have been signed by the Sultanate or which the Sultanate became party to under Sultani Decrees available. It includes around 600 treaties and includes information on the ratification and accession dates.
Kuwait’s Public Authority for Manpower has announced it has started receiving new applications to register SMES in line with the registration requirements in the decision for regulating SMEs. Applicants should be Kuwaiti nationals, younger than 45 and dedicate all their time to manage the project. Students and pensioners cannot apply. If there is a foreign partner in the business, their share should not be more than 20% of the total capital.
Bahrain’s Cabinet has approved exemptions to the Kingdom’s Labour Law. Players, coaches and members of technical, administrative, medical and arbitration teams of private bodies working in the youth and sports fields will be exempt from the Private Sector Labour Law. They will also be excluded from the remit of the Social Insurance Law as their clubs pay their insurance contributions. However, they will only be exempt if two draft laws to this effect are approved. The first draft law will replace Article 2(a) of Bahrain Law No. 36/2012 (the Private Sector Labour Law) and the second draft law will add Article 3(12) to Bahrain Decree-Law No. 24/1976 (the Social Insurance Law). The draft laws have been referred to the Legislative Authority to consider. The amendments were proposed by the Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the Ministerial Committee for Legal and Legislative Affairs.
The UAE’s Deputy Prime Minister, Presidential Affairs Minister and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department has issued a Decision to establish a specialist money laundering and tax evasion court. This is the first court of its kind in the country. It is part of the Department’s strategic priority to improve the litigation process and create a fair and just judicial system. It will support the continuous development of the Emirate’s judicial system and support the UAE’s efforts to tackle these crimes and prosecute perpetrators. A Decision to this effect has been issued by Sheikh Mansour. Abu Dhabi Decision No. 35/2020 will be part of the Abu Dhabi Criminal Court and appeals of the Court’s judgments will be heard by one of the Criminal Court’s Appeal Courts. The Undersecretary of the Judicial Department will issue the relevant decisions to implement it and anything which contradicts it will be revoked. It will be published in the Official Gazette and will come into force one after its publication.
The UAE’s Cabinet has approved amendments to the Law on Evidence in Civil and Commercial Transactions (Federal Law No. 10/1992). A Decree-Law has been issued to this effect.
It has been amended to allow more remote communication technologies to be used in evidence-related procedures and adopt digital signatures and documents. In addition, they aim to legitimise e-hearing minutes which document witness testimonies, as well as judicial decisions, signed notary documents and other related provisions.
The amendments will also enable-signatures and e-documents to be approved and treated as official documents.
They also approved a Federal Law to amend the law regulating the notary public profession (Federal Law No. 22/1991). The amendments include provisions related to regulating the notary public profession, like simplifying the evidence-giving process for all parties and enabling the use of e-transactions in all notary public procedures. They also aim to create memos and verify evidence of identity. In addition, they aim to enable the registration, signing and payment of fees electronically.
Documents will have to be created and saved electronically and will be kept confidential. They will not be able to be circulated, copied or deleted from the electronic system without permission from the relevant administration of the notary public at the Ministry.
The Justice Minister will issue the necessary decisions to enable the use of information technology in notary public work.
The aim is to help digitalise Government services by encouraging electronic means of litigation and notary public services without compromising confidentiality, speed and flexibility and ensure national information security regulations and policies, both Federally and at an individual Emirate level are complied with.