Legislative Updates UAE

1.     The UAE is expanding its future working plans in the areas of Artificial Intelligence. Omar bin Sultan Al Olama, the UAE Minister of State for artificial intelligence, digital economy and remote work applications has presented a plan to the UAE leadership on the 17th of August detailing plans  for development of usage digital technology in a number of sectors including -commerce, cryptocurrencies, financial platforms, asset digitisation, communication services networks, crypto products, programs and cloud computing technologies.

2.     Family Ownership in the UAE is the subject of Law no.9 issued in Dubai on 13th of August 2020. Under this law family members of a certain degree are allowed to enter into legally binding contracts (as long as these contracts are notarized) providing for ownership and administration of family owned property for the benefit of the parties to the contract and their successors. The law also provides for rules of conduct of managers and board members. The law is aimed at protecting the wealth of families, enhance the contribution of family businesses to economic and social development and foster the growth of family businesses.

3.     DIFC enacts an amendment to the Common Reporting Standard Law and Regulations. Several items included in the amendments to the Common Reporting Standard Law and Regulations include: (i) new offences and penalties for providing false self-certifications; (ii) new offences and penalties for financial institutions failing to obtain valid self-certifications; (iii) the inclusion of the explanatory material issued by OECD used to assist with interpretation of the respective regulations; and ensure that the Common Reporting Standard issued by OECD, is properly adopted in the DIFC and is being applied consistently across the UAE.

4.     In an effort to boost investment in innovation and open up a new business avenue in the region, DIFC launches a new licensing option to support “innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship”. The new licensing option will benefit from a number of incentives including a licensing cost of USD 1500, co-working spaces at attractive rates and 50% discounts on visas.

Economic Updates  

1.     Ajman Free Zone (AFZ) continues to provide economic support by launching a set of new incentives available to businesses operating under the authority. AFZ intend to: (i) fully waive fines on bounced cheques, fines and e-channel guarantees; (ii) discount the company incorporation fees; (iii) offer a number of flexible installment plans for office spaces, business center leases and executive offices; and (iv) offer a discount of 25% on labor accommodation.

2.     KSA public sector employees are expected to return to work starting with 30 August 2020. Returning to work from the companies’ office location is subject to applying the preventive protocols in place in KSA. Working remotely is allowed under certain conditions:

(i) The percentage of those working remotely does not exceed 25% of the entity’s (authority’s) employees

(ii) The government agency should enable those who will be working remotely to perform their duties

(iii) The groups most at risk of infection will continue working remotely according to the classification of the National Center for Disease Prevention and Control

(iv) The attendance of employees will continue according to the flexible hours’ system

(v) Suspension of the requirement of fingerprints will continue.