The UAE’s Central Bank has announced they have issued the Consumer Protection Regulation. It is aimed at protecting all licensed financial establishments. They issued Central Bank Circular No. 444/2021 to this effect to all establishments on 20 January 2021. Licensed financial entities have to be transparent in terms of their price structures and special products. They are also banned from using misleading, deceptive, fraudulent or unfair marketing approaches.
Following directives from Dubai’s Ruler to support judicial departments with legally and technically qualified experts, the Deputy Ruler and Vice President of the Justice Supreme Council has issued a Decision to establish an Experts Affairs Committee. It is aimed at improving justice and boosting the role of experts. Under Dubai Decision No. 2/2021, the Committee will be established in the Dubai Courts. It will regulate and organise the work of experts in the courts in the Emirate.
The UAE’s Public Prosecution has clarified the penalties for public asset violations. Under Article 227 of Federal Law No. 3/1987 (as amended), offenders who are public employees or someone tasked with delivering a public service could be jailed and fined up to 10,000 AED. These penalties will be imposed if they intentionally cause damage to the assets or interests of the Department they work for or the assets or interests of others.
The General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai or GDRFA-Dubai and the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing or Dubai Tourism have announced they have signed an agreement to enable special visas and residency permits to be issued. This includes the issuing of Distinguished Guests and Virtual Working programmes, Golden Visas for investors and retirement visas. The agreement also covers processes like application assessment procedures. In addition, it covers cruise ships and yachts to facilitate entry and exit procedures for crew members and passengers. Under the agreement, both organisations will implement joint activities. This includes marketing programmes. They will also share expertise and best practices. Employees of both entities will also receive training under joint annual programmes. Dubai Tourism will also offer two GDRFA employees the chance to join a Diploma programme offered by the Dubai College of Tourism for free.
Abu Dhabi’s Civil Court has ordered a woman to pay 10,000 AED in moral damages caused to another woman. They insulted the woman over the phone which included phrases which insulted her honour. The Public Prosecution Office had referred the defendant to the Criminal Court. They charged her and requested she pay 5,000 AED. However, the claimant filed a complaint with the Civil Court requesting the defendant pay 50,000 AED in compensation for the moral and material damages she caused her and request she pay lawyer fees and costs. The Court of First Instance confirmed in its judgment the estimation of the damages should be compensated and the circumstances which should be taken into account are within the powers of the Court providing the Law didn’t provide for following certain standards in estimating them. The Court rejected the claimant’s request for financial compensation because she didn’t outline the financial damages she suffered or the losses. The Court accepted the claimant’s request for moral damage compensation and ordered the defendant pay 10,000 AED and costs.
Saudi Arabia: Saudi Arabia’s Human Resources and Social Development Ministry has announced Labour Law amendments have been approved
Saudi Arabia’s Human Resources and Social Development Ministry has announced Labour Law amendments have been approved. Under the changes, Saudi employees should make up at least 75% of the total workforce. If there are not enough competent employees to achieve these numbers because of a lack of relevant candidates with the required technical or academic qualifications or if it was not possible to hire nationals for these jobs, the Minister will be able reduce the required proportion. Other amendments to the Labour Law will also require every employer who has 25 or more employees to ensure 4% of their workforce are disabled people providing the nature of their work allows this. There have also been changes to the rules on advertisements for new and existing jobs. The Ministry has launched a consultation on the proposed amendments.
The Ministry has also announced it has suspended the application of Article 41 of the Implementing Regulations to the Labour Law. It was issued by Saudi Arabia Ministerial Decision No. 70273/1440. It was introduced to help businesses manage the adverse effects of Coronavirus. It enabled employers to deal with their employees’ wages including having an option to reduce them temporarily and reduce their number of working hours.
The UAE’s Public Prosecution has confirmed the penalties for those who take photos of others without their consent. Under Article 21 of Federal Decree Law No. 5/2012 privacy may be invaded through interception, recording, eavesdropping, transferring, transmitting or disclosing conversations or communications, or audio or visual materials. They will be fined between 250,000 and 500,000 AED and jailed for up to one year. Anyone who uses a computer network or any other technology to expose a person and violate their privacy will be jailed for at least six months and/or fined between 150,000 and 500,000 AED. This also covers taking photos of others without their consent or creating, transferring, disclosing, copying or saving their photos.
Abu Dhabi’s Judicial Department has announced it has launched a digital authentication project. It will allow documents issued by the Department’s systems to be approved in an integrated digital way which is compatible with the UAE PASS digital identity system to authenticate documents. Digital authentication will be applied to notary and authentication transactions, as part of the completion of the digital transformation plan, in line with Government directions to keep up with technological development using the latest technologies and the highest standards of information security.
Arabtec has formally filed an insolvency liquidation application following the approval of the proposal by their General Assembly. The application covers Arabtec Construction LLC, Arabtec Constructions LLC, Austrian Arabian Readymix Concrete Co LLC and Arabtec Precast LLC also be placed into insolvent liquidation. No applications involving the company’s other subsidiaries have been made. Until an insolvency trustee is appointed, the Company will continue engaging with key stakeholders to explore options to preserve value and where possible avoid these subsidiaries needing to be placed into a formal insolvency process. It follows two months of consultations with all of the company’ relevant stakeholders. Their liabilities are calculated at 18 billion AED.
UAE: Dubai Financial Service Authority Launches Public Consultation on Proposed Amendments to Employee Money Purchase Regime
The Dubai Financial Service Authority have announced they have launched a public consultation on proposed amendments to the Employee Money Purchase Regime. It ends on 17 January 2021. The aim is to address various practical issues the Authority has encountered in administering the regime. Employees of DIFC businesses, DIFC employers, Operators and Administrators of Employee Money Purchase Schemes, persons offering foreign Employee Money Purchase schemes to DIFC employers and employees, life insurers conducting pension fund management, persons conducting other financial services that involve an interest in an Employee Money Purchase Scheme and persons who intend to carry out any of these activities should review these proposals.