Qatar’s Cabinet has approved a draft law allowing some expatriates to obtain permanent residency. It is the first move of its kind in the GCC. Children of Qatari women married to non-Qataris, as well as expatriates who provide outstanding services to the country will be allowed to obtain permanent residency. If approved, the Interior Minister will be able to grant a permanent residency ID to a non-Qatari if they meet the conditions in the law.
Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa has ratified Bahrain Law No 27/2017 to regulate the Kingdom’s real estate sector. The Real Estate Sector Regulatory Law annuls Bahrain Decree-Law No. 21/1976 which regulates the vocation of property dealership. The provisions which regulate the ownership of apartments and tiers under Articles 814-843 of the Civil Law (Bahrain Decree-Law No. 19/2001). Finally Bahrain Law No. 28/2014 regarding property development has been annulled. The law supersedes any provisions which contradict the provisions of the associated law. The Prime Minister and each of the respective ministers will implement the law which comes into effect on the first day after six months from its publication date in the Official Gazette. The provisions of the first chapter of the law come into effect one month after its publication.
This week the spotlight is on the issuing of the new Tax Procedures Law in the UAE. Under Federal Law No. 7/2017 (which has not yet been Gazetted), the foundations for the tax system are laid out whilst the administration and collection of taxes processes are stipulated and the role of the Federal Tax Authority is defined. It also defines a clear set of common procedures and rules to be applied to all tax laws in the UAE, particularly VAT and excise tax laws. The law covers tax procedures, audits, objections, refunds, collection and obligations, including tax registration, tax-return preparation, submissions, payment and voluntary disclosure rules as well as tax evasion. It also lays out the penalties for non-compliance as well as clear appeal processes in line with international best practices. When it comes into force businesses will have to keep records for five years.
An unofficial translation of the Law can be accessed here: https://www.mof.gov.ae/en/lawsAndPolitics/govLaws/Pages/TAX.aspx. We are monitoring the legislative progress of this important development with our publishing Partners, SADER Legal Publishing and will provide updates as and when appropriate.
The UAE’s Cabinet has approved new draft child car seat regulations. The approval follows a suggestion from the Emirates Authority for Standardisation and Metrology. It aims to adhere to the highest standards and reduce accidents involving children. Drivers will have to provide child car seats for children under four.
Abu Dhabi’s Global Market has announced it is establishing an Arbitration Centre. It is expected to start operations in early 2018. The decision coincides with the decision of the International Commerce Chamber to open the first representative office in the Middle East in the Global Market by January 2018. The Centre will also offer training in settling disputes.
This week the spotlight is on legal and regulatory developments in Oman, where the Manpower Ministry and Central Bank have announced plans to introduce a Wages Protection System (WPS) for all private sector companies, with a trial phase to begin on 18 November 2017. The WPS aims at controlling the payment of wages by employers to ensure timely receipt of salaries by employees per the amounts agreed in their employment contracts. The programme comes as a result of implementation of Article 53 of the Labour Law imposing the obligation of depositing the employee’s salary through one of the locally approved banks. It is expected further details of the programme will be released closer to the start date. Employers in the private sector will soon be required to subscribe to the Wages Protection System for submission of their employees’ salaries through the Central Bank of Oman.
Elsewhere, Oman’s Sultan has approved a number of Sultani Decrees including Oman Sultani Decree No. 33/2017 approving the GCC Commercial Transactions Law. It will be published in the Official Gazette along with Oman Sultani Decree No. 34/2017 promulgating the Veterinarian Products Law which will apply to veterinarian products.
In September several AOL/DIFC trainings sessions are planned, but the "AOL Conference on DIFC Law" is a crucial one as it is the last opportunity to get your DIFC Mandatory Points for 2017.
AOL Conference on DIFC Law – September 11, 2017
Get up to 4 Mandatory CLPD Points!
6 Exciting topics to choose from: Arbitration Law, Damages Law, Employment Law, Companies Law, Law of Obligations and Court Law.
Register here: https://www.lexis.ae/events/aol-conference-difc-law/
UAE: Abu Dhabi’s Economic Development Department has announced the enforcement of amendments to its penalties regime
Abu Dhabi’s Economic Development Department has announced the enforcement of amendments to its penalties regime in line with Abu Dhabi Executive Council Decision No. 47/2017 on violations regarding businesses or establishments licenced for economic activities in line with Article 6 of Abu Dhabi Law No. 2/2009. The amendments follow repeated violations by establishments licenced for economic activities in the Emirate. The Department has called on all establishments to go through the amendments and comply with the relevant regulations to avoid penalties ranging from formal warnings and fines depending on the nature of the violation.
Qatar’s Emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani has issued a Decree-Law amending the 2004 Law on combating terrorism. It includes definitions of terrorists, crimes and terrorist acts and entities. It also contains provisions on the freezing of funds and terrorist financing. Two national lists of individuals and terrorist entities will be created. The procedures for who gets listed have also been laid out. In addition, relevant parties will be able to challenge a decision to list at the Court of Cassation.
This week the spotlight is on legal and regulatory developments in Bahrain, where the Kingdom’s Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) Bahrain has issued a new Resolution aimed at enhancing telecommunication security in the country. The Regulation on Critical Telecommunications Infrastructure Risk Management, Bahrain Decision No. 5/2017 has been published in the Official Gazette. The Authority intends to work with licensees to ensure certain telecom infrastructure is safeguarded and business continuity and disaster recovery plans are put in place. The Authority is also aiming to maintain essential telecommunication services in the light of threats, by imposing a minimum set of obligations on key telecommunications infrastructure owners and service providers. These obligations will introduce the necessary resilience and emergency planning measures required to mitigate the risks posed by the rising cyber threats critical telecommunications networks face on a daily basis. Finally the Authority will establish procedures for the reporting of data breaches to it.
Elsewhere Bahrain’s King, Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa has ratified and issued four laws including the Family Law (Bahrain Law No 19/2017). King Hamad also issued Bahrain Law No. 18/2017 on Penalties and Alternatives Measures and Bahrain Law No. 20/2017 approving the state general budget for the fiscal year 2017-2018. Finally he issued Bahrain Law No. 21/2017 amending Bahrain Decree-Law No. 15/1977 issuing development bonds.