Jordan’s Securities Commission has announced it has started work to ensure the Securities Law can be implemented. The Commission is issuing and updating its legislation to ensure it complies with the 2017 Securities Law. They are also drafting governance rules for public companies and companies subject to the Commission’s control. This includes financial service companies. They are looking at investor protection regulations as well as rules on public possession and rules for mutual funds and companies. Solvency standards for financial service companies, the licensing of these companies and the professional accreditation of certified persons are also being considered. In addition, a regulation to transfer the regulatory and supervisory powers provided for under the Companies Law regarding Public Shareholding Companies and Private Shareholding Companies to the Commission and the instructions for licensing the securities trading market alongside conditions and requirements for the financial market to self-list are under review. Finally amendments to the disclosure instructions are being considered.
If your company has documentation that needs to be legalised by Qatari embassies in the KSA, UAE, or Bahrain for use in Qatar, or vice versa, it is advisable these documents are drafted and legalised as soon as possible.
Is your business dependent on imported goods? It could be the case that those goods are stuck at the Saudi border. This would be a suitable time to review your contractual and commercial arrangements to assess risks and consider alternatives.
Are you a Qatari company with Saudi, Emirati, or Bahrain authorised signatories? A prudent measure would be to add another authorised signatory from another nationality to ensure business continuity amidst the row.
Are you travelling to/from Qatar? There are reports of border closures affecting land, air and sea routes between the KSA, UAE, or Bahrain and Qatar, and airline bans have resulted in a level of interruption for travellers to and from Qatar. You may consider flying via a different country/airlines.
For more information contact Mahmoud Abuwasel, firstname.lastname@example.org
Underscoring its commitment to develop the UAE’s next generation of legal professionals, the DIFC Academy of Law (AOL) has launched an annual Scholarship Programme for the country’s most promising law students. The first recipients are eight undergraduates from four law schools, with each awarded AED10,000 for tuition by the AOL, and a USD$500 award for textbooks from LexisNexis.
The winning students were selected from Ajman University, American University in the Emirates, University of Sharjah, and Saint Joseph University in Dubai. The Academy of Law’s Learning & Development Advisory Board, which comprises senior officials from AOL, the Government of Dubai Legal Affairs Department (LAD), LexisNexis, legal firm Stephenson Harwood, and DIFC Courts, deliberated over finalists and chose winners based on appropriate criteria.
Abed Ahmed Shaikh, a student from Saudi Arabia studying at the University of Sharjah, said: “I am hugely grateful to AOL and LexisNexis for awarding me this scholarship. These programmes are critical in providing people like myself with opportunities to continue pursuing education, and has motivated me to reach the top of the UAE’s legal sector. This award made my family proud and will help me to achieve my future goals, Insha’Allah.”
Each winning student demonstrated a strong Grade Point Average (GPA), clear commitment to advancing the global legal system, and requirement for financial support with their education. The winners for the 2017 Scholarship Programme includes five females and three males from a range of countries, including two UAE nationals.
David Gallo, Director, AOL, said: “The AOL is delighted to collaborate with LexisNexis on developing the ecosystem of legal education in the UAE in line with global standards. Ensuring students have access to world-class learning resources is a key undertaking of the Academy, and fundamental to our mission to create an international centre of legal excellence in the UAE. To achieve this goal, we are encouraging undergraduates to pursue jurisdictional knowledge in both civil and common law, using these scholarships as a platform to help broaden and hone their skills within these systems.”
The AOL will coordinate with the university faculty of each winning student to ensure that scholarship funds and the books fund are transferred for the academic year commencing September 2017.
HE Justice Shamlan Al Sawalehi of the DIFC Courts, added: “While this programme is about providing high-achieving undergraduates with access to the best education, it is also about ensuring they can benefit fully from the career opportunities offered by the UAE’s twin legal system. The teams at the AOL and the DIFC Courts will always be available to engage in discussions with students to help them as their careers progress.”
Hussain Hadi, Director, LexisNexis Middle East, said: “This partnership with the AOL reinforces our commitment to support and fill any gaps in legal education, as well as arming students with the research tools they need to be comparative lawyers. These individuals have earned their scholarships through hard work, dedication and passion, and LexisNexis is proud to help them along their journey to become successful lawyers that will help shape the UAE’s legal landscape over the coming years.”
Saudi Arabia’s Council of Ministers has approved new power regulations to expand the Saudi Water and Electricity Company’s (WEC) remit. The amendments mean WEC, as the Kingdom’s main water buyer, will be able to purchase desalinated, purified, treated and untreated water. The aim is boost water and electricity distribution in the country.
Saudi Arabia’s General Authority for Zakat and Tax (GAZT) has launched a public consultation on the draft VAT Law
Saudi Arabia’s General Authority for Zakat and Tax (GAZT) has launched a public consultation on the draft VAT Law, which is going to be introduced in the Kingdom on 1 January 2018. The consultation ends on 29 June 2017. The consultation will allow members of the public and businesses to provide feedback before the final law is sent for final approval. The consultation comes after the Gulf Cooperation Council announced the ratification of the unified framework agreement to introduce VAT.
Qatar’s Shoura Council has approved a draft law determining the qualifications and role of experts, who are often used by the courts, Ministries and Government institutions for their opinion on litigation and disputes. A new Experts Department will be established at the Justice Ministry to regulate their work in courts and different Government departments. Experts will have to register with the Ministry to get accredited and licensed before they can practice. A special committee which will supervise and organise their work will be able to suspend or disqualify them if they are investigating complaints against them. Experts will have to keep all the information they obtain during their work confidential and should not have relationships with any of the disputed parties in the cases they are handling. In addition they cannot be involved in a case if the company they work for is part of the dispute and must always improve their skills in their field of expertise and be up to date with professional developments. Experts in medical science, engineering, finance, banking and real estate, amongst others will be covered by the law.
Qatar’s Cabinet has called for a draft law specifying regulations for economic zones in the country to be issued. The call follows a review by the Council of Ministers of the Advisory Council’s recommendations regarding the law. If approved, the Council of Ministers, following a proposal from the board of directors of the Economic Zones Company (Manateq) will be able to establish one or more economic zones. All types of companies, partnership contracts or other legal entities, owned by one or more natural or legal persons will be able to be established in the zone. It will not matter if they are foreigners or nationals. They will be exempt from having to obtain any other licence, approval, permission or registration in the country. They will also be free to transfer any of their capital, income, profits or investments outside the State without restrictions. The Cabinet has also approved the application of Qatar Decree-Law No 16/2010 on electronic transactions and commerce to real estate transactions and documentation.
The Deputy Chairman of Oman’s Shoura Council, Mohammed Al Ghassani has suggested Oman is considering plans to allow foreigners to buy property outside of integrated tourism complexes if they meet certain conditions. The aim would be to boost the housing market and the economy. Foreigners can currently only buy property in defined tourism communities.
This week the spotlight is on legal and regulatory developments in the UAE, where the Chairwoman of the Social Affairs, Work, Residents and Human Resources Committee at the Federal Supreme Council, Azza Suliman has announced the most prominent features of the new federal law related to supporting domestic workers. Suliman confirmed the workers will get one day a week holiday and will have the right to keep their official documents like passports. They will also be given daily rest breaks and will be entitled to 30 days leave. Suliman added the committee has proposed a new insurance system against injuries which may be sustained by supporting workers.
Elsewhere, the Chairman of the board of directors of the Emirates Authority for Standardisation and Metrology, Rashid Ahmed Bin Fahd has confirmed the UAE will begin limiting the percentage of dangerous substances used in the assembling of electronic and electoral devices early next year. Fahd added the Council of Ministers has issued a binding Decision related to the supervision of the percentage of dangerous substances in these devices. The Decision requests importers of these devices to consider the new standards which should be followed in the making of these devices. Administrative Decision No. 10/2017 encourages the clean manufacturing and the use of less harmful chemical substances.
Egypt’s Government is considering new social media curbs. If approved, users in the country would have to register with the Government to access social media sites including Twitter and Facebook. If their registration was successful they would receive a login which would be linked to their national ID. Unauthorised use of social media could result in violators being jailed and fined.