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.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.