Abu Dhabi’s Ruler has issued two new Laws, including Abu Dhabi Law No. 1/2019 establishing an Investment Office in the Emirate. The Office will be responsible for executing a comprehensive strategy for increasing Foreign Direct Investment to the Emirate. In addition, they will be able to set up a PPP Centre of Excellence. He also issued Abu Dhabi Law No. 2/2019 regulating partnerships between the public and private sectors.
The UAE’s Federal National Council is considering a draft space objects law. The aim is regulate this sector more closely. Those who violate the law will be jailed for up to two years and fined 10 million AED. Objects will not be able to launch objects higher than 100km over sea level without the approval of the UAE’s Space Agency. No one will be able to own space objects like satellites or rockets. It will also help the Space Agency organise its activities and issuing permits including with regard to finding meteorites and any kind of space object which falls into the country. In addition, it seeks to impose a ban on selling, buying and mining meteorites anywhere in the country.
This week the spotlight is on legal and regulatory developments in the UAE, where the authorities will start officially accepting long-term visa applications from 3 February this year. The launch date is specified in a new Decision which also states two committees will be established to evaluate visa candidates. One will evaluate investor visa applicants and the other entrepreneur, scientist and those with specialist talent visa applicants. The applications will be assessed in line with the criteria previously laid out in legislation.
As part of this significant legislative development, Lexis Middle East has added the Arabic and full text English versions of UAE Federal Cabinet Decision No. 56/2018 to the legislation part of our service. We have also added a key analysis piece from Fragomen Middle East on this development as part of our Middle East News Analysis coverage.
This week the spotlight is on legal and regulatory developments in Dubai, where the Healthcare City Authority has announced it is introducing a new license for visiting doctors which will be valid for two years. It will allow international physicians, dentists and Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) practitioners to enter the UAE and work in up to three clinical facilities in the City.
The license is aimed at attracting international medical talent to Dubai and is being introduced ahead of Arab Health, the largest exhibition for healthcare and trade professionals in the Middle East. Visiting doctors can currently only practice temporarily in the free zone through a license from the clinical facilities, which is valid for a three-month-period and can be extended for three months. With the new license, physicians will be able to work for two years, after they have obtained a Letter of Acceptance which is a document confirming their eligibility to work as physicians and enter into a contract with a clinical facility. They will also be able to sponsor their families during the license’s validity period. They can apply for a license from 20 January and a special DArab Health license fee rate will be offered from then until the last day of the exhibition on 31 January.
The UAE’s Prime Minister has issued the Implementing Regulations to Federal Law No 3/2016 on the rights of the child in line with Cabinet Decision No 52/2018. The Regulations cover child labour, procedures for reporting violations of children’s rights in educational institutions, terms of reference of the Child Protection Unit, conditions for child protection specialists, preventive and protection measures, foster family conditions and obligations, and child custody regulations for guardians. Employing a child will require special permission from the Human Resources and Emiratisation Ministry. The child should not be under 15 and must be medically fit for work. The Regulation also bans children from entering hazardous places including laboratories or places where toxic gases are emitted, as well as quarries, mines, conflict zones, environmental disasters, adult entertainment centres, explosives manufacturing facilities and other high risk workplaces.
This week the spotlight is on legal and regulatory developments in the UAE, where the Federal Government reportedly plans to adopt a new maritime law. It is understood the first draft will be ready in early 2019. It will then be circulated for a consultation and submitted to the Government to review.
It will support port infrastructure in the country with the aim of attracting participation in its shipping industry and address the issue of diversity of shipping facilities. It will also include provisions for freight forwarders, cargo and ports. In addition, it will cover the UAE National Ship Registry, as well as environmental pollution, health and safety and logistical operations.
Elsewhere, the country’s Health and Prevention Ministry has approved a draft federal law on legal protection for non-medically trained persons providing emergency assistance and relief. The Head of the Emirates Emergency Division of the Emirates Medical Society said the law will come into force in 2019 and will make the UAE the first Arab nation to apply this type of law. It will protect people from civil or criminal prosecution when providing bona fide assistance or relief to another person in an emergency. The law also covers the requirement to inform the authorities in emergency situations and the provision of ambulances or other rescue operations.
The UAE’s President has issued a Decree-Law amending the country’s 1987 Penal Code (Federal Law No. 3/1987) and Federal Decree-Law No. 24/2018 was published in the Official Gazette on 7 October 2018. Under the changes, the law now covers foreign and domestic bribery in both the public and private sectors and international organisations. Its provisions apply outside the UAE’s territory, to anyone who commits any of the offences set out in the Code, if the criminal or victim is a UAE citizen or if the crime is committed by a public or private sector employee, or if it involves public property. The amendments to Articles 82, 170, 201, 225, 234-237, 257 and 280 have immediate effect and bring the country more into line with other countries.
Weekly Spotlight: Licensing and Promoting Investment Funds Agreement Reached in the UAE Between Multiple Regulators
This week the spotlight is on regulatory developments in the UAE, where the country’s Securities and Commodities Authority, Dubai’s Financial Services Authority and Abu Dhabi Global Market’s Financial Services Regulatory Authority have announced they have finalised an agreement on the licensing of domestic funds by each authority for promotion across the UAE. The regulators have agreed to establish common rules to implement the agreement which amongst other things introduces passporting ‘mutual recognition’ for promoting and supervising investment funds and encourages foreign firms licensed in financial free zones in other countries to operate in the UAE.
In addition, the regulators have agreed a common legislative framework in their respective jurisdictions will be introduced to enable them to facilitate regulatory coordination between them in licensing domestic funds once the legislation has been approved.
They have also confirmed funds, licensed in line with the agreement and the licensing regulations, may be promoted in or from the financial free zones in the UAE, in line with the provisions of the agreement and the licensing regulations. Under the agreement, a notification and registration facility will be established by each regulator to facilitate the promotion and sale of domestic funds, set up in the UAE, in either the Dubai International Financial Centre or Abu Dhabi Global Market, to potential investors based anywhere in the UAE and under a single licence. The agreement was signed by the Securities and Commodities Authority’s CEO, the Dubai Financial Services Authority’s Chief Executive and Abu Dhabi Global Market’s Financial Services Regulatory Authority’s CEO.
Dubai’s Health Authority has announced it is working to establish a committee to regulate the transplant of organs and tissues in the Emirate. The committee will be responsible for standardising and regulating organ transplant processes in line with Federal Law No. 5/2016 on regulating the transfer and transplant of organs and tissues. The Authority has hosted a workshop to share experiences and learn about the best practices and latest developments in this area. Over 70 medical and technical teams intensive and emergency care specialists from the public and private sector hospitals in the Emirate attended and exchanged expertise and experiences in order to learn about the latest developments in organ transplant programmes, especially in Spain.
This week the spotlight is on regulatory developments in Dubai, where the Dubai International Financial Centre has amended its Company, Real Estate and Strata Law regimes. The changes to the Companies regime came into effect on 12 November 2018 and the changes to the Real Estate and Strata Law regimes came into effect on 14 November 2018. These changes have been analysed by Al Tamimi & Company and can be read at https://www.lexismiddleeast.com/doc/2720578_2720581 and https://www.lexismiddleeast.com/doc/2720588_2720593.
These changes and other legislative changes have also been analysed by BSA Ahmad Bin Hezeem & Associates LLP. Their insights can be read at https://www.lexismiddleeast.com/doc/2720154_2720163?highlight=bsa.