Dubai’s Crown Prince and Executive Council Chairman, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has issued a Decision to regulate the rental of buses, trucks, recreational vehicles, motorcycles and bicycles in the Emirate. It also aims to regulate the transporting of passengers, goods, valuables, packages, food and furniture by specialist companies. It applies to all relevant entities in Dubai, including those based in special development zones, free zones and the Dubai International Financial Centre. The Decision will be published in the Official Gazette and will come into effect 60 days after it has been published.
The UAE’s Finance Ministry has confirmed certain financial services, residential properties, bare land and local passenger transport will be exempt from VAT. The UAE is set to implement 5% VAT on 1 January 2018. Supplies, including sales or leases, of commercial properties will be taxable at the standard VAT rate of 5% percent but supplies of residential properties will generally be exempt from VAT. In addition, the first supply of newly-constructed residential properties within 3 years of their completion will be zero-rated for VAT purposes. VAT will also be charged at 0% for exports of goods and services outside the GCC and international transportation and related supplies. Supplies of certain sea, air and land transportation (like aircrafts and ships), certain investment grade precious metals (like gold or silver which reach 99% purity), supply of certain education services and supply of relevant goods and services and supply of certain healthcare services and supply of relevant goods and services will be taxed at 0%.
LexisNexis and the DIFC Academy of Law are pleased to announce the launch of a new series of courses that bridge the gap between the civil law and common law systems that co-exist in the UAE.
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CONCEPT: The UAE Civil code is a fundamental cornerstone of the legal system. This practical course will guide you through Federal Law No. 5/1985 Promulgating the Civil Transactions Law of the United Arab Emirates and provide case studies and examples from expert practitioners.
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This week the spotlight is on the continuing fallout between Qatar and its GCC neighbours, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the UAE and Egypt. Qatar’s Attorney General, HE Dr Ali bin Fetais al Marri has announced a committee to pursue compensation for damages resulting from Qatar’s isolation by Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE has been established. The Compensation Claims Committee will handle claims by private companies, including major firms like Qatar Airways, public institutions and individuals. The committee will use domestic and international tools to obtain compensation and will hire overseas law firms to handle claims. It will receive all types of complaints, grievances and requests relating to the country’s isolation which started on 5 June 2017. It will be the sole committee following up cases brought by individuals, private and public companies, state institutions, banks, national carrier company and other parties affected. The Foreign Affairs and Justice Ministers will be committee members.
In a separate development, Qatar’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al Thani has written to the GCC’s Secretary General setting out the country's conditions to stay in the bloc. Qatar gave three days for its isolation to end otherwise it would leave. There has been speculation Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the UAE and Bahrain will expel Qatar from the GCC or even the Arab League.
The UAE’s Economy Ministry has called on companies dealing with commercial partners in the EU to keep up with the new European public information protection legislation. The Assistant Undersecretary for the Ministry’s External Trading Sector, Joma Mohammed Alkait said the Ministry is issuing this call as part of its efforts to keep all companies informed on new developments in policies and legislations in the relevant markets in which they may have trading partners. The legislation will be implemented in May 2018 and is aimed at strengthening and protecting private personal information in the European Union. It will not only affect companies operating in European countries but also companies who have commercial and investment activities with European countries. Companies should reconcile their procedural and operational activities in line with the legislation.
The accession procedures of Jordan to the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) with the Secretary General of WIPO have been completed and came into effect on 9 June 2017. Jordan becomes the 152nd member of the Treaty. Any PCT applications filed on or after the effective date will include the designation of Jordan. It will be possible to file international patent applications through the Jordanian Patent Office.
Egypt’s Investment Minister, Sahar Nasr has announced the Executive Regulations to the Investment Law will be issued by 30 June. The drafting committee will hold a meeting on Sunday to finalise the Regulations. The Investment Law was approved by President Al-Sisi on 1 June.
Bahrain’s Central Bank has announced new regulations to create a regulatory framework to allow start-ups and fintech firms to test and experiment their banking ideas and solutions. It will provide a virtual space for companies to test their technology-based innovative solutions and will be open to existing Central Bank licensees and other local and foreign firms. The testing duration will be nine months and can be extended for up to three months. To be eligible, solutions need to demonstrate their solution is innovative, beneficial to customers, technically tested and will be deployed in the Kingdom after the trial period ends.
Dubai’s Ruler, HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has issued a Law to regulate civil organisations in the Emirate. Under the law, the organisations, which will be legally referred to as civil establishments will have to designate a specific financial allocation to cover the cost of their activities. The activities can be in the social, health, educational, cultural, scientific, occupational, creative, art or humanitarian fields. Each civil organisation must have at least 10 founders, including two Emiratis. No activity can be undertaken until the organisation is granted a licence by the Community Development Authority. Registration will include the organisation’s headquarters, geographical range, its purpose, activities and target groups, its member’s names and their nationalities, professions and residences.
Event licencing changes have been approved following an agreement between Abu Dhabi’s Tourism and Culture Authority and the General Command of the UAE Armed Forces. The agreement will establish an e-service for event licences to be obtained. It was signed for the Authority by its Director-General, Saif Saeed Ghobash and by the Head of Administration and Human Resources at the UAE’s Defence Ministry, Major General Salem Saeed Ghafan Al Jabri.