The undersecretary of the Municipality Affairs Ministry, Nabil Mohamed Abdelfateh has announced the Ministry has formed a working group to put optional guidelines in place for the evaluation of green buildings. The aim is to encourage the construction of green buildings which are environment friendly. Abdelfateh added the first draft of the guidelines will be optional and will be sent out for consultation with other relevant parties like the Urban Planning and Development Authority, Agriculture and Marine Wealth, Energy Ministry, developers and investors.
Bahrain’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry has announced it is postponing the implementation of Bahrain Edict No 130/2016, which would have come into force next month, until March 2018. It follows a series of meetings between the Industry, Commerce and Tourism Ministry and the Chamber about the proposed increase. The meeting between the Ministry and the Chamber followed directives from HRH Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa.
Bahrain’s Ports and Maritime Affairs Department at the Transport and Telecommunications Ministry has informed all companies and commercial enterprises registered in Bahrain they should apply for a licence with the Department within six months. This is line with Bahrain Law No. 9/2017 related to the charter of maritime service licences. The Department said companies which work in managing and operating private and public ports, maritime guiding, maritime shipping agencies, ship agencies and other related services should apply for the licence.
Bahrain’s King has issued two Laws, including Bahrain Law No. 29/2017 approving the Kingdom’s accession to the Agreement on Third Party Indemnity for Damage Caused by Aircrafts. He also issued Bahrain Law No. 30/2017 approving the Kingdom’s accession to the Agreement on Third Party Indemnity for Damage Caused by Unlawful Acts of Interference which includes Aircrafts. Both Laws will be published in the Official Gazette.
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.
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.
Bahrain’s Labour Market Regulatory Authority has announced it will start issuing two types of flexible work permits for expatriates. 2000 flexi-work permits and hospitality work permits will be issued monthly. They will both be valid for two years. The hospitality work permits will be for those working in restaurants, hotels, salons and other professions requiring special medical tests. Those who obtain the flexi-work permits will be issued with a special card featuring the worker’s photo, data, type of permit and its validity period.