Kuwait’s Social Affairs Ministry has announced a new Nurseries department will be established in the Ministry to manage and deal with the burgeoning number of nurseries in the country. The Deputy Undersecretary of Social Development and Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Family Affairs has said no new licenses will be issued until the new department is established. In addition, when a new license is issued new rules will be added or amended. A Ministerial Decision to this effect has recently been issued and was approved by the Civil Service Committee. Originally the Education Ministry was going to have responsibility for nurseries under a Decision but this was rejected. Under the new Decision, the Mother and Childhood Department will be replaced.
Kuwait’s Health Minister has announced a technical committee has been established to review patient safety procedures involving the use of anaesthetics during surgery and dental procedures. The announcement was made in a Ministerial Decision. It follows the death of a child at a dental clinic after they were given local anaesthetic during treatment. The committee will be led by the Ministry’s Undersecretary for technical affairs as well as the chairman of the anaesthesia departments’ council, the head of the anaesthesia college at Kuwait’s Institute for Medical Specialities, the director of quality and approval, the director of drugs registration and supervision, the director of dental medicine department and a senior legal specialist. It will review procedures and local and general anaesthetic policies in hospitals, specialist centres and clinics and will follow new internationals standards in anaesthesia. It will have one month to complete its work and will then submit a report with its findings and recommendations to the Health Minister.
Oman’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry has organised a workshop to address the importance of establishing a special economic zone in the Governorate of Musandam. The workshop considered the exceptional business environment of this governorate and looked at required incentives for activating economic activities and mechanism for creating more opportunities for job seekers. The initial suggestions provided by the majority of participants included the need for establishing free markets, commercial spaces, technology parks and other activities under the umbrella of the proposed special economic zone.
Saudi Arabia’s Public Prosecutor has announced the first female Public Prosecution Investigators have been appointed. The Public Prosecutor made the announcement at their headquarters. More women are expected to be appointed as public prosecution investigations soon. These employees will have to undertake a full-year diploma course in criminology which includes academic studies and training in the relevant field. They will also have to visit agencies engaged in collecting evidence like forensic experts to find out more about these aspects of the cases.
According to international media reports, a special judicial committee will be established to hear legal claims involving Meydan. Meydan is a Government-owned developer. The media reports went on to say the Government suspended all claims against Meydan City Corporation in June as well as its subsidiaries and associated entities. According to the reports, Government insiders have said the Committee could be established this month and will hear and resolve all pending claims against Meydan in two years. It is estimated there are 40 claims to be heard.
The DIFC has announced it has introduced an Employee Workplace Savings scheme. It will come into force in January 2020. Under the scheme, end-of-service benefits in the Centre will migrate from a defined benefit to a funded contribution plan. Employers will be able to opt-out of the scheme in certain circumstances, provided they have been provided with a qualifying alternative scheme certificate by the DIFC Registrar of Companies. The guidelines on this will be provided after 15 September.
A global trust services provider, Equiom will be the master trustee of the scheme, while Zurich Middle East has been appointed scheme administrator. Zurich will be assisted by Mercer as an investment adviser and Smart Pension as a technology services provider.
Ahead of the rollout a DEWS Supervisory Board will be established and its members will be representatives from the DIFC Authority, employer and employee representatives and non-affiliated individuals.
The Board will settle the DEWS trust and the scheme rules with the chosen service providers and oversee the continuing governance and commercial aspects of the scheme which are not subject to regulatory supervision. The regulatory aspects of the master trustee and scheme administrator’s duties will be overseen by the Dubai Financial Services Authority
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.