Headlines UAE

New developments in law and business

UAE on 7th place in global competitiveness ranking

In the IMD World Competitive Ranking 2024, published by the International Institute for Management Development in Switzerland, the UAE has improved by 3 places and is now ranked 7th overall. The UAE holds 2nd place in Economic Performance, 4th place in Government Efficiency and 10th place in Business Efficiency. Germany has worsened further, dropping from 22nd in the previous year to 24th place in the overall 2024 ranking.

Strict regulations for telemarketing

With effect from mid-August 2024, the Ministry of Economy (MoE) and the Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority (TDRA) will introduce new rules with strict penalties of up to AED 150,000 for violations. For example, marketing calls will only be permitted from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

UAE announces holidays for Eid Al Adha

Employees in both the private and the public sector will get a four-day paid break from 15.06. to 18.06.2024 to mark Arafat Day, which is the holiest day in Islam, and Eid Al Adha, also known as the festival of sacrifice.

Midday break announced

The Ministry of Human Resources & Emiratisation (MoHRE) has announced that from 15.06. until 15.09.2024 working under direct sunlight and in open-air areas across the UAE will be prohibited between 12.30 p.m. and 3 p.m. A fine of AED 5,000 per worker with a maximum of AED 50,000 will be imposed on establishments that violate the rule.

Dubai issued 158,000 Golden Visas in 2023

Compared to nearly 80,000 Golden Visas issued in 2022, the number almost doubled last year and marked another multiplication of the 47,150 Golden Visas which were issued in 2021.

UAE approves 10-year Blue Residency

The long-term residence visa will be granted to individuals who have made exceptional contributions to protecting the environment.

Emirates to be based at new airport by 2034

The airline will be relocating from Dubai International Airport to Al Maktoum International Airport in one go by 2034 without any split of operations.

Unified GCC tourist visa by end of 2024

The so-called GCC Grand Tours visa will allow tourists to spend more than 30 days in the six GCC countries.

Al Maktoum International Airport to become world's largest airport

With 400 aircraft gates, five parallel runways and a capacity to handle up to 260 million passengers and 12 million tonnes of cargo a year, Dubai's airport Al Maktoum is going to be five times the size of Dubai International Airport. The first phase of expansion is expected to be completed within 10 years and will handle 150 million passengers annually.

UAE experiences heaviest rainfall since start of recording 75 years ago

Yesterday's torrential rain affected many areas nationwide. 1,244 flights were cancelled over two days. Private schools have extended remote learning and the Ministry of Human Resources & Emiratisation (MoHRE) has urged private sector companies to adopt flexible work.

Formal approval needed for rent re-evaluation

Since 01.04.2024, landlords in Dubai are required to obtain a judgment or legal order before they can apply for a rent evaluation with the Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA) if they believe they are entitled to a higher rent than the one reflected in the rental increase calculator.

UAE in top 10 of world's most connected countries

According to DHL's Global Connectedness Report, the UAE ranks eighth and has marked the largest increase in performance since 2001 out of 181 countries analysed. The report is based on nearly 9 million data points and provides a comprehensive picture of how goods and services, capital, information and people move around the world.

Abu Dhabi records highest GDP growth in 10 years

According to the Statistics Centre Abu Dhabi, the non-oil economy in the Emirate grew 9.1% in 2023 compared to the year before. The real GDP turned in a 3.1% growth.

UAE-wide mandatory health insurance to be introduced

All private-sector employees and domestic workers will have to be covered under a compulsory health insurance scheme from 01.01.2025 onwards. Employers will be required to pay for the health insurance of their employees while applying for or renewing their residence visas. Currently, only employers in Dubai and Abu Dhabi are obliged to provide health insurance to their employees.

Unified Digital Platform for business set-up in Dubai

Decree No. 13 of 2024 was issued yesterday and aims at integrating various licensing processes, including those managed by the Department of Economy & Tourism (DET) and the free zone authorities in the Emirate, including the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC). The new platform forms part of the Dubai Economic Agenda D33 to establish Dubai as a digital economic hub.

2,692 new companies set up in DMCC last year

The free zone Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) announced that 2023 had been the second-best year on record with regard to company formations. DMCC accounted for 11% of Dubai's total FDI inflow.

Issuance of work permit and residency visa in 5 days

The new online platform Work Bundle was launched yesterday and will be rolled out in Dubai first. It is supposed to ease employee residency procedures by significantly reducing steps and documents needed to complete an application. Work Bundle is part of the Zero Government Bureaucracy programme launched earlier this year.

Dubai rental index updated

The Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA) revised the data used for the rental increase calculator on 01.03.2024. The new reference rents for Dubai narrow the disparity between renewal rents and open market rents.

Reduction of work timings during Ramadan

In line with the UAE Labour Law, the Ministry of Human Resources & Emiratisation (MoHRE) has announced that working hours are to be reduced by two hours per day during the upcoming holy month of Ramadan, regardless of an employee's religion and whether he is fasting or not.

UAE removed from FATF grey list

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the international organisation in charge of combatting money laundering and terrorism financing, has announced that the UAE has completed all 15 recommendations of the FATF's action plan. Having been on the watchlist since March 2022, the UAE's removal from the list is likely to further boost investor confidence in the country.

Gulfood opens today

The world's largest annual food and beverage exhibition takes place at the Dubai World Trade Centre. More than 5,500 exhibitors from over 190 countries participate in the event which will run until 23.02.2024.

Fake property ads to be removed within three days

The Dubai Land Department (DLD) has obliged real estate agents to remove all properties which are unavailable for sale or rent from their digital platforms within the given period.

More tourists visited Dubai than ever before

In 2023, Dubai welcomed 17.15 million tourists, which is an increase of 19.4% compared to 2022. The number also broke the previous record of 2019. The hotel occupancy rate of 77.4% has been among the highest in the world.

UAE launches comprehensive legislation platform

The new website uaelegislation.gov.ae includes all federal laws, decrees, bylaws, executive regulations and decisions since the formation of the UAE in 1971 and is available in Arabic and English.

UAE to reduce bureaucracy

Yesterday, the UAE launched the Zero Government Bureaucracy (ZGB) programme. Within a year, 2,000 government procedures will be cancelled and similar processes consolidated. In addition, service durations will be reduced by 50%.

Arab Health opens today

The Middle East's largest healthcare event will welcome 3,450 exhibitors and more than 110,000 healthcare professionals from 180 countries. The exhibition takes place at an extended area at the Dubai World Trade Center and runs until 01.02.2024.

New Salik toll gates to reduce traffic

The Roads & Transport Authority (RTA) has announced that two new toll stations will become operational in November 2024. They will be located at Business Bay Crossing on Al Khail Road and between Al Meydan Street and Umm Al Sheif Street on Sheikh Zayed Road.

Requirements for property golden visa supposedly lowered

Property buyers in Dubai are apparently no longer required to have made a minimum payment of AED 1 million towards the real estate to be eligible to apply for a golden visa. The only remaining criterion seems to be a property value of at least AED 2 million.

Eligibility for unemployment insurance cover

Those employees who signed up early for the unemployment insurance scheme when it came into force in January last year will now become entitled to claim compensation in case of job loss, provided they have been insured for at least twelve consecutive months and paid the monthly premiums to the insurer on time.

UAE becomes second strongest global FDI destination after USA

According to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, an increase of 28% in inflows of foreign direct investment into the UAE was observed in 2023 despite an 18% decrease globally.

UAE passport power on the rise

As of January 2024, the UAE passport offers visa-free access to 183 out of 227 countries. Over the last decade, the UAE has moved from position 55 to position 11 in the Henley Passport Index, which made the UAE the biggest climber during this period. The most powerful passports are those of Japan, Singapore, France, Germany, Italy and Spain allowing visa-free entry to 194 countries.

Ban on single-use products introduced in Dubai

The first phase started yesterday with banning single-use plastic bags, to be followed by banning non-plastic single-use products from 01.06.2024, including single-use bags. From 01.01.2025 onwards, further single-use plastic items, such as stirrers, cups and straws, will be prohibited. The last phase will kick in on 01.01.2026 with banning other single-use plastic products, such as plates, food containers and lids.

New mandatory work permit for home tutors

Introduced by the Ministry of Education (MoE) and the Ministry of Human Resources & Emiratisation (MoHRE), the permit allows qualified professionals to offer private tuitions outside educational institutions. It is granted free of charge for two years. Individuals offering private lessons without such permit will be subject to penalties.

Population outstrips Dubai's home supply

According to the Dubai Statistics Center, the number of inhabitants of the emirate surged by over 100,000 in 2023 while at the same time only 50,000 new residential units were handed over. It is expected that such disproportion will remain for the next 24 to 36 months.

New Dubai Metro line announced

The Blue Line will run over 30 km and be completed by 2029. The extension to the existing metro system will serve as a key integration point between the Red Line and the Green Line. The Blue Line will connect Dubai International Airport with nine areas, including Mirdif, Silicon Oasis and Dubai Creek Harbour.

COP28 about to start

The 28th United Nations Climate Change Conference will be held at Dubai Expo City from 30.11.2023 to 12.12.2023. Around 70,000 delegates from 197 countries are expected to attend the event. It aims at helping find solutions to limit the long-term global temperature rise to 1.5°C, which was agreed by nearly 200 countries in Paris in 2015. At the start of the summit, Germany will be represented by Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock.

First phase of "Dubai Horizons" completed

The project aims at establishing planning standards for drone routes and landing zones in low-altitude airspace. It is carried out by Dubai Municipality and Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and shall ensure readiness for new-age air transport.

Unified Gulf tourist visa approved by GCC member countries

The new visa type is expected to come into effect between 2024 and 2025. It is a major element of the GCC 2030 tourism strategy, which is aimed at increasing the sector's economic contribution through increased regional travel and higher hotel occupancy rates.

UAE Economic Principles Charter announced

The 10 principles will guide the nation's economic framework for the next decade. The goal is to position the UAE at the forefront of the global economic landscape. The principles include, amongst others, an open economy welcoming global trade, investing in the digital economy and building a sustainable and resource-responsible economy.

New gratuity scheme for private sector rolled out

The Voluntary Alternative End-of-Service Benefits Scheme came into force yesterday. In case employers decide to take part, they are required to duly register. The savings plan does not have a minimum salary requirement and will allow employees to make additional contributions.

Abu Dhabi International Airport to be renamed

The new official name will be Zayed International Airport. The name change will come into effect on 09.02.2024, coinciding with the official opening ceremony of the new Terminal A.

Germany to host first edition of GITEX EUROPE

The second overseas venture of the GITEX brand, following GITEX AFRICA, will debut in Berlin in May 2025.

English-language notary services launched in Abu Dhabi

The new office is supposed to be the first in the region and aims at improving access to services for non-Arabic speakers.

GITEX GLOBAL has opened

The largest tech and startup show in the world has opened its doors at Dubai World Trade Center today. More than 180,000 visitors are expected during the next five days of the event.

New platform for services in Dubai

Digital Dubai and the Dubai Center for Artificial Intelligence have launched a new AI platform that allows citizens, residents and visitors to easily access services and information about the city. Dubai.AI acts as a personal digital assistant and answers customised requests in real time.

Deadline for registration for unemployment insurance expired

From today, those who are obliged to register for the unemployment insurance but have failed to do so, will face a fine of AED 400. The unemployment insurance is mandatory for employees in the private sector and the federal government. Employees in free zones, semi-government and local government bodies have the option to register for the scheme.

Issuance of visas on the rise

With a rise of 63% in residence visas, 52% in golden visas, 34% in visit visas and 21% in tourist visas, the numbers for the Emirate of Dubai are significantly higher for the first half of 2023 than for the same period last year.

New optional system for end-of-service gratuity

Private-sector employers will be able to subscribe to the new investment scheme by paying monthly contributions for an individual employee instead of having to pay the traditional end-of-service gratuity at the end of the employment relation. The system will provide risk-free, risk-based and Sharia-compliant investment options.

UAE astronaut back on earth after 6 months on ISS

Sultan Al Neyadi was welcomed back after his successful mission in space. Despite his busy schedule, he regularly found time to post spectacular videos and pictures on social media.


The UAE as well as Saudi Arabia, Iran, Egypt, Ethiopia and Argentina will be formally admitted as new members to the economic bloc from 01.01.2024. BRICS currently includes Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa and is home to about 40% of the world's population and a quarter of the global gross domestic product.

Dubai seeks to achieve 100% recycled water utilisation by 2030

Currently, the water reuse rate stands at 90%. The 2030 target aligns with Dubai's Net Zero Carbon Emissions Strategy 2050 and is a key part of its efforts to turn the emirate into a green economy hub.

100-day countdown to COP28

Leaders from across the globe will attend the UN climate summit from 30.11.2023 to 12.12.2023 at Expo City Dubai. They will discuss finding ways to halt global warming, adapt to a changing climate and decide who should foot the bill for damage already caused.

2023 to be record year for residential real estate sector in Dubai

Based on a survey of global real estate provider Savills, Dubai noticed an increase of 44% in the real estate market in first half of 2023. In total, 57,700 villas and apartments were sold during this period which is the highest half-yearly number of transactions on record. Compared to a 5-year average, activity levels are up by 209%.

Dubai breaks record in international visitors

According to the Department of Economy & Tourism (DET), Dubai welcomed 8.55 million international visitors in the first six months of 2023, exceeding the pre-pandemic number of 8.36 million tourists in the first half of 2019. The hotel occupancy rate stood also high at 78%.

New fee structure for visa overstay

A fine of AED 50 will be imposed for each day after a residence visa or visit visa and any grace period granted for its renewal has expired.

GDP grows 3.8% in first quarter

According to the Federal Centre for Competitiveness and Statistics, the UAE's overall economy grew to AED 418.3 billion in the first three months of 2023. The non-oil GDP totalled AED 312 billion, which is an increase of 4.5% compared to the same period last year.

Emiratisation target expanded

The Emiratisation programme in the private sector will now also include small businesses with 20 to 49 employees in 14 key sectors of the UAE economy. Targeted companies will have to employ at least one Emirati in 2024 and another one in 2025. Should these requirements not be met, a fine of AED 96,000 for 2024 and an increased fine of AED 108,000 for 2025 will be imposed.

Dubai Courts sets up first inheritance division for non-Muslims

The move enables non-Muslims to execute their wills within a framework that guarantees the application of their personal laws and the management of their probate matters.

Dubai's population grew by over 50,000 in 6 months

According to the Dubai Statistics Centre, the emirate's population crossed 3.6 million at the end of June compared to 3.55 million at the beginning of 2023.

UAE witnesses highest ever foreign direct investment

According to a report of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the UAE saw foreign direct investment inflows of AED 84 billion in 2022. Worldwide, the UAE ranked 16th in 2022 compared to 22nd in 2021.

Dubai opens world's largest waste-to-energy facility

The new plant is capable of generating 220 megawatt hours of renewable energy, which can provide power to approximately 135,000 residential units. It is designed to process two million tonnes of waste per year without any adverse environmental impact.

UAE announces private sector holidays for Eid Al Adha

Employees will get a four-day break from 27.06. to 30.06.2023 to mark Arafat Day, which is the holiest day in Islam, and Eid Al Adha, also known as the festival of sacrifice.

New Commercial Agency Law to come into force today

Federal Law No. 3 of 2022 abrogates the over 40-year old Federal Law No. 18 of 1981. It provides for a more balanced approach to registered principal-agent relations in the UAE.

New registration deadline for unemployment insurance

The Ministry of Human Resources & Emiratisation (MoHRE) has extended the deadline to subscribe to the mandatory unemployment insurance scheme to 01.10.2023.

Emiratisation deadline extended

Companies have been granted one more week to meet the half-year Emiratisation goal due to the upcoming Eid Al Adha holidays. The new deadline is now 07.07.2023. Companies which have to comply with Emiratisation and do not meet the target will face a fine of AED 42,000 for each Emirati role not filled by 08.07.2023.

New masterplan for Palm Jebel Ali approved

As part of the Dubai 2040 Urban Master Plan, the mega project will add 110 km to Dubai's coastline, feature over 80 hotels and resorts and comprise green spaces as well as leisure and retail amenities. The area of Palm Jebel Ali will span across 13.4 square kilometres and occupy an area twice the size of Palm Jumeirah.

UAE corporate tax comes into effect today

The Ministry of Finance has published a number of decisions and clarifications on the new tax system to support a smooth transition to the new tax regime.

Midday break announced

The Ministry of Human Resources & Emiratisation (MoHRE) has announced that from 15.06. until 15.09.2023 workers on construction sites will not be allowed to work between 12:30 pm and 3 pm. A fine of AED 5,000 per worker with a maximum of AED 50,000 will be imposed on establishments that violate the rule.

QR code initiative for holiday homes in Dubai

Owners of holiday homes will now be required to display a QR code on the main entrance of their vacation properties. By scanning the code, guests and visitors will obtain essential information about the operator of the holiday home and relevant contact details of the Dubai Department of Economy & Tourism (DET), being the competent authority.

UAE dirham introduced 50 years ago

On 20.05.1973, the dirham replaced dinar and riyal as currency in the UAE. From the beginning, due to the oil trade, the dirham has been pegged to the US dollar with one dollar being 3.67 dirham.

GDP growth doubled in 2022

According to the Annual Report of UAE Central Bank, the gross domestic product (GDP) in the UAE is expected to have grown by nearly 7.6% last year compared to 2021, supported by significant activity across all sectors.

Emirates and Etihad expand cooperation

Travellers of each airline will be able to purchase a single ticket to fly into either Dubai or Abu Dhabi, with a return option via the other airport. The new agreement provides more flexibility and eases inter-emirate travel for visitors.

Scope of unemployment insurance scheme extended

Employees working in free zones (other than DIFC and ADGM) and semi-government entities, who were previously exempt, are now required to register for the mandatory insurance scheme until 30.06.2023 or within four months from their employment commencement date if hired after 28.02.2023.

First spacewalk by an Arab

History was made when astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi ventured out of the International Space Station (ISS) and completed his spacewalk. He is the first Emirati, the first Arab and the first Muslim who has walked outer space.

Dubai property market dominated by European buyers

Investors from continental Europe have replaced those from India, Pakistan, the UK and Gulf countries, who traditionally used to make up the majority of property buyers. Recently, Russian nationals have also been investing considerably in the local real estate market.

DIEZ operating annual profit increased 42% in 2022

The Dubai Integrated Economic Zones (DIEZ) consolidates and integrates the products and services of Dubai Airport Freezone, Dubai Silicon Oasis and Dubai CommerCity. More than 22,000 companies are currently registered in DIEZ.

Corporate tax relief for small businesses announced

Taxable persons in the UAE with revenue of AED 3 million or less can benefit from the Small Business Relief scheme. The threshold will apply to tax periods starting on or after 01.06.2023 and continue to apply to subsequent tax periods that end before or on 31.12.2026.

Consumer Protection Law to be strengthened

Federal Law No. 15 of 2020 will be improved to give more clarity and rights to customers. It is supposed to be rolled out in the first half of 2023.

New channel for interacting with Dubai government

The new platform, which is called '04', comprises of 40 government entities. It enables customers to make suggestions, comments and complaints in three steps in less than two minutes. Feedback can be submitted through the website www.04.gov.ae or by WhatsApp on 600 50055.

Work timings for private sector during Ramadan emphasised

The Ministry of Human Resources & Emiratisation (MoHRE) has drawn the attention to the fact that the daily working hours during the upcoming holy month of Ramadan will have to be reduced by two hours, regardless of an employee's religion.

Emirates announces world's first robotic check-in system

"Sara" will speak at least six languages and help in everything from check-in to hotel bookings. The system was developed by the airline in collaboration with its partners and manufactured entirely locally. More than 200 of these systems are planned to be operational over the next few years.

JAFZA records highest registrations in decade

With a year-on-year growth of 30%, the Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA) set a new record in 2022. China and India have remained key trade and economic partners for the free zone with a fourfold increase of registrations for Chinese companies.

UAE's second astronaut travels to ISS

Sultan Al Neyadi's mission is planned to start today and will last for six months. It will be the longest space expedition by an Arab. The International Space Station (ISS) travels through space at 28,000 km/h at an altitude of 400 km.

Gulfood opens today

With more than 5,000 exhibitors representing 120 countries, the world’s largest annual global food and beverage sourcing event takes place at the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) from 20. to 24.02.2023.

Dubai Can initiative successful

The citywide sustainability movement, which was launched one year ago, has reduced the use of an equivalent of more than 7 million 500 ml single-use plastic water bottles so far. With the help of its partners and sponsors, Dubai Can has placed water fountains in strategic places across the city.

Mechanism of Emiratisation target amended

Companies in the private sector with 50 or more employees will now be required to increase the Emiratisation quota in skilled jobs by 1% every six months. Accordingly, fines for not meeting the target will now be collected semi-annually.

Deadline for conversion to limited-term employment contracts extended

According to a new resolution of the Ministry of Human Resources & Emiratisation (MoHRE), employers will now have time until 31.12.2023 to make the required amendments.

New Commercial Agency Law to take effect middle of June

Federal Law No. 3 of 2022 will replace the existing 40-year-old legislation. It allows, amongst others, for public joint stock companies with at least 51% Emirati shareholding to act as commercial agents. Furthermore, the contracting parties may agree on arbitration to resolve disputes.

Emiratisation target doubled and fines increased for 2023

Private sector companies, which are regulated by the Ministry of Human Resources & Emiratisation (MoHRE) and have a workforce of 50 and more, have to raise the number of Emirati employees to a minimum of 4% by the end of 2023. The fines for not complying with the Emiratisation requirements will also go up on annual basis, raising them to AED 84,000 for every UAE national who was not hired in 2023.

Dubai Economic Agenda D33 announced

Key goals of the 10-year growth plan are, among others, placing Dubai in the top three cities by economic strength by 2033 and within the top four global finance centres. Furthermore, 100 transformative projects will be implemented, foreign trade shall be doubled and Sandbox Dubai will be launched, which aims at making Dubai a major hub for incubating business innovation.

Unemployment Insurance Scheme in force

The scheme is mandatory for employees in the private and public sector who are employed by employers based in mainland UAE. Employees have to subscribe to the insurance by 30.06.2023.

Dubai to turn into "20-Minute City"

New homes and easier commuting are among the priorities for the second phase of Dubai's 2040 Urban Master Plan. The aim is to give the public access to 80% of their daily needs and destinations within 20 minutes on foot or by bicycle.

Rashid Rover on its way to the Moon

Yesterday, the UAE made history by becoming the first Arab nation to send a space mission to the Moon. The Emirati-made Rashid Rover is supposed to land on the Moon's unexplored Atlas Crater in April 2023 and is part of the UAE's space programme, which began with Mars and will soon target Venus.

Corporate Tax Law published

The UAE issued Federal Decree-Law No. 47 of 2022 on Taxation of Corporations and Businesses. Corporate tax will become applicable from the beginning of the first financial year that starts on or after 01.06.2023. The standard rate will be 9% for taxable income exceeding AED 375,000. Taxable income up to and including that threshold will be taxed at a rate of 0%.

Residence visa no longer stamped in passport

Effective 12.12.2022, the Emirates ID card will replace residence visa stickers. Once the visa is approved, residents will receive an eMail notification with a link to download a copy of the eResidence Visa. For traveling purposes, the Emirates ID card and the eResidence Visa can be used.

EmaraTax launched

The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) activated the new integrated tax platform on 05.12.2022. Any accounts held with FTA previously have been migrated to EmaraTax. An App will be launched soon.

Dubai second best city for Expats

According to the Expat City Ranking 2022 of InterNations, the UAE has become even more attractive for foreigners to live and work. Based on the high quality of life, Dubai has been ranked in second place after Valencia in Spain and Abu Dhabi in ninth place. Last year, Dubai was ranked in third and Abu Dhabi in 16th place.

UAE lifts nearly all restrictions and precautions for COVID-19

From today, wearing masks will be optional in all open and closed spaces. Furthermore, the Green Pass on the Al Hosn app will not be required to enter public facilities and sites any longer, in particular in Abu Dhabi. However, the five-day isolation period for those infected with COVID-19 remains unchanged.

Changes to real estate ownership for expats in Sharjah

Law No. 2 of 2022, which amends Law No. 5 of 2010 on the registration of real estate in the Emirate of Sharjah, contains circumstances under which non-UAE and non-GCC nationals are allowed to own property in Sharjah.

Dubai property market fairly valued

According to the UBS Global Real Estate Bubble Index 2022, Dubai is not in a bubble risk zone. The price level is back to 2019 and still 25% below its peak in 2014. The most elevated risk levels on housing markets are currently in Toronto and Frankfurt.

Requirements for registration of co-occupants modified

Contrary to earlier information, the Dubai Land Department (DLD) has removed the deadline for registering co-occupants. Further, only the number of people living in rented properties must now be declared. The provision of any personal data is optional.

UAE Labour Law amended

The 3-year cap of fixed-term employment contracts has been removed. Hence, employer and employee are now free to agree on any period of employment with the option to renew it after expiry. Unlimited-term employment contracts can still no longer be concluded.

3-year residence visas no longer issued

According to several free zone authorities, residence visas with a validity of three years for new visas, visa renewals and visa transfers will no longer be available across the UAE. Instead, residence visas will only be issued for one year or two years. The new regulation is likely to apply for residence visas based on employment.

Golden visa for off-plan buyers

Since the new visa rules came into effect yesterday, off-plan property buyers in Dubai are now able to apply for a 10-year golden visa if their investment is worth at least AED 2 million and the concerned developer or real estate agent has submitted a recommendation to the Immigration.

UAE and Oman to be linked by passenger train

With an investment of more than AED 11 billion, the 303 km railway will primarily connect Abu Dhabi with Sohar in the north of Oman. Passenger trains will reach speeds of 200 km/h.

UAE eases COVID-19 rules

From 28.09.2022, masks will be optional in most public areas, including schools. They remain mandatory in public transportation, medical facilities and places of worship. COVID-19 infected patients will need to isolate for five days only and close contacts will have to take a PCR test only if they show symptoms.

Dubai residents have to register all co-occupants in owned or leased properties

According to a circular issued by the Dubai Land Department (DLD), the registration can be done through the Dubai REST app and must be completed within two weeks from today. Any person staying in a unit for at least a month is considered a co-occupant.

Second Smart Salem Center opened

The new state-of-the-art facility is located in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC). It provides medical fitness and residence visa processing services and uses artificial intelligence technology which makes medical test results available within 30 minutes.

Implementation of UAE visa reforms

New visa types will become effective on 03.10.2022. They include an expanded golden visa scheme, a five-year green visa, new kinds of entry permits, such as one for job seekers, as well as additional possibilities to sponsor family members.

UAE launches multiple-entry tourist visa for World Cup

Holders of a valid ticket for the FIFA World Cup in Qatar, who have already applied for a Hayya Card required to enter Qatar and a stadium to watch the World Cup, will be able to enter the UAE multiple times over a period of 90 days. The visa will be available at a reduced fee of AED 100 and can be applied online through the ICP website starting 01.11.2022.

New rules for payments in real estate transactions

Real estate agents and law firms have to observe enhanced reporting requirements in case a property transaction involves a single or multiple cash payment(s) equal to or above AED 55,000, payments made by using virtual assets, such as cryptocurrencies or non-fungible tokens (NFTs), or payments where the source of funds derives from virtual assets.

Stricter rules on property advertisements

All property ads issued in Dubai have to be backed by relevant advertisement permits. Real estate agencies and property portals must authenticate these permits through an integrated link with the Dubai Land Department. The new rules aim at ensuring accurate advertised prices for sellers and fair competition for agents.

Dubai's population grew 165-fold in 70 years

In 1950, Dubai had just 20,000 inhabitants. By 2020, the population had risen to 3.3 million. For 2040, the number of residents is expected to reach 5.8 million.

Wage Protection System amended

The changes to the UAE's Wage Protection System (WPS) include, amongst others, various administrative procedures against companies that do not pay salaries on time. The penalties depend on the duration of the delay in payment, the size of the establishment and the number of employees that have not been paid.

New legislation on use of commercial lands

Dubai Decree No. 23 of 2022 regulates the granting of Musataha rights on commercial land in Dubai. A Musataha agreement creates a real estate right that entitles its holder to construct a building on or invest in a plot of land owned by a third party for a period of up to 35 years, which can be extended to a maximum of 50 years.

New decree to boost property investment

Dubai Decree No. 22 of 2022 introduces incentives for property investment funds and aims at enhancing Dubai's status as a global real estate investment destination.

Deadline for holiday home licenses

Holiday home operators in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi are required to register their properties in the online system of the Department of Culture and Tourism until 31.07.2022.

Assistance for foreign real estate buyers

Individual overseas investors looking to buy property in Dubai can open non-resident savings accounts with Emirates NBD, which will facilitate the purchase, management and rent collection of the property in a convenient manner.

New option to pay rent in Dubai

The Dubai Land Department (DLD) has announced a partnership with Emirates NBD to enable the collection of rental payments via the UAE Central Bank's Direct Debit System (UAEDDS). By this means, tenants will be able to use their bank accounts instead of issuing post-dated cheques for a rental period.

DMCC reports best half-year performance

In the first six months of this year, 1,469 new companies were registered in the free zone Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC), which marks an increase of 19% compared to the same period last year. In total, DMCC is home to over 21,000 businesses.

Transformation of Expo 2020 site into Expo City Dubai

The venue of the world's fair will be converted into a new community for business and residents. The first phase is set to open in October 2022. Some of the most popular attractions during Expo 2020 will still be available, including the Al Wasl Dome, the Garden in the Sky observation tower and a number of pavilions.

Midday break announced

From 15.06. until 15.09.2022, workers on construction sites will not be allowed to work between 12:30 pm and 3 pm. A fine of AED 5,000 per worker with a maximum of AED 50,000 will be imposed on establishments that violate the rule.

Amendments to Commercial Agency Law considered

The UAE Federal National Council is discussing various changes to the legislation concerning the relation between principals on the one hand and commercial agents and distributors on the other hand, such as notice periods for the termination of agency contracts.

UAE economy likely to grow by 5.4% in 2022

After having contracted by 4.8% in 2020 and bounced back by 3.8% last year, the expected growth of the local economy this year is driven by the country's success in containing the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dubai real estate market on record level

The Dubai Land Department (DLD) logged 6,983 sales transactions in April, representing an increase of 45.5% compared to April 2021, making it the highest performance for the month in the real estate sector of Dubai in 10 years.

New UAE President elected

Following the passing of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan yesterday, his brother Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan has been elected as his successor. Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed is the third President of the UAE.

UAE plans unemployment insurance scheme

The new insurance will protect employees against job loss. A cash amount will be offered for a limited period of time to an insured person who suddenly loses the job.

New Emiratisation rules announced

The UAE has set a minimum Emiratisation rate of 2% annually for high-skilled jobs in private-sector companies with more than 50 employees. Should such yearly increase not be met, a fine of AED 6,000 monthly would be applicable for every citizen that has not been employed. The aim is to raise the Emiratisation rate to 10% by 2026.

Dubai issued over 18,000 eTrader licenses since March 2017

The license enables start-ups and freelancers to conduct business activities online and across social networking accounts.

UAE expands golden visa scheme and introduces ten types of entry visas

The new regulations will come into effect in September this year. Major amendments have been made, amongst others, to the golden visa scheme in terms of simplifying eligibility criteria and expanding categories. Furthermore, UAE residents will be able to sponsor sons until the age of 25.

New court to hear inheritance cases in Dubai

The inheritance court will be open to cases worth at least AED 500,000. Rulings are supposed to be made within one year after a case had been lodged.

New online real estate portal for Dubai launched

At DXBinteract.com, both tenants and investors can access real-time property data provided by the Dubai Land Department, such as rents and purchase prices, and compare them with neighbouring properties and projects.

Emirates ID card to replace residence visa sticker

From 11.04.2022, the residence visa will no longer be stamped into the passport. Instead, the Emirates ID card will serve as the UAE residency document and contain all relevant information.

Dubai government departments required to offer online services

The services must be offered in several languages and at no extra cost to customers. Officials have one year to put a plan into effect that seeks to accelerate Dubai's digital transformation.

Expo 2020 ends with grand closing ceremony

More than 23 million visitors attended the six-month long event, which ran from beginning of October 2021 to end of March 2022 in Dubai. 192 countries were represented and many international stars gave free concerts. The German pavilion was one of the most talked about at Expo 2020 and won an Expo Gold Award.

Crowdfunding expected to boost economy

The UAE government has approved the use of crowdfunding in both the public and private sector to finance new projects and encourage entrepreneurship and innovation. This will be done via the new UAE System for Crowdfunding Platform Operators, regulated by the Securities and Commodities Authority.

Working hours for private sector during Ramadan announced

In line with the new UAE Labour Law, the daily working hours will be reduced by two hours, regardless of the employees' religion.

"Savings Scheme for Foreign Employees in the Government of Dubai" launched

The new system aims at, amongst others, protecting and managing dues more effectively by depositing funds in the Scheme from the day of enrolment. The possibility of extending the new system to the private sector in Dubai on a voluntary basis is currently being studied.

Etihad Rail connects Abu Dhabi and Dubai

The 256 km Tarif-Al Aweer track now officially links the two Emirates. It includes 29 bridges and 60 crossings. The UAE National Rail Network will ultimately connect all seven Emirates.

New app to show likeliness of cheque bouncing

"ChequeScore" was launched in the UAE yesterday and allows businesses and individuals to inquire about the probability that a cheque will bounce in the next nine months. In this regard, the app will provide a score ranking from 1% to 99%.

Dubai International Airport again world's busiest airport

With 29.1 million passengers in 2021, it is the eighth consecutive year that Dubai International Airport has reached the top rank in international passenger numbers.

Inauguration of Museum of the Future

The Museum of the Future will open today. Nine years in the making, the museum is often being billed as "the most beautiful building on earth". The 77 metre-tall architectural master piece invites people to experience the technologies and trends that will shape the future of humanity.

Dubai to impose fee on plastic bags

Starting 01.07.2022, consumers will be charged AED 0.25 on single-use plastic bags at counters and for eCommerce deliveries. The policy will be evaluated in stages until single-use plastic bags will be completely banned in two years' time.

Dubai listed 98 new business activities in 2021

The new listings take the available company objectives in the Emirate of Dubai to over 2,200. The new activities are, amongst others, in the sections of green hydrogen production, artificial intelligence developing services, gaming localisation services, 3D printing building construction contracting, space consultancies, plant-based diary manufacturing as well as virtual reality and augmented reality provision and development services.

New UAE Labour Law comes into force today

Federal Decree-Law No. 33 of 2021 replaces Federal Law No. 8 of 1980. The new regulations apply to employees in the private sector and include flexible working conditions such as part-time work, the abolition of unlimited-term employment contracts, new rights and obligations in case of termination during probationary period as well as enhanced benefits for new mothers and protection against discrimination and sexual harassment in the workplace.

UAE to implement corporate tax

Effective for financial years starting on or after 01.06.2023, the corporate tax will apply to all businesses and commercial activities, except for the extraction of natural resources which will remain subject to Emirate level corporate taxation. The standard statutory tax rate will be 9%. An exemption will apply for taxable profits up to AED 375,000 to support small businesses and start-ups. No corporate tax will apply on personal income from employment, real estate and other investments. The UAE corporate tax regime will continue honouring the corporate tax incentives currently being offered to free zone businesses that comply with all regulatory requirements and that do not conduct business with mainland UAE.

Dubai's population expected to nearly double in next 20 years

After a pandemic-related decline of 8.4% in 2020, the population of Dubai has already risen again to 3.48 million. It is projected that within the next two decades approximately 6 million people will live in Dubai.

DAFZ launches Talent Pass

The new license offered in Dubai Airport Freezone (DAFZ) will be available to freelance workers with specific skills and expertise. It enables the license holder to apply for a three-year residence visa.

Volume of real estate deals in Dubai exceed AED 300 billion in 2021

In total, 84,772 transactions were recorded by the Dubai Land Department (DLD) last year. Dubai Marina and Business Bay topped the ranking of the most popular areas.

New timeshare portal in Dubai

The service was launched by the Dubai Department of Economy & Tourism and aims at helping timeshare operators to register and apply for permits and providing insights and guidance to customers and tourists.

Dubai International Airport back to 100% capacity

Following its closure in March 2020 and the phased reopening since June 2020, all terminals, concourses, restaurants, lounges and shops are now fully operational again.

UAE amends and extends weekend for public sector

Starting January 2022, federal government entities will adopt a four-and-a-half-day working week, with Saturday and Sunday being the new weekend and Friday a half-working day. The changes are not binding on the private sector.

New Commercial Companies Law issued

Federal Decree-Law No. 32 of 2021 repeals Federal Law No. 2 of 2015 and, hence, Federal Decree-Law No. 26 of 2020. It confirms the recently introduced relaxation of foreign ownership restrictions and will come into force on 02.01.2022. Existing companies must adjust their position within one year of the new law coming into force.

UAE tops Covid Resilience Ranking

Having been one of the most-consistent performers since the inception of Bloomberg's statistics a year ago, the UAE has achieved the top score. The country is one of the most vaccinated places in the world with over 200 doses per 100 people.

UAE adopts largest legislative reform in its history

The bundle of more than 40 laws aims at strengthening economic, investment and trade opportunities as well as maximising social stability, security and the rights of individuals and institutions. The laws cover, inter alia, a better protection of women and domestic workers, the decriminalisation of non-marital relationships and the recognition of children born out of wedlock. Other laws elaborate on digital signatures, factoring and commercial companies.

New labour law issued

Federal Decree-Law No. 33 of 2021 will be effective as of 02.02.2022 and replace the current federal labour law in its entirety. Amongst other changes, the new law introduces flexible working models, enhanced employee protection measures as well as a single-kind of contract being a limited term contract not exceeding three years.

UAE to host UN Climate Change Conference in 2023

COP28 will be the annual meeting of member states to assess progress in dealing with climate change and discuss new measures. COP1 was held in Berlin in 1995.

Cabinet approves new residence visa scheme for retirees

To be eligible for residency, retirees need to be at least 55 years old and have to fulfil certain requirements concerning the ownership of a property, a bank deposit or an annual income. What was first announced in September 2018 and put in place two years later in Dubai with the initiative "Retire in Dubai", now seems to be applicable to a wider area within the UAE.

Visa opens regional office in Dubai

Visa, one of the world's largest electronic payments companies, has opened its headquarters for about 90 countries in Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa in Dubai Internet City. The 9,290-square-meter premises provides working space for up to 750 employees.

Expatriates stay three times longer in Dubai

Whereas foreigners used to work and live on average three years in the Emirate, the tenure has now increased to eight to ten years. The reason being numerous immigration, economic and social reforms designed to benefit expatriates.

Dubai merges two strategic departments

Dubai Economy and Dubai Tourism now form one entity, called Dubai Department of Economy and Tourism. Some of the targets of the new department include increasing the added value of the industrial sector by 150% in the next five years, expanding export markets for local products by 50% and increasing the number of tourists coming to Dubai by 40% to 25 million by 2025.

Dubai's economy expected to grow 3.5% in 2021

According to S&P Global Ratings, the Emirate's modest recovery is based on the Expo 2020, a good performance by the non-oil sector and a high vaccination rate of currently 85% of the UAE's population against COVID-19.

UAE fourth-best place to live and work worldwide

As per the Expat Explorer, a survey annually commissioned by HSBC, the Emirates have increased their position by ten places in 2021. Foreign workers are being attracted by the accelerated COVID-19 vaccination campaign and the rising economy. Switzerland is in first place.

DMCC incorporated 1,800 new companies in last nine months

In September alone, 215 new companies were added to the client portfolio of Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC). The free zone's best nine-month performance since its launch is based on further ease-of-business regulations as well as the expansion of the tea, coffee, cocoa and crypto centre.

Expo 2020 ceremonially opened

Almost eight years after winning the World Expo campaign in November 2013, the Middle East's biggest event, the Expo 2020, has started today in Dubai and will run for six months until 31.03.2022. 25 million visitors are expected to visit the exhibition.

DLD lowers minimum investment rate for 3-year visa

According to the Dubai Land Department, the required investment in real estate in order to apply for a three-year residence visa has been reduced from AED 1 million to AED 750,000. The five-year residence visa still requires an investment of at least in AED 2 million in property.

New supervising authority for free zones

Starting 01.01.2022, Dubai Airport Free Zone, Dubai Silicon Oasis and Dubai CommerCity will be brought together under one umbrella, the Dubai Integrated Economic Zones Authority. The move aims at streamlining services in order to further attract foreign investors.

Abu Dhabi eases entry regulations

From today onwards, no negative PCR test result is required any longer in order to enter the Emirate of Abu Dhabi from within the UAE.

50 projects for 50 years of UAE

On the occasion of the UAE's 50th birthday this year, 50 ambitious projects for the next 50 years will be announced during this month. The initiatives include, amongst others, the introduction of new visa categories and a data protection law.

Satellite picture of Expo 2020 area published

The Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre has released an image of the Expo 2020 Dubai site. The picture was taken by the UAE-made satellite KhalifaSat from 613 km above earth.

New law against incorrect behaviour of government officials

The UAE has introduced a new law to hold ministers and senior officials accountable for wrongdoing. The public prosecution can now investigate complaints and take actions, including imposing travel bans and freezing bank accounts. However, a case cannot be filed without obtaining prior permission from the Supreme Council.

UAE on first place in industrial sector in Arab World

According to the Competitive Industrial Performance Index of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, the UAE has the most competitive industrial sector in the Arab world. The UAE ranks on place 30 among 152 countries globally. Germany ranks first.

Dubai sets up special court to combat money laundering

The new court will be established within the Court of First Instance and the Court of Appeal. It aims at tackling financial crimes and supporting the UAE's compliance with international anti-money laundering and law-enforcement standards.

Dubai ranked 11 on Savills World Cities Index

Dubai is one of the cities to record a positive capital value growth for prime residential properties during the first six months of 2021.

Dubai Customs launches new guide

The comprehensive publication comprises all services and smart channels, including, amongst others, the Smart Expo 2020 Customs Channel which is dedicated to participants of the Expo 2020.

8,713 rental disputes resolved in first half of 2021

The Rental Disputes Center in Dubai took seven days on average to settle a case.

Dubai regulates 3D printing in construction

Dubai Decree No. 24 of 2021 supports the target to ensure that 25% of buildings in the Emirate will be constructed by using 3D technology by 2030. It further aims at reducing waste and attracting leading companies in the sector to Dubai.

License fees in Abu Dhabi to be reduced by more than 90%

Effective from 27.07.2021, a fixed fee of AED 1,000 for business set-ups and license renewals will apply. It includes six activities within business licenses and covers all fees of Abu Dhabi Government entities. The move aims at increasing transparency and reducing administration costs.

Penalties for non-disclosure of UBOs to be imposed

UAE businesses which have not submitted details of their ultimate beneficial owners (UBOs) to the competent authority risk being fined up to AED 100,000 from 08.07.2021 onwards. Affected companies can appeal against the punitive measures within 30 days from the date of notification.

Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry to be restructured

As one of the largest international chambers of commerce with 245,000 members and a major development arm for Dubai, the Dubai Chamber will operate as three separate entities in the future focusing on different key economic pillars, i.e. Dubai Chamber of Commerce, Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy and Dubai International Chamber.

100 days left until Expo 2020 opens

Due to the pandemic, the global event will begin almost a year late on 01.10.2021 and last for six months until the end of March 2022. Afterwards, 80% of the infrastructure created for the Expo will remain and form part of a new residential and commercial area to be called District 2020.

UAE aims at 80% of litigation to take place remotely by end of 2021

The move follows the successful introduction of remote work practices by the government and the private sector during the COVID-19 pandemic and shall support the provision of fast and fair judicial services.

Dubai International Airport to reopen Terminal 1

After the closure of the terminal in March 2020 due the COVID-19 pandemic, the reopening on 24.06.2021 will create more than 3,500 jobs at the airport and enable the return of more than 40 international carriers who are currently operating from other terminals.

DE extends deadline to disclose UBOs

The new deadline to submit details concerning ultimate beneficial owners (UBOs) of companies licensed with Dubai Economy (DE) ends on 30.06.2021. Details, including the template to be filled, can be found on the website of Dubai Economy by searching for "beneficial owner".

Exemption limit on import duty for overseas deliveries lowered

In order to support local eCommerce platforms, online shoppers will now have to pay 5% import duty for all goods worth more than AED 300. Earlier, goods up to a value of AED 1,000 were duty-exempted.

DE sets deadline to disclose UBOs

In light of Cabinet Resolution No. 58 of 2020, Dubai Economy (DE) has announced that all Dubai-based companies licensed with DE must have submitted details concerning their ultimate beneficial owners (UBOs) to the authority by no later than 15.06.2021. Failure to meet the deadline will entail legal procedures.

Implementation of investor-friendly amendments to UAE Commercial Companies Law started

In recent weeks, some authorities have begun implementing the new regulations concerning commercial companies in the UAE. Dubai Economy and the Ministry of Economy have confirmed, for example, that the national service agent of existing branches of foreign companies can be removed and no such agent needs to be appointed for any new branches. With regard to limited liability companies, the licensing authorities of the Emirates of Dubai and Abu Dhabi have determined a large number of activities for which an Emirati shareholding will no longer be required as of 01.06.2021.

Relaxation of COVID-19 requirements

Dubai's Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management has updated precautionary measures for events and activities. The new rules are effective immediately and include, amongst others, the increase of hotel occupancies to 100% and the issuance of permits for concerts, provided that all attendees and participants have been vaccinated against COVID-19.

Arabian Travel Market 2021 has commenced

The 28. edition of the Middle East's largest travel and tourism exhibition opened today. 1,300 exhibitors from 62 countries participate in the event, which is held under strict COVID-19 precautionary measures. A virtual version of the exhibition will run a week later from 24. - 26.05.2021 to help it reach a wider audience.

Property sales in Dubai at record high since 2010

In the first quarter of 2021, more than 6,000 completed units and 3,600 off-plan properties were sold in Dubai. The most popular freehold areas were International City, Arabian Ranches, The Meadows, The Lakes and Palm Jumeirah.

Dubai CommerCity launched first construction phase

During this stage, office space, logistics units as well as warehouses will be built. Dubai CommerCity is the first dedicated eCommerce free zone in the region Middle East, Africa and South Asia.

No need for screening off dining areas during fasting hours

Unlike mandatory practice previously, this Ramadan restaurants in the Emirate of Dubai will be allowed to serve food to customers during fasting hours without having to put curtains, dividers or facades and without having to apply for a permit. Restaurants and hotels in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi do not have to install any screens either.

Arab world's first female astronaut hails from UAE

27-year-old Nora Al Matrooshi is a mechanical engineer and was chosen from more than 4,000 applicants. She will start the NASA astronaut programme alongside her colleague Mohammed Al Mulla soon.

UAE commences COVID-19 vaccine production

The joint venture between China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm) and UAE's Group 42 has started production of the vaccine developed by Sinopharm, called Hayat-Vax. The new vaccine plant in KIZAD will become operational this year and over its phased development will have an annual production capacity of 200 million doses. Currently, Hayat-Vax is produced by the local pharmaceutical company Julphar with an initial capacity of two million doses per month.

UAE launches first COVID-19 vaccine production line

The joint project of China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm) and Group 42 from the UAE is called "Life Sciences and Vaccine Manufacturing in the UAE" and paves the way for the registration and commercial production of Sinopharm's vaccine in the UAE.

"Operation 300bn" launched

The 10-year plan aims at boosting the industrial sector's contribution to the UAE's GDP from AED 133 billion to AED 300 billion by the year 2031. In order to increase sales of domestic products, the strategy "Make it in the Emirates" was launched at the same time.

2021 declared "The Year 50"

In preparation of the country's 50th anniversary of its formation on 02.12.1971, this year's national theme will highlight the history, values and achievements of the UAE. The celebrations will officially start on 06.04.2021 and last until 31.03.2022.

Dubai 2040 Urban Master Plan launched

Key goals of the plan are to double green and recreational areas, to create nature reserves and rural natural areas which cover 60% of the Emirate as well as to increase the area set for public beaches by 400%. The plan is the seventh of its kind since 1960, taking into consideration that between 1960 and 2020 Dubai's population has multiplied 80 times from 40,000 to 3.3 million.

Continued freeze on governmental fees in Dubai

The Emirate of Dubai had barred authorities from increasing fees for a period of three years in March 2018 already. Such freeze has now been extended until early 2023. The move aims at combating the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and further strengthening Dubai as an investment hub.

JAFZA sets deadline for UBO filing

Following regulations on anti-money laundering and combating financing of terrorism and illegal organisations, the Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority has requested all companies registered in the free zone to update the details in the so-called UBO Form through the Dubai Trade Portal by no later than 31.03.2021. Hence, amongst others, information on the real beneficiary will have to be given.

Travelling with biometric features at Dubai Airport

The new system allows for boarding a flight ID-paperless through passing a contactless pathway which makes use of a mix of iris and facial recognition. The service is currently open to Emirates passengers departing from Terminal 3 and allows for completion of control procedures in five to nine seconds.

Exhibition season 2021 has started

In accordance with strict COVID-19 precautionary measures for visitors and exhibitors, the International Defence Exhibition and Conference (IDEX) in Abu Dhabi and the GULFOOD in Dubai have started today.

Dubai's secondary property market transactions hit 7-year high

In January 2021, a 15.5% increase in terms of sales transactions and a 37% increase in terms of value was recorded compared to January last year. 70% of these sales referred to apartments and 30% to villas and townhouses.

Vaccination campaign continues

More than 1 million vaccine doses against COVID-19 have been administered in the UAE so far. On a single day, more than 65,000 people were vaccinated across the country.

Normalisation of relations with Qatar

On 09.01.2021, the UAE will begin reopening its land, sea and air ports for inbound and outbound movement from and to Qatar. By doing so, the UAE will start taking back the measures imposed on Qatar in June 2017.

Dubai announces fifth economic stimulus package

The latest package amounts to AED 315 million and brings the total value of all aids granted in the Emirate of Dubai triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic to AED 7.1 billion.

New deadline for ESR

The UAE Ministry of Finance has extended the deadline for submitting notifications and reports regarding the Economic Substance Regulations (ESR) concerning the fiscal year 2019. All companies in the UAE engaging in a relevant activity must now submit the required documentation no later than 31.01.2021.

Dubai eases COVID-19 precautionary measures

From 01.01.2021 onwards, thermal scanners and manual temperature checks will no longer be required in the Emirate of Dubai. Furthermore, Dubai Economy abolishes all previous preventive valet parking protocols.

New regulations for timesharing in Dubai

Dubai Law No. 14 of 2020 mandates the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) to oversee all activities in the Emirate's timeshare industry. Amongst other responsibilities, Dubai Tourism will develop rules and technical standards for timeshare facilities, including permits and approvals as well as a classification system for residential units being subject to the new law.

Long-term visa for property buyers in Ras Al Khaimah

The property developer Al Hamra in partnership with Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone (RAKEZ) offers investors a 12-year residence visa along with a business license when buying a property in Al Hamra Village or Bab Al Bahr in the Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah.

Toll gates in Abu Dhabi to get operational

From 02.01.2021 onwards, toll at four bridges in Abu Dhabi will be charged at a rate of AED 4 each time a vehicle passes through a gate during peak hours from Sunday to Thursday from 7 am to 9 am and 5 pm to 7 pm.

Economic Substance Filing Portal available

The UAE Ministry of Finance has activated the online portal for submitting notifications and reports according to the Economic Substance Regulations on its website.

Major amendments to the UAE Commercial Companies Law announced

The most significant changes concern foreign ownership rules. The new regulations allow for 100% foreign ownership in mainland companies. Hence, the previously mandatory majority shareholding of Emirati nationals or wholly Emirati-owned companies will most probably be largely abolished. However, the changes will not be applicable to certain sectors, such as oil and gas. The Foreign Direct Investment Law, which has only recently enabled foreigners to hold all or the majority of shares in onshore companies in specific cases, will probably be repealed following the latest announcements. We will monitor all further developments closely and provide regular updates.

Commercial Property Price Index to be developed

The new tool will be created by the Dubai Land Department together Jones Lang LaSalle. It aims at becoming a reliable source of data for investors, agencies and institutions for investment decisions and portfolio management.

Abu Dhabi to establish court specialising in money laundering and tax evasion crimes

The move aims at further developing Abu Dhabi’s judicial system, enhancing the expertise of relevant judges and reinforcing the country’s competitiveness on local and international level.

UAE modernise aspects of personal status, family, inheritance and criminal law

In order to strengthen the UAE's status as a global destination for foreign investment, a number of amendments to the Personal Status Law, the Civil Transactions Law and the Criminal Procedure Law were announced. Amongst other changes, expatriates are now allowed to choose the law governing inheritance matters.

New deadlines announced for Economic Substance Regulations

According to a new publication of the UAE Ministry of Finance, notifications and reports in relation to the Economic Substance Regulations (ESR) are to be filed electronically through an online portal of the Ministry, which is expected to go live at the beginning of December. ESR reports for financial years commencing January and ending December 2019 are to be submitted by 31.12.2020. Notifications that have been previously filed with Regulatory Authorities are to be resubmitted electronically through the Ministry's portal by 31.12.2020.

Foreign direct investment licenses now also available in Abu Dhabi

The Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development is hence implementing the Foreign Direct Investment Law. The license allows for 100% foreign ownership for companies with a capital of AED 2 million and above which are active in any of the 122 economic categories related to the agricultural, industrial or service sector.

New regulations concerning bounced cheques from 2022

The changes to the UAE Commercial Transactions Law aim at ensuring faster mechanisms to collect due payments.

Dubai announces fourth stimulus package

Further AED 500 million have been allocated for various relief measures, with a particular focus on supporting nurseries. The new initiatives will run until the end of 2020. Previous measures, such as the freeze on market fees, have been extended until the end of the year.

Amendments to bankruptcy law approved

The new regulations stipulate, inter alia, that a debtor shall be exempted from commencing bankruptcy proceedings for a certain period of time in case of an emergency situation, such as in case of a pandemic or a natural disaster.

UAE Cabinet ratifies Abraham Accords

The agreement establishes full diplomatic relations between the UAE and Israel and paves the way for deepening ties in respect to economy, culture and knowledge. As an example, both countries will sign a contract to allow 28 weekly commercial flights between Tel Aviv, Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

Dubai plans digital address for each flat and shop

The new system will help drones and self-driving vehicles to find locations. The existing ten-digit Makani address for building entrances will be extended by a six-digit alphanumeric code for all types of units within buildings.

COVID-19 tests exceed UAE population

With more than 10 million tests having been performed by now, the UAE is the first country worldwide where the number of COVID-19 tests has surpassed its population. During the first week of October alone, 720,802 tests were conducted.

UAE and Israel establish partnership in large-scale conferences and exhibitions

Following the decision to normalise relations and the subsequent signing of the Abraham Accords between the UAE and Israel last September, Dubai World Trade Centre and the Israel Export Institute have concluded an agreement to facilitate the participation of Israeli exhibitors in conferences and exhibitions in the UAE. The commercial potential of agreements between both countries is estimated at USD 500 million per year across several sectors.

UAE resumes issuing entry permits for certain sectors

The Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA) has started accepting applications for entry permits for domestic workers, employees in government and semi-government entities as well as employees in vital facilities in the UAE.

New compliance rules enacted

Companies falling within the scope of Cabinet Resolution No. 58 of 2020 must, among other obligations, have established an Ultimate Beneficial Owner Register and a Partners or Shareholders Register and forwarded the information kept in these registers to the competent authority by 26.10.2020.

One-year countdown for Expo 2020 begins

After being postponed by one year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the global event will now run from 01.10.2021 to 31.03.2022.

UAE to send rover to moon

In 2024, the 100% Emirati-made Rashid Rover will land on an unexplored part of the moon.

Equal pay for men and women in private sector to be put in focus

The new law details Article 32 UAE Labour Law which now states that the UAE Cabinet will release implementing regulations to promote equal wage of men and women.

UAE Central Bank expects GDP to contract by 5.2% in 2020

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the GDP fell in the second quarter of this year by 7.8% compared to the same period last year.

Retirement visa available in Dubai

Persons over the age of 55 are eligible for the new kind of visa, provided they meet certain conditions. The program is based on a cooperation between Dubai Tourism and the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs.

Dedicated department to settle rent and real estate disputes in Abu Dhabi

The Real Estate Dispute Settlement Centre will be established following a cooperation between the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department and the Department of Municipalities and Transport and handle rent and real estate disputes in the Emirate Abu Dhabi.

Comprehensive amendments to Economic Substance Regulations adopted

The new rules replace the previous regulations and include, amongst others, limitations of the scope of application, the introduction of new exemptions and the appointment of the Federal Tax Authority as National Assessing Authority. Further, it is mandatory to electronically resubmit previously filed notifications through an online portal of the Ministry of Finance, which is yet to be created.

Retirement visa announced in Dubai

Persons over the age of 55 are eligible for the new kind of visa, provided they meet certain conditions. The program is based on a cooperation between Dubai Tourism and the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs. The latter, however, has not yet received directives to process respective applications.

UAE grants paternal leave

The UAE becomes the first Arab country to introduce parental leave for employees in the private sector. Fathers will be entitled to a five-day paid leave to take care of their newborn child from its birth until turning six months.

Digital economy in focus

The next priority of the UAE will be to increase the contribution of the digital sector to the national economy and to promote smart infrastructure. This step is aimed at ensuring business continuity in times of crisis, such as during a pandemic.

Dubai South offers rent-to-own scheme

Dubai South is the first master developer in Dubai offering a rent-to-own scheme for its development "The Pulse". The scheme currently consists of a 10-year payment plan with no commitment to purchase the property.

New branch for Dubai Labour Court

Dubai Courts has shifted its Labour and Execution Court services to a new building in Al Awir. This location offers 14 halls on five floors.

Returning Dubai residents still need GDRFA approval

The Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management Dubai has clarified that Dubai residence visa holders are still required to apply for an entry permit through the website of the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs. Last week's news that no approval was required to enter the UAE any longer is therefore only applicable to residence visa holders of other Emirates.

Ras Al Khaimah allows for 100% foreign ownership in mainland companies

The new legal form Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is available to foreign shareholders whose companies shall operate in mainland Ras Al Khaimah in sectors included in the positive list of the FDI Law. Licenses are issued by the Ras Al Khaimah Department of Economic Development (RAK DED) in collaboration with the Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone (RAKEZ).

New images of Abu Dhabi and Dubai captured from space

The Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre has released new high-resolution satellite images of Dubai and Abu Dhabi. KhalifaSat's Mosaic system pieced together individual satellite pictures to create a single image of each of the two cities.

UAE successfully starts up nuclear power plant

By launching Unit 1 as one of four reactors at Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant in Abu Dhabi, the UAE has become the first Arab nation to produce peaceful, commercial nuclear energy.

Dubai South extends stimulus package until end of 2020

The initiative includes up to 50% reduction in set-up and license fees for new and existing companies in the free zone and aims at supporting companies navigate the challenges posed by COVID-19.

UAE's Hope probe lifts off to Mars

For the first time in history, the countdown for a space mission was done in Arabic when the UAE launched its Hope probe to Mars. Hope will go into orbit in February 2021 and study how the upper atmosphere of Mars is affected by its lower atmosphere.

New policy for jointly owned real estate

The Dubai Land Department (DLD) through the Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA) launched a Conflict of Interest & Party Transactions policy for jointly owned properties. It aims at deepening principles of transparency and accountability in all matters related to jointly owned properties in freehold areas across the Emirate of Dubai.

New regulations for commercial drone network

Dubai Law No. 4 of 2020 regulates the operation of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV). The so-called Dubai Sky Dome project will pave the way for the delivery of packages and even passenger transportation and, thus, create an airspace infrastructure for UAVs by connecting buildings through runways and miniature airports across Dubai.

Increase in eCommerce licenses

Compared to last year, Dubai recorded an 83% surge in the number of eCommerce business licenses issued by Dubai Economy in the first six months of the year. The so-called DED Trader License was introduced in 2017 to promote eCommerce and drive the digital transformation.

New travel guidelines for Dubai

Dubai's Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management has announced travel procedures for tourists, residents and citizens. Tourists, for example, will be allowed to visit Dubai again from 07.07.2020 onwards.

Job loss may justify termination of lease

The Rental Disputes Centre in Dubai recently ruled that the termination of a tenant's employment relationship qualified as "exceptional circumstances" and, thus, served as grounds for an early termination of the tenancy contract by the tenant.

New quarantine guidelines issued for returning UAE residents

Dubai Tourism has announced guidelines for returning holders of residence visas. Such residents must undergo a COVID-19 test at the airport, download the COVID-19 DXB application and observe a 14-day quarantine either at home or a designated hotel.

Dubai's private sector businesses and shopping malls to operate at full capacity

As part of the reopening of economic activities, 100% of private sector employees are allowed to resume work at the company premises from 03.06.2020 onwards. However, all mandatory health guidelines must still be followed and the operating hours for companies and shopping malls have to fall between 6 am and 11 pm.

Dubai gets back to business

Most business activities that had been suspended as a precautionary measure against the spread of COVID-19 can resume to normal operating hours between 6 am and 11 pm from 27.05.2020 onwards. This includes cinemas, gyms, retail stores and other organisations. Offices are allowed to operate with 50% of the staff. However, the updated reopening guidelines issued by Dubai Economy have to be observed.

UAE allows residents stranded outside country to return

Starting 01.06.2020, foreign nationals holding valid UAE residence visas will be allowed to enter the UAE. Those who wish to return need to register for a so-called "Residents' Entry Permit" via the website https://smartservices.ica.gov.ae.

UAE rolls out two-phase plan to reopen economy

In the first phase, the economy will gradually be reopened supported by incentives for the private sector currently worth AED 282.5 billion. In the second phase, a long-term stimulus plan is planned to speed up the recovery and encourage investments in digital economy, including 5G networks and artificial intelligence.

UAE continues ruling out VAT increase in near future

The UAE Ministry of Finance has announced not to follow Saudi Arabia which will raise its VAT rate from 5% to 15% from July 2020. The consumption tax was introduced in the UAE at a rate of 5% on 01.01.2018.

Postponement of Expo 2020

Within a week from the start of voting on a postponement of Expo 2020, the required two-thirds majority has already been reached. Therefore, the confirmation of the new dates should be a formality only. The event will now run from 01.10.2021 until 31.03.2022.

DMCCA launches employee insurance program

The Dubai Multi Commodities Centre Authority (DMCCA) has partnered up with Dubai Insurance to provide an insurance scheme to companies located in the free zone. Once operational, employers can enroll their employees for the new employee protection insurance program instead of paying the bank guarantee of currently AED 3,000 per employee.

New employment regulations in DMCC

All entities licensed in the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) will have to adhere to the DMCC Guidelines No. 1 of 2020 regarding employment relations during the period of COVID-19 precautionary measures.

Curfew in Dubai eased

Restrictions on movement continue being in place between 10 pm and 6 am. Certain businesses are now able to reopen, subject to adhering to the guidelines and protocols announced by Dubai Economy earlier.

Rules for future reopening of businesses in Dubai released

Dubai Economy announced guidelines and protocols for the reopening of certain businesses, such as, for example, shopping malls and offices. However, it is yet to be confirmed when the reopening will take place.

Guidance on ESR published

Following the introduction of Economic Substance Regulations (ESR) in April 2019 and the adoption of corresponding implementing regulations in September 2019, the UAE Ministry of Finance has released a so-called Relevant Activities Guide. These guidelines aim at supporting companies in assessing the scope and application of the ESR.

Curfew in Dubai extended by one week

Most persons wanting to leave home remain being obliged to apply for a so-called move permit with Dubai Police first.

Validity of visas extended until end of 2020

The UAE has announced that residence visas and Emirates ID cards for persons inside and outside the UAE as well as entry permits and tourist visas for persons inside the UAE will be automatically extended until 31.12.2020, if expired after 01.03.2020. Entry permits for persons currently outside the UAE will expire on the expiration date mentioned on the document.

Stricter curfew in Dubai imposed

The competent authorities announced this evening that the National Sterilisation Programme due to the COVID-19 pandemic will be extended from previously ten hours a day between 8 pm and 6 am to 24 hours with immediate effect for an initial period of two weeks. This means that all residents of Dubai must now apply for a so-called move permit before being allowed to leave their homes. The only exceptions apply to employees in vital and specific support sectors, such as food retail outlets, pharmacies and delivery services.

New website on COVID-19

The National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority has launched the website weqaya.ae in order to provide consolidated information on COVID-19 and raise public health awareness.

Notary Public goes digital during COVID-19 crisis

Dubai Courts has stopped all Notary Public services at branches until 09.04.2020. However, some documents will be processed electronically, including, amongst others, powers of attorney and legal notices.

Dubai Free Zones Council unveils stimulus package

The Dubai Free Zones Council, including, inter alia, Jebel Ali Free Zone, Dubai Multi Commodities Centre, Dubai Airport Freezone and Dubai South, has launched a stimulus package in order to combat the effects of COVID-19 on the economy.

Work from home for Dubai's private sector employees

Dubai Economy directed all private sector companies to implement a work-from-home scheme for at least 80% of their employees starting immediately until 09.04.2020. Companies in certain sectors, such as healthcare, food retail and construction, are exempt from the rule.

DAFZ's foreign trade reached AED 164 billion in 2019

The Dubai Airport Freezone (DAFZ) contributed 12% to Dubai's foreign trade in 2019. India was DAFZ's biggest trade partner with 18.3% followed by China with 17.3% and Switzerland with 16.3%.

AED 100 billion to support UAE economy

The stimulus package introduced by the UAE Central Bank is aimed at offsetting the slowdown in the economy caused by the COVID-19 outbreak and the subsequent drop in business activity.

Dubai rolls out AED 1.5 billion stimulus package

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, 15 initiatives will be implemented to support residents and investors in the next three months. The measures are focused on the commercial, retail, trade, tourism and energy sectors.

Fees in JAFZ to be reduced

DP World has announced that the costs of licensing, registration and administration for companies operating or setting up in the Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZ) will be cut by up to 70%. JAFZ is the oldest free zone in the UAE and accounts for 23.8% of Dubai's GDP currently.

UAE rules out VAT increase in near future

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) recently proposed to double the current value added tax (VAT) rate from 5% to 10%. However, the UAE will first study the advantages and disadvantages of VAT, which was implemented two years ago, before any decision will be taken.

Positive List approved

The UAE cabinet has approved the so-called Positive List in connection with the Foreign Direct Investment Law, including 122 economic activities which are eligible for up to 100% foreign ownership in industrial, agricultural and services sectors.

DIFC launches Innovation License

The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) has introduced a new license type for start-ups, entrepreneurs and technology firms from different sectors. The license costs USD 1,500 per year and allows access to co-working spaces at the free zone with a flexible desk space for USD 500 extra per month. It offers up to four visas on the first desk and subsidised visas of up to 50% for innovation firms.

Dubai's non-oil trade rose 6% in 2019

China remained the emirate's largest trading partner contributing AED 150 billion, whereas Switzerland ranked fourth with a volume of AED 60 billion.

In-country value program to be extended in Abu Dhabi

As part of the AED 50 billion Ghadan 21 stimulus initiative, the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development and Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) signed a preliminary agreement to extend ADNOC's local supplier certification program across the procurement procedures in the public sector of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. Under the so-called in-country value (ICV) program, companies are certified based on their contribution to the country's economy. The better the ICV score, the better the changes to win jobs from ADNOC or soon within the public sector.

Abu Dhabi to regulate and tax holiday homes

The capital will implement new regulations to govern short-term rentals. Holiday home owners will need to obtain a license and pay 6% of their rental income to the Department of Culture and Tourism in Abu Dhabi in order to operate legally.

4,692 Instant Licenses issued since 2017

Provided certain requirements are met, licenses can be obtained during one visit to Dubai Economy and without the need for having a tenancy contract for the company in place for the first year of incorporation.

Ghadan 21 transforming Abu Dhabi's economy, community and knowledge ecosystem

The government program was launched one year ago and focuses on investing in people and business in the years 2019 to 2021. In the business sector, Ghadan 21 has aimed at, amongst others, de-regulation initiatives as well as the introduction of instant licenses and dual licenses.

Operating license for Barakah Nuclear Power Plant issued

The Federal Authority for Nuclear Energy has announced the go-ahead for Unit 1 of the first nuclear reactor in the Arab world. It is located in Barakah, around 300 km from Abu Dhabi and will now start its commission period.

Gulfood marks its silver anniversary

The 25th edition of the world's largest annual food and beverage trade show will run in Dubai for 5 days with over 5,000 exhibitors from 140 countries under the theme "Rethinking Food".

Tourists can claim VAT refund at self-service kiosks

Visitors can complete the process by submitting the tax invoices marked with tax-free stickers issued by registered retail outlets and scanning their passport and boarding pass showing that they will be leaving the UAE within the next 24 hours. Apart from air, land and sea exit ports, self-service kiosks are located in major shopping malls and hotels across the UAE.

UAE remains least corrupt country in MENA region

From 180 countries with an average score of 43 listed in the Corruption Perception Index 2019 published by Berlin-based Transparency International, the UAE has reached 71 points and ranks 21st.

Dubai launches World Logistics Passport

The initiative is designed as a points loyalty program which incentivises companies and traders to use Dubai’s logistics facilities in return for cost and time savings as well as enhanced customs clearances. It connects Customs World, DP World and Emirates Group.

DTCM sole licensing authority for holiday homes in Dubai

Dubai Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) has issued a new directive prohibiting developers and home owners' associations to bar licensed holiday home operators from their buildings or communities in Dubai.

New law to regulate leasing in DIFC

DIFC Law No. 1 of 2020 addresses specific factors relating to real estate located within the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC). It provides an appropriate regulatory framework in line with common law jurisdictions and onshore Dubai practices.

Five-year multiple-entry tourist visa for UAE announced

The new visa type will be introduced within the next four months and will apply to tourists of all nationalities. It aims at establishing the UAE as a major global tourism destination.

Dubai Council set up on 14th anniversary of Sheikh Mohammed's Accession Day

The Council's aim is to map out a vision for Dubai's next 50 years covering six strategic sectors, i.e. the economy, citizens' services, government, infrastructure, security and justice as well as health and knowledge.

Dubai House Price Index launched

The Dubai Land Department (DLD) and Property Finder have released "Mo'asher". The platform provides consumers with updated property sales price insights in Dubai on a monthly basis.

New DMCC rules to ease doing business

The new regulations applicable to companies licensed in the free zone Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) will be effective from 02.01.2020. Major improvements include, amongst others, an increased flexibility for a company's Articles of Association and ability to transfer company incorporation into DMCC as well as the introduction of different share types and a dormant status for companies.

Website to apply for golden visa launched

Eligible applicants now have the possibility to apply for their long-term business visas for the UAE on https://business.goldenvisa.ae.

Next year declared as "2020: Towards the next 50"

The year 2020 will be the year of preparations for the coming five decades. A committee will prepare a comprehensive development plan for the next 50 years. This includes developing the administrative system to make the UAE the fastest, most flexible and adaptable government to future changes, involving all segments of society in shaping life as well as drawing a new economic map and creating extraordinary projects and strategies to make huge progress in the economy.

New low-cost airline Wizz Air Abu Dhabi announced

Eastern Europe's biggest low-cost carrier Wizz Air will cooperate with Abu Dhabi Development Holding Company. It marks the second launch of a local carrier in the capital within a short period of time after the announcement of Air Arabia Abu Dhabi, a joint venture between Air Arabia and Etihad Group.

Jebel Ali Port to get fourth terminal

Once complete, the new terminal will raise the port's capacity to 22.4 million TEU (twenty-foot equivalent units). Currently, in its 40th year of operations, Jebel Ali Port can simultaneously handle 18 container ships, including those of 20,000 TEU capacity and above.

List of excise taxable products expanded

From today, consumers will have to pay more for sugary drinks, cigarettes, electronic smoking devices including liquids used in such devices and other items deemed harmful for health.

Dubai economy grew 2.1% in first six months of 2019

According to the Dubai Statistics Centre, Dubai's gross domestic product reached AED 208.2 billion in the first half of 2019.

Domestic workers over 60 can renew contracts

The new option is available provided the domestic helper is medical fit, the health insurance is paid by the employer and all authorities involved grant their approval.

Africa Investment Summit opens in Abu Dhabi

The 2-day event brings together more than 180 representatives of sovereign wealth funds, global institutional investors, Africa-focused asset managers, banks, corporates and supra-national agencies.

Federal Law concerning insolvency of individuals approved

The new legislation will come into effect in January 2020. It protects debt-ridden individuals from criminal prosecution and offers support to repay debts within three years instead.

Long-term residence visas for 2,500 expats

The first batch of scientists, researchers, innovators, investors and doctors was granted a 10-year golden visa.

ADIPEC opens today

The Abu Dhabi Petroleum Exhibition and Conference (ADIPEC) is one of the most important global events for the oil and gas industry. It hosts over 2,000 exhibitors from 167 countries and takes place in Abu Dhabi during the next four days.

New ethical standards for property brokers in Dubai

The Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA) issued a circular comprising ten obligations to be followed by real estate professionals. The guidelines aim at maintaining public trust and protecting investors.

Warehouse leasing in JAFZ now possible for DMCC companies

By means of a special arrangement between the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) and DP World, DMCC companies with trading licenses benefit from the new service. Setting up a branch in the Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZ) is required, but no fees for registration, license and license renewal are payable.

UAE to be removed from EU list of non-cooperative jurisdictions

The move follows the introduction of economic substance regulations in the UAE. The country was initially blacklisted by the EU in December 2017 because it was seen as facilitating arrangements aimed at attracting overseas profits which do not reflect real economic activity in the UAE.

UAE ranks 25th in Global Competitiveness Report

According to the annual publication of the World Economic Forum, the UAE has improved two positions and leads the ranking in the Arab world.

Government to create 20,000 jobs for Emiratis in the next three years

The roles will be in the banking, aviation, communication, insurance and property sector. Further, managerial positions in the government will be reserved for Emiratis. They will also be given priority for 160 job titles in the private sector.

New law on jointly owned real estate in Dubai

Dubai Law No. 6 of 2019 distinguishes between three categories of properties, i.e. mega projects, hotels and those needing facility management services, and refers to activities of facility management companies, developers and homeowners' associations.

Holiday homes to remain in Downtown Dubai

The decision of the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) was made shortly before a ban sought to be imposed by the master developer Emaar on all short-term leasing activities in the area should have taken effect. DTCM made it clear that a master developer does not have the right to introduce such a restriction.

Unlimited employment relationships now possible in JAFZA

For the first time, the Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority (JAFZA) now offers the option to conclude an unlimited term employment contract instead of a limited term employment contract. The template for an unlimited term contract as well as the updated template for a limited term contract is already available online.

Emaar asks holiday home rentals in Downtown to cease

By way of a general notice, the property developer Emaar has requested home owners to stop renting their properties located in Downtown Dubai as holiday homes from 19.09.2019 onwards.

Cases handled by DIFC Courts increased by 25%

In the first six months of this year, the courts at the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) presided over 463 cases, out of which 321 cases were held in front of the Small Claims Tribunal. One case took an average of four to six weeks to be resolved.

New tax on unhealthy products

From 01.01.2020, the UAE will levy excise tax of 100% on eCigarettes, vaping devices and tobacco refills and 50% excise tax on juices and drinks containing added sugar and sweeteners.

Dubai International Airport remains world's largest international airport by traffic volume

Almost 41.3 million passengers passed through the airport in the first half of 2019.

DIFC to recognise wills covering UAE and international assets

Previously, non-Muslims were only able to register wills covering Dubai and Ras Al Khaimah properties and holdings through the Wills Service Centre of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).

Men on family visas can get work permit

The two-year work permit applies to both skilled and limited skilled employees and costs AED 300 for all categories of firms. Previously, such work permits were exclusively issued to women who are under the sponsorship of their family.

Electronic system for service charge payments towards properties in Dubai

The Dubai Land Department (DLD) has introduced a new system called "Mollak". It monitors payments of service charges in co-owned properties, such as apartment blocks and villa communities. The owners will pay community service fees via Mollak rather than directly to the developer.

Abu Dhabi toll system to be introduced on 15.10.2019

Four toll gates will be set up with different rates for peak and off-peak hours. The toll fees will be collected from pre-paid user accounts.

DMCC introduces Dual Licensing System

The Dubai Multi Commodities Center (DMCC) and Dubai Economy have signed a strategic cooperation agreement on business licensing in Dubai allowing DMCC companies to operate within the Free Zone and onshore in the Emirate of Dubai.

Ministry of Economy amends fee structure for 110 services

Fees for 102 services will be cancelled and fees for eight services will be reduced by 50%.

Up to 94% cut in labour fees

The Ministry of Human Resources & Emiratisation (MoHRE) starts enforcing reduced charges for 145 services, including 17 transactions with a cut between 50% and 94%. The revised fee structure for issuing work permits is connected to a new classification system of companies based on the skill level and the culture diversity of their employees.

Free liquor license for tourists in Dubai

The new regulation introduces a 30-day license which will allow visitors to purchase alcohol from MMI outlets.

Positive List for foreign direct investment issued

The much-awaited Positive List pursuant to Federal Decree-Law No. 19 of 2018 permits 100% foreign ownership in UAE mainland companies for 122 activities in 13 sectors. The sectors include renewable energy, space, agriculture, manufacturing, transportation and storage, hospitality and food services, information and telecommunications, scientific, technical and professional activities, administrative and support services, education, healthcare, art and entertainment as well as construction.

JAFZA to offer long-term residence visas

The Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority (JAFZA) will assist new and existing customers which meet the relevant requirements in applying for the new visa categories.

New DIFC insolvency law

The legislation will come into effect on 28.08.2019 and include a new debtor in possession bankruptcy regime for companies operating out of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).

UAE introduces permanent residency

As part of the visa reform, the so-called "Golden Card" is offered to certain investors, entrepreneurs, specialised talents, researchers and outstanding students and their families.

JAFZA to return labour guarantees ahead of new salary insurance scheme

The Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority (JAFZA) will launch a workforce protection programme in September 2019 to help protect employees' wages of JAFZA registered companies. The new initiative will align the free zone's wage protection policies with those of the UAE Ministry of Labour.

DIAC to settle disputes more efficiently

The newly issued Dubai Decree No. 17 of 2019 replaces the current rules of the Dubai International Arbitration Centre (DIAC) and aims at enhancing the arbitration centre's procedures.

UAE and China sign deals worth USD 3.45 billion

Being part of the Belt and Road Initiative, the first project includes a 60-million square feet traders' market to be built opposite Dubai's Expo site. The second project comprises a "vegetable basket" with cold storage warehouses to import, process, package, store and re-export agricultural, livestock and fish products.

Abu Dhabi further opens freehold property market to foreigners

With changes in the real estate law, all foreigners will be allowed to own land and property in investment areas on a freehold basis. Previously, foreign investors were largely restricted to 99-year leases in the capital of the UAE.

Coca-Cola Arena to open on 06.06.2019

The new entertainment centre is located at Dubai City Walk, has a floor space of 3,870 sq. m and can accommodate up to 17,000 spectators.

Commercial space flights to take-off from UAE

The UAE Space Agency and Virgin Galactic will sign a deal on building a spaceport in Al Ain.

Four programmes to boost Emiratisation unveiled

This year, more than 30,000 job opportunities are planned to be created for citizens in the private sector. One programme focuses on activating Article 14 of the UAE Labour Law which states that a non-Emirati can only be recruited if no qualified Emirati is available.

ADAFZ reduces set-up costs for new businesses

Abu Dhabi Airports Free Zone (ADAFZ) has cut its business formation costs by more than 65% and will waive all license fees for new companies this year and next year.

Applications for long-term visas now possible

From today, the UAE's residency departments will start receiving applications for long-term visas of 5 and 10 years. These kinds of visas are available to certain investors, entrepreneurs, innovators and professional talents.

Holidays for public and private sector unified

This year and next year, employees in the public sector and the private sector will enjoy the same number of public holidays and get 14 days off.

Dubai Silk Road approved

The strategy comprises nine initiatives and 33 projects involving Emirates airline, Dubai Airports, Dubai South, Dubai Free Zones Council, Dubai Maritime City Authority, Dubai Roads and Transport Authority, DP World, Dubai Municipality and Jebel Ali Free Zone. It covers various sectors including government integration, eCommerce movement, linking value chains as well as air and logistics connectivity.

Gulfood opens today

The world's largest annual food and beverage trade show will run in Dubai for 5 days with 5,000 local, regional and international exhibitors.

Hindi becomes Abu Dhabi labour court's third language

The Abu Dhabi Judicial Department has recognised Hindi as its third official language apart from Arabic and English in labour law related proceedings.

Merger creates UAE's third largest bank

The new entity will comprise of Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB), Union National Bank (UNB) and Al Hilal Bank. It will carry the ADCB identity and have total assets of AED 420 billion.

44. Arab Health opens today

This year, the largest regional healthcare exhibition counts 4,250 exhibitors, expects 84,500 visitors and focuses on advances in healthcare technology.

Rent defaulters allowed to pay debt at airport

The new smart system of the Rental Disputes Center (RDC) makes it possible that rent defaulters in the Emirate of Dubai, who are banned from travelling, can now settle their dues at the airport and thereafter fly out of the country immediately.

First 10-year residence visas issued

The first long-term residence visas for experts in medical, scientific, research and technical fields have been granted to 20 scientists.

New DHCC license for visiting doctors

From 20.01.2019 onward, international physicians, dentists and complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) practitioners can work at up to three clinical facilities in Dubai Healthcare City (DHCC) and will be issued a 2-year license. DHCC will act as the sponsor of these doctors.

Regulations for tourism companies relaxed

As Dubai seeks to lower the cost of doing business and attract investment, tourism companies no longer need to provide bank guarantees to Dubai Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) to set up their business or offer travel and tour-related services.

DIFC 2.0 launched

The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), the region's largest financial free zone, will be expanded. The new district will ultimately comprise of 6.4 million square feet of office space, 2.6 million square feet of creative space, 1.5 million square feet of residences, 1.3 million square feet of retail space, 700,000 square feet of leisure and entertainment space as well as 400,000 square feet of space for a financial campus.

New labour court to provide rulings within hours

The Summary Cases Court at the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) in Abu Dhabi handles straightforward cases, such as employers withholding employees' passports or failing to apply for the issuance or renewal of health insurance cards. The new court complements the One Day Labour Court which was launched in October 2017.

Fifty-Year Charter for Dubai

The document marks Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum's 50. anniversary of his first official post in serving the UAE. The Charter does not replace the government's strategies, but it includes new aspects of the ruler's vision for the future of Dubai. It will be released on January 4 each year to announce exceptional projects in Dubai, such as, for example this year, the Dubai Silk Road, a geo-economic map for Dubai and the first virtual commercial city.

New job classification scheme introduced

The list comprises 725 job titles in nine professional categories. Each job title has a brief job description as well as a unique code and belongs to one of five levels of professional skills. The skill level determines the kind of degree certificate a work permit applicant must provide or whether no certificate is required at all.

Amnesty extended till end of December

The new deadline helps counteract the effect of delays some amnesty-seekers may have faced and grant another chance to every illegal resident and visa violator who could not take advantage of the scheme earlier.

UAE passport now number 1 in the world

According to the latest Passport Index, UAE passport holders gain visa-free entry to 167 countries. The second most powerful passports are those of Germany and Singapore with visa-free travel to 166 countries.

The Big 5 opens in Dubai

The 39. edition of the largest construction event in the Middle East hosts more than 2,500 exhibitors and will run for the next four days.

DIC offers freelance permit for AED 7,500 per year

Professionals working in the technology sector are eligible to apply for the new license. If required, Dubai Internet City (DIC) also assists in the application for a residence visa. A few month ago, Dubai Media City and Dubai Knowledge Park launched similar packages for the education and media sector.

Abu Dhabi courts to make English translation compulsory

From 11.11.2018 onwards, plaintiffs in civil and commercial cases involving non-Arabic speaking defendants have to translate case files into English. The Abu Dhabi courts are the first mainland courts in the region to add English as an official second language.

UAE is 11. best nation to do business

The UAE has jumped 10 places in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Report 2019 from position 21 last year and leads the Arab world for the sixth consecutive year.

Amnesty extended till December 1

The huge turnout and slow procedures at some Embassies has prompted the government to offer one more month for amnesty seekers to rectify their residency status.

Dubai population exceeds 3.1 million

According to the latest figures published by the Dubai Statistics Centre, the population of Dubai has grown nearly 10% year on year. In 1971, Dubai had 95,880 inhabitants, rising up to 862,387 in the year 2000 and 3,136,400 in the third quarter of 2018.

Arbitration centre opens at ADGM

The Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) Arbitration Centre commenced operations for commercial and civil disputes yesterday.

Good Conduct Certificate for tenants and landlords in Dubai

The Rental Disputes Center (RDC) has launched an app that allows landlords and tenants to apply for a Rental Good Conduct Certificate and inquire about each other's rental and leasing history, including rental rulings and enforcement cases against them.

Insurance to replace employee's bank guarantee from mid-October

Employers in the UAE will be able to opt for an insurance scheme with an annual premium of AED 60 to employ a new staff member instead of depositing AED 3,000 as bank guarantee.

New law on real estate brokerage in Sharjah

 Decree-Law No. 2 of 2018 repeals Law No. 1 of 1981 and mandates the Sharjah Executive Council to issue regulations on the real estate broker profession as well as on fees and administrative penalties.

Dubai Police offers new online services

Residents can now check their criminal status in financial cases in Dubai and find out whether a travel ban has been issued based on such cases.

Abu Dhabi to establish labour court

The new special court, which is intended to speed up adjudications, will handle all labour cases and disputes up to the appeal stage.

Germany unveils Expo 2020 concept

The pavilion is named "Campus Germany". It will have an educational theme and be located in the Sustainability District on one of the largest plots at the Expo in Dubai.

Rental registration services in Abu Dhabi now fully online

The digital services include among others the registration of new and cancellation of existing tenancy contracts as well as the renewal of property management agreements.

Retirement visa scheme for expatriates unveiled

Expat retirees over the age of 55 years will be able to apply for a five-year renewable residence visa. The new law will come into effect from 2019. The requirements to qualify for a retirement visa are a property investment of at least AED 2 million, financial savings of at least AED 1 million or an active income of at least AED 20,000 per month.

Dual Licenses Initiative in Abu Dhabi launched

The first phase of the program enables companies operating in one of the free zones of Abu Dhabi to carry out their commercial activities outside the free zone in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and Al Dhafra. The second phase will allow more companies to qualify for a dual license.

Minimum spend and age for VAT refund

The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) has set a minimum spend of AED 250 and a minimum age of 18 to be eligible for tourist VAT refund. The refundable value will be 85% of the total VAT amount paid minus an administration fee of AED 4.80 per tax refund form.

VAT refund for tourists to start in November

The Tourist Refund Scheme will allow tourists to receive back a proportion of the VAT when having shopped at registered stores. The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) has appointed Planet as its exclusive tax refund operator.

ADGM launched license for technology startups

Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) offers the new free zone license at a nominal cost of AED 2,570, including four residence visas and a registered address. It will help companies to begin with seed funding and then progress onto an IPO in a reputable legal framework and robust regulatory regime.

Eid Al Adha holidays announced

The public sector will remain closed from 19.08.2018 to 23.08.2018 and re-open after the weekend on Sunday, 26.08.2018. The holidays for the private sector will run from 20.08.2018 until 22.08.2018 inclusive.

DAFZA cuts fees to boost competitiveness

Effective 01.08.2018, the Dubai Airport Freezone Authority (DAFZA) will reduce registration fees by up to 65%, license fees by up to 33% and staff visa fees by up to 20%. Fees for Board Resolutions and issuance of Memoranda of Association as well as fines for late renewal of licenses will be waived.

Tajer Abu Dhabi licenses extended

Tajer Abu Dhabi allows new companies to obtain commercial licenses without an office or physical presence. The new packages cover more activities and are available to one-person companies held by Emiratis or other GCC nationals and limited liability companies held by foreigners together with Emiratis.

Three new designated zones announced

Effective 18.06.2018, the Federal Tax Authority (FTA) has added Al Ain International Airport Free Zone, Al Bateen Executive Airport Free Zone in Abu Dhabi and International Humanitarian City in Dubai to the list of designated zones.

JAFZA to cut visa processing time to 24 hours

Companies operating in the Jebel Ali Free Zone and the National Industries Park will benefit from the new agreement signed between the Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority (JAFZA) and the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs.

Freelance work permit in media and education sectors for AED 7,500

The package was launched by TECOM for its free zones Dubai Media City and Dubai Knowledge Park (www.gofreelance.ae). The annual fee includes the freelance work permit and access to the Business Centre. Fees for obtaining a UAE residence visa are not included.

DWTC free zone reduces fees up to 70%

Dubai World Trade Centre Authority (DWTCA) has announced a reduction of free zone registration and licensing fees as well as immigration related service fees.

Three-month visa amnesty starts in August

The UAE government will waive all overstay fines if a person chooses to leave the country. Should a violator decide to stay in the UAE, he can rectify his legal status by paying nominal fees.

Further changes in job and visa rules

The UAE cabinet has adopted a number of additional strategic decisions to boost the economy. Amongst other measures, the previously mandatory bank guarantee amounting to AED 3,000 per worker will be replaced by a new insurance that costs AED 60 per year per worker. Further, job seekers will be able to apply for a six-month temporary visa without fees.

Dubai Economy launches package to stimulate business growth

The licensing authority for the Emirate of Dubai now allows companies to pay fines and license fees in instalments. Further, businesses can opt to freeze their trade license for a year.

Dubai Municipality cuts market fees by 50%

With immediate effect, the municipality will charge only 2.5% of the annual rent of company premises when renewing the trade license of businesses established onshore in the Emirate if Dubai.

Abu Dhabi unveils AED 50 billion economic stimulus

The package is designated for boosting economic growth over the next three years. The Abu Dhabi Executive Council is asked to develop an action plan within 90 days to determine the aspects of spending.

Mandatory afternoon rest for workers starting mid of June

No work under direct sunlight between 12.30 p.m. until 3 p.m. will be allowed from 15.06.2018 until 15.09.2018. Violating companies will be fined AED 5,000 per worker and a maximum of AED 50,000.

Waiver on corporate penalties

To boost economic confidence, Dubai Economy, the licensing authority in the Emirate of Dubai, will not impose any administrative fines on companies, whose licenses have expired, until the end of 2018. The Department of Economic Development in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi will exempt businesses whose licenses have not been valid for more than 24 months.

Cabinet approves 10-year UAE Residence Visa

Investors and professionals in medical, scientific, research and technical fields along with their families will be offered 10-year residence visas. The new visa system will also grant five-year residence visas to students and 10-year residence visas to top achievers.

New employment rules for Emiratis in private sector

The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) has issued new regulations for hiring and terminating UAE nationals in the private sector.

Dubai Chamber develops retail rents index

The new database will be the first of its kind in Dubai and is expected to be launched by the end of this year.

Ramadan Kareem

The holy month of Ramadan will start on Thursday, 17.05.2018. The working hours for the public sector will be from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. across the UAE, whereas the private sector's duty timings will be shortened by two hours.

UAE unveils new arbitration law

The new self-standing legislation repeals the former laws governing arbitration in the UAE and is based on the Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL).

Gold and diamonds for wholesalers exempt from VAT

The UAE has rolled back the 5% value added tax (VAT) at the wholesale level. Retailers will continue to charge VAT on all jewellery transactions.

Abu Dhabi launches rental index

The new online portal "Ejarat Abu Dhabi" compiles rental values from across 100 areas of the capital and is intended for real estate developers only at present.

New law on volunteering in Dubai

The Community Development Authority (CDA) has been given the power to draw up plans and public policies to protect both volunteers and beneficiaries.

Cabinet passes equal pay law

The new draft law will ensure that men and women receive equal pay for equal work and is part of the National Strategy for Empowerment of Emirati Women in the UAE for 2015 - 2021.

New investment law planned for 2018

As announced by the UAE Minister of Economy, a final draft of the law has been sent to the Cabinet for review and approval. The new legislation intends to liberalise several areas of business ranging from the manufacturing industry to service sectors.

GIBAN launched by FTA

The GIBAN is a unique account number which is displayed on a company's Federal Tax Authority (FTA) dashboard and enables the company to make VAT payments through most UAE banks.

ADGM Courts and Abu Dhabi Judicial Department agree on co-operation

Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) Courts support the financial free zone with an independent common law framework. The new agreement is aimed to enhancing the emirate's international competitive position and making it more attractive for investments.

Requirement for good conduct certificate delayed until further notice

Since 04.02.2018 anyone coming to the UAE to work had to present such document covering the last five years. The move to suspend the new regulation was made to relief of some embassies and recruiters who said it has been hard to implement.

Emaar and Aldar launch joint venture

The two real estate developers have joined hands to thrive projects worth AED 30 billion in the UAE and abroad. Initially, they will co-develop Emaar Beachfront in Dubai and Saadiyat Grove in Abu Dhabi.

New part-time contract launched

The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) will allow companies to recruit skilled workers from within the country or overseas and offer them part-time jobs. An approval of the original employer will not be needed.

Paid social media influencers need license

By end of June, influencers who make money by promoting brands, products or businesses will need to secure a license from the National Media Council (NMC).

Dubai freezes government fees for three years

The move aims at promoting Dubai's economic competitiveness, enhancing social stability and boosting investments.

Draft arbitration law approved by Federal National Council

The new law, likely to be enacted in the second half of this year, is expected to adopt many of the provisions in the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL). Under the draft law parties will be able to choose the arbitrator, the legal system they wish to govern their case and where it is heard.

New deadline for VAT registration

The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) has given all UAE businesses that missed the December 2017 deadline until 30.04.2018 to register for value-added tax (VAT) and avoid penalties.

Germany signs Expo contract

Germany has pledged to spend EUR 50 million to build and run one of the largest national pavilions at Expo 2020 in Dubai. The 4,500 square metre pavilion will be located in the Sustainability District.

Gulfood opens at Dubai World Trade Centre

The world's largest annual food and hospitality exhibition returns to Dubai today and will run until 22.02.2018. The 23rd edition of the show will feature over 5,000 local, regional and international exhibitors and is expected to attract up to 97,000 food professionals.

Arab Health 2018 opens for four days

The 43. edition of the trade event with more than 4,000 exhibitors and visitors from 43 countries will showcase the latest trends in medical equipment and health care services.

New online services for VAT

The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) has introduced a Tax Registration Number (TRN) verification facility as well as a VAT calculator. The latter allows to calculate the value added tax based on the price excluding VAT and vice versa.

Designated Zones for VAT defined

Cabinet Decision No. 59 of 2017 specifies the designated zones for the purpose of Federal Decree-Law No. 8 of 2017 on Value Added Tax as, amongst others, Jebel Ali Free Zone and Dubai Airport Freezone in Dubai, Free Trade Zone of Khalifa Port and Abu Dhabi Airport Free Zone in Abu Dhabi, Sharjah Airport International Free Zone in Sharjah as well as RAK Free Trade Zone in Ras Al Khaimah.

Certificate of good conduct to be mandatory for UAE employment visas

The rule will come into effect on 04.02.2018. The certificate has to be issued by the country of origin or the country a person has been living in for the past five years. The new regulation does not apply to dependants' visas, visit visas and tourist visas.

Value added tax implemented in UAE

From today on, value added tax (VAT) at a standard rate of 5% will be applied on most goods and services. The new tax is expected to generate revenues of AED 12 billion in 2018.

Dubai Economy introduces LinkedIn-style networking app

The app "Engage DXB" will be launched in January and aims at increasing the coordination between the Dubai Economy (DE) and the private sector as well as enhancing networking opportunities.

Siemens to open global airport and cargo division in Dubai

The new unit will be located in Dubai South near the Expo 2020 site and operate in conjunction with a digital platform.

Hate speech - A political, historical and legal comparison between Germany and the United States

Master Thesis, 2016

New fees for work permits

The new fee structure applied by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) from December onwards refers to the skill level of the worker, whether he is based inside or outside the UAE at the time of application as well as the employer's commitment to multicultural diversity.

Executive regulations on value added tax (VAT) approved

Cabinet Decision No. 52 of 2017 on the Executive Regulations of the Federal Decree Law No. 8 of 2017 governs the implementation of VAT which will be introduced in the UAE on 01.01.2018.

The Big 5 International Building and Construction Show takes place the next 4 days

This year, 79,000 construction professionals are expected to visit the trade event, which hosts more than 2,500 exhibitors representing 60 nations.

Rental Increase Calculator for 2018 updated

The rental index of the Dubai Land Department (DLD) includes all areas in the Emirate Dubai and refers to residential, commercial and industrial properties. For the first time, a land rent index has been added for properties with annually renewable lease contracts.

Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference (ADIPEC) opens its doors

The four-day event is expected to host more than 100,000 visitors, 2,200 exhibitors and 900 speakers this year.

Dubai tightens rules for off-plan real estate projects

Law No. 19 of 2017 partially amends Law No. 13 of 2008 on interim property registration in Dubai. The stricter regulations cover, amongst others, breaches of sale contracts by the buyer and shall protect both, investors and developers.

15. edition of Dubai Airshow opens today

The 5-day event takes place every other year and features more than 1,200 exhibitors. Over 160 aircrafts are on display and 72,500 trade visitors are expected.

UAE jumps 5 ranks on World Bank's Ease of Doing Business Report 2018

The country now reaches the 21. place on the global list which makes it top of the Arab countries for the fifth year in a row.

Dubai CommerCity launched

Dubai CommerCity is the first free zone dedicated to eCommerce in the MENA region and will cover an area of 2.1 million sq. ft near Dubai International Airport in Umm Ramool. It is a joint venture between Dubai Airport Freezone Authority (DAFZA) and Wasl Asset Management Group.

UAE offers to train 1 million Arabs in computer coding for free

The initiative seeks to equip youngsters with the tools to build their future. Young Arabs can register at www.arabcoders.ae for free training.

Drilling of Route 2020 tunnel launched

The tunnel is part of the new Dubai metro line Route 2020 which extends the Red Line 15 km from Nakheel Harbour and Tower Station to the Expo 2020 site. The tunnel starts at Discovery Gardens and stretches 3.2 km up to The Green Community. All tunnel drilling works will be completed in December 2018.

Dubai launches Internet of Things Strategy and Data Wealth Initiative

The projects were launched at the Smart Dubai headquarters in Dubai Design District. All government institutions are directed to fully implement them by 2021 in order to further a digital infrastructure that is considered to be a strategic national asset in the wake of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

13. UAE Cabinet announced

The Cabinet reshuffle is centred on advanced technologies, food security and engaging youth. Therefore, new posts were implemented, such as a Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence and a Minister of State for Food Security. The latter received her bachelor's and master's degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the RWTH University in Aachen, Germany.

Countdown to Expo 2020 begins

In three years, on 20.10.2020, Dubai will open the gates of Expo 2020 to the world. The event will take place for 6 months with the theme "Connecting Minds, Creating the Future".

DLD opens investment opportunity for DIFC entities

The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and the Dubai Land Department (DLD) have entered into a strategic memorandum of understanding. The purpose is to allow investors to use DIFC-based entities to acquire and hold real estate assets in Dubai outside the DIFC.

New law for veterinary medicine profession

Federal Law No. 8 of 2017 amends certain provisions of Federal Law No. 10 of 2002 and stipulates that professionals in the UAE must get a license from the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE). The move aims at regulating veterinary medicine and support services as well as enhancing and safeguarding the health of livestock and other animals in the country.

37th edition of Gitex Technology Week starts today

Until 12.10.2017, more than 4,400 exhibitors welcome interested people on over 92,903 square metres of exhibition space in the Dubai World Trade Centre.

Excise tax on select products from today

On a historic day for the UAE, the country's first general tax has come into effect, increasing prices of sugary drinks and tobacco products nationwide. The new tax places a duty of 50% on carbonated drinks (except sparkling water) and 100% on tobacco products and energy drinks.

UAE is most competitive economy in Arab world

The country has maintained its top position in the Arab World according to the World Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness Report. While the UAE dropped one place in the 2017/2018 report from 16 to 17, it has risen substantially since the 2012/2013 edition when it was ranked 24.

New law protects rights of support service workers

The president of the UAE approved Federal Law No. 10 of 2017 which strictly prohibits discrimination between workers, including domestic workers, based on race, colour, sex, religion, political opinions or nationality as well as sexual harassment, forced labour or human trafficking.

Mars Science City launched

In a major step towards space exploration, the UAE announced a AED 500 million Mars Science City that will simulate life on the red planet.

UAE launches 120 initiatives in 30 sectors

The strategies were launched during the Annual Government Meeting in Abu Dhabi and are designed to advance the nation's progress towards UAE Centennial 2071.

Dubai tests flying taxi

The flying taxi is a two-seater built by Volocopter, a German specialty manufacturer of autonomous air vehicles, and will be used for the world's first self-flying taxi service set to be introduced by Dubai's Roads and Transport Authority (RTA).

Dubai offers incentives to purchase electric vehicles

Buyers of electric vehicles will be provided with free electrical charging at DEWA-approved stations, free designated green parking in Dubai, free electric vehicle registration and renewal as well as free Salik tags. The benefits will be on offer until the end of 2019.

DAFZA firms can now obtain dual licenses

The Dubai Airport Freezone Authority (DAFZA) recently signed a memorandum of understanding with Dubai Economy allowing companies located in the free zone to obtain dual licenses enabling them to operate across the mainland of Dubai.

More than 3,000 DIFC wills registered since May 2015

According to the DIFC Wills and Probate Registry, just over half of the registrants are from the UK and India.

Cityscape Global starts today

For 3 days, 300 exhibitors are set to welcome visitors to the Dubai World Trade Centre. The biggest property exhibition in the region will feature the introduction of on-site sales for UAE projects.

Louvre to open on 11.11.2017

The museum covers an area of more than 9,000 sq. m on Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi and will present 600 art works as well 300 pieces loaned by 13 French museums.

UAE issue VAT law

Federal Decree-Law No. 8 of 2017 sets the legal framework for the introduction and administration of value added tax (VAT) starting January 2018. The law states that goods and services are subject to VAT at a standard rate of 5% and outlines a series of exclusions.

www.tax.gov.ae goes online

The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) has launched its website aiming at keeping businesses and consumers informed about the latest developments relating to the upcoming introduction of excise tax and value-added tax (VAT) in the UAE.

UAE to charge excise tax from 01.10.2017

The Ministry of Finance announced that the price increase will be levied on all excise goods consumed in the UAE, including free zones and airports. However, goods taken by passengers out of the country will be tax-free. At the moment, the new levy will only apply to tobacco products as well as energy and carbonated drinks, except sparkling water.

UAE issues excise tax law

Federal Decree-Law No. 7 of 2017 paves the way for introducing tariffs in the fourth quarter of this year. The Government plans to introduce excise tariffs at a rate of 100% on tobacco and energy drinks and 50% on sugary drinks.

Registration for upcoming taxes to start mid of September

The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) announced that the registration of businesses for VAT and Excise Tax in the UAE can be made online on the FTA's website. The relevant homepage will be launched in the second half of August and will offer all relevant information.

New rules for dependant sponsorship in Abu Dhabi

Foreigners in Abu Dhabi now have to provide tenancy contracts registered in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi when renewing existing or applying for new residence visas for their dependants. Exceptions may be considered on case-by-case basis by the Immigration.

UAE records a population of 9,121,167 in 2016

The Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority further announced that 69% of the people are male and 31% female.

New law on UAE tax system

Federal Law No. 7 of 2017 on Tax Procedures sets the foundation for the planned tax system by regulating the administration and collection of taxes and defining the role of the Federal Tax Authority (FTA). With the Tax Procedures Law, the UAE now have a legal framework for taxation, implementation and administration, including rules to be applied for VAT.

Abu Dhabi Global Market launches arbitration centre

The new arbitration centre will be established on Maryah Island by early 2018 and provide an alternative dispute resolution option to the onshore Abu Dhabi Commercial Conciliation and Arbitration Centre (ADCCAC). It will operate under the arbitration framework of the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) which is based on the Uncitral Model Law. Alongside the presentation of the arbitration centre, an agreement with the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), one of the world's most prominent commercial dispute resolution institutions, was unveiled. The ICC Court will open its first representative office in the Middle East in Abu Dhabi in January next year.

Dubai Economy launches instant licenses

The new initiative enables investors to obtain a license in one step within one day without having to provide a lease agreement for the company's premises for the first year. For the license application, at least one partner must be present and hand in valid passport copies of all partners and managers of the business.

Partnership deal between Emirates and flydubai

The two Dubai-based carriers join forces to scale up operations and offer passengers access to both networks. The cooperation will create a combined fleet of 380 aircraft flying to 240 destinations by 2022. It includes code-sharing, network collaboration and coordinated scheduling. Both airlines continue to be managed independently.

Developers can sell directly at Cityscape

For the first time since 2008, Dubai authorities have partially lifted restrictions on direct sales during the real estate exhibition. Developers will now be allowed to sell projects which are located in the UAE from theirs stands at the event in September. The restrictions on direct selling of all non-UAE projects will remain in place.

Dubai labour disputes to be settled in 10 days

The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) has rolled out six initiatives to ensure labour disputes in Dubai are settled within 10 days instead of 30 days. The measures include enhancements concerning registration of workers’ complaints at service centres, inspections and investigations. They shall further help resolve disputes amicably without referring to the courts.

Emirates Towers Business Park unveiled

The tower complex will feature offices, three 5-star hotels and retail space for international brands. The project is expected to be completed in four years.

Companies employing over 50 people can apply for medical tests online

Dubai Health Authority (DHA) provides companies with usernames and passwords so that they will not be required to visit typing centres for medical fitness test transactions.

3-month midday break for workers from today

Labourers who work in open construction sites will have a compulsory break from 12:30 pm to 3 pm until 15.09.2017.

Registered tenancy contract must for DEWA connection

From 01.07.2017 onwards, tenants moving into new premises in Dubai will have to present an Ejari Certificate to get their electricity and water services activated.

UAE introduces app for exiting country without passport

Passengers departing from Dubai International Airport can now use their smart phones at the smart gates instead of their passports as part of a new service called Smart UAE Wallet. For now, the UAE Wallet app can be used in Terminal 3. It will be operational in all terminals after the wallet is linked with other airlines.

UAE sets up Area 2071

The new innovative and creative zone is planned to be a place for great minds to share opinions and exchange expertise to make the world a better place and to design the future. Area 2071 will serve as a nucleus for making the future as part of the UAE Centennial Plan 2071.

Nestlé opens AED 530m factory in Dubai

The new facility is the consumer goods maker's third in the UAE and the 18. in the Middle East. It is located in Dubai South and specializes in producing Nescafé 3-in-1 coffee, Maggi soups and stock cubes for the GCC market and Levant countries.

Dubai Economy to certify eCommerce websites

The new initiative is part of the authority's efforts to protect consumers, resolve their complaints and ensure best practices regarding online transactions. The "Digital Protection" service is aimed at eCommerce companies offering their services in the mainland of the Emirate of Dubai as well as its free zones.

Angela Merkel on state visit in Abu Dhabi

The German chancellor held talks with Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed on strengthening economic ties between the UAE and Germany. They also discussed the conflicts in Yemen, Libya and Syria. Merkel took a short trip to Saudi Arabia on Sunday and the UAE on Monday in preparation for the G20 Summit in June and went back to Berlin on Monday evening.

DIFC firms can obtain onshore licences

The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) has reached an agreement with the Department of Economic Development in Dubai (DED) to allow non-regulated companies established in the DIFC to obtain licenses from the DED to operate onshore in the Emirate.

First Gulf Bank and National Bank of Abu Dhabi become First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB)

Following the completion of the banks' long-awaited merger, the new brand has now been introduced. FAB will have assets in excess of AED 670 billion, making it the UAE's largest bank and the second-largest bank in the Middle East by assets, behind Qatar's QNB.

Dubai Font introduced

The new Arabic and Latin type styles called "Dubai Font" have been introduced by the Government of Dubai and are freely available for Microsoft Office 365 software. With its simple, sans serif Latin typeface and modern, stripped-down Arabic script, the font can be used for 23 languages, including English, German and Arabic.

Arabian Travel Market kicks off in Dubai

40,000 industry professionals and 2,600 exhibitors are expected to attend the 24. edition of the annual hospitality and aviation event.

UAE join multilateral treaty against offshore tax evasion and avoidance

The Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters is the most powerful instrument for international tax cooperation. It provides its 109 participating jurisdictions with exchange of information on request, spontaneous exchange, automatic exchange, tax examinations abroad, simultaneous tax examinations and assistance in tax collection.

New Free Zone Authority in Ras Al Khaimah

The new governing authority for the two free zones RAK Free Trade Zone (RAKFTZ) and RAK Investment Authority (RAKIA) is called Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone (RAKEZ) and was launched yesterday.

New traffic laws to come into effect in July

The new rules will include regulations regarding driving in residential areas, a five-metre safety rule and sitting in front seats. Furthermore, new driving licenses issued in the UAE will be valid only for two years. The licenses of UAE nationals can be subsequently renewed for 10-year periods while expatriates can renew their licenses every 5 years. Current driving licenses will not be affected.

World Trade Centre attracted over 3 million visitors last year

The numbers of international visitors and exhibiting companies increased both by 4%.

Commercial Agency Law amendments considered

Currently certain agencies control the distribution of specific brands. This system has been criticised by the World Trade Organisation. The proposed amendments to the new law aim at ending monopolistic practices in the sale of basic food products and other exclusive distribution agreements and, therefore, could liberalise the market.

Amazon buys Dubai-based Souq.com

The deal was called "the biggest-ever technology M&A transaction in the Arab World" which will secure Amazon a presence in the Middle East.

Federal National Council approves tax law

According to the new tax regulation, 5% value-added tax (VAT) will be introduced in the UAE from 01.01.2018 onwards.

Dubai reveals e-Trader license

The new licensing scheme for business done over social networks can be registered under the name of a single owner only and the owner must be an Emirati or a GCC national aged 18 and above. Those holding an e-Trader license issued by the Dubai Department of Economic Development (DED) will not be permitted to open a physical store or issue visas.

SAP opens new MENA headquarters in Dubai

The premises are located in Dubai Internet City and will serve as the hub for SAP's Training and Development Institute. The German enterprise software company also announced its five-year strategy to invest USD 200 million in the UAE.

Next step for introduction of VAT

A draft law on the regulation of taxes, including value-added tax (VAT), is expected to be passed by the Federal National Council (FNC) this week. Amongst others, it gives the authorities the right to conduct tax audits and establishes methods for reporting violations.

Fast-track court to settle minor cases in 24 hours

The "One-Day Misdemeanour Court" is expected to cut courts' time by 60% and to ensure quick verdicts. Amongst others, it will hear cases regarding illegal entry into the country, absconding, working after a ban, issuing a cheque with malicious intent or driving without a license.

Jurisdiction of DIFC Courts expanded

Dubai Law No. 5 of 2017 is partially amending Dubai Law No. 12 of 2004 on the Judicial Authority of the Dubai International Financial Centre Courts (DIFC Courts). In addition to civil and commercial claims, the jurisdiction of the DIFC Courts now also includes labour claims and actions arising out of labour contracts signed between DIFC companies and establishments and their employees.

New regulations for car rental companies

As announced by the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), car rental firms in Dubai are neither allowed to ask for cash deposits nor to hold passports or ID documents of customers. Security deposits must be made through credit card and have to be released within 30 days after vehicle return. In case of an accident, customers may not be charged extra. Further, rental vehicles have to be replaced after four years in use.

Gulfood opens at Dubai World Trade Centre

The world's largest annual food and hospitality exhibition returns to Dubai today and will run until 02.03.2017. The 22nd edition of the show will feature over 5,000 local, regional and international exhibitors from 150 countries and is expected to attract up to 90,000 food professionals.

New visa system to attract top talent

The program will be implemented in several phases and aims at attracting highly-talented professionals and entrepreneurs in tourism, medical, education and economic sectors.

Passenger traffic at DWC surges 84.5% in 2016

Dubai's second international airport Dubai World Central (DWC) welcomed a total of 850,633 passengers in 2016 compared to 431,063 passengers recorded in 2015. The hub is currently served by 27 passenger carriers, operating an average of 108 flights weekly to 44 international destinations and is home to 64 scheduled cargo operators that fly to as many as 138 destinations around the world.

Expo 2020 Dubai will invest AED 11 billion in construction contracts in 2017

47 contracts will be awarded this year, including key construction projects for the infrastructure of the event's support area and the three districts holding the majority of pavilions. Furthermore, 98 contracts worth AED 360 million will be awarded for non-construction business.

13th edition of Arab Health in Dubai

38 dedicated country pavilions and over 4,400 international health care companies from 70 countries will present themselves to the public during the four-day event.

UAE issues visit visa on arrival for Russian citizens

The visa is valid for 30 days and can be renewed for another 30 days without having to leave the country.

Personal Status and Inheritance Court for Non-Muslims in Abu Dhabi

By establishing the new court, the government aims at ensuring prompt justice and strengthening the culture of tolerance.

18th edition of Intersec launched

For 3 days, 1,304 exhibitors are showcasing their products and services at the world's largest security and safety exhibition taking place at the Dubai World Trade Centre.

Sharjah to establish first publishing free zone

The Sharjah Publishing City (SPC) is planned as a new free zone for printing and publishing, offering office and warehousing space for companies to set up a regional and international sales and marketing presence.

Dubai applies new rules for working mothers

Dubai Government employees will get three-month paid maternity leave. Further, employees can combine annual or unpaid leaves with maternity absence. The new policy will come into effect on 01.03.2017.

JAFZA issues new rules for free zone companies

For the first time, the Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority (JAFZA) has brought together all legal forms, i.e. Free Zone Establishment (FZE), Free Zones Company (FZCO) and Branch, under one regulation and introduced Public Listed Companies (PLC) as a new legal form. Companies can now restructure and rearrange their operation by converting from FZE or FZCO to PLC and vice versa, enabling continuity of business in the free zone.

Abu Dhabi municipality fee not applicable to homeowners

The new charge amounts to 3 % of a property's annual rent and is payable only by expatriate tenants. The emirate of Abu Dhabi levies the fee - backdated to February last year - through utility bills.

Region's largest marina to be built in Dubai

The new waterfront project will be located at Dubai Marina and include 1,400 berths. The centrepiece will be the Dubai Lighthouse, a tower including a hotel, an observation deck and a smooth facade that will be used as a screen for high resolution projections and light shows.

Issuance of domestic workers' permits moved to another ministry

Work permits for domestic workers in the UAE will soon be handled by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) and not by the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs any longer. The procedure starts in the first quarter of the next year in Dubai and will be rolled out across the other Emirates in the second quarter. Domestic workers are those employed by households like housemaids, cooks, security guards, drivers and gardeners.

Big 5 takes place the next 4 days

The exhibition is set to attract 73,000 construction industry professionals from 140 countries at Dubai World Trade Centre.

Abu Dhabi to host 2019 Special Olympics

Abu Dhabi will welcome special needs athletes from 170 countries who will participate in the 2019 Special Olympic World Games, a sport event that is held every two years.

Dubai Water Canal set for opening today

It took three years to build the 3.2 km water body which cuts through the city's three prominent arteries, including the 16-lane Sheikh Zayed Road, Al Wasl Road and Jumeirah Road. The 6 m deep and 120 m wide canal will ensure free flow of green waters of the Arabian Gulf from Shindagha in Bur Dubai to Jumeirah, a distance of 27 km.

Multipurpose indoor leisure venue to open at City Walk in 2018

The Dubai Arena will cover 500,000 square feet and seat up to 20,000 people. It is designed to hold large international concerts, sporting events, touring productions and other entertainment occasions.

World's leading oil and gas exhibition takes place in Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference (ADIPEC) expects in its 32nd year more than 2,000 exhibiting companies, 700 speakers and over 100,000 trade professionals from 125 countries.

Gulfood Manufacturing kicks off today

The event focuses on food processing, packaging and logistics. It counts a 20% year-on-year growth in exhibitors and exhibition space. Attendees may visit 1,600 exhibitors from 58 countries, including 29 official national pavilions.

UAE has no plans to tax individuals

According to the Ministry of Finance, the government is not studying the introduction of personal income tax in the UAE at the moment.

Legoland and Riverland Dubai open doors to public

The opening of both parks today marks the first day of Dubai Parks and Resorts. The AED 13 billion development is set to become the Middle East's largest multi-themed leisure and entertainment destination. In addition to Legoland and Riverland Dubai, Dubai Parks and Resorts will eventually grow to two additional theme parks - the Hollywood-inspired Motiongate Dubai and Bollywood Parks Dubai - as well as the Polynesian-theme Lapita Hotel.

UAE President establishes Federal Tax Authority

The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) will be responsible for setting up and maintaining records of taxpayers and taxes paid. It will also issue necessary guidelines and clarifications on matters related to federal taxes and fines.

Long-awaited federal bankruptcy law decreed

After it had been approved by the Cabinet last month, the new law was issued by decree yesterday. The regulation will come into effect three months after being published in the official gazette. The law provides, for the first time, a comprehensive legal framework to help distressed companies in the UAE to avoid bankruptcy and liquidation. It further contains provisions to safeguard the rights of creditors and debtors, including measures that prioritize secured creditor rights and enable companies to restructure without unanimous creditor approval.

More holiday homes in Dubai

The Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) has approved 1,805 residential units to date as holiday homes in order to boost Dubai's tourism sector. The approval comes after DTCM's decision earlier this year to allow private homeowners to apply for a holiday home permit and start leasing their properties directly to guests and tourists.

Part-time work for students in free zones

The Dubai Creative Clusters Authority has announced the launch of a regulation that will enable over 4,500 businesses to offer part-time employment to 26,000 university students across nine free zones in Dubai. These include Dubai Internet City, Dubai Outsource City, Dubai Media City, Dubai Production City, Dubai Knowledge Park, Dubai International Academic City, Dubai Studio City, Dubai Science Park and Dubai Design District (d3).

Gitex Technology Week starts today

The five-day event takes place in the Dubai World Trade Centre under the theme "Reimagining Realities". With 4,000 exhibiting companies and 230 speakers, the organisers expect to attract over 100,000 visitors from 150 countries.

Dubai becomes more and more independent of oil

The Dubai Customs trade figures of the first six months of 2016 show that the Emirate is progressing well in its plan to reduce reliance on oil revenues. Dubai's top trading partners are China and India. Germany ranks fifth with a 12%-increase in trade and a trade value of AED 24 billion.

Adihex 2016 is now open

The Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition (Adihex) attracts visitors in its 14th year of existence with 650 exhibitors from 40 different countries.

DIAC opens office in DIFC

The Dubai International Arbitration Centre (DIAC) inaugurated its first promotional representative office in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), allowing parties to turn to either the DIFC Courts or the Dubai Courts in order to enforce DIAC arbitration awards.

Tenancy contracts in Abu Dhabi should get registered

Prosecutors will not file cases for victims who cannot present a tenancy contract that was registered under the Abu Dhabi municipality's Tawtheeq programme. The new procedure will come into force next year and aims at decreasing the number of fraud cases involving rented property in Abu Dhabi.

WETEX expects 1,900 exhibitors from 46 countries

The 18th Water, Energy, Technology and Environment Exhibition (WETEX) 2016 will take place from 04. to 06.10.2016 in Dubai. Compared to the number of last year's exhibitors, WETEX records an increase of 12%.

New DIFC-LCIA Arbitration Rules have come into force on 01.10.2016

The new rules include access to an emergency arbitrator, provisions for multi-party disputes, measures to increase efficiency and avoid delays in proceedings as well as online filing and commencement of proceedings.

Maternity leave in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi extended

Female government employees in Abu Dhabi will receive an extra month of maternity leave, making it three months in total. Further, mothers will be permitted to leave two hours early for one year from the day of giving birth. New fathers will receive three days of paternity leave.

UAE tops Arab world in global competitiveness

The World Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness Report 2016-2017, an annual assessment of the factors driving productivity and prosperity in 138 countries, ranks the United Arab Emirates on 16th position.

Dubai Metro turns seven today

Till date, the Dubai Metro has served more than 830 million riders since its start on 09.09.2009.

Constructions works for Route 2020 launched

The cornerstone of Dubai Metro's Route 2020 was laid today. The new extension of the red line starts from Nakheel Harbour & Tower and ends at the location of the Expo site. It will cover a distance of 15 km and the estimated journey time will take about 16 minutes.

Chinese citizens to get visa on arrival

Visitors from China no longer need to secure visas before they travel to the UAE. The decision came as part of the UAE's plan to bolster relations with China as one of its key strategic partners.

Eid Al Adha holiday announced

The private sector will enjoy a three-day holiday from 11.09.2016 to 13.09.2016 while the public sector will remain closed from 11.09.2016 to 15.09.2016.

Cabinet passes final draft of federal bankruptcy law

The law includes a moratorium on jailing business owners for bounced cheques and allows time for restructuring plans.

Dubai exhibition season starts today

The Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) will host more than 100 exhibitions, conferences as well as trade and entertainment events over the next four months, attracting an estimated 1.2 million regional and international visitors.

First driverless vehicle in Dubai

The electric shuttle EZ10 is running on a 700 metre trial route in Downtown Dubai and will eventually link landmarks in the area. The EZ10 is an experiment to test driverless transport technology in the environment of Dubai.

JAFZA inaugurates new business centre

The recently launched business centre at JAFZA One offers state-of-the-art office space to companies. It is managed by Regus and comprises 384 workstations.

Mall of the World relocated

The new location will be along Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Road in Dubai. The project, which will integrate extensive shopping with leisure, hospitality and entertainment choices, was initially marked for an area off Sheikh Zayed Road, where the Police College is currently located.

Dubai Opera opens

The dhow-shaped building next to Burj Khalifa welcomes 2,000 guests today with Plácido Domingo festively inaugurating the venue.

Online application for student work permits

The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) has launched an online form to help students pursue work or training in the private sector. Students aged between 15 and 18 are eligible for juvenile work permits.

DIFC Courts record 48% growth in claim values

Especially the number of enforcement cases increased significantly in the first half of 2016. The average claim value of such cases grew from AED 6 million in the first half of 2015 to AED 31 million during the same period in 2016.

Ejari certificate must for utility connection

The Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) now requests customers to provide the Ejari certificate issued by the Dubai Land Department for the activation of water and electricity services.

Workers to be paid within ten days after due date

As from October 2016, the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) will stop granting any new work permits from the 16th day of the date of a delay should a company that employs more than 100 workers not pay salaries on time.

Passengers with Emirates ID can now use eGate at Dubai Airport Terminal 3

The General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs has completed the activation of eGate services through the use of the Emirates ID card. The service does not require any prior registration and will be available in the other terminals of Dubai Airport soon.

Rental Disputes get tightened up

The Dubai Rental Dispute Settlement Centre and the UAE Central Bank will set up an online platform for exchange of information. It will facilitate prompt communication in relation to rental disputes and their management. The goal is to speed up the process towards a smooth and effective clearing of debts and compensations.

NBAD and FGB will merge

The board of directors of National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) and First Gulf Bank (FGB) have approved a merger that will create the largest bank in the Middle East and North Africa with assets worth AED 642 billion. The merger is supposed to take place in the first quarter of 2017. The name of the new entity will retain the brand name of NBAD.

Dubai to establish new judicial tribunal

The Ruler of Dubai has issued Decree No. 9 of 2016 regarding a new judicial tribunal which shall rule on conflicts of jurisdiction and conflicts of judgments between the Dubai Courts and the DIFC Courts. The tribunal shall consist of four judges from the Dubai Courts and three judges from the DIFC Courts.

Mubadala and IPIC to be merged

With the merger of International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC) and Mubadala Development Company PJSC Abu Dhabi pursues a strategy of consolidation in the wake of slump in oil prices. The combined entity will realise synergies and growth in multiple sectors including the energy and utilities sector, technology, aerospace, industry, health care, real estate and financial investments.

Dubai unveils industrial strategy to help create 27,000 jobs

The programme has identified 75 initiatives and aims at elevating the emirate into a global platform for knowledge-based, sustainable and innovation-focused businesses.

One-year extension on compliance with new Commercial Companies Law

Existing companies now have until 30.06.2017 to adjust their positions to the provisions of UAE Federal Law No. 2 of 2015 and amend their memoranda and articles of association.

New airport fee in Abu Dhabi

Passengers departing from Abu Dhabi airports will have to pay a fee of AED 35 from July onwards, which will be added to the ticket price. Transit passengers and children below 2 years will be exempted from the charge. Dubai and Sharjah announced similar fees earlier this year.

Deadline for mandatory Dubai health insurance extended

Dependants and domestic workers in the Emirate of Dubai will be given a six-month grace period until the end of the year to obtain health insurance coverage. As a result, applications for residence visas of individuals falling within these categories will not be rejected due to lack of health insurance during this period.

New municipality fee on hotel bills in Abu Dhabi

Starting 01.06.2016, hotel guests in Abu Dhabi will have to pay 4% of billed amounts as well as an additional charge of AED 15 per night per room. The fees will be deposited in the government budget and invested in boosting the tourist infrastructure of Abu Dhabi.

Dubai to map UAE buildings in Makani App

To simplify finding addresses in the UAE, the Dubai Municipality is working on mapping out the locations of buildings and their 10-digit geo-coordinates in all seven emirates using the smart mapping system Makani. The app has already been shared with Ajman, Umm Al Quwain and Fujairah. It is accurate up to one metre of the pin selected.

flydubai to shift full operations to Al Maktoum International Airport

Since its launch in June 2009, flydubai's major hub has been Terminal 2 at Dubai International Airport (DXB). By the end of 2017, Al Maktoum International Airport at Dubai World Central (DWC) will be the new home airport of the airline.

International centre for 3D printing launched

The centre will host more than 700 local and international companies. It is part of Dubai's 3D Printing Strategy which aims at making Dubai a major hub of 3D printing technology by focusing on three major sectors: construction, medical products and consumer products.

Dubai eases rules on holiday home rentals

Home owners in Dubai can now apply for a holiday home licence if they meet all the criteria set by the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM). It is only allowed to rent out the full property. Rentals of individual rooms are still prohibited. Also tenants can lease the property if they submit a no objection certificate from their landlord and meet the requirements of the DTCM.

23. edition of Arabian Travel Market starts today

With over 2,800 exhibitors, 64 country pavilions and more than 100 new participants, the travel industry event is expecting more than 26,000 visitors.

Emirates Maritime Arbitration Centre launched

Pursuant to Dubai Maritime City Authority's Law No. 11 of 2007, it has now been decreed to set up the Emirates Maritime Arbitration Centre (EMAC). The institution will be responsible for settling maritime related disputes in compliance with arbitration rules.

Switzerland first international participant in EXPO 2020

More than four years ahead of the start, Switzerland has officially committed to be part of the EXPO in Dubai. The Swiss ambassador to the UAE pointed out that Switzerland and the UAE were both countries that thrive on connecting others through travel and trade.

3% municipality fee to be paid by expatriate tenants in Abu Dhabi

The new fee will be based on the value of the annual rent and collected in monthly installments by the Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority (ADWEA). UAE nationals, who rent property, will be exempted.

UAE to attend Hannover Messe for sixth consecutive year

About 10 government bodies and 30 companies from the UAE will take part in the leading German trade show end of April. Last year, Hannover Messe attracted 6,200 exhibitors and 250,000 visitors.

Siemens to build gas-fired power plant in Northern Emirates

The German company signed a memorandum of understanding with the Federal Electricity and Water Authority (FEWA) for the construction of a 2.2 gigawatt plant to help the area meet its growing power needs.

Dubai Airports to introduce passenger service fee

Passengers flying out of Dubai International Airport and Al Maktoum International Airport after 30.06.2016 will have to pay an additional charge of AED 35.

Dubai World Trade Centre attracted 2.74 million visitors in 2015

The venue for exhibitions and events registered a 12% year-on-year increase in traffic, while the number of exhibiting countries rose 17%.

TechnoPark now called National Industrial Park

The amendment falls in line with the Dubai Strategic Plan on the industrial sector.

Dubai Wholesale City to be set up

The project is planned as a fully-integrated trading hub that aims to meet the needs of local and international wholesale trading sectors like food, electronics, building materials and textile. It will be located close to Al Maktoum International Airport and Jebel Ali Port. The initiative is part of the diversification of the national economy away from a dependence on oil.

5% VAT in UAE from January 1, 2018

GCC countries have agreed to introduce value added tax (VAT) at a rate of 5% in 2018. Once the framework agreement on the implementation of VAT is reached, the GCC countries have time from January 2018 to January 1, 2019 to enact VAT.

Concourse D opens at Dubai Airport

The new building has a design capacity for 18 million passengers. It provides 21 aircraft stands, of which four are able to accommodate Airbus A380 and Boeing 747 aircraft, and 11 remote stands.

Holiday home regulations launched

The Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) announced Executive Resolution 3/2015 outlining detailed regulations for the holiday home segment in the Emirate of Dubai. The law aims at providing greater transparency, safety and standardization of the market to further increase the sector's attractiveness to guests, home owners, operators and developers.

Gulfood 2016 begins with a record 5,000 exhibitors

Over 90,000 visitors are expected to attend the five-day trade show featuring global and local companies active in the food industry.

Minister of Happiness and Minister of Tolerance forming part of new UAE cabinet

Five of the eight new ministers are women, which makes a total of eight women in the UAE 29-member cabinet. Newly created posts are the Minister of State for Happiness, the Minister of State for Tolerance and the Minister of State for Youth Affairs, who is 22 years old.

6% rise in number of employees in the UAE in 2015

4.7 million employees were registered with the Ministry of Labour last year. The health sector recorded the highest growth.

Mohammed Bin Rashid Library expected to open in 2017

The library will hold more than 1.5 million volumes, 1 million audio books and 2 million e-books, making it the world's largest electronic collection and the biggest library in the Arab world. The project announcement coincides with the start of the Year of Reading declared for 2016 by President Sheikh Khalifa.

Dubai International remains busiest airport for international passengers

In 2015, the airport handled more than 78 million international travellers.

Sharjah Media City Free Zone established

An Emiri Decree was issued to set up the new free zone which will aim at being a regional leader in the fields of education, media training, creativity and development of high quality innovative content.

Arab Health exhibition opens in Dubai

The second largest healthcare event in the world will showcase more than 4,000 companies exhibiting their latest innovations to visitors attending from 163 countries.

VAT may be introduced in UAE in 2018

According to the undersecretary at the UAE Ministry of Finance, it would take two years for the law on value-added tax (VAT) to be implemented once it is issued. Furthermore, he stated that the VAT would range from 3% to 5%, while certain sectors, such as health care, education, social services and staple food items, were going to be excluded.

DIFC registry records 650 wills in 2015

Since its launch in May 2015, the DIFC Wills and Probate Registry provides non-Muslim expats with legal certainty and the ability to register English language wills covering assets located in Dubai. 55% of the registrants have been from Europe.

10th anniversiary of Sheikh Mohammed's accession as Ruler of Dubai

In the 10 years that Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum has been Ruler of Dubai, the Emirate has not only defied a global economic crises but emerged from it better, stronger and smarter.

2,125 permitted business activities in Dubai

The Dubai Department of Economic Development (DED) has announced the addition of 37 new activities to the list of permitted businesses in Dubai.

Dubai's consumer price inflation rises 3.07%

According to the Dubai Statistics Centre, costs of housing and utility, which account for almost 43.7% of consumer expenses, rose 6.87% year-on-year. The inflation rate for the entire UAE in 2015 is expected to reach approximately 2%.

Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 launched

The programme aims at making the Emirate a global centre of green energy and economy. Part of the strategy involves solar panels to be installed on all building roofs by 2030 and plans for a new free zone called Dubai Green Zone.

UAE appoints region's first female speaker of a national assembly

Dr. Amal Al Qubaisi was elected Chairperson of the Federal National Council (FNC). The 40-member House comprises of 20 elected and 20 appointed members.

Apple opens first retail stores in the Middle East

The American tech giant has opened outlets in Mall of the Emirates in Dubai and Yas Mall in Abu Dhabi.

Mohammed Bin Rashid Smart Majlis launched

The website mbrmajlis.ae is designed for Dubai residents and other interested individuals to suggest innovative ideas, submit developmental comments and participate in brainstorming sessions.

30 years Emirates

30 years ago, Emirates made its inaugural flight. Starting with only two leased aircraft, the company has grown over the years to one of the world's largest airlines. Today, Emirates serves more than 140 destinations in 80 countries, having a fleet of more than 220 planes.

Dubai Data Law issued

The new law will allow sharing of governmental data with the private sector as part of the initiative to turn Dubai into a smart city. The information will be made accessible to researchers, investors and service providers through an integrated platform.

DuBiotech and EnPark to be merged

TECOM, a free zone authority in Dubai, is merging its Dubai Biotechnology and Research Park (DuBiotech) and Energy and Environment Park (EnPark) to create a new, single brand called Dubai Science Park.

55 years Dubai International Airport

The Dubai International Airport opened on 30.09.1960 and has grown ever since. In 2014, it recorded more than 70 million travellers and was the world's busiest airport for international passengers.

Petrol prices to be reduced again

In October, petrol prices will drop to almost the same level at which they were before the fuel market was liberalised in August. Prior to the deregulation, unleaded petrol Special was at AED 1.72 per litre. Next month it will be at AED 1.79.

New labour regulations from January 2016

The Ministry of Labour has issued three decrees concerning the use of a new standardized employment contract, conditions for terminating employment relationships and rules for granting new work permits after the previous employment has ended.

Makani boards installation from October

The smart geographical addressing system assigns 10-digit coordinates to buildings in Dubai. The coordinates will be viewable on a digital map in an app and allow users to easily locate places.

DWC rebranded as Dubai South

Dubai World Central (DWC), now known as Dubai South, is home to the new Al Maktoum International Airport, the World Expo 2020 site and the free zone DWC.

New rules for real estate valuation practitioners in Dubai

Dubai Executive Council Decision No. 37 of 2015 determines the requirements for persons practicing the profession of real estate valuation in the Emirate which is now generally reserved for Emirati nationals only. However, existing professionals will be allowed to continue working in the field.

Innovation Dirham fee to be introduced

In addition to the Knowledge Dirham fee, all government departments and entities in Dubai, including free zone authorities, will be charging an Innovation Dirham fee for every transaction executed from October 2015 onwards. The fee of AED 10 will be used to support projects like the Museum of the Future.

Dubai Health Insurance Law moves into second phase

From today, Dubai-based companies with 100 and more employees will not be able to issue or renew residence visas without mandatory health insurance cover for their staff.

Petrol prices up more than 20% from August

After deciding to abandon the decades-old subsidies programme, the UAE Ministry of Energy has announced new fuel prices for next month. While the price for unleaded petrol Special will increase 24% from AED 1.72 to AED 2.14 per litre, Diesel will become 29% cheaper and now cost AED 2.05 per litre.

Jebel Ali is world's most productive port

Jebel Ali Port handled 131 moves per ship per hour in 2014, marking a 10% improvement compared to the previous year. With Sharjah's Khor Fakkan Port listed at rank 10, the UAE has two of the most productive ports worldwide.

Introduction of VAT and corporate tax in the UAE

Relevant laws are currently being drafted and expected to be finished within the third quarter of this year. Value-added tax (VAT) will most likely not only be implemented in the UAE, but also across the whole area of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

Al Maktoum International celebrates fifth anniversary

The airport at Dubai World Central is one of the world's 20 busiest international cargo hubs and currently has a capacity to handle one million tonnes of cargo a year.

RAK offshore centres to be consolidated

Starting 01.01.2016, the registries for Ras Al Khaimah Free Trade Zone International Companies (RAKIC) and International Business Companies licensed by RAK Investment Authority (RAK Offshore) will be consolidated and entered into the registry of the newly formed Ras Al Khaimah International Corporate Centre (RAKICC).

New law to regulate property sector in Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi Law No. 3 of 2015 includes provisions regarding a real estate development register, off-plan purchases, escrow accounts as well as rights and obligations of real estate professionals, such as developers, brokers and surveyors.

DWTC established as free zone

The area around the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) is the latest edition to the variety of free zones in Dubai. The aim is to boost Dubai's position as a global trade centre and hub for regional and international exhibitions and conferences.

Schengen visa for Emiratis waived

From today, UAE nationals are able to travel without a visa requirement to any member state of the Schengen zone for up to 90 uninterrupted days within a 180-day period. The move makes the UAE the first Arab country to be granted visa-free entry to the Schengen zone.

DIFC launches inheritance registry for non-muslims

The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) has become the first jurisdiction in the Middle East where non-Muslims can register a will under internationally recognised common law principles.

VDMA event on law in the Gulf region

Dr. Ines Anders will represent ANDERS LEGAL CONSULTANCY and give a lecture about terms and conditions of sale as well as company formation in the UAE. The event will take place at the headquarters of the German Engineering Association (VDMA) in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, on 19.05.2015.

Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre set up

Apart from conducting research and developing projects that will drive the UAE's space ambitions, the centre will oversee the preparation and implementation of the UAE'S mission to send an unmanned spacecraft to Mars by 2021.

Foreign shareholders remain being forced to have minority shareholding in LLCs

The new Commercial Companies Law (Federal Law No. 2 of 2015) has not changed the legal requirement that at least 51% of shares of a limited liability company (LLC) formed outside a UAE free zone have to be held by either UAE nationals or companies wholly owned by local citizens.

Dubai Metro to be extended to Expo site

The new extension called Route 2020 will add 15 kilometres and seven new stations to the Red Line of the Dubai Metro and serve The Gardens, Discovery Gardens, Furjan, Jumeirah Golf Estates and Dubai Investment Park.

2,020 days to Dubai Expo 2020

Today officially marks the countdown to the opening of the Expo 2020 on October 20, 2020. The six-month event will be held for the first time in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia region.

d3 - Dubai's latest free zone

Dubai Design District (d3) is located next to Business Bay along the Dubai Creek and poised to attract leaders in the art, fashion, luxury and design industry. d3 allows companies holding either a free zone license issued by d3 or a license issued by the Dubai Department of Economic Development (DED) to set up business within its boundaries.

Good going for DIFC in 2014

The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) recorded an 18% increase of active registered companies operating within the free zone in 2014 compared to 2013, bringing the total number of firms to 1,225. 242 new companies were registered in 2014. Only 2008 accounted for a higher number of new licenses issued.

Twitter to open office in Dubai

It will be the first presence in the Middle East and North Africa region (MENA) for the California-based social media company which shall serve as the base to help increase development across the region.

DAFZA in negotiations to expand

After earlier gaining approval to lease a 16,140 sq m plot in Al Ghusais where 32 light industrial units (LIU) will be built in late 2016, Dubai Airport Freezone Authority (DAFZA) is now negotiating with the government of Dubai to acquire another piece of land near the airport to build a business park.

Backing for Dirham-Dollar peg

The governor of the UAE Central Bank reaffirmed the long-standing tying of the UAE dirham to the US dollar and highlighted that the currency peg provided stability to the local economy.

New service centre in JAFZA South opened

All administrative services for companies based in Jebel Ali Free Zone and TechnoPark can now also be obtained in the new facility. The aim of such one-stop-shop concept is to further enhance operational efficiency and ease of doing business.

Aerospace facility planned at Dubai World Central

The Aviation District of Dubai World Central (DWC) is set to accommodate its own aerospace supply chain facility. The project will encompass offices, warehouses as well as a multi-purpose residential building, catering to small and medium enterprises in the aerospace sector.

10-year healthcare plan to meet growing needs in Dubai

The decade-long plan includes the building of three new medical colleges and five nursing schools. According to the Dubai Health Authority (DHA), Dubai will need 8,000 more hospital beds, 7,500 more doctors and 8,500 more nurses in the coming years.

Abu Dhabi safest city in MENA region

A report released by The Economist Intelligence Unit's Safe Cities Index ranks the UAE's capital the 25th safest city in the world.

Issuance of licenses increased in 2014

The Dubai Department of Economic Development (DED) recorded more than 13% growth in business licenses issued last year compared to 2013. Licenses for limited liability companies (LLCs) accounted for 67% of the total licenses applied for in 2014.

New short-term visa for international healthcare specialists

New rules introduced by Dubai Healthcare City (DHCC) grant monthly visas for international doctors enabling them to practise in Dubai. The visiting-physician license will expire after one month and can be renewed three times a year.

Dubai housing fee now covers all expatriate residential units

All expatriate occupants of residential properties in Dubai are now charged the housing fee amounting to 5% of the annual rent or, should the owner live in his premises, 5% of the property's rental value as per the index of the Dubai Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA).

Dubai property transactions declined in 2014

Recent data released by the Dubai Land Department indicates a fall of 15% in overall property transactions in 2014 compared to 2013. The most sought after areas for real estate deals were Business Bay and Dubai Marina.

Dubai Courts offer free expert advice

The new initiative launched by Dubai Courts aims at providing legal advice to litigants who cannot afford the fees of experts for cases filed with the court.

New financial free zone in Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi Global Market, located on Al Maryah Island, has released its first draft laws for public consultation. The free zone is set to be based on English common law with influences of the legal systems applied in Singapore and Hong Kong.

UAE largest humanitarian donor

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) named the UAE as the world's biggest donor of development assistance in relation to its gross national income in 2013 offering USD 5.4 billion.

RAKIA opens first service centre in Dubai

Ras Al Khaimah Investment Authority's first facility in Dubai provides information on free zone and non-free zone business opportunities and is located at the Dubai World Trade Centre.

Dubai Water Craft License Law comes into effect

The new regulation prohibits to use any marine craft within Dubai's territorial waters without holding a license issued by the Dubai Maritime City Authority.

Dubai Airport busier than London Heathrow

Dubai International Airport has handled 70 million passengers in 2014, making it the world's busiest airport by international passenger traffic.

Lockheed Martin opens first centre outside US in Abu Dhabi

The new Centre for Innovation and Security Solutions aims at exploring innovation, advancing security and addressing current global challenges, such as climate change and resource scarcity. It is located in Masdar City, Abu Dhabi's low carbon, sustainable urban development.

UAE ranked least corrupt Arab country

According to a report of Transparency International, the UAE was ranked 25th out of 174 countries, scoring highest among Arab nations and before France, Portugal and Spain.

A year after the successful bid for Expo 2020

A year to this day the UAE won the right to host the World Expo 2020 in Dubai which will run from October 2020 to April 2021.

Sharjah opens property market to foreign investment

Expatriates of any nationality holding a UAE residence visa can now buy property in the Emirate of Sharjah. Before only UAE and GCC nationals were allowed to purchase real estate in the Emirate. Leases of up to 100 years will now be granted. The first development to offer long-term leases will be Tilal City.

UAE's first tram put into operation

The Dubai Tram stretches over a tramway network of 10.6 km and connects the areas of Jumeirah Beach Residence, Dubai Marina and Al Sufouh. It also provides access to the Dubai Metro and the Palm Jumeirah Monorail.

Photovoltaic in the UAE

One of the world’s largest producers of solar photovoltaic anti-reflective coated glass plans to build its new manufacturing and training facility at the free zone Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO). 400,000 panels are to be produced every year.

First deadline for employee health insurance to expire

Companies established in the Emirate of Dubai, whether inside or outside of free zones, with 1,000 or more employees have to provide basic health insurance for all of their employees until end of October. Companies of any size will have to comply with the new scheme latest by end of June 2016.

15th anniversary of Dubai Internet City

The free zone Dubai Internet City (DIC) marks its 15th anniversary this year. The largest Information and Communications Technology (ICT) business park in the Middle East and North Africa is today home to more than 1,400 companies in software, hardware, internet services and telecommunications.

UAE Legislation App launched

The UAE Cabinet has launched an app featuring 270 pieces of legislation, including the full text of the UAE Constitution as well laws concerning commercial, civil and penal matters.

IKEA to set up distribution centre at Dubai World Central

IKEA has decided to establish its regional distribution centre in the Logistic District of Dubai World Central (DWC), which aims to be the aviation and logistics hub for Dubai and the wider region.

DEWA doubles security deposit for new tenants

The Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) has doubled the refundable security deposit for new tenants, increasing it to AED 2,000 for apartments and AED 4,000 for villas.

First lawyers sworn in as notaries public in Dubai

As from today, notarial services cannot only be obtained from notaries public of the Dubai Courts but also from accredited lawyers working as private notaries public.