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How to Transfer Black Points to Your Licence When Driving Someone Else's Car?

If you've received a traffic fine while driving someone else's car in the UAE, transferring the associated black points to your own licence is critical.

Black points are tied to the driving licence, not the vehicle, meaning they get registered on the licence associated with the car's Traffic Code (TC) number. Here's how you can manage this process.

Understanding Black Points

Black points are penalties for severe traffic violations. While minor infractions result in monetary fines, more dangerous behaviours can accrue black points. Drivers can accumulate up to 24 black points before their case is referred to the courts, potentially leading to licence suspension or confiscation.

Traffic Code Number (TC No.)

A Traffic Code number is linked to your driving licence and any vehicles registered under your name. It remains consistent across all vehicles registered to you.

Transferring Black Points

Traffic authorities in the UAE allow for the transfer of black points through online services or at police station traffic departments.

Here's a Step-By-Step Guide for Each Emirate:

Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Ras Al Khaimah, Fujairah

  • Download the 'MOI UAE' app (available on Apple and Android).
  • Log in using UAE Pass.
  • Navigate to ‘Traffic Services’ and select ‘Register Black Points’.
  • Choose to search for black points using the owner's TC number or plate number.
  • Enter the details and click ‘Search’.
  • Select the violation to transfer points.
  • Enter the OTP sent to your registered mobile number.
  • Enter your TC number and confirm the transfer.


Abu Dhabi

  • Download the 'Tamm' app and log in with UAE Pass.
  • Go to ‘services’ and select ‘Abu Dhabi Police’.
  • Search for ‘transfer black points’ and select ‘Request to transfer black points to the driving licence’.
  • Select ‘I wish to claim black points on behalf of others’.
  • Enter the owner's TC number and search.
  • Complete the process to transfer the points to your licence.

Dubai

  • Visit either Deira or Al Barsha police station.
  • Bring your Emirates ID and the car owner’s TC number.
  • Submit the details to transfer the black points to your TC number.
  • Checking Black Points

To monitor black points on your licence:

Dubai: Use the 'Dubai Police' app or call 901.
Abu Dhabi: Use the 'Tamm' app.
Other Emirates: Use the 'MOI UAE' app.

Reducing Black Points

You can reduce black points by attending a traffic training course offered by the police in Dubai or Abu Dhabi. These courses can remove up to eight points from your record.

Preventing Black Points

Adhere to Traffic Regulations: Follow speed limits, traffic signals, and avoid reckless driving.
Defensive Driving Courses: These courses can improve your driving skills and reduce the risk of violations.
Vehicle Maintenance: Regular checks on your vehicle's essential components can prevent accidents.
Keep Documentation Updated: Ensure your driving licence and vehicle registration are current to avoid penalties.

Highest Black Point Violations

Transporting passengers without permission: 24 points, Dh3,000 fine.
Carrying hazardous materials without permission: 24 points, Dh3,000 fine.
Causing serious accidents or injuries: 23 points, fine decided by the court.
Driving under the influence of alcohol: 23 points, fine decided by the court.
By following these guidelines, you can manage black points effectively and maintain a clean driving record in the UAE.

For any enquiries or information, contact ask@tlr.ae or call us on +971 52 644 3004Follow The Law Reporters on WhatsApp Channels.

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How Can a Company Partner Be Removed in UAE? What Are the Legal Grounds And Processes?

In the United Arab Emirates, the removal of a partner from a company is governed by specific legal provisions. This process, while feasible, is not straightforward and requires adherence to particular conditions outlined in the law.

Legal Grounds for Removal Under Article 677

According to Article 677 of the Civil Transactions Law, the removal of a partner can be initiated by the majority of the partners. They may apply to the court for the exclusion of any partner if their request is based on serious grounds that justify such exclusion. This indicates that the reason for removal must be substantial.

A partner also has the right to request retirement from the partnership if the duration of the partnership is fixed. In such cases, the partner must provide adequate reasons for their request to the court, which then has the authority to authorise the retirement.

Judicial Precedents and Higher Court Decisions

The Higher Court of Dubai, in its decision No. 260/2011 of Civil Cassation, has reinforced the difficulty of removing a partner from a limited liability company.

The court ruled that as long as the company remains in existence and the partner maintains their shares, it is not permissible to remove the partner because their relationship with the company and the other partners is not based on personal considerations.

Furthermore, the court noted that a company is not harmed by a partner simply because they own shares in it. The partner's liability arises only if they are involved in the company's management and cause damage in that capacity.

Hence, the decision to remove a partner rests entirely on the discretion of the trial court and is contingent upon the presentation of serious and justifiable reasons.

Entitlement to Salaries for Partner-Directors

Regarding the financial entitlements of a partner who is also a director, the conditions for claiming salary allowances depend on the company's Memorandum of Association (MoA) and any separate labour contracts.

If the salaries are stipulated in the MoA, the partner-director is entitled to claim these salaries for a period of two years through the civil courts.

However, if the salaries are agreed upon in a separate labour contract, the partner-director can claim the salaries for the last year only, and this claim must be pursued in the labour courts.

Removing a partner from a company in the UAE involves navigating complex legal provisions and judicial precedents. Article 677 of the Civil Transactions Law provides a framework, but the process requires substantial justification and is subject to the discretion of the court.

Additionally, the financial claims of partner-directors depend on specific agreements within the company's founding documents or separate contracts.

Understanding these nuances is crucial for partners and directors in managing their legal and financial rights within the corporate structure of the UAE. 

For any enquiries or information, contact ask@tlr.ae or call us on +971 52 644 3004Follow The Law Reporters on WhatsApp Channels.

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Are You a Victim of Sexual Harassment in the Workplace? Here are Your Legal Remedies

 

Sexual harassment is a violation of dignity, an abuse of power and intolerable. In recent years, workplace sexual harassment has become a growing concern globally, and the UAE is no exception.

With its diverse workforce and rapidly modernising corporate landscape, understanding the legal framework surrounding workplace sexual harassment in the UAE is crucial for both employees and employers.

Legal Framework and Protections

The UAE has taken significant steps to address workplace sexual harassment through its legal system. Federal Law No. 3 of 1987 (the UAE Penal Code) and Federal Decree-Law No. 33 of 2021 on the Regulation of Labour Relations (the New Labour Law), effective as of 2nd February 2022, provide the foundation for addressing such issues.

Key Legal Provisions

UAE Penal Code: The Penal Code criminalises acts of sexual harassment and imposes severe penalties on offenders, including imprisonment and fines.

New Labour Law: This law explicitly prohibits workplace harassment and outlines the rights and protections for employees. It mandates employers to maintain a safe and respectful working environment and stipulates penalties for non-compliance.

Legal Questions and Remedies

To provide clarity on the legal remedies available for victims of workplace sexual harassment, TLR spoke with legal experts about the questions most commonly asked by victims.

Q1: What constitutes sexual harassment under UAE law?

A1: Sexual harassment is broadly defined under UAE law to include any unwelcome behaviour of a sexual nature that creates a hostile, intimidating, or offensive work environment. This can include physical acts, verbal comments, or non-verbal actions such as inappropriate gestures or displays of explicit materials.

Q2:What should I do if I experience sexual harassment at work?

A2: If you experience sexual harassment, it is important to:
• Document the incidents meticulously, including dates, times and details of the harassment.
• Report the harassment to your employer, HR department, or a trusted manager. The New Labour Law requires employers to take such complaints seriously and act promptly.
• Seek legal advice to understand your rights and the steps to take. Contacting a lawyer early can help guide you through the process and ensure your case is handled properly.

Q3: Can I report sexual harassment anonymously?

A3: While some companies may offer anonymous reporting options, UAE law generally requires a formal complaint to initiate legal proceedings. Employers are encouraged to create safe reporting mechanisms that protect the identity of complainants to the extent possible.

Q4:What are my legal rights if I am a victim of workplace sexual harassment?

A4: As a victim, you have the right to:
• A harassment-free workplace.
• Report the harassment without fear of retaliation.
• Seek compensation for damages suffered due to the harassment.
• Terminate your employment if the harassment persists and your employer fails to address the situation adequately.

Q5:What remedies are available through the UAE legal system?

A5: Victims can seek several remedies, including:
• Filing a Complaint with the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE): This initiates an investigation into the complaint.
• Civil Lawsuit for Compensation: Victims can pursue a civil case to seek monetary compensation for emotional distress and other damages.
• Criminal Proceedings: If the harassment constitutes a criminal act, victims can file a police report, leading to potential criminal charges against the harasser.

Q6:Can I be terminated for reporting sexual harassment?

A6: The New Labour Law explicitly prohibits retaliation against employees for reporting harassment. If an employer terminates an employee for such reasons, the termination could be deemed unfair or unlawful, potentially leading to legal consequences for the employer.

Q7:How can employers prevent workplace sexual harassment?

A7: Employers are encouraged to:
• Develop and enforce comprehensive anti-harassment policies.
• Provide regular training on recognising and preventing harassment.
• Establish clear procedures for reporting and addressing complaints.
• Foster a culture of respect and inclusion in the workplace.

Moving Forward

Addressing workplace sexual harassment requires a collective effort from employees, employers and the legal system. The UAE's evolving legal framework aims to create a safer and more respectful work environment for everyone.

By understanding their rights and the legal remedies available, victims can take decisive action to protect themselves and seek justice.

For any enquiries or information, contact ask@tlr.ae or call us on +971 52 644 3004Follow The Law Reporters on WhatsApp Channels.

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UAE's New Abortion Rules Offer Relief to Women with High-Risk Pregnancies

The UAE’s Ministry of Health and Prevention (Mohap) has introduced new procedures and controls for cases where abortion is permitted, offering significant relief to women with high-risk pregnancies.

Medical professionals have warmly welcomed this move, noting that it will make it easier for pregnant women to access critical healthcare services within the country. Previously, some women had to travel abroad for safe abortion services. This amendment ensures such care is now available locally, providing a safer and more supportive environment for women’s health.

The new rules prioritise the preservation of women’s lives and their safety. The policy takes into account all aspects such as safety, religious and cultural beliefs of the country. It will surely be a lifesaver for our mothers. It will also be a great relief for couples dealing with the devastating news of having an anomalous baby or facing risks to the mother’s life due to pregnancy.

The recent amendment to the UAE abortion law aims to reduce the physical and mental impact on mothers. It significantly lowers the risk associated with unsupervised procedures carried out away from authorised personnel.

Many women approach medical professionals to discuss their available legal options to terminate unwanted pregnancies, whether for medical or mental reasons. The amendments ensure these procedures are conducted under a legally authorised and supervised framework, guaranteeing the safety of the women involved.

Legal Stipulations

A dedicated committee, formed by Mohap or the head of an emirate’s health authority, will make decisions on abortion requests. This committee will include three specialists: an obstetrics and gynaecology specialist, a psychiatry specialist and a representative from the Public Prosecution. Additionally, the committee may consult a third party with appropriate expertise when necessary.

Permissible Circumstances for Abortion

Mohap has clearly stated that abortion is permissible if continuing the pregnancy endangers the woman’s life, if there is no alternative to save her life, or if severe foetal deformation is proven and will affect the newborn’s health and life. These cases must be supported by a medical report from a specialised medical committee. Other cases are also permitted, provided the gestational period does not exceed 120 days.

Authorised Facilities and Procedures

Abortions must be performed only in authorised healthcare facilities by licensed obstetrician-gynaecologists. The procedure must be free of medical complications that could put the woman’s life at high risk. Healthcare facilities are required to detail the rights and responsibilities of the pregnant woman, explain necessary healthcare requirements before and after the procedure, and maintain the privacy and confidentiality of personal data.

Responsibilities of Healthcare Facilities

Healthcare facilities must ensure the rights and privacy of women undergoing abortions. They are also responsible for monitoring and supervising their activities and ensuring compliance with regulations. Earlier this year, a UAE law was amended to ease consent rules, making it easier for medical professionals to carry out the procedure if the mother's life is in grave danger. Consent is not a condition in emergency cases requiring immediate surgical intervention.

Notable Changes in the Law

The amendments to the law have updated previous provisions, asserting that only the consent of the pregnant woman, and not her husband, is required to commence an abortion. In emergency cases requiring immediate surgical intervention, consent is not a condition. Medical professionals are allowed to carry out abortions in two primary scenarios:

  •  If the continuation of the pregnancy endangers the pregnant woman's life.
  •  If foetal deformation is proven.

In both cases, multiple conditions apply according to the law. This is a notable change as the law now imposes a hierarchy for consent, in which the pregnant woman’s consent takes priority.

This development champions the autonomy of women and increases the availability of abortion operations to women that fulfil the criteria needed by the law. The amendment also removes the restriction limiting the availability of abortion to 120 days of gestation if the pregnancy poses a risk to the mother’s life.

Additionally, the law has granted the cabinet the power to issue resolutions determining other cases of permitted abortion, which is a promising inclusion. These amendments exemplify the UAE's commitment to staying up-to-date and being open to foreigners and their diverse cultures.

The medical liability law emphasises the duties practitioners must uphold to protect the dignity and sanctity of life as well as the autonomy of patients. It requires doctors to use relevant technologies for proper diagnosis, ensure confidentiality and obtain informed consent.

Both the law and its amendments recognise scenarios that necessitate abortion operations. Abortion is allowed when the pregnant woman’s life is endangered to the extent that it is the only viable option to save her life. It may also be done if the foetus is “seriously and incurably deformed.”

Abortions performed under any other scenario, even with parental consent, are punishable by imprisonment for up to four years. If an abortion leads to the death of the victim, the medical professional may be jailed for up to ten years.

These changes are particularly relevant given recent updates in UAE law, such as allowing single mothers to give birth in the country. Under the previous law, a single mother with a medical complication requiring an abortion would have needed consent from her next male relatives. Now, only the woman’s consent is required, making an already emotionally difficult procedure slightly easier without the need for additional consent forms.

The UAE has amended its abortion laws to streamline the consent process and prioritise the health and well-being of pregnant women. Now, only the woman's consent is required, and immediate intervention is allowed in emergencies without prior consent.

These changes ensure safer and more accessible abortion services within the country.  

For any enquiries or information, contact ask@tlr.ae or call us on +971 52 644 3004Follow The Law Reporters on WhatsApp Channels.

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Warrant Issued for Missing BlueChip Owner Over Unpaid Court-Ordered Dh10 Million

An arrest warrant has been issued for Ravinder Nath Soni, owner of BlueChip, after he failed to pay Dh10.05 million within the one-week deadline set by the Dubai Court of First Instance.

Last week, the court ordered Soni to settle the amount with a cheque execution applicant or deposit it into the court treasury by June 3. The court's warning of impending legal action has now resulted in the issuance of the arrest warrant.

Originally from Delhi, India, Ravinder Nath Soni has been a central figure in an extensive investigation concerning the alleged misappropriation of millions of investors' funds.
Operating from the Al Jawhara Building in Bur Dubai, the
BlueChip group ran multiple investment companies. It gained significant attention after an endorsement by Bollywood actor Sonu Sood. Under Ravinder Nath Soni's ownership, the group claimed a $70-million portfolio and served over 700 clients, mostly UAE residents.

They promised investors three per cent monthly returns on a minimum investment of $10,000, secured for 18 months. However, this offer unravelled in March this year when payouts stopped without warning, leaving investors with bounced cheques and unanswered questions.

The full extent of losses incurred by BlueChip investors remains undetermined, though company insiders suggest the amount could exceed $100 million. Investigations reveal that Soni was involved in multiple fraudulent enterprises.

He faces charges of fraud, forgery, breach of trust, and criminal intimidation in India. Court and police records show that Soni was arrested in India in 2022 for running a fraudulent investment scheme that promised to double investors' money.

He was released on bail by a court in Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh, along with a co-accused. Another police complaint, dating back to 2019 in Panipat, Haryana, accuses Soni of deceiving an investor and threatening him with death when he demanded his money back.

Prior investigations uncovered Soni's role as a manager at Dubai-based Acme Management Consultancy and its sister concern, Acme Global General Trading, between 2018 and 2020.

These firms, which operated from the same premises as BlueChip in the Al Jawhara Building, Bur Dubai, engaged in similar schemes, allegedly soliciting millions of dirhams for forex trading, resulting in substantial losses for investors.

Among those affected was Priti Rakesh Phillips, a Dubai resident, along with her family and friends, who suffered losses totalling over Dh39 million, court records show.
Last year, a Dubai court ordered Soni to pay Dh2.05 million to another investor.

For any enquiries or information, contact ask@tlr.ae or call us on +971 52 644 3004Follow The Law Reporters on WhatsApp Channels.

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Are You Entitled to Gratuity If You Have Not Worked Continuously With a Firm?

UAE residents often wonder: Is gratuity paid even with breaks in service? This article addresses this common concern, explaining how unpaid leaves affect your gratuity and how your tenure is calculated in such situations.

Gratuity: A Right with a Requirement

Under UAE law, most foreign employees in the private sector are entitled to gratuity, also known as severance pay. This is a mandatory benefit, regardless of your profession. However, to qualify, you must complete at least one year of continuous service with your employer.

Calculating Your Gratuity: It's All About Continuous Days

The amount of gratuity you receive is based on your last basic salary, excluding allowances. The calculation considers the total number of days you've worked continuously for the company. Here's the key point: unpaid leave periods don't count towards your continuous service.

So, You've Been on Unpaid Leave: What Now?

Let's say you're about to leave your job after five years, but those years haven't been entirely continuous due to unpaid leaves. You wonder, "how will my gratuity be calculated?"

The law is clear: unpaid leaves generally don't contribute to your continuous service. This means only the days you actively worked will be considered when calculating your gratuity.

Important Exception: Continuous Service During Unpaid Leave

There can be some exceptions. If you've been on your employer's work visa throughout your entire employment period, even with unpaid leaves, it might still be considered continuous service in certain situations. However, to be certain, it's highly recommended to seek confirmation from the UAE Ministry of Labour.

Who Might Miss Out on Gratuity?

There are a few scenarios where employees may not be eligible for gratuity, regardless of continuous service:

  • Resigning without giving proper notice (although some companies may offer gratuity at their discretion).
  • Working under an unlimited contract for less than one year.
  • Resigning before the contract ends if you're on a limited contract.
  • Having unauthorised absences exceeding the legal limits.
  • Being terminated for specific reasons outlined in Article 120 of the UAE Labour Law.

Remember:

  • Your gratuity is calculated by multiplying your basic salary by your total continuous service days.
  • Unpaid leaves generally don't contribute to your continuous service.

For any enquiries or information, contact ask@tlr.ae or call us on +971 52 644 3004Follow The Law Reporters on WhatsApp Channels.

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Lawyer-Client Relationship: Beyond Legality, Mutual Trust, Understanding are Backbone

When it comes to navigating the complex world of law, the relationship between a lawyer and the client is critical. It's more than just legal advice and courtrooms -- it's about trust, communication and a mutual understanding that ensures the best possible outcomes.

Trust and Confidentiality

Trust is the foundation of any strong lawyer-client relationship. Imagine sharing your deepest secrets, your financials, or even your fears, and expecting them to be safeguarded. That's precisely what happens when you confide in your lawyer.

"Confidentiality is the bedrock of our profession," says Ayushi Tripathi, Legal Associate at Dubai-based NYK Law Firm. Without it, the trust that is so essential to the lawyer-client relationship would be undermined," said Ayushi.

Communication

Think of your lawyer as your guide through the legal jungle. Clear and consistent communication ensures you’re never lost. Your lawyer needs to keep you updated, explain your options, and provide straightforward advice.

Competence and Diligence

You want a lawyer who knows the stuff and is dedicated to your case. Competence means having the right knowledge and skills, while diligence means being thorough and proactive. "At NYK, we pride ourselves on our expertise and commitment to our clients' cases, and diligence is not just a duty, it's a promise we make to every client,” says Ayushi.

Conflict of Interest

Avoiding conflicts of interest is crucial. Your lawyer should never have divided loyalties. They need to be fully committed to your cause without any competing interests. "Identifying and managing conflicts of interest is essential to uphold the ethical standards of our profession," she explains.

Empathy and Understanding

Legal issues often come with a heavy emotional load. Your lawyer should see you as more than just a case – he/she should empathise with your situation and understand the emotional and human aspects involved. "We strive to see beyond the legal issues and understand the human aspect of each case. Empathy allows us to connect with our clients and advocate for them more effectively,” she adds.

Transparency in Fees and Billing

Nobody likes surprises when it comes to billing. Transparency about fees helps build trust and ensures you know exactly what to expect.
"Open discussions about fees and billing are essential to prevent misunderstandings and ensure that clients feel respected and valued," she notes.

Professionalism and Ethical Conduct

Professionalism and ethics are non-negotiable. Your lawyer should act with integrity, honesty, and respect at all times. "Maintaining high ethical standards is the foundation of our practice. We must uphold the law while providing exceptional service to our clients,” emphasises Ayushi.

The lawyer-client relationship is a blend of trust, clear communication, expertise, empathy, transparency and unwavering professionalism. It’s about building a partnership that ensures your legal journey is as smooth as possible. It's clear that prioritising these elements helps both lawyers and clients work together effectively, navigating the legal landscape with confidence and clarity.

For any enquiries or information, contact ask@tlr.ae or call us on +971 52 644 3004Follow The Law Reporters on WhatsApp Channels.

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Banks and Financial Entities in UAE Cannot Seize Properties Without Obtaining Court Order

A recent incident has come to light where a bank has been accused of illegally seizing a property over disputed dues. This development has raised significant concerns regarding the legal rights of property owners and the bounds of bank authority in the UAE.

In this article, we delve into the specifics of the case at hand and discuss its implications for property owners and borrowers in the region. A UAE resident found himself embroiled in a legal dispute with his bank after they allegedly seized his property without following the appropriate legal procedures.

The individual had been involved in a disagreement with the bank over outstanding debts. However, rather than resolving the matter through the judicial system, the bank took unilateral action to confiscate the property.

In the UAE, the legal process for property seizure is well-defined and must be strictly adhered to by financial institutions. According to UAE law, banks and other financial entities cannot seize properties without obtaining a court order.

The process typically involves:

Notification of Default: The borrower must be formally notified of the default on loan payments.
Court Proceedings: If the borrower fails to settle the dues, the bank must file a case in court to seek permission for property seizure.
Court Order: Only after obtaining a court order can the bank proceed with the seizure of the property.

In this case, it appears that the bank did not follow these crucial steps, leading to allegations of illegal seizure.
Property owners in the UAE are entitled to specific rights that safeguard them from unlawful actions by financial institutions. These rights include:

Right to Due Process: Property owners are entitled to a fair legal process before any seizure can occur.
Right to Dispute: Owners have the right to dispute claims and present their case in court.
Right to Compensation: If a property is illegally seized, the owner can seek compensation for damages incurred.

The implications of this case are far-reaching. It highlights the importance of adhering to legal procedures and respecting the rights of borrowers. For banks, it serves as a reminder of the legal boundaries within which they must operate. For property owners, it underscores the necessity of understanding and asserting their legal rights.

If you find yourself in a situation where a bank is threatening to seize your property without following due process, here are some steps you can take:

*Consult with a legal expert to understand your rights and the appropriate course of action.
* Keep records of all communications and transactions with the bank.
* Report the matter to relevant authorities if you believe your rights are being violated.
* If necessary, take legal action to protect your property and seek compensation for any illegal actions.

In conclusion, the aforementioned incident highlights the critical role that legal due process plays in protecting the rights of property owners. Both financial institutions and individuals must respect these rights and ensure compliance with the relevant laws and regulations.

Should you find yourself involved in a similar dispute, it is highly recommended that you seek the guidance of a qualified legal professional.

For any enquiries or information, contact ask@tlr.ae or call us on +971 52 644 3004Follow The Law Reporters on WhatsApp Channels.

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Concerned About Job Loss? UAE Law Offers Protection to Secure Your Employment

Unexpected job loss can be a stressful experience. However, the UAE Labour Law offers provisions to ease the transition and assist you in securing new employment. Let's explore the key benefits available under Federal Decree-Law No. 33 of 2021:

Notice Period or Compensation:  Both the employer and employee are obligated to provide written notice (30 to 90 days) before terminating the employment contract (Article 43). If your employment is terminated, you are entitled to receive your full salary during this notice period, unless mutually waived.
Interview Time Off: During your notice period, you are entitled to take one unpaid day off per week to attend job interviews.  Simply inform your employer three days in advance (not covered under Article 43).
End-of-Service Dues and Work Permit:Your employer cannot cancel your work permit until you receive all your outstanding dues (salary, gratuity, etc.) within 14 days of termination. You have the right to file a labour complaint if your gratuity payment is delayed.
Involuntary Loss of Employment (ILOE) Support: If you have been subscribed to the ILOE scheme for a minimum of twelve consecutive months, you are eligible to receive 60 per cent of your basic salary for three months after job loss.  Ensure you file your claim within one month of termination.
Experience Certificate: You are legally entitled to an experience certificate from your previous employer. This stamped document issued by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) details your job title, salary, and years of service. You can obtain it instantly through the MoHRE app if not provided by your employer.

Obtaining Your Experience Certificate Through the MOHRE App

Download and Installation: The MoHRE app is available for free download on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. Install the application on your smartphone.
Account Creation:  Launch the MoHRE app and select "Sign Up." Choose the "Employee" option and register using your Emirates ID number, passport number, or labour card number.
Service Location:  Once logged in, navigate to the services section.  This may be labelled "Show All" or a similar option. Locate and select "Employment History Certificate" from the list of services.
Request and Download:  Follow the on-screen instructions after selecting "Employment History Certificate."  Your official and stamped experience certificate will be generated immediately. You can then choose to save it to your phone or send it directly to someone's email address.
Visa Grace Period:  Following work permit cancellation, you are granted a grace period (approximately one month) to regularise your immigration status. This allows you the opportunity to apply for a new visa if you intend to remain in the UAE (e.g., through a new employer).
Repatriation Ticket:  If you are departing the UAE, your employer is responsible for covering the cost of your repatriation ticket back to your point of hire or a mutually agreed-upon location. This excludes situations where you find a new job in the UAE or were terminated for misconduct (Article 13(12)).

The UAE law offers significant protections for employees, covering various essential aspects. If you want to explore more about these protections, you can check out this link.

For any enquiries or information, contact ask@tlr.ae or call us on +971 52 644 3004Follow The Law Reporters on WhatsApp Channels.

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RERA Rental Index Fails to Halt Evictions as Landlords Cut Deals with Tenants

Despite the introduction of the new RERA Rental Index in Dubai two months ago, tenants continue to receive eviction notices from landlords eager to renegotiate rents.

Although tenants have a 12-month grace period before eviction, some landlords are offering sweeteners to hasten the process. These incentives include covering a portion of the increased rent tenants would pay in a new property, demonstrating a tactic-based method to circumvent the regulatory changes and maximise rental yields.

In Dubai, landlords are offering generous incentives to hasten evictions, with some paying over 50 per cent of the increased rent on a new property in the same area. The landlords are occupying the apartment personally and don’t want to wait the full 12 months. While such generous offers are exceptions, they still represent significant savings for landlords eager to regain access to their properties.

Eviction notices remain common, driven by factors such as property sales or personal use, not because of a decrease in demand for rentals. These notices are often tied to sale prices or landlords finding it more affordable to occupy their properties.

Contrary to expectations, the updated RERA Rental Index has not led to a significant decrease in eviction notices. Initially, it was thought that landlords would have less incentive to issue eviction notices, as they could now adjust rents to match market rates. However, the current trend suggests otherwise. Landlords are either increasing rents or issuing eviction notices, indicating that the new index has not reduced the number of evictions.

The data suggests that landlords are prioritising their interests, either by maximising rental income or regaining control of their properties. According to Dubai's regulations, landlords are required to provide 12-month eviction notices in specific circumstances: when they intend to occupy the property themselves, sell it, or undertake major renovations.

Notably, despite the introduction of the new rent index, there has been no significant surge in landlords seeking valuations from the Dubai Rental Disputes Centre to resolve disputes related to rent increases. This suggests that landlords are not actively utilising formal channels to address rent-related issues, instead opting for alternative approaches, such as negotiating with tenants or issuing eviction notices.

Landlords seeking to adjust rents must now follow a specific process. First, they must apply to open a rental adjustment case, and if the judge rules in their favour, they can then request a rental valuation.

This valuation will assess the rent based on the current market value in that area. However, it's important to note that the tenancy laws still apply, governing the maximum amount by which landlords can increase rents. This process ensures that rent adjustments are fair and aligned with market rates, while also protecting tenants from excessive increases.

Landlords who obtain a new valuation certificate must adhere to the following rent increase guidelines:

  • 0-11% below market value: No rent increase allowed
  •  11-20% below market value: Maximum 5% rent increase
  •  21-30% below market value: Maximum 10% rent increase
  •  31-40% below market value: Maximum 15% rent increase
  • 41% below market value: Maximum 20% rent increase

The landlords must operate within these predetermined ranges, even if the valuation suggests potentially higher rents. The regulations ensure that rent adjustments are fair and controlled, preventing excessive increases.

For any enquiries or information, contact ask@tlr.ae or call us on +971 52 644 3004Follow The Law Reporters on WhatsApp Channels.

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MoHRE Helps Settle End- of-Service Benefits Disputes Through Mediation or Court

For expatriates leaving the United Arab Emirates, understanding how to collect end-of-service benefits is crucial. These benefits, a mandatory part of employment contracts, are designed to provide financial security to employees after their tenure in the country. Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to navigate the process effectively.

Understanding End-of-Service Benefits

End-of-service benefits, commonly known as gratuity, are stipulated by the UAE Labour Law. The amount an employee receives depends on their length of service and the nature of their termination. Typically, an employee who has completed at least one year of continuous service is eligible for these benefits.

Steps to Collect End-of-Service Benefits

Resignation or Termination: The process begins with either resignation or termination. Employees should provide proper notice as stipulated in their contract to avoid any legal complications.
Final Settlement: Upon resignation or termination, the employer is required to prepare a final settlement which includes the end-of-service benefits. This settlement should be provided within 14 days of the employee’s last working day.
Calculating Gratuity: The gratuity is calculated based on the employee's last drawn basic salary, excluding allowances and bonuses. The formula typically used is:

  • 21 days of basic salary for each of the first five years of service.
  •  30 days of basic salary for each additional year after five years.

Documentation: Employees must ensure all documentation is in order. This includes a copy of the labour contract, proof of salary and records of service duration. It is advisable to keep copies of resignation letters or termination notices.
Clearing Dues: Before leaving the UAE, employees should ensure all financial dues are cleared, including any outstanding loans or credit card bills. Employers might withhold the end-of-service benefits if there are any unresolved dues.
Exit Formalities: Completing exit formalities is crucial. This includes cancelling the work visa, returning company property, and obtaining a clearance certificate from the employer.
Legal Recourse: If there is a dispute over the end-of-service benefits, employees can approach the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) for resolution. The MoHRE provides mediation services and can facilitate legal action if necessary.

Key Considerations

Partial Benefits: Employees who resign before completing five years of service might receive partial benefits, calculated on a pro-rata basis.
Unlimited vs. Limited Contracts: The type of employment contract affects gratuity calculation. Limited contracts usually provide better terms if terminated before completion.
Gratuity Caps: The gratuity amount is capped at two years’ worth of salary, regardless of the length of service.

Expert Advice

Legal experts advise expatriates to familiarise themselves with the UAE Labour Law and consult with legal professionals if needed. “Understanding your rights and the legal framework can help ensure a smooth transition,” says Mary Rintu Raju NYK Law Firm, a legal consultant based in Dubai.

Conclusion

Collecting end-of-service benefits requires careful planning and adherence to legal procedures. By following the outlined steps and seeking appropriate advice, expatriates can secure their rightful dues and make a smooth transition as they leave the Emirates.

For more detailed information, expatriates are encouraged to visit the MoHRE website or consult with legal professionals specialising in UAE labour law.

For any enquiries or information, contact ask@tlr.ae or call us on +971 52 644 3004Follow The Law Reporters on WhatsApp Channels.

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Labour Rights: Know Your Notice Period, Termination and New Working Week

It’s important for employees to know their rights regarding notice periods, termination, and the new working week. All legally employed individuals in the UAE have the right to raise their cases with the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) if their employer violates labour laws. This article outlines employees’ legal liabilities and obligations.

UAE's attractive paychecks are a primary reason for the large expatriate population. Thousands of people come to the UAE every year hoping to advance their careers. Following recent cases of employee rights violations, the UAE government has amended labour laws, effective from February 2, 2022.

Notice Period under Article 43 of the Employment Law

The notice period should not be less than 30 days and not more than 90 days. This means that even if the employment contract does not specify a notice period, the law obligates employers to provide employees a minimum of 30 days' notice.

If mentioned in the contract, the maximum duration of the notice period is 90 days. If the company does not wish for the employee to serve the 30-day notice, it must compensate the employee for the value of that notice period.

When Can Employment Contracts Be Terminated

According to Article 42 of the Federal Decree Law, the employment contract can be terminated in any of the following cases:

  • The written agreement of both parties upon its termination.
  •  Expiry of the term specified in the contract, unless it is extended or renewed as per the provisions hereof.
  •  Based on the wish of either party, provided that the provisions regarding termination of the employment contract and the notice period agreed upon in the contract are observed.
  •  The employer’s death if the subject of the contract is related to its entity.
  •  The worker’s death or full permanent inability to work, as proven by a certificate issued by the medical entity.
  •  A final judgment issued against the worker with a freedom-restricting penalty for a period of not less than three months.
  •  Permanent closure of the establishment, in accordance with the legislation in force in the State.
  •  Bankruptcy or insolvency of the employer, or any economic or exceptional reasons that prevent the continuation of the project, in accordance with the conditions, rules, and procedures specified by the Implementing Regulation and the legislation in force in the State.
  • The worker’s failure to fulfill the conditions for renewing the work permit for reasons beyond the employer’s control.

When Can the Worker Be Dismissed Without Notice

According to Article 44 of the Federal Decree Law, the employer may dismiss the worker without notice after conducting a written investigation, provided the dismissal decision is in writing, justified, and handed to the worker in any of the following cases:

  • The worker impersonated another person or submitted forged certificates or documents.
  • The worker committed a mistake that resulted in gross physical losses to the employer or deliberately damaged the employer’s properties and acknowledged the same, provided the employer informs the ministry of the incident within seven working days from the date of awareness of the incident.
  • The worker violated safety instructions related to the work and workplace, provided they are written, hung in a visible place, and the worker is informed of them.
  • The worker did not perform his basic duties according to the employment contract and continued breaching them despite a written investigation, and was notified and warned of dismissal twice if repeated.
  • The worker disclosed a work secret related to industrial or intellectual property, resulting in losses to the employer, missed opportunities, or personal benefit for the worker.
  • The worker is drunk during working hours, under the influence of narcotics or psychotropic substances, or commits an action breaching public morals at the workplace.
  • The worker assaults the employer, manager in charge, a superior, or colleagues at work by word, action, or any form of assault punishable under the legislation in force in the State.
  • The worker is absent without a legitimate reason or excuse accepted by the employer for more than 20 intermittent days during one year or more than seven consecutive days.
  • The worker exploited his position illegally to obtain personal results and gains.
  • The worker joined another establishment without abiding by the rules and procedures prescribed.

When Can the Worker Quit Work Without Notice

According to Article 45 of the Federal Decree Law, the worker can quit work without notice, while retaining his rights upon end of service in any of the following cases:

  • The employer breaches his obligations towards the worker as stipulated in the contract, this Decree-Law, or the resolutions issued for its implementation, provided the worker notifies the Ministry 14 working days before quitting and the employer does not rectify the breach despite being notified by the Ministry.
  • It is proven that the employer or its legal representative assaulted, committed violence, or harassed the worker at work, provided the worker informs the competent authorities and the Ministry within five working days from the date of the incident.
  • There is a grave danger at the workplace that threatens the worker’s safety or health, provided the employer is aware of it and does not take any actions to remove the danger. The Implementing Regulation specifies the rules of the grave danger.
  • The employer instructs the worker to perform work fundamentally different from the work agreed upon in the employment contract without obtaining the worker’s written consent.

Public Holidays and Worker’s Work During Holidays

  • The worker is entitled to official days off with full pay on public holidays, defined by a resolution of the Cabinet.
  •  If work conditions require the worker to work during public holidays, the employer shall compensate him with another day off for each day worked during the holiday, or pay him the wage for that day according to the wage established for normal working days, plus an increase of not less than 50 per cent of the basic wage for that day.

New Working Week

The UAE federal government has adopted a four and a half-day working week. Hence, employees work eight hours from 7:30 am to 3:30 pm from Monday to Thursday, and from 7:30 am to 12:00 pm on Fridays.

For any enquiries or information, contact ask@tlr.ae or call us on +971 52 644 3004Follow The Law Reporters on WhatsApp Channels.

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UAE Steps Up Intellectual Property Protection: Over 1,000 Illegal Websites Blocked

The UAE has taken significant strides in protecting intellectual property rights (IPR) by blocking over 1,000 illegal websites this year for violating cyber laws. These sites, which illegally broadcasted entertainment content owned by various media networks, were primarily blocked during Ramadan, a period marked by high demand for multimedia content.

According to Dr Abdulrahman Hassan Al Muaini, Assistant Undersecretary for the Intellectual Property Rights Sector at the Ministry of Economy (MoE), “since the implementation of the ‘InstaBlock’ initiative during the holy month of Ramadan, we have blocked a total of 1,117 websites that infringed upon intellectual property rights.”

This is a marked increase from 2023, when only 62 sites were blocked, underscoring the UAE's enhanced approach to IPR protection.

Types of Cybercrimes and Penalties in the UAE

Unauthorised Access:  Gaining unauthorised access to computer systems or networks is a serious offense in the UAE. This includes hacking into systems to steal data or disrupt operations. Penalties for unauthorized access can include imprisonment, fines, or both, depending on the severity of the offense.

Hacking: Hacking involves breaking into computer systems or networks without permission, often to steal or manipulate data. In the UAE, hacking is met with severe penalties, including long-term imprisonment and hefty fines, aimed at deterring such malicious activities.

Phishing: Phishing refers to fraudulent attempts to obtain sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in electronic communications. Phishing activities are punishable by imprisonment and significant fines, reflecting the serious nature of this cybercrime.

Cyber Fraud: Cyber fraud encompasses various deceptive practices carried out online, including identity theft, online scams and financial fraud. The penalties for cyber fraud in the UAE are stringent, including imprisonment and substantial fines, to protect individuals and businesses from financial losses and reputational damage.

Dissemination of Malicious Software

The creation, distribution, or use of malicious software (malware) to harm computer systems, steal data, or disrupt operations is strictly prohibited in the UAE. Offenders can face severe penalties, including long-term imprisonment and substantial fines, to curb the spread of malware and protect cybersecurity.

For a more detailed understanding of these cybercrimes and the specific penalties associated with each, you can read more here.

IPR in UAE: Cornerstone of Innovation and Economic Growth

IPR serves as a cornerstone in protecting creative expressions, technological advancements, and unique brands, fostering innovation and economic growth. In the UAE, the legal framework for IPR encompasses Copyrights, Trademarks, and Patents, each playing a crucial role in safeguarding the rights of creators, inventors, and businesses.

Copyrights in the UAE

Governed by Federal Decree-Law No. 38/2021, copyright protection in the UAE grants protection to innovative literary, artistic, and scientific creations. Key aspects include:

Definition of Authorship and Joint Authorship: Recognises individuals who create copyrightable works and allows creators of all ages to register their works.
Authorisation for Use of the Work: Copyright owners have exclusive rights over their works and can delegate rights management to professional associations.
Copyright Registration Process: Overseen by the Ministry of Economy’s Department of Copyright, the process is efficient and user-friendly.
Scope of Copyrightable Works: Includes a wide range of creative works such as literary works, software, audio and video creations, and more.
Rights Enjoyed by Copyright Owners: Includes economic and moral rights, lasting 50 years after the author's death.
Penalties for Infringement: Strict penalties for violations, including imprisonment and fines.

Trademarks in the UAE

Trademark protection is governed by Federal Decree-Law No. 36/2021, providing a robust framework for the registration, protection, and enforcement of trademarks. Key aspects include:

Definition of Trademark: Includes signs, names, words, symbols, and more that distinguish goods or services.Trademark Registration Process:Managed by the Ministry of Economy, the process is accessible and covers multiple categories.
Trademark Protection Period and Renewal: Trademarks are protected for ten years and can be renewed.
Cancellation and Disputes: These can be brought before the Competent Court or resolved through the Trademarks Grievances Committee.
Assignment, Transfer, and Licensing: Trademarks can be assigned, transferred, or licensed.

Patents in the UAE

Patent protection is governed by Federal Law No. 11/2021, ensuring the protection of intellectual property rights related to inventions. Key aspects include:

Patent Validity and Examination: Requires formal and substantive examinations for novelty, inventive steps, and industrial applicability.
Patentability Requirements: Inventions must meet specific criteria and certain categories are excluded.
Patent Registration Process: Involves application submission, fee payment, and compliance with regulations.
Rights and Duration: Patents are protected for twenty years from the application filing date.
Patent Licensing and Transfer: Can be licensed or transferred to others, subject to registration.

Enhancing IPR Protection: Initiatives and Technologies

The UAE's proactive stance on IPR protection, highlighted by the significant increase in blocked websites, is part of a broader strategy to foster a secure and fair digital environment.

The 'InstaBlock' initiative provides a specialized instant response service for copyright infringement complaints, demonstrating the ministry's capability to act swiftly and decisively. Additionally, tools like 'LiveBan' are designed to handle live online broadcasting infringements.

By leveraging advanced technologies and a robust legal framework, the UAE aims to safeguard the interests of content creators and media networks, ensuring their works are protected from unauthorised use and distribution. This approach helps preserve the economic value of creative works and promotes a culture of respect for intellectual property rights.

Conclusion

The UAE's efforts to block over 1,000 illegal websites this year, particularly during Ramadan, underscore the country's commitment to intellectual property protection. The significant increase in blocked sites compared to last year highlights the effectiveness of the comprehensive measures implemented by the Ministry of Economy.

These efforts are crucial in maintaining a fair and secure digital ecosystem, protecting the rights of content creators, and promoting the legal and ethical consumption of multimedia content.

The UAE’s robust legal framework for Copyrights, Trademarks and Patents continues to foster innovation, creativity and economic growth, reinforcing its position as a global hub for creativity and the knowledge economy.

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How to Challenge an Employer Who Withholds Commissions, Unjustly Fires You From Job?

If you have been working in a private company for years and have not received your agreed-upon commissions and annual leave allowance for half the time, you might wonder what your rights are.

According to your employer, you may not have the legal right to claim these after two years. Additionally, if you file a labour complaint, your employer might dismiss you from your job.In such a scenario, here are the rights you should claim according to labour law:

Annual Leave Allowance

Article 29 of Labour Law No. 33 of 2021: You are entitled to payment for any accrued leave days if you quit your job before using them, regardless of the leave duration. This includes leave wages for parts of the year proportionate to the period you spent working, calculated based on your basic wage.

Unpaid Salaries and Commissions

Article 54/9 of the Federal Decree Law No. (20) of 2023 Amending Certain Provisions of Federal Decree Law No. (33) of 2021: You can claim any unpaid salaries, commissions, bonuses, etc., for the last year of your service. Lawsuits regarding these rights cannot be heard after one year from the maturity date of the right subject to the lawsuit.

End-of-Service Gratuity

Article 51 of the Law: You are entitled to an end-of-service gratuity upon completing one or more years of continuous service, calculated according to your basic wage. This includes:
* The wage of twenty-one (21) days for each year of the first five years of service.
* The wage of thirty (30) days for each year thereafter.

Compensation for Arbitrary Dismissal

Article 47 of the Law: If you were dismissed because you filed a serious complaint to the Ministry or a case against the employer that was proven to be true, the termination is considered unlawful. The employer is required to pay you fair compensation, which must not exceed the wage for a period of three (3) months, calculated according to your last received wage.

Warning Period Compensation

Article 43 of the Law: If your employer did not abide by the agreed-upon warning period, they must pay you compensation called a warning allowance. This compensation is equal to your wage for the entire warning period or the remaining part of it, even if the failure to warn did not result in harm.

By understanding these rights, you can ensure that you are fairly compensated for your work and any unjust treatment you may have faced.

For any enquiries or information, contact ask@tlr.ae or call us on +971 52 644 3004Follow The Law Reporters on WhatsApp Channels.

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Can You Ignore a Landlord’s Rent Increase Demand If No 90-Day Notice Was Given?

In the bustling city of Dubai, where the real estate market is dynamic and ever-evolving, tenants often find themselves navigating the complexities of rental agreements and regulations. A common question among renters is whether they can ignore a landlord's rent increase demand if they haven't received a 90-day notice.

Let's delve into this topic, alongside understanding the permissible rent increase limits and the fees agents or middlemen can charge annually.

Understanding the 90-Day Notice Rule

In the UAE, particularly in Dubai, the law is clear regarding rent increases. According to Decree No. 43 of 2013, landlords must provide tenants with at least 90 days' notice before increasing the rent.

This notice must be given in writing and should explicitly state the new rent amount and the date from which the increase will take effect. If the landlord fails to provide this notice, the tenant has the right to reject the rent increase and continue paying the old rent amount.

Can the Landlord Increase Rent Beyond the Rental Index?

The rental index, managed by the Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA), serves as a benchmark for determining acceptable rent increases. The RERA index is designed to maintain market stability and protect tenants from unreasonable hikes. Here are the key points:

  • 0% Increase: If the existing rent is up to 10% below the market value.
  • 5% Increase: If the existing rent is 11-20% below the market value.
  • 10% Increase: If the existing rent is 21-30% below the market value.
  • 15% Increase: If the existing rent is 31-40% below the market value.
  • 20% Increase: If the existing rent is more than 40% below the market value.

Landlords are prohibited from increasing rent beyond these specified limits as per the RERA rental index. Therefore, tenants can confidently challenge any rent hike that exceeds these thresholds.

Administrative Fees by Agents or Middlemen

When it comes to administrative fees charged by agents or middlemen, the UAE has set guidelines to ensure fairness. The annual administrative fees should be clearly stated in the tenancy contract. Typically, these fees cover the cost of services such as maintenance, documentation and contract renewal processes.

How Much Can Agents Charge?

While the law does not specify an exact amount, it is customary for agents to charge between 2-5% of the annual rent as administrative fees. This fee is subject to the agreement between the landlord and the agent, and it should be transparently communicated to the tenant.

What Should Tenants Do?

Verify Notices: Always ensure that any rent increase notice is received at least 90 days prior to the renewal date.
Check the RERA Index: Use the RERA rental index to verify the legality of the proposed rent increase.
Review Administrative Fees: Ensure that the administrative fees charged by agents are reasonable and agreed upon in the contract.

Conclusion

Navigating rent increases in Dubai requires a clear understanding of your rights as a tenant. The 90-day notice period is crucial, and any increase must align with the RERA rental index. Additionally, ensure that administrative fees charged by agents are fair and transparent.

By staying informed and proactive, tenants can safeguard their interests and enjoy a hassle-free renting experience in one of the world's most vibrant cities. 

For any enquiries or information, contact ask@tlr.ae or call us on +971 52 644 3004Follow The Law Reporters on WhatsApp Channels.

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Want to Join a Rival Firm? Can Your Employer Take Legal Action Against You?

The UAE's labour market, known for its dynamic and diverse workforce, is governed by a set of regulations designed to balance the interests of both employers and employees.

Among the most debated topics are non-compete clauses and the conditions under which an employer can influence an employee’s ability to join rival firms or compel them to leave the country. This article delves into these issues within the framework of UAE law.

Legality of Non-Compete Clauses

Non-compete clauses are contractual agreements that restrict employees from joining competing firms or engaging in similar business activities for a specified period and within a certain geographical area after leaving an employer.

These clauses are included in employment contracts to protect the employer’s business interests, particularly their trade secrets, proprietary information and client relationships.

The UAE's Federal Decree-Law No. 33 of 2021, also known as the UAE Labour Law, addresses non-compete clauses.
According to Article 10 of the Labour Law:

  •  Employers can include non-compete clauses in employment contracts, provided these clauses are reasonable in scope, duration and geographical area.
  • The restriction must not cause undue hardship to the employee or be against public policy.

For a non-compete clause to be enforceable, it must meet the following criteria:

Legitimate Business Interest: The clause should protect legitimate business interests, such as confidential information or unique business methods.
Reasonableness: The duration, geographical scope and type of restricted activity must be reasonable and not excessively broad. Typically, a duration of six months to one year and a specific geographical area are considered reasonable.
Written Agreement: The non-compete clause must be explicitly stated in writing within the employment contract and agreed upon by both parties.

In case of a dispute over a non-compete clause, the UAE courts evaluate the reasonableness and necessity of the restriction. The courts may strike down or modify overly restrictive clauses that unfairly limit an employee's ability to find new employment.

Forcing Employees to Leave the Country

In the UAE, employment visas are linked to specific employers. When an employee resigns or is terminated, their employment visa is typically cancelled. This does not inherently mean that the employee must leave the country immediately, as they may have a grace period to find a new job or switch to a different visa type.

Employers cannot force an employee to leave the country against their will. However, once an employment visa is cancelled, the individual must comply with immigration laws, which may require them to either secure a new visa or exit the country.

Under the UAE Labour Law, employees are protected from unjust treatment and have the right to seek new employment.
Employees should be aware of the following:

Notice Period: Employees are generally required to serve a notice period as stipulated in their employment contract, which cannot exceed three months.
End-of-Service Benefits: Employees are entitled to receive their end-of-service benefits, including gratuity, upon termination or resignation, provided they meet the eligibility criteria.
Labour Disputes: Employees can file a complaint with the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) if they believe their employer is acting unlawfully or unethically.

Practical Considerations

Employees should carefully review and negotiate non-compete clauses before signing employment contracts. Seeking legal advice to understand the implications and ensure the terms are fair and reasonable is advisable.
Employees planning to leave their current job should:

Understand their contractual obligations, including notice periods and non-compete clauses.

  • Ensure they receive all due compensation and benefits.
  • Stay informed about their visa status and explore options for visa transfer or renewal.

The UAE's labour laws provide a framework that seeks to balance the interests of employers in protecting their business and the rights of employees to seek new employment opportunities.

Non-compete clauses are permissible but must be reasonable and justifiable. Employers cannot force employees to leave the country, though visa regulations must be respected.

By understanding their rights and obligations, employees can manage their  job transitions more effectively and ensure they are treated fairly within the bounds of the law. For employers, adhering to legal standards in drafting and enforcing employment contracts is crucial to maintaining a fair and lawful workplace.

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A Legal Battle for Privacy: Dubai Expatriate Sues Apple Over AirTag Tracking

A Dubai-based expatriate has initiated a lawsuit against tech giant Apple, demanding access to data associated with an AirTag device allegedly used to track his movements without consent. This case underscores escalating concerns around digital privacy and the misuse of tracking technology.

The expatriate, whose identity remains undisclosed for privacy reasons, discovered that an AirTag had been covertly placed in his vehicle. This device, designed by Apple to help users locate personal items, was instead being used to monitor his location.

The expat's immediate response was to reach out to Apple, seeking information on the AirTag's activity and the person responsible for activating it.

Legal Grounds

The plaintiff's legal counsel argues that Apple's refusal to disclose the data violates consumer privacy rights and impedes justice. They are demanding detailed logs of the AirTag’s movements and the identity of the owner linked to the device.

This lawsuit could set a significant precedent in the UAE regarding tech companies' responsibility to safeguard user data and prevent its misuse.

Apple’s Position

Apple has maintained a firm stance on user privacy, typically resisting attempts to disclose personal data without substantial legal compulsion. The company argues that complying with such requests could undermine its privacy policies and set a dangerous precedent.

However, in this case, the expat’s legal team contends that the misuse of the AirTag warrants an exception due to the potential threat to personal safety.

Broader Implications

This case brings to light the potential for misuse of tracking technologies and the legal responsibilities of tech companies. The outcome could influence how companies like Apple handle privacy concerns and data disclosure requests in the UAE and beyond.

It also raises questions about the balance between user privacy and security, especially in an era where digital devices are increasingly ubiquitous.

Public and Legal Reactions

 The lawsuit has garnered significant attention from privacy advocates and legal experts. Many are watching closely to see how the UAE courts will navigate this complex issue, balancing individual privacy rights with corporate policies.

A ruling in favour of the plaintiff could lead to stricter regulations on tracking technologies and greater accountability for tech companies operating in the region.

By addressing the legal and ethical dimensions of this case, it is hoped that stronger safeguards will be established to protect individuals from invasive surveillance practices, reinforcing the importance of privacy in the digital age.

For any enquiries or information, contact ask@tlr.ae or call us on +971 52 644 3004Follow The Law Reporters on WhatsApp Channels.

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Dh3,000 Cash/Credit, Return Ticket, Stay Details Must for Travellers on UAE Visit Visa

The UAE has issued new visiting visa guidelines that require passengers to carry certain documents and funds to ensure a smooth entry process.

Travellers on visit visas must carry Dh3,000 in cash or credit, a valid return ticket, and proof of accommodation. These measures are being enforced to prevent overstaying and ensure visitors have the necessary resources.

Strict checks are being conducted at airports, and passengers who do not meet these requirements have reported being detained or stranded. Some passengers who failed to meet the requirements said they were barred from boarding their flights, while others reported being stranded at airports.

Travelers on Dubai visit visas are urged to carry Dh3,000 in cash, a valid return ticket, and proof of accommodation before going on a flight to the emirate, tourism agencies say.

Authorities are ensuring strict entry guidelines are followed. Some passengers who failed to meet the requirements said they were stopped at Indian airports and barred from boarding their flights.

Others reported being stranded at airports in Dubai. People traveling to Dubai must have a valid visa with a passport having a validity of at least six months. Additionally, they must carry a confirmed return ticket.

“Authorities are conducting these checks to ensure that individuals have the proper requisites for their stay in the country. As the number of overstaying cases increases, authorities are ensuring that anyone traveling to the country has the required funds in hand for their stay, proof of accommodation and a return ticket,” says Sam Sunny, who works as a public relations officer in Dubai.

These checks were already in place, but now, checks are being done to ensure that travellers are carrying enough money as proof of funds to sustain their stay in Dubai.

The required amount is any currency equivalent to Dh3,000 in cash or credit card. One must also provide a valid proof of accommodation in the UAE; this can be either a relative's or friend’s home or a hotel booking.

Travel agents noted that this rule has been in place for a long time, but authorities have tightened monitoring for the benefit of travelers.
According to the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs, individuals entering the UAE on a visit visa must have either a travel ticket for onward travel or a return ticket to leave the UAE.

Airport checks are being conducted to safeguard travellers arriving in Dubai. There have been many cases of overstaying. This step by the authorities will positively impact the tourism sector of the emirate.

“While travelling from Kochi to Dubai, Spice Jet staff were inquiring whether passengers held visit visas or employment visas. They also ensured that those with visit visas had an adequate amount in their account to show the immigration authorities,” said Shreya, who travelled from Kochi on May 19.

Further, many passengers on visit visas were asked to show proof of accommodation along with Dh3,500, she added.

“The airport staff mentioned that the UAE will not allow anyone to enter the country without showing a valid hotel stay for the duration of their visit visa or carrying Dh5,000 in cash as dirhams,” Shreya added.

For any enquiries or information, contact ask@tlr.ae or call us on +971 52 644 3004Follow The Law Reporters on WhatsApp Channels.

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Facing Workplace Defamation? You Can Take Legal Action Against the Offender

Workplaces are busy centres of professional interactions and collaborations. However, instances of defamation can create challenges for both employers and employees. It's important to understand defamation laws in the workplace to maintain harmony and reduce legal risks.

What Constitutes Workplace Defamation?

Workplaces provide ample opportunities for defamatory behaviour, which can manifest in various ways:

Spreading Rumours or Gossip: Sharing unverified claims about a colleague's performance, work ethic, or personal life can damage their reputation and be classified as defamation.
False Accusations of Misconduct:Accusations of harassment, discrimination, or other inappropriate behaviour without a factual basis can constitute defamatory conduct.
Negative Performance Reviews: While constructive feedback is essential for professional growth, sharing disparaging reviews that tarnish an employee's reputation may amount to defamation.
Online Communication: Social media posts or online discussions that cast colleagues in a negative light can also be interpreted as defamatory behavior.

Consequences of Workplace Defamation

In the UAE, workplace defamation carries significant ramifications for both parties involved:

Criminal Prosecution: Victims have the option to file a criminal complaint, potentially leading to prosecution and imprisonment for the offender.
Civil Court Proceedings: Offenders may face legal claims and be liable to pay compensation for damages inflicted on the victim's reputation.
Internal Grievances/Disciplinary Action: Employees can utilise internal procedures to address defamation issues, resulting in disciplinary measures such as warnings, suspension, or dismissal.
Damaged Company Reputation: Defamatory statements not only harm individuals but also tarnish the reputation of the organisation, impacting its business relationships and operations.

Preventative Measures to Safeguard Against Defamation

To mitigate the risk of workplace defamation, employers can implement various preventative measures:

Establish Clear Policies: Implement robust anti-defamation policies that outline acceptable conduct and prohibit defamatory behaviour.
Provide Training: Educate employees on defamation laws and the consequences of engaging in defamatory conduct through comprehensive training programmes.
Avoid Gossip and Rumours: Encourage employees to refrain from participating in conversations that could harm someone's reputation.
Document Concerns Carefully: Ensure that complaints are raised constructively and through official channels to minimise the risk of defamation.
Exercise Caution with Social Media: Remind employees of the stricter penalties for online defamation and the importance of responsible online behaviour.
Respect Cultural Differences: Foster an inclusive environment and discourage statements that may be offensive to colleagues from diverse backgrounds.
Maintain Professionalism: Encourage professionalism in all communications, avoiding personal comments, gossip, or unsubstantiated information.
Retain Documented Interactions: Emphasise the importance of maintaining records of communications, which can serve as evidence in defamation cases.
Review Grievance and Disciplinary Procedures: Ensure that procedures are fair and transparent, limiting the distribution of sensitive information to those directly involved.
Adopt Non-Disclosure Agreements: Incorporate NDAs into grievance and disciplinary documentation to prevent unauthorised disclosure of information.
Include Contract Provisions: Inform employees about the potential consequences of disseminating damaging information during investigations. 

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Lawyers Cannot be Sued for Service Deficiency: India SC Rules – What’s in UAE Law?

The Supreme Court of India recently ruled that the services rendered by advocates fall under a "contract of personal service," meaning they are excluded from the Consumer Protection Act, 2019.

This decision was made by a bench of Hon’ble Justices Bela M. Trivedi and Pankaj Mithal, who emphasised that the legal profession is unique and cannot be equated with other professions or businesses that the Consumer Protection Act covers. The ruling clarifies that complaints alleging "deficiency in service" against advocates cannot be maintained under the Consumer Protection Act, 2019.

The court highlighted that the relationship between advocates and their clients involves fiduciary duties and direct control by the client over the advocate's actions, distinguishing it from typical service contracts.

This decision overturned a 2007 ruling by the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC), which had allowed such complaints against advocates.

“The legal profession is sui generis (unique in nature) and cannot be compared with any other profession.

The service engaged or utilised from an advocate falls under a contract of personal service, and therefore will fall within the exclusionary part of the definition of “service” contained in Section 2 (42) of the Consumer Protection Act, 2019,” a Bench headed by Justice Bela M. Trivedi said, terming the advocates’ responsibility “onerous”.

The Bench said an advocate was the only link between the court and the client and was expected to follow his client’s instructions rather than substitute his (client’s) judgment. Justice Mithal, who delivered a separate concurring judgment, said, “The legislature inIndia as in some other countries had not intended to include the services rendered by professionals, especially lawyers, to their client within the purview of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986, and re-enacted in 2019.”

“One should also not lose sight of the fact that the other object of the Act was to provide consumers timely and effective administration and settlement of their disputes.

If the services provided by all professionals are also brought within the purview of the Act, there will be a floodgate of litigations in commissions/forums established under the Act,” the Bench noted.

Advocates were generally perceived to be their client’s agents and owed fiduciary duties to their clients who exercised direct control over their advocates rendering legal professional services, it said.

The Advocates Act, 1961

In India, the regulation and governance of the legal profession are primarily overseen by the Advocates Act, 1961. This pivotal legislation lays down comprehensive standards of professional conduct and etiquette, as stipulated by the Bar Council of India under Section 49(1)(c).

According to these provisions, clients who have grievances regarding misconduct can approach the State Bar Council where the concerned advocate is enrolled to file a complaint.

These Bar Councils are not only vigilant but also sensitive in handling cases that involve the legal profession.

Moreover, the Court aptly distinguished between the legal and medical professions in this context. Unlike the medical profession, the legal profession lacks a universal standard of care or an objective test to adjudicate issues of professional duty.

This absence of a definitive standard is due to the inherent unpredictability in legal cases, where outcomes are significantly influenced by the opposing party’s actions and legal interpretations.

The Hon’ble Supreme Court’s decision brings closure to a long-pending issue that has lingered for over a decade. The judgment acknowledges that there is always a risk of imperfection in case determinations, often due to factors beyond the advocate’s control.

The legal system aims to provide the best and safest method of adjudication, balancing the necessity of human fallibility. The Court’s judgment reinforces the need for advocates to perform their duties without fear of undue repercussions.

The immunity granted to advocates is seen as a necessary measure to ensure that they can operate within the legal framework without the constant threat of liability.

This protection is crucial for the effective functioning of the legal profession, as recognised by the Supreme Court in its recent ruling.

Consumer Protection Context

In the context of consumer protection, these legal provisions underscore the UAE’s commitment to safeguarding the rights and well-being of its residents.

The rigorous standards of care and accountability mandated by the law ensure that consumers and businesses alike can operate within a framework of fairness and responsibility.

The legal landscape in the UAE thus offers robust mechanisms for addressing grievances and seeking redress, reinforcing the importance of legal recourse and professional guidance in protecting one’s rights and interests.

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How to Register a Complaint Against an Insurance Company in UAE Over Claim Rejection?

The unprecedented weather disruption last month has led to a record number of motor and home insurance claims. According to Dubai-based insurance brokers, the total number of claims for damages typically expected over 12 years were filed within just a few days following the thunderstorms that struck the UAE on April 16.

While the Central Bank of the UAE (CBUAE), which oversees the insurance sector, has not provided exact figures on the number of cars or homes affected by the floods, insurance providers and brokers reported they had never seen so many claims caused by a single natural incident.

Insurance brokers estimate that approximately 100,000 vehicles in the country were affected by the rains. Many of these vehicles were deemed irreparable after being submerged in water, resulting in their classification as total losses.

Several cases are still pending responses from insurance providers, and many motorists are still waiting to receive their claims. It is expected that the situation will take two to three months to return to normal.

What if Your Claim is Rejected?

According to Snehal Singh, an insurance lawyer at Dubai-based NYK Law Firm, “if you believe the insurance company unfairly denies your claim, your next course of action is to submit a complaint to the Insurance Authority, overseen by the Central Bank of the UAE”.

Should the Central Bank of the UAE fail to address the matter, it will be forwarded to the court following standard jurisdictional protocols, she added.

Here's a detailed overview of the process:

Rejection of Claim: Upon the rejection of your claim by the insurance company, you will receive a formal notice outlining the reasons for denial.
Filing a Complaint: You must file a complaint with the Insurance Authority, providing all relevant documentation, including the rejection notice, policy details, and any correspondence with the insurance company.
Central Bank’s Role: The Insurance Authority, operating under the Central Bank of the UAE, will review your complaint. They may request additional information or documents to support your case.
Resolution by the Central Bank: The Central Bank will seek to mediate and resolve the issue. If they find merit in your claim and determine the insurance company is at fault, appropriate action will be taken.
Referral to Court: Should the Central Bank of the UAE be unable to satisfactorily resolve the issue, it will refer the case to the court, which will then adjudicate the matter based on jurisdictional rules and evidence provided.

This structured process ensures that all administrative remedies are exhausted before resorting to litigation, offering a systematic approach to resolving insurance disputes, Snehal Singh noted.

“We have received several complaints from consumers whose claim has been rejected from the insurance company. For such cases, initially we send a legal notice to the insurance company. If the issue isn’t resolved we’ll move on with further legal procedures,” Snehal Singh added.

How to File a Complaint Through Sanadak

Last month, the Central Bank confirmed that customers who encounter complaints or disputes with their insurance company have the option to address them through Sanadak, an independent financial unit established by the apex bank.

Before commencing the complaints process, it is crucial to understand the eligibility criteria for submitting complaints through Sanadak. You can file a complaint through the platform in the following cases:

  • When a Licensed Financial Institution (LFI) or the insurance company fails to provide a specific service or product due to discrimination based on family or socio-economic status, gender, or minority group membership.
  • In cases of alleged financial loss or harm resulting from deceptive, misleading, fraudulent, or unfair conduct by or on behalf of an LFI or insurance company.

However, certain conditions must be met:

  • Initially, raise the complaint with the relevant insurance company before approaching Sanadak.
  • Wait for a period of 30 calendar days after lodging the complaint with the company.
  • Ensure there's no ongoing litigation in a court of law related to the complaint.
  • Do not file a complaint related to a case falling outside the regulatory mandate of the Central Bank of the UAE.
  • Do not raise a complaint if the matter has already reached a resolution between you and the company.

Sanadak reserves the right to reject complaint applications in all the aforementioned cases.

How to Submit a Complaint?

  • Visit the website sanadak.gov.ae and select ‘Submit a complaint’ from the top menu.
  • Choose ‘Submit a complaint related to an insurance company’.
  • Complete the form to determine your eligibility to raise the complaint, addressing the criteria mentioned earlier. Once confirmed eligible, specify whether you wish to complain against a licensed financial institution or an insurance company.
  • Sign in using your UAE Pass.
  • Indicate whether you have an existing online account with Sanadak. If not, sign up, and your details will be auto-filled from your UAE Pass sign-in.
  • Proceed by clicking ‘Log a complaint’.
  • Read and accept the terms and conditions listed in the consent form.
  • Provide the dispute information, including any response received from the insurance company. Once submitted, await a response from the Sanadak team, who will investigate the complaint by liaising with the concerned company and provide updates accordingly.

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How Can Expatriates of Non- Muslim Faith Draft & Register a Will for Assets in the UAE?

As a non-Muslim resident of Dubai, you have several options for creating and registering a will for your assets in the UAE. The relevant laws include Federal Decree-Law No. 41 of 2022 on Civil Personal Status; Law No. 15 of 2017 Concerning Administration of Estates and Implementation of Wills of Non-Muslims in the Emirate of Dubai; and DIFC Wills and Probate Registry Rules

Non-Muslims can apply the UAE Personal Status Law for non-Muslims for their matters. Article 1(1) of this law states that it applies to non-Muslim UAE nationals and residents unless they follow their home country's laws regarding marriage, divorce, inheritance, wills and parentage.

Article 11(1) further allows non-Muslims to leave a will distributing all their UAE-based assets to anyone of their choice, following the guidelines in the Implementing Regulations.

Dubai Law No. 15 of 2017 outlines the procedures for the registration of wills. Article 3 applies this law to all wills and estates of non-Muslims in Dubai, including the DIFC. Article 6(a) establishes the 'Register of Wills of Non-Muslims' at the Dubai Courts and DIFC Courts.

You can register your will at either the Dubai Courts or the DIFC Courts Wills Service Centre. The will must detail the executor(s) and beneficiaries and cover all types of assets, including real estate, business shares, bank accounts and other valuables, whether located within or outside the UAE.

The DIFC Wills and Probate Registry (WPR) Rules specify the requirements for non-Muslim wills, such as being in English, witnessed by two witnesses, and appointing executors and guardians. The will can include all global assets of the testator.

Alternatively, non-Muslim expatriates can register their will at their home country's consulate or embassy if such a service is available.

In conclusion, you can draft and register your will for your UAE estate at the Dubai Courts, the DIFC Wills Service Centre, or your home country's consulate/embassy. Wills registered in Dubai through these procedures are typically valid and enforceable outside the UAE, subject to the laws of other involved countries.

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When Healthcare Fails You: A Guide to Medical Negligence Law & Patient Rights in the UAE

Instances of medical negligence, such as misdiagnosis, surgical errors, and medication mistakes, represent critical challenges within healthcare systems worldwide, including in the UAE.

These instances significantly impact both patients and healthcare practitioners and are comprehensively addressed under Federal Decree-Law No. 4/2016 on Medical Liability in the UAE.

Medical negligence, as defined by Article 6 of the Medical Liability Law, occurs when a practitioner fails to meet the required standard of care, resulting in harm to the patient. Practitioners are held responsible for their actions, encompassing various scenarios of deviation from accepted medical norms.

It is thus defined as an act or failure to act by a medical professional deviating from accepted standards of care, holding significant legal implications in the UAE.

Under Medical Liability Federal Law No. 4 of 2016, practitioners are mandated to uphold established medical practices, deviations constituting medical malpractice.

Defining Gross Medical Error and Legal Ramifications

Gross medical errors, as outlined in Article 5 of the Executive Regulations, encompass severe deviations from standard care, including errors resulting in patient death or organ loss, practitioner intoxication, and severe carelessness such as overdose or leaving medical equipment in the patient’s body.

Legal steps for victims are delineated, including approaching healthcare authorities and civil courts for compensation, or filing criminal complaints against practitioners or clinics.

Responsibilities of Healthcare Professionals

Article 3 of the UAE’s Federal Decree-Law No. 4/2016 emphasises that healthcare professionals in the UAE must fulfill their responsibilities honestly and accurately. They are required to follow recognised scientific and technical guidelines to provide proper care to patients.

Duties and Responsibilities of Practitioners

The medical liability law outlines the duties and obligations of practitioners, emphasising accuracy, honesty and adherence to scientific rules. Violations carry penalties, including imprisonment and fines, reinforcing the importance of complying with professional standards.

Role of Medical Liability Committees

Medical Responsibility Committees examine complaints related to medical errors, determining the extent of negligence and assessing damages. The law ensures a fair and thorough examination of alleged medical negligence cases, promoting accountability and justice.

Penalties for Medical Negligence

Article 28 specifies penalties for medical negligence, including imprisonment and fines. The severity of penalties varies depending on the nature of the offense, degree of negligence, and impact on patient well-being, highlighting the gravity of medical errors.

Civil Liability Insurance Mandate

Article 25 mandates practitioners to have civil liability insurance for medical errors from licensed insurance companies in the UAE. This insurance serves as a safeguard for both practitioners and patients, ensuring compensation in case of medical errors.

Recourse for Victims

Article 34 addresses serious medical errors, with offenders facing imprisonment and fines. Victims have the right to pursue reconciliation with the accused, ensuring accountability and compensation for medical negligence. Understanding the legal framework is crucial for maintaining accountability and ensuring the highest quality of healthcare services for patients.

Pursuing Compensation and Diya Money

Victims of medical malpractice can seek compensation for various damages, including emotional stress, loss of income, medical expenses and loss of love.

Additionally, Diya (blood money) may be claimed for deaths resulting from medical negligence, with Article 34 specifying penalties for practitioners involved in gross medical errors, particularly those under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Understanding the legal framework is crucial for maintaining accountability and ensuring the highest quality of healthcare services for patients.

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Using ‘F’ Word Could Lead to Jail in UAE: How to Defend Against Slander and Libel?

Defamation involves making false statements that harm someone's reputation, whether through spoken or written words or images. In the UAE, defamation is a serious legal issue, with specific laws governing it.

Defamation laws in the UAE encompass a broad range of scenarios, including accusations against public officials or statements deemed religiously offensive. Moreover, recent legislation extends defamation laws to cover online platforms.

This means that defamatory statements made on social media or other digital platforms can also lead to legal consequences. It is a serious legal offense, and anyone found guilty of defamation could face fines and imprisonment.

Staying informed about defamation laws is essential to prevent unintentional violations and potential legal consequences in the UAE. If you feel defamed, it's important to know your rights.

Here is a detailed analysis covering everything you need to know about defamation.

Types of Defamation

Defamation is categorised into two main types: Slander and Libel.

Slander: This involves untrue statements told to others as though they were true, often due to hatred or anger. Examples include telling a spouse false stories to harm their relationship or spreading rumours about an employee to undermine their credibility at work.

Libel: This involves spreading defamatory statements via media and in written form.

Penalties

Defamation can result in imprisonment of up to two years and/or fines. The UAE courts distinguish defamatory statements from mere criticism using the "normal limits" test.

Defamation involves targeting someone with false charges to harm their reputation. Defamation is considered a criminal offense in the UAE.

Defamatory remarks on social media invoke cybercrime laws, and defaming a public officer incurs harsher penalties. Religiously offensive or seditious statements are treated severely.

Elements of Defamation

To constitute defamation, three elements must be present:

  • A false statement is made.
  • The statement was made in the presence of a third party.
  • The statement or act caused harm to any extent.

Articles About Defamation

On January 2, 2022, significant changes to UAE law concerning defamation and cybercrimes took effect under:

  • Federal Decree-Law No. 34 of 2021 Concerning the Fight Against Rumours and Cybercrime (the Cybercrimes Law).
  • Federal Decree-Law No. 31/2021 On the Issuance of the Crimes and Penalties Law (the Penal Code)
  • Article 425 of Federal Decree-Law No. 31/2021 states: Any false or fabricated fact spread publicly to bring hatred or contempt to the defamed person can result in imprisonment of two years and/or a fine of up to Dh20,000.
  • Article 426 of Federal Decree-Law No. 31/2021 deals with insulting someone publicly in a way that may injure the victim’s honor or dignity.
  • Article 44 of Federal Decree-Law No. 31/2021 states: It remains an offense to record or photograph someone without their consent, or to copy and distribute the same.

Social Media and Cybercrime

The UAE has introduced Federal Decree-Law No. 34 of 2021 (Cybercrime Law) to address cybercrime, rumours and fake news. This law replaces the previous cybercrime legislation and provides punishments for various types of cyberbullying offenses.

Extortion, insults, unauthorised sharing of personal photos or videos and social media defamation are among the prevalent forms of cyberbullying covered by the law.

Under Article 20 of the Cybercrime Law, it is illegal to insult or put others in a situation where they may be punished via computer networks, electronic media, or social media. Penalties include imprisonment and fines ranging from Dh25,000 to Dh500,000. Deportation is common for foreigners.

The Cybercrimes Law Introduces Offenses For:

  • Insulting others or attributing to them an incident that may subject them to punishment or contempt using a computer network or any information technology means.
  • Spreading rumours or fake news via digital means if this provokes public opinion against a state authority or if committed at a sensitive time.
    Article 39 of the Cybercrime Law prohibits website owners or group admins from retaining, concealing, providing, or disseminating illegal content. Failure to act on known defamatory content can lead to accountability.

Electronic Defamation

Electronic defamation includes defamatory statements on websites, forums, WhatsApp, SMS, or emails. If the defamation occurs using an employer's network or devices, the employer may be involved in legal proceedings.

Employers might be held responsible for some crime repercussions as sponsors. Investigations may require police access to business computers, with potential confiscation of devices used in the crime.

The Cybercrime Law also allows for the deletion of material and shutdown of offending websites at the court's discretion.

Verbal Abuse

Using insulting words or verbal abuse, regardless of nationality, is a criminal offense in the UAE. For example, the 'F' word can result in legal trouble. Under Article 373 of Penal Code No. 3 of 1987, insults affecting honour or modesty can lead to imprisonment or fines.

Higher penalties apply if the abuse targets public officials, affects family honor, or serves illegal purposes. Insults via print media are considered aggravated cases.

Filing a Defamation Case

Defamation cases are handled strictly in the UAE. Victims can file a complaint starting with the police and moving to public prosecution. Complaints must be filed within three months of becoming aware of the offense.

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Unique Questions, Concerns: What’s the Legal Status of a Child Out of Wedlock in UAE?

Welcoming a new addition to the family is a precious occasion for any parent. However, for
unmarried couples in the UAE, it can give rise to unique concerns and questions.

This article aims to explore the legal issues, societal perceptions and practical aspects associated with the
birth of a child out of wedlock in the UAE.

Parenthood is a profound journey, but for unmarried couples in the UAE, it's accompanied by specific legal and societal considerations.

With the UAE's blend of tradition and modernity, navigating the complexities of having a child out of wedlock requires understanding and awareness.

Legal Status of a Child Born Out of Wedlock

In the UAE, children born out of wedlock are acknowledged legally, but certain procedures must be followed to confirm their legal status. This usually includes registering the birth and arranging legal guardianship for the child.

The UAE's family laws have been updated to decriminalise consensual relationships outside of marriage, recognise parentage and simplify the process of applying for birth certificates.

These legal changes establish a framework that protects the rights and respects the dignity of every child, regardless of their parents' marital status.

Consequences of Having a Baby Before Marriage

The new law allows unmarried couples to live together without facing legal consequences for having a baby before marriage. This change reflects a significant modernisation of the country's legal system and acknowledges evolving social norms in the UAE.

However, it's important to remember that the law still prohibits sex outside of marriage, so unmarried couples should be cautious and discreet.

Having a baby before marriage can be complex, and couples need to understand the laws and regulations related to pregnancy and childbirth, seek medical guidance and make informed choices.

While Dubai offers excellent healthcare facilities in a modern and cosmopolitan environment, it's crucial to respect local laws and customs.

Procedure for Unmarried Couples to Apply for a Birth Certificate

The procedure for unmarried couples to apply for a birth certificate for their newborn in the
UAE involves following specific legal steps as outlined by the authorities.

  • If the father is known, the biological parents can apply for their baby's UAE birth certificate through a separate form, without needing a marriage certificate.
  • Download a separate form from the Abu Dhabi Courts website.
  • Both parents must sign the application form's declaration confirming their status as the baby's biological parents.
  • Attach a copy of the biological father's valid Emirates ID and passport.
  • Provide a document to prove the birth, either from the hospital or home.
  • Submit the application form.

If Father is Not Known

Additionally, a new UAE law passed in October 2022 extends the right for unmarried mothers to apply for a birth certificate even if the father is not known.

 New Laws

The new laws in the UAE, enacted in January this year, bring hope to unmarried expatriate couples. These laws say that if a child is born to unmarried parents he/she will still be recognised in the UAE. The new laws make it okay for unmarried couples to have children together, as long as they take care of the child.

However, there are some important rules to remember. Article 410 of Federal Law No: 31 of 2021 says that if a woman over 18 has a baby after having consensual sex, both the man and the woman could go to jail for at least two years.

But there's another law, Article 1 of Resolution No 3 of 2021, which says that any parent who lives in the UAE can apply for a birth certificate for their child in the Dubai Courts. They don't need to show a marriage certificate anymore.

Article 2 explains how to do this. Even if the parents don't want to get married, they can still get a birth certificate for their child by showing they're the parents and can provide all the needed documents.

If the parents can't agree on registering the child's birth, they might face legal trouble.

Societal Attitudes

People's opinions about having children out of wedlock can vary in the UAE. While some people are open-minded, others might have more traditional views. It's essential to be aware of these attitudes and respect them.

Practical Considerations

For unmarried parents in the UAE, there might be some challenges when it comes to legal paperwork and guardianship for the child. It's important to understand the process and make sure everything is done correctly.

Having a child out of wedlock in the UAE comes with its own set of considerations, but with the right knowledge and understanding, unmarried couples can navigate this journey with confidence.

By following the legal procedures, respecting societal attitudes, and addressing practical concerns, parents can focus on welcoming their bundle of joy into the world with love and care. 

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Are You a Victim of Online Bullying? How and Where to Report Cybercrimes in UAE

 

In an age where digital connectivity dominates our lives, the prevalence of cybercrimes, such as online bullying and privacy violations, has become a growing concern worldwide, including in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

With the rise of social media platforms and online communication channels, individuals are increasingly vulnerable to various forms of cyber threats, ranging from harassment and defamation to identity theft and financial fraud.

To address these challenges and protect the rights of individuals in the digital sphere, the UAE has implemented robust cybercrime laws and established specialised agencies to combat online offenses.

Understanding these laws and knowing how to report cybercrimes are essential steps towards ensuring a safe and secure online environment for all residents.

Cybercrime Laws in the UAE

The UAE has enacted comprehensive cybercrime laws to address various types of online offenses and protect individuals' rights in the digital space.

One of the primary legal instruments governing cybercrimes in the country is Federal Decree-Law No. 5 of 2012 on Combating Cybercrimes, commonly known as the Cybercrime Law.

This law criminalises a wide range of cyber offenses, including:

Online Bullying and Harassment: The Cybercrime Law prohibits the use of electronic communication channels to engage in bullying, harassment, or defamation of individuals. Offenders can face imprisonment and significant fines for such offenses.

Privacy Violations: Unauthorised access to, interception of, or disclosure of electronic communications or personal data without consent is considered a violation of privacy under the Cybercrime Law.

This includes actions such as hacking into email accounts, spreading private information online, or illegally obtaining sensitive data.

Identity Theft: The Cybercrime Law also criminalises identity theft and impersonation, including the fraudulent use of another person's identity or the creation of fake online profiles for malicious purposes.

Financial Fraud: Engaging in online scams, phishing schemes, or other forms of financial fraud is punishable under the Cybercrime Law. This includes fraudulent activities aimed at deceiving individuals or organizations for financial gain.

How to Report Cybercrimes

If you are a victim of online bullying, privacy violation, or any other form of cybercrime in the UAE, it is essential to report the incident to the appropriate authorities promptly. Here's how you can file a cybercrime report:

Contact the UAE's Cybercrime Reporting Centre: The UAE's Cybercrime Reporting Centre, operated by the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA), serves as the primary point of contact for reporting cybercrimes.

You can reach the center via phone, email, or online form to file a complaint and seek assistance.

Provide Detailed Information: When reporting a cybercrime, provide as much detailed information as possible about the incident, including the nature of the offense, any relevant evidence (such as screenshots or emails), and the identities of the perpetrators, if known.

Cooperate with Law Enforcement: After filing a cybercrime report, law enforcement authorities may launch an investigation into the matter.

It is essential to cooperate fully with the authorities and provide any additional information or assistance they may require during the investigation process.

Seek Legal Advice: If you believe your rights have been violated or you have suffered damages as a result of a cybercrime, consider seeking legal advice from a qualified attorney in the UAE.

A legal professional can help you understand your rights, navigate the legal process and pursue appropriate legal remedies.

In conclusion, cybercrimes pose significant threats to individuals' safety, privacy and security in the digital age.

By understanding the cybercrime laws in the UAE and knowing how to report cybercrimes effectively, residents can play a crucial role in combating online offenses and promoting a safer online environment for all.

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Need Legislative Reforms to Protect Rights of Transgender People from Discrimination

The United Arab Emirates, known for its rapid development and modern infrastructure, is a country that often finds itself in the global spotlight. However, one aspect that has received less attention internationally is its legal framework concerning transgender individuals.

As with many countries, the UAE's approach to transgender rights is a complex mix of cultural, religious and legal factors.

Legal Landscape

In the UAE, transgender rights are not explicitly addressed in the legal system. The country operates under a legal system based on a combination of Sharia (Islamic law), civil law and customary law.

These legal frameworks shape various aspects of life in the UAE, including matters related to gender identity and expression.

While there are no specific laws protecting transgender individuals from discrimination or ensuring their rights, the UAE does have laws that criminalise certain behaviours that may affect transgender people.

For instance, the UAE Penal Code criminalises acts deemed to be contrary to public morality, which could potentially be used to target transgender individuals, although enforcement may vary.

Social and Cultural Impact

Understanding transgender rights in the UAE requires consideration of the broader social and cultural impact. The UAE is a conservative society where traditional gender roles are deeply ingrained.

Gender identity and expression are often viewed through the lens of cultural and religious norms, which may not align with contemporary understandings of gender diversity.

In such a context, transgender individuals in the UAE may face significant social stigma and discrimination. Coming out as transgender or openly expressing one's gender identity can be challenging due to fear of rejection from family, friends, or society at large.

This social stigma can also manifest in difficulties accessing healthcare, education, and employment opportunities.

Recent Developments and Challenges

Despite the absence of explicit legal protections for transgender individuals, there have been some positive developments in recent years. The UAE has taken steps to address broader issues related to gender equality and women's rights, which could indirectly benefit transgender individuals by fostering a more inclusive society.

Moreover, there is growing awareness and advocacy for LGBTQ+ rights in the UAE, albeit within certain limitations. Non-governmental organisations and grassroots movements are working to raise awareness, provide support, and advocate for the rights of LGBTQ+ individuals, including transgender people.

However, significant challenges remain. The lack of legal protections leaves transgender individuals vulnerable to discrimination, harassment, and violence. Access to gender-affirming healthcare, legal gender recognition and other essential services is limited. Moreover, the prevailing societal attitudes towards gender diversity present significant barriers to full acceptance and inclusion.

Moving Forward

To address the challenges faced by transgender individuals in the UAE, concerted efforts are needed from multiple stakeholders. This includes legislative reforms to explicitly protect therights of transgender people from discrimination and ensure their access to essential services.

Legal gender recognition procedures should be established to allow transgender individuals to obtain identification documents that reflect their gender identity.

Furthermore, raising awareness and promoting education about gender diversity and transgender issues are essential to challenge societal attitudes and reduce stigma. This requires collaboration between government entities, civil society organisations, religious leaders, and the broader community to foster a more inclusive and accepting society.

While transgender rights in the UAE are not explicitly addressed in the legal system, there are efforts underway to improve the situation. However, significant challenges remain, rooted in societal attitudes, cultural norms, and legal frameworks.

Addressing these challenges will require sustained advocacy, education, and legislative reforms to ensure the rights and dignity of transgender individuals are respected and protected in the UAE.

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Air India Express Passenger Threatens to Jump, Raising Questions on Aviation Laws

A recent incident aboard an Air India Express flight from Dubai to Mangalore has sparked concerns over passenger behavior and safety regulations within the aviation industry. According to reports, a passenger exhibited rude behaviour towards the flight crew and even made threats of jumping from the aircraft during the flight.

In the realm of aviation law, ensuring the safety and security of passengers and crew members is paramount. This article delves into the intricacies of aviation law and the legal framework governing incidents of unruly behaviour on flights.

Understanding Aviation Laws and Regulations

Aviation laws encompass a complex web of regulations, conventions, and agreements designed to govern the operation, safety, and security of air travel.

Key international instruments such as the Convention on International Civil Aviation (Chicago Convention) and the Montreal Convention provide the legal framework for addressing various aspects of aviation, including unruly passenger behavior.

Under these conventions and national regulations, airlines are responsible for ensuring the safety and security of their flights and passengers. This includes implementing measures to prevent and respond to incidents of unruly behaviour, which can pose serious risks to the safety of the flight and its occupants.

What are the Rules Governing Unruly Behaviour?

The Aircraft Rules, 1937: The Aircraft Rules, 1937 were formed in pursuance of the Aircraft Act, 1934. Unruly passengers are governed under this Act in conjunction with the Indian Penal Code, 1860. This legislation outlines the ideal behavior expected from passengers.

Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA)

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation is the principal regulatory body governing civil aviation in India. It is responsible for safety issues, regulation of air transport services, enforcement of civil air rules and regulations, and other such tasks.

It coordinates its functioning with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). One of its main tasks is to ensure air safety and airworthiness standards.

Montreal Protocol, 2014

The Montreal Protocol of 2014 is an amendment to the Tokyo Convention of 1963. It specifically addresses the issue of unruly behaviour on board aircraft. The protocol enhances the legal framework for dealing with offenses and other acts committed on board aircraft.

It provides for the jurisdiction of the state in which the aircraft is registered and gives that state the authority to take legal action against offenders.

Tokyo Convention

The Tokyo Convention (Convention on Offenses and Certain Other Acts Committed on Board Aircraft) was adopted in 1963. It is an international treaty that addresses unlawful acts on board civil aircraft. The convention grants certain powers to the aircraft commander and other relevant authorities to deal with offenses committed on board, especially during flight.

Legal Implications of Unruly Passenger Behaviour

Unruly passenger behaviour encompasses a wide range of actions that threaten the safety, security, or order of a flight. This can include acts of violence, verbal abuse, disruptive behaviour and attempts to interfere with the operation of the aircraft.

From a legal standpoint, such behaviour may constitute criminal offenses under both domestic and international law. In many jurisdictions, laws are in place to specifically address acts of aviation-related violence or interference, with penalties ranging from fines to imprisonment depending on the severity of the offense.

Airlines' Rights and Responsibilities

Airlines have a duty to maintain order and discipline on their flights and to ensure the safety and security of all passengers and crew members. In cases of unruly behaviour, airlines are empowered to take swift and decisive action to address the situation and mitigate any potential risks.

This may include notifying law enforcement authorities, restraining the individual if necessary and diverting the flight to the nearest suitable airport to offload the disruptive passenger.

Airlines also have the authority to impose penalties and sanctions on passengers found guilty of unruly behavior, including fines, bans from future travel, and legal action.

Passengers' Rights and Responsibilities

Passengers, too, have rights and responsibilities when travelling by air. While individuals have the right to express themselves and voice their concerns, they must do so in a manner that is respectful and compliant with airline regulations.

Disruptive behaviour that poses a threat to the safety or security of the flight is not tolerated and may result in legal consequences.

Conclusion

The recent incident involving a disruptive passenger on an Air India Express flight serves as a stark reminder of the legal complexities surrounding unruly behaviour in aviation.

As stakeholders in the aviation industry, it is imperative that airlines, passengers and legal authorities work together to uphold safety, security and order in the skies. By adhering to aviation laws and regulations and promoting a culture of mutual respect and cooperation, we can ensure the continued safety and success of air travel for all.

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Landlords and Developers Duty-bound to Share Costs in Wake of Severe Weather

Recent severe weather events have underscored critical issues regarding accountability and
responsibility within the real estate sector. The discussion surrounding the allocation of repair and restoration costs post-disaster is not just a matter of financial burden but also one of ethical and legal obligation.

Firstly, let's address the responsibility of developers in ensuring the resilience of their buildings. Developers, as creators of structures that become integral parts of communities, bear a significant duty to construct buildings that can withstand foreseeable environmental challenges, including those exacerbated by climate change.

While the law may not explicitly mandate developers to predict every potential climate-related risk, there exists a reasonable expectation for them to adhere to building codes and standards that mitigate such risks to the best of their ability.

Failure to do so could result in liability for negligence or breach of duty. Furthermore, landlords, as custodians of these properties, have a distinct legal obligation to maintain habitable living conditions for their tenants. This includes promptly addressing damages caused by natural disasters or unforeseen events.

Existing tenancy laws typically impose this duty on landlords, with provisions for tenants to seek remedies such as repairs, rent abatement, or even termination of the lease if the property becomes uninhabitable due to negligence on the part of the landlord.

Looking ahead, the call for greater collaboration and proactive measures is not just a suggestion but a necessity. Investing in infrastructure improvements, adopting stricter building codes and promoting transparency in property management practices are pivotal steps towards creating a resilient built environment.

Moreover, fostering accountability among stakeholders, including developers, landlords and governing bodies, is crucial in ensuring that these measures are effectively implemented and enforced.

In conclusion, the escalation in frequency and severity of extreme weather events necessitates a paradigm shift in how we approach property management and development. Landlords and developers must recognise their roles as stewards of the built environment and prioritise resilience in their practices.

By doing so, not only can they mitigate the impact of future disasters on their properties and tenants, but they can also contribute to the creation of a more sustainable and resilient society as a whole.

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Vaping Legal in UAE, But Selling Vapes to Under-18s? Prohibited & Attracts Fines

In April 2019, the UAE lifted its blanket ban on the sale of e-cigarettes, vaping devices and e-liquids, thereby authorising their lawful sale in the market.

Currently, vape products are regulated similarly to tobacco products and are subject to stringent guidelines. This shift primarily aimed at providing smokers with safer alternatives while regulating the previously unregulated market.

Presently, the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology (MoIAT) stipulates that all vape products and e-liquids must comply with specific standards and regulations. These requirements include the inclusion of health warnings similar to those found on traditional cigarette packaging and the prohibition of selling these products to individuals under 18.

The sale, possession and usage of vape products fall under the jurisdiction of the UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention (MOHAP). Although the sale of vape products is now allowed in the UAE, strict regulations are in place to protect public health and well-being.

Individuals and businesses in the UAE's vaping industry need to stay informed about regulations. To help, let's answer common questions about vaping.

Is Vaping Legal in the UAE?

Yes, vaping is legal in the UAE. In April 2019, the UAE lifted its ban on the sale of e-cigarettes, vaping devices and e-liquids, allowing them to be legally sold in the market.

However, strict regulations govern the sale, possession and usage of vape products to ensure compliance with health and safety standards.

What are the Age Limit for Purchasing Vape Products?

Under UAE regulations, the legal age for purchasing vape products is 18 years and above. Selling vape products to individuals below this age threshold is strictly prohibited and can result in legal penalties.

What are the Advertising Restrictions?

Advertising of vape products is heavily regulated in the UAE. Promotion of such products through traditional media channels, including television, radio, newspapers and magazines, is largely prohibited. Online advertising is also subject to stringent regulations to ensure compliance with the law.

Where is Vaping Allowed and Where is it Banned?

Vaping is generally permitted in designated areas such as vape shops, designated smoking areas and private residences with consent. However, it is strictly prohibited in enclosed public spaces, educational institutions, healthcare facilities, places of worship and certain outdoor areas where smoking is prohibited.

Can you Bring a Vape Product Through Dubai?

While it is legal to bring vape products into Dubai and the UAE, travellers must adhere to certain regulations. Individuals are typically allowed to bring a reasonable quantity of vape products for personal use.

However, it is advisable to check the latest regulations and restrictions before travelling to ensure compliance with customs and immigration requirements.

Do Vaping Regulations Vary Within the UAE?

Absolutely. Vaping regulations can indeed differ between emirates within the UAE. While Dubai might have its own set of laws, other emirates such as Abu Dhabi and Sharjah may implement distinct regulations.

What is the Penalty for Vaping in Dubai?

The penalties for vaping in Dubai can vary depending on the specific circumstances and the severity of the offense. In general, individuals found vaping in prohibited areas or violating other vaping regulations may face fines, confiscation of vape devices, or other legal consequences.

It is essential to adhere to the designated vaping areas and comply with all applicable regulations to avoid penalties.

The vaping industry has witnessed a remarkable surge in recent years, as more individuals are turning to e-cigarettes as an alternative to traditional smoking. This trend is particularly pronounced in the UAE.

While opinions may vary, there is ongoing debate within the Islamic community regarding the permissibility of vaping.

Some argue that vaping falls under the category of "haram" or prohibited activities due to its potential health risks and resemblance to smoking, while others may consider it permissible under specific circumstances.

Individuals should seek guidance from religious scholars for clarification on this matter.

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Dubai to Consolidate Remote Court Hearings and Inquiries into a Single Digital Platform

Dubai is currently developing a centralised digital platform that will streamline remote investigations and court hearings, promising quicker processing times and a more effective justice system.

This pioneering project, announced on Thursday as the Dubai Public Prosecution (DPP) partnered with tech solutions provider e& Enterprise, is set to be completed by 2026.

The innovative platform will provide a unified system for investigations and litigation accessible remotely. Managed by the DPP, this central hub will be interconnected with key government entities such as the Dubai Courts, Dubai Police and the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA).

During investigations, the platform will coordinate appointments scheduled by prosecutors and communicate with all relevant parties. For court proceedings, it will schedule sessions and inform the police, judges, and prosecutors, providing an external link to other involved parties.

Dr Ali Humaid bin Khatam, senior advocate general and head of the Remote Investigation and Litigation System Project Team, described the platform's functionality, emphasising the establishment of state-of-the-art investigation rooms and operational rooms equipped with cutting-edge technologies.

Key features of the system include centralised storage, archiving capabilities, the ability to schedule remote interviews and reserve spaces in various locations and improved communication among prosecutors, lawyers, translators, witnesses and other involved parties while maintaining strict confidentiality and privacy standards.

The initiative aims to enhance the efficiency of investigation and litigation processes, focusing on speed, accuracy and integrity in delivering justice in the emirate.

It will also ensure operational resilience during crises, according to Dr Ali Humaid. Salvador Anglada, CEO of e& Enterprise, expressed their commitment to leveraging innovative technology to equip the platform with state-of-the-art capabilities, enhancing operational efficiency, accessibility and service quality.

This collaborative effort represents a significant step towards realising a more accessible, efficient and progressive legal system in an interconnected and rapidly evolving world.

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Dubai Probes ‘Adulteration’ in Some Indian Spice Brands: What's in Food Code 2023?

Amidst concerns over the safety and integrity of food products, Dubai Municipality has launched an investigation into allegations of adulteration within certain Indian spice brands.

With the reputation of Dubai's food industry at stake, authorities are taking swift action to address these claims and uphold the city's stringent food safety standards.

This article explores the implications of the investigation, highlighting the municipality's commitment to ensuring the quality and authenticity of food products available in the region.

Dubai Food Code 2023

In Dubai, food-related laws and regulations are overseen by the Dubai Municipality. The municipality has published a document called the Dubai Food Code, which provides guidelines and regulations for food safety and hygiene.

The Food Code aims to ensure a higher degree of compliance with food regulations and achieve a higher standard of food safety. It covers various aspects such as food handling, storage, transportation, labelling and food premises hygiene. It also provides guidance for imported and exported food products.

Richard Sprenger, Chairman and food safety expert of the Highfield Group, highlights on his LinkedIn post that “the Dubai Food Code 2023 contributes to improving global food safety”.

Federal Law No. 10 of 2015 on Food Safety

This law represents a vital framework aimed at protecting public health and the well-being of consumers, enforcing stringent standards, and imposing strict penalties on those who endanger food safety across the country.

Key Aspects of the Federal Law on Food Safety

Approval for Import: The law mandates that no food may be imported into the country for the first time without the approval of the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment. This essential requirement serves as a crucial measure in regulating the entry of food products into the UAE, ensuring their compliance with quality and safety standards.

Prohibition of Certain Food Products

Individuals or entities involved in the distribution or sale of food products containing pork, alcohol, or any of their by-products without proper permission face serious repercussions.

The law stipulates a prison term of not less than a month and a fine of up to Dh500,000, emphasising the strict enforcement to safeguard against the unauthorized circulation of these prohibited items.

Consumer Protection Measures

Stringent measures are in place to
prevent the misleading of consumers, including the publishing of false descriptions of food or the use of incorrect labels.

Violations of these provisions carry fines ranging from Dh10,000 to 100,000, aiming to maintain transparency and accuracy in product information for the benefit of consumers.

Regulatory Oversight

The law grants the Ministry of Economy the authority to impose fines of up to Dh100,000 for other offenses, provided that these offenses are regulated by the Cabinet.

This regulatory oversight underscores the commitment to upholding food safety standards and swiftly addressing any breaches, preserving the integrity of the food industry in the UAE.

Investigation on Indian Spice Brands

The discovery of Indian spice brands exceeding permissible ethylene oxide levels has raised significant concerns over food safety and quality control measures within the industry.

Ethylene oxide is classified as a potential carcinogen by various international health organisations, including the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).

Several countries have detected and reported the presence of elevated ethylene oxide levels in spice products imported from India. This has led to product recalls, import bans and increased scrutiny of Indian spice brands in various markets.

Countries have stringent regulations governing food safety standards, and non-compliance can result in severe penalties for the companies involved.

Consumers are being advised to exercise caution and check the source and quality of the spices they purchase, especially those originating from India.

It is recommended to rely on reputable brands that adhere to rigorous quality control measures and have a proven track record of complying with international food safety regulations.

The Indian government, along with relevant authorities, is taking this matter seriously and has initiated investigations to identify the root causes of the issue. Efforts are being made to strengthen regulations and enhance monitoring systems to ensure the safety of spices exported from India.

In response to these findings, Indian spice manufacturers are urged to implement rigorous quality control measures to prevent the presence of harmful substances in their products.

This includes regular testing and analysis of raw materials, enhanced supplier audits and strict monitoring of manufacturing processes to minimise the risk of contamination.

International cooperation and collaboration between countries are crucial in addressing this issue effectively. It is essential for countries to share information and best practices to ensure the safety and well-being of consumers across borders.

Stay Informed

As consumers, it is vital to stay informed and make educated choices when it comes to food purchases. Checking product labels, seeking information about the source and manufacturing processes, and reporting any suspicious findings to relevant authorities play a crucial role in maintaining food safety standards.

The revelation that Indian spice brands have surpassed ethylene oxide limits is a stark reminder for the industry to make consumer safety a top priority and to comply with international food safety standards.

Governments, industry stakeholders and consumers must work together to establish robust systems that guarantee the highest standards of food safety and protect public health.

Conclusion

Dubai Municipality's proactive investigation into allegations of adulteration within certain Indian spice brands underscores the emirate's commitment to upholding rigorous food safety standards.

By addressing these claims, the municipality aims to ensure the integrity and quality of food products available in the region. Such measures not only protect consumer health but also contribute to the broader goal of enhancing global food safety standards.

As authorities continue to monitor and regulate the food industry, stakeholders, including businesses, consumers and regulatory bodies, must remain vigilant in their efforts to maintain trust and confidence in the food supply chain.

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Receiving Scam Messages? Here's How to Report them to Cybercrime Department

In an era where the click of a mouse can unleash chaos and havoc, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) stands at the forefront of safeguarding its digital realm.

With the rapid expansion of technology comes an inevitable rise in cybercrime, prompting the UAE to enact stringent laws and regulations to combat this evolving threat.

Zero Tolerance Policy

The UAE leaves no stone unturned in its battle against cybercriminals. Under the Cybercrime Law (Federal Law No. 5 of 2012), a comprehensive legal framework is in place to address a wide range of cyber offenses, from hacking and phishing to online fraud and identity theft.

This legislation underscores the UAE's unwavering commitment to maintaining the integrity and security of its digital infrastructure.

Swift Justice

Cybercrime perpetrators beware: the UAE justice system is swift and uncompromising. Offenders face severe penalties, including hefty fines and lengthy prison sentences, depending on the nature and severity of their crimes.

The Cybercrime Law empowers law enforcement agencies to investigate, prosecute and punish cyber offenders swiftly and effectively.

Reporting cybercrime in the UAE is a crucial step in combating digital threats and protecting yourself and others from online harm. Here's a guide on how to report cybercrime in the UAE:

Contact UAE Cybercrime Reporting Authorities

Police: The first point of contact for reporting cybercrime in the UAE is typically the police. You can reach out to the nearest police station or contact the Dubai Police Cyber Crime Department directly.

Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA): The TRA oversees telecommunications and Internet-related issues in the UAE. They also handle cybercrime complaints and provide assistance and guidance on reporting procedures.

Provide Detailed Information

  • When reporting cybercrime, provide as much detailed information as possible about the incident. Include any evidence you may have, such as screenshots, emails, chat logs, or any other relevant digital files.
  •  Describe the nature of the cybercrime, including the type of offense (e.g., hacking, online fraud, phishing), the date and time of the incident and any other relevant details that can help authorities investigate the matter.

Follow Reporting Procedures

  • Follow the reporting procedures outlined by the authorities or law enforcement agencies. This may involve submitting a formal complaint in person, online, or via email, depending on the requirements of the reporting agency.
  • Be prepared to provide your personal information and contact details when making a report. This information may be necessary for follow-up inquiries or investigations.

Cooperate with Authorities

  • Cooperate fully with law enforcement authorities throughout the investigation process. Provide any additional information or assistance they may require to help resolve the cybercrime incident.
  • Stay in touch with the authorities for updates on the progress of the investigation and follow any instructions they provide regarding the handling of the case.

Seek Legal Advice if Necessary

  •  If you're unsure about how to proceed or need legal advice regarding a cybercrime incident, consider seeking assistance from a qualified legal professional or cybercrime expert.
  • They can provide guidance on your rights, legal options, and the best course of action to take in your particular situation.

Despite the challenges posed by cybercrime, the UAE remains committed to fostering innovation and digital transformation. With initiatives like the Dubai Cyber Security Strategy and the Abu Dhabi Digital Authority, the UAE aims to create a secure and resilient digital ecosystem that enables innovation while safeguarding against cyber threats.

In the digital age, cybersecurity is paramount, and the UAE stands firm in its resolve to combat cybercrime and protect its digital citizens. With robust laws, swift justice, international cooperation and a commitment to innovation, the UAE sets a shining example of proactive cybersecurity governance in the global arena.

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Dubai Grapples with Import, Export Losses Amid Floods: Insight into Legal Liabilities

Dubai, renowned for its bustling trade and commerce, has recently grappled with severe flooding, raising concerns about the impact on import and export activities and the potential legal liabilities stemming from these losses.

The unprecedented floods have disrupted transportation networks, damaged infrastructure and impeded the movement of goods in and out of the emirate. As a result, businesses involved in import and export operations are facing significant challenges, including delays, damages to goods and financial losses.

The type of insurance we need to know about when it comes to import and export:

Marine Cargo Insurance:Import products are often covered by marine cargo insurance while in transit. This insurance typically protects against loss or damage to goods during sea, air, or land transportation. In the event of floods damaging imported goods, marine cargo insurance policies may cover the losses, subject to the terms and conditions of the policy.

Amidst this crisis, questions arise regarding the legal liabilities associated with import and export losses incurred due to the floods. Several key considerations come into play:

Force Majeure Clauses: Contracts governing import and export transactions often include force majeure clauses, which excuse parties from fulfilling their contractual obligations in the event of unforeseen circumstances beyond their control.

Whether the floods constitute a force majeure event depends on the specific language of the contract and the applicable legal principles. The Abu Dhabi Court of Cassation reviewed a request to terminate a contract on the grounds of force majeure in Case Number 512 of 2021.

The court ruled that the occurrence of force majeure must be the only cause of damage in order to be excused from responsibility. The court reiterated that it is within the trial court's discretion to rule on such questions.

Negligence and Liability: If the flooding was a result of negligence on the part of government authorities or private entities responsible for maintaining infrastructure, such as drainage systems and waterways, affected businesses may have grounds to pursue legal action for damages.

Proving liability, however, can be complex and requires demonstrating a breach of duty of care and causation.

Insurance Coverage: Businesses engaged in import and export activities typically carry insurance coverage to mitigate risks associated with loss or damage to goods during transit.

Depending on the terms of their policies, businesses affected by the floods may be eligible for compensation for their losses, subject to policy exclusions and limitations.

Government Assistance and Relief: In response to the flooding crisis, government authorities in Dubai may offer financial assistance, relief measures, or compensation schemes to affected businesses.

Understanding the eligibility criteria and application procedures for such assistance is crucial for businesses seeking support in mitigating their losses. The United Arab Emirates’ cabinet approved Dh2 billion ($544.6 million) to deal with damage to homes from the rain and storm last week that left buildings and warehouses inundated and roads and highways inaccessible.

International Trade Regulations:Import and export activities are governed by various international trade regulations, including customs laws, tariffs and trade agreements.

Disruptions caused by the floods may have implications for compliance with these regulations, potentially leading to penalties or sanctions if deadlines are missed or obligations are not met.

Conclusion

As businesses in Dubai assess the impact of the floods on their import and export operations, addressing the legal aspects demands careful consideration of contractual rights, potential liabilities, insurance coverage and available avenues for recourse.

Seeking legal advice and exploring options for dispute resolution may be essential in addressing the challenges and minimising the economic repercussions of the crisis.

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Securing Legacy for Future Generations: Importance of Estate Planning in the UAE

Estate planning stands as a cornerstone of financial management, yet it frequently remains a neglected aspect, particularly among entrepreneurs and business owners.

However, in the flourishing landscape of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), characterised by its burgeoning wealth and economic dynamism, the significance of estate planning cannot be overstated.

The UAE boasts a multifaceted business environment, encompassing both civil and common law jurisdictions, along with a rich tapestry of cultural diversity. This complexity accentuates the necessity for meticulous estate planning and succession strategies. Without a well-crafted plan, entrepreneurs risk entangling their hard-earned assets in legal intricacies, potentially jeopardising their intended legacy or business continuity.

Moreover, the absence of a comprehensive estate plan can impose substantial financial burdens on businesses and families, particularly concerning the UAE's rigorous inheritance laws. Thus, proactive engagement in estate planning becomes imperative for entrepreneurs to shield their legacy and ensure the sustained prosperity of their ventures.

Reasons for Considering Inheritance Planning and Estate Planning

Mitigating Legal Complexities: The UAE's diverse legal framework, encompassing civil and common law jurisdictions, necessitates a carefully structured estate plan to navigate potential legal entanglements effectively.

Safeguarding Business Assets: Estate planning ensures the seamless transfer of business assets to heirs while minimising tax liabilities, thereby safeguarding the continuity and integrity of the business.
Compliance with Regulatory Changes:Recent regulatory developments, such as the establishment of inheritance departments and the facilitation of will registrations for non-Muslim residents, highlight the evolving landscape, emphasising the need for proactive estate planning.

Protecting Family Businesses: Given the prevalence of family-owned enterprises in the UAE, estate planning becomes indispensable for ensuring a smooth transition of leadership while balancing familial expectations and business imperatives.

Understanding Estate Planning

Estate planning encompasses a spectrum of financial and legal strategies aimed at facilitating the transfer of assets to heirs and beneficiaries, all while aligning with the owner's wishes and minimizing tax liabilities. In the UAE, estate planning assumes a distinctive character due to its diverse populace and cultural heterogeneity.

UAE's Regulatory Framework

The UAE's legal framework for inheritance draws inspiration from Sharia law, underscoring the importance of understanding local regulations and cultural dynamics. Recent legislative reforms have expanded the scope for non-Muslim residents to devise estate plans aligned with their preferences and legal systems.

Planning For Your Business

Cataloging all business-related assets, including real estate, investments, shares and intellectual properties, forms a crucial step in estate planning. Additionally, selecting a successor in family businesses demands a judicious assessment of both familial expectations and business requirements.

According to Forbes Business News, "business owners are not waiting for estate planning when they are about to retire; they are doing it much earlier considering the market situations and interests of their loved ones."

Considerations for Non-Muslim Business Owners

Dynamic regulatory changes have granted non-Muslim business owners greater autonomy in estate planning, enabling them to devise wills reflective of their preferred legal systems. However, joint assets with Muslim individuals remain subject to Sharia law, necessitating careful structuring and legal advice.

In conclusion, estate planning in the UAE emerges as a nuanced yet indispensable process, demanding a meticulous understanding of local regulations, cultural dynamics, and financial intricacies. By embracing proactive estate planning, business owners can secure their legacy and fortify the foundation of their enterprises for future generations.

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Who Covers Repair Costs in a Rental Property? Exploring Tenant Rights in the Emirates

In cases where a rented property sustains damage from severe weather conditions, determining the party responsible for covering repair costs — whether it's the landlord or the tenant — can be a legal matter. The UAE's tenancy laws have clearly outlined the repair obligations and provided insights into a tenant's potential entitlement to reimbursement or compensation.

When it comes to renting properties, understanding who is responsible for repairs is crucial for landlords and tenants.

According to Sunil Ambalavelil, principal partner at Nasser Yousuf Alkhamis Advocates and Legal Consultants, the rental laws in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah all place the responsibility for repairs and maintenance on the landlord. Depending on your emirate of residence, here is what you need to know about the applicable rental law:

Abu Dhabi

Ambalavelil referred to Article 7 of the Abu Dhabi Rental Law - Law No. 20/2006, which states: “The landlord shall maintain the leased property to keep it fit for use and shall carry out all necessary repairs excluding rental repairs during the rental period unless otherwise agreed.”

He added that in case the tenant is deprived of using the property, they can refer to the emirate’s Rental Dispute Centre, which should be done within one month of the issue arising.

“Therefore, according to the aforementioned laws, it is the landlord’s responsibility to cover all maintenance costs unless otherwise specified in the tenancy contract. However, tenants should be mindful to engage with the court to safeguard their rights and ensure they do not forfeit the opportunity to claim what is rightfully theirs,” he said.

Ambalavelil noted that if a tenant ends up spending on maintenance work, he or she can request reimbursement from the landlord, as per the UAE’s Civil Code, specifically Article 767 (1) of Federal Law No. 5 of 1985.

“This would apply to major defects, where the tenant is deprived of beneficial occupation or enjoyment,” he added.

For minor defects, Ambalavelil referred to Article 767(2), which also gives tenants the option to attend to minor defects that require urgent attention and the landlord fails to attend to them or the tenant is unable to get hold of the landlord, after which he or she can recover the expenses from the landlord or deduct the expense from the rent due.

Dubai

“As per Dubai’s tenancy regulation – Law No. 26 of 2007, the landlord is responsible for covering all maintenance costs unless otherwise specified in the tenancy contract,” said Ambalavelil.
He added that Article 17 of the same law explains that the landlord is responsible for any defect or damage not caused by the tenant.

“If the maintenance expenses are high, the tenant has the right to seek reimbursement from the landlord, as stated in the law. However, if the tenancy contract specifies terms regarding maintenance responsibility, the terms of contract will prevail as per Article 16 of Law No. 26 of 2007. In the absence of such terms in the contract, the issue must be resolved through a maintenance case against the owner in the Rental Dispute Centre,” he said.

Sharjah

“The landlord must handle all the maintenance work during the lease period unless the parties agree otherwise,” he said. Ambalavelil explained that the emirate’s tenancy regulations – Sharjah Law No. 2 of 2007, addresses the responsibility of maintenance.

Article 9: The landlord undertakes to maintain the leased premises to remain valid for use, and to handle all maintenance work during the lease period without the necessary rental maintenance unless the parties otherwise agree.

However, Article 10 of the law also brings in the responsibility of the tenant in cases of damage, stipulating that “they must utilise the leased premises in accordance with the terms outlined in the contract and in alignment with its intended purpose or customary usage”.

“This underscores that tenants should refrain from engaging in activities that could cause damage to the property and subsequently expect the owner to bear the cost of repairs. Although Article 9 clearly implies landlord’s responsibility to take care of the maintenance of the property,” he said.

What if Landlord Refuses?

According to Ambalavelil, the tenant can take a few measures if the landlord refuses to make the necessary repairs, as per Article 8 of the emirate’s rental law, including requesting the rental dispute committee to terminate the contract or request for a rent decrease proportional to the damage.

“Hence, the law has established legal procedures that allows tenants to pursue their rights if they encounter non-cooperation from the landlord regarding property maintenance. These legal measures serve as a safeguard, ensuring that tenants are not burdened with the responsibilities that rightfully belong to the landlord,” he said.

Renters’ Insurance

While the law does protect tenants, legal experts advise them to also consider having ‘content insurance’ or tenant insurance, because it also covers the tenants’ personal belongings and provides alternative accommodation, too.

In the UAE, various insurance policies are available, offering diverse coverage options. However, they are often overlooked, leading to a lack of insurance among many tenants. When considering tenants' rights and addressing their concerns, the resolution varies based on individual circumstances and the type of insurance coverage in place.

Those tenants, who might have taken content insurance, would be covered by that insurance. In particular, all of the damages to their personal property, such as furniture, appliances and other assets, will be covered by the insurance policy. Furthermore, depending on the type of insurance policy, in some cases, insurance policies will even cover temporary accommodation.

Those tenants who did not have insurance, their recourse depends, to an extent, on the cause of the damage. If the property sustained serious damages due to the negligence by or fault of the landlord, then tenants may have a claim against the landlord for compensation of those damages.

An example of this could be when landlords ignored tenants’ earlier requests to fix or remedy certain blatant defects in the property, such as defective window or damaged roof. Even in those cases where damage to the property was due to defective construction, a tenant has a right against the landlord. This is because such damage relates to the property itself, whose obligations are attached to the right of property ownership.

However, there are certain cases where the landlord may not be legally required to cover costs. The extent of the landlord's responsibility to compensate tenants in cases where the landlord is not directly at fault may influence the amount of compensation awarded.

Tenants should also be aware of the landlord's potential defense of force majeure. Recent events such as the storm and subsequent floods in the UAE could be considered force majeure, relieving landlords of their obligations.

Force majeure refers to unforeseeable circumstances preventing contract fulfilment. Landlords may argue that the storm was a natural disaster beyond their control. The outcome regarding force majeure in UAE courts is yet to be determined.

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How to Overcome Property Handover Delays in UAE? Challenges and Solutions

When purchasing or leasing property in the UAE, timely handover is an expectation. Yet, delays can disrupt plans and cause frustration. In such instances, knowing your rights and compensation avenues is crucial.

Are you tired of facing delays in property handovers in the UAE? Look no further as we've got you covered! This article provides essential information on how to handle such delays effectively. Don't let delays ruin your dream of owning a property. Read on to find out more!

Addressing Causes and Management of Delays

There are several reasons why property handovers may be delayed, including setbacks in the construction process, issues with permits, financial constraints, or adjustments to the project timeline. While some delays may be unavoidable, developers and landlords are responsible for fulfilling their commitments to minimise inconvenience for buyers and tenants.

In the UAE, construction projects, particularly those in the public sector, frequently experience delays due to contractual, financial and technical challenges.

Construction Law in the UAE

The cornerstone of construction projects' legal framework in the UAE is the Civil Transactions Law, commonly referred to as the Civil Code. Rooted in Islamic principles, this law governs civil transactions and lays down general principles applicable to construction projects.

Legal Framework Overview

The UAE's legal system draws from three main sources of law: Federal Laws and Decrees: These laws have nationwide applicability across all Emirates, providing a uniform legal framework for construction projects.

Local Laws: Each Emirate has the authority to enact its laws, ensuring alignment with federal legislation while addressing specific regional needs and considerations.
Shariah: The legal system in the UAE is influenced by Islamic principles, which are integrated into the legal framework, particularly in matters concerning civil transactions and contracts.

Official Municipality Websites

Here is a list of official Municipality websites of each Emirate in the UAE to stay updated on legal regulations related to construction projects that can be helpful to ensure compliance with legal regulations for construction projects:

  • Al Dhafra Region Municipality
  • Abu Dhabi City Municipality
  • Al Ain City Municipality
  • Dubai Municipality
  • Sharjah Municipality
  • Municipality and Planning Department Ajman
  • Umm Al Quwain Municipality
  • Fujairah Municipality

By visiting these websites, you can access updated laws, regulations, and guidelines that are tailored to the jurisdiction of each Emirate.

Understanding Rights and Legal Protections

The UAE has regulations safeguarding the interests of property buyers and tenants facing delayed handovers which are as follows:

Developer Accountability: Developers are bound by sales and purchase agreements to deliver properties within agreed timelines. Failure to do so can lead to penalties or compensation for affected parties.
Rental Disputes Resolution: For rental properties, each emirate's Rental Disputes Centre (RDC) facilitates fair resolutions between landlords and tenants, offering a transparent process to seek compensation for delays.
Termination Options: In cases of significant delays, buyers and tenants may terminate contracts and seek refunds. However, contract terms vary, so reviewing agreements is essential.
Exploring Compensation Solutions:When confronted with handover delays, consider these compensation options:
Lease Extension: Tenants can negotiate with landlords to extend leases until handover, ensuring uninterrupted accommodation.
Financial Reimbursement: Buyers and tenants may seek compensation for incurred losses, covering additional rent, relocation expenses, storage fees, or related costs.

Navigating Contracts and Legal Recourse

Here are some legal recourse options you can explore in the event of delays in construction projects:

Review Contract Terms: Check for penalty clauses specifying compensation for delays.
Legal Action: If negotiations fail, legal recourse is available. Consulting a real estate lawyer can guide you through the process.

Managing Off-Plan Property Delays

Confirm Payments and Paperwork: Ensure all dues are settled and paperwork is complete to avoid delays stemming from overlooked tasks.
Site Evaluation: Visit the project site to assess progress and understand reasons for delays, engaging with developers for insights.

While property handover delays pose challenges in the UAE, proactive awareness of rights and compensation avenues can mitigate their impact. Regular contract reviews, legal consultations when needed and open communication with involved parties are vital. In complex situations, seeking legal assistance ensures a smooth, lawful resolution

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Labour Day Special: Exploring the UAE Labour Law and its Implications for UAE Workers

As we mark Labour Day worldwide, it's crucial to ponder the rights and safeguards extended to workers, especially within the ever-evolving legal landscape of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). This article delves into the legal ramifications for employees in the UAE, drawing insights from the UAE Labour Law and spotlighting 10 essential facts that every worker should be aware of.

Employment Contracts

Under the UAE Labour Law, every employment relationship must be documented with a written contract outlining terms and conditions, including salary, working hours and job responsibilities. This contract serves as a crucial legal safeguard for both employers and employees.

Working Hours

The standard working week in the UAE is capped at 48 hours, with a maximum of eight hours per day. However, certain industries may have different working hour regulations, so it's vital for employees to be aware of their specific sectoral requirements.

Overtime Pay

Employees who work beyond regular hours are entitled to overtime pay, which is calculated based on the regular hourly wage plus a premium. The UAE Labour Law specifies the rates for overtime work, ensuring fair compensation for employees' additional efforts.

Annual Leave

Workers in the UAE are entitled to annual leave, with the duration varying depending on the length of service. Employees with less than one year of service are entitled to two days of leave per month worked, while those with more than one year of service are entitled to 30 days of leave per year.

Public Holidays

The UAE observes several public holidays throughout the year, during which most businesses and government offices are closed. Employees are entitled to full pay on public holidays, with certain exceptions depending on the nature of the work.

End of Service Gratuity

Upon completion of service, employees are entitled to end-of-service gratuity, also known as severance pay. The amount is calculated based on the employee's length of service and last drawn salary, providing financial security upon termination of employment.

Termination of Employment

The UAE Labour Law outlines specific procedures and conditions for the termination of employment contracts, protecting the rights of both employers and employees. It's crucial for workers to understand their rights in case of termination and seek legal advice if needed.

Health and Safety

Employers in the UAE are required to provide a safe working environment for their employees, adhering to health and safety regulations outlined in the UAE Labour Law. Employees have the right to refuse work that poses a risk to their health or safety.

Discrimination and Harassment

The UAE Labour Law prohibits discrimination and harassment in the workplace based on factors such as gender, nationality, religion, or disability. Employers are obligated to foster a respectful and inclusive work environment, free from discrimination and harassment.

Legal Remedies

In the event of disputes or violations of their rights, employees in the UAE have access to legal remedies through the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) or the Labour Court. Seeking legal assistance can help employees navigate complex employment issues and uphold their rights under the law.

As we celebrate Labour Day, let us recognise the contributions of workers in the UAE and reaffirm our commitment to upholding their rights and protections under the law. By fostering a fair and equitable work environment, we can ensure the well-being and prosperity of all workers in the UAE.

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UAE Universities Enhance Legal Programmes for Law Graduates' Job Prospects

 

In a strategic move aimed at enhancing the employability and career prospects of law graduates, universities in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are set to revamp their legal programmes.

The initiative comes as part of ongoing efforts to align academic curricula with the evolving needs of the legal industry and ensure that graduates are equipped with the requisite skills and knowledge to excel in their careers.

The decision to overhaul legal programmes was reached during a recent meeting between representatives from the Ministry of Education and leading law firms in the UAE. The gathering served as a platform for constructive dialogue and collaboration between academia and industry stakeholders to identify key areas for improvement and devise actionable strategies to bridge the gap between theory and practice in legal education.

Commenting on the initiative, Dr Fatima Al Nuaimi, Assistant Undersecretary for Academic Affairs at the Ministry of Education, underscored the ministry's commitment to fostering excellence in legal education.

"As part of our ongoing efforts to enhance the quality and relevance of higher education programs, we are collaborating closely with law firms and other industry partners to ensure that our legal programs are aligned with the needs of the legal profession," said Dr Al Nuaimi.

"By revamping our legal curricula, we aim to empower law graduates with the skills, competencies, and practical experience needed to thrive in today's dynamic legal landscape," she added.
Representatives from leading law firms echoed the ministry's sentiments, emphasising the importance of academic-industry collaboration in shaping the future of legal education.

"The legal profession is constantly evolving, and it is essential for academic institutions to adapt their programmes to reflect the changing demands of the industry," said Vaisak Unnikrishnan, Senior Legal Associate at NYK Law Firm, one of the top legal consultants in UAE. "By working closely with universities, we can ensure that graduates are well-prepared to meet the challenges of the legal profession and contribute meaningfully to the legal community."

Key areas identified for enhancement include practical skills development, experiential learning opportunities and specialised training in emerging areas of law such as technology, intellectual property and alternative dispute resolution.

Additionally, there is a strong emphasis on fostering critical thinking, problem-solving and ethical reasoning skills among students to equip them with a well-rounded foundation for success in the legal field.

Moving forward, stakeholders are committed to ongoing collaboration and dialogue to implement the proposed reforms and monitor their effectiveness in improving the quality and relevance of legal education in the UAE.

By harnessing the collective expertise and insights of academia and industry, the aim is to empower law graduates with the tools and knowledge they need to excel in their legal careers and make meaningful contributions to society.

(The writer is a legal associate at NYK Law Firm, one of the top legal consultants in Dubai)

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Helping Hand: Dubai SME Unveils Financial Assistance for Businesses Hit by Floods

Mohammed Bin Rashid Establishment for Small and Medium Enterprises Development (Dubai SME), a subsidiary of the Dubai Department of Economy and Tourism (DET), has unveiled an initiative to assist businesses impacted by recent adverse weather conditions.

The initiative aims to offer financial aid through newly introduced interest-free loans, along with grace and deferment periods for existing loans obtained by Emiratis who own small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

This effort seeks to bolster ongoing recovery endeavours and stabilise businesses affected by the adverse weather conditions witnessed in the UAE recently.

The launch of this initiative by the Mohammed Bin Rashid Fund for SME, a division of Dubai SME, is a response to the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, to address the aftermath of the unprecedented rainfall in the UAE.

Furthermore, the initiative is part of the continuous monitoring and guidance of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council, ensuring comprehensive oversight of all developments related to this issue, and facilitating the swift recovery of all sectors.

The Mohammed Bin Rashid Fund for SME operates under Dubai SME to propel the development and diversification of the local and national economy.
Under this special incentive for Dubai SME members, eligible companies can access interest-free loans of up to Dh300,000, with a grace period ranging from 6 to 12 months, to repair or replace damaged properties crucial for the smooth operation of their businesses.

This underscores the Fund’s commitment to supporting affected SMEs in overcoming challenges, further solidifying Dubai SME's role in fostering economic sustainability within the SME community.

Moreover, the new initiative offers interest-free business loans for material damages and defers loan repayments for affected business owners who are Dubai SME members.

This aids in easing the financial burden and covering the costs of repair and replacement operations to expedite business resumption and minimise disruptions to regular operations, while also supporting the local economy. This is crucial given the significant role SMEs play in revitalising and developing Dubai’s economy.

Abdul Baset Al Janahi, CEO of Dubai SME, stated: “Under the guidance of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and the diligent oversight of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum to overcome all challenges, we are collaborating with our partners to explore avenues for mitigating the effects of the recent weather conditions that have impacted the country, facilitating a swift recovery.”

Affected Dubai SME members can submit the necessary documents to the Fund’s designated relief financing committee through the website of the Mohammed bin Rashid Fund for SME www.thefund.ae or by contacting the customer service center at 600 555 559.

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Thinking of Starting Quran Classes? Here's a Guide to Penalties and Regulations

In the United Arab Emirates (UAE), establishing Quran classes is a noble endeavour but one that requires adherence to specific laws and regulations.

Aspiring educators and community leaders must navigate a process governed by legal frameworks to ensure compliance and uphold standards of quality and safety.

Recent updates have underscored the importance of understanding the legalities surrounding Quran classes, with penalties of up to Dh50,000 for non-compliance.

To shed light on this crucial topic, we delve into the laws, penalties and processes involved in starting Quran classes in the UAE. The UAE government has established clear guidelines for the establishment and operation of Quran classes to maintain quality standards and ensure the safety of participants.

These regulations encompass various aspects, including licensing, curriculum, facilities, and instructor qualifications. Establishing Quran classes in the UAE requires adherence to a structured process outlined by the relevant authorities.

Prospective organisers must obtain the necessary licenses and approvals, develop a curriculum in accordance with Islamic teachings, and ensure the suitability of facilities and instructors.

Obtain Necessary Licences and Approvals

Before commencing Quran classes, organisers must obtain the required licences and approvals from the relevant government authorities. This may involve submitting an application, providing documentation and undergoing inspections to verify compliance with regulations.

Develop a Curriculum

The curriculum for Quran classes should align with the teachings of Islam and cater to the needs of participants. It may include Quranic recitation, memorisation, understanding of Islamic principles and character development. Organisers are encouraged to seek guidance from religious scholars and educational experts in developing the curriculum.

Ensure Suitable Facilities

The facilities where Quran classes are conducted must meet certain standards to ensure the safety and comfort of participants. This includes adequate space, appropriate amenities and adherence to health and safety regulations. Organisers should prioritise creating a conducive learning environment for students.

Qualifications of Instructors

Instructors leading Quran classes should possess the necessary qualifications, including knowledge of Quranic recitation and interpretation, teaching experience and proficiency in Arabic.

They play a crucial role in imparting knowledge and nurturing the spiritual growth of participants. Establishing Quran classes in the UAE is a commendable initiative that requires careful consideration of legal requirements and adherence to established guidelines.

By understanding the laws, penalties and processes involved, aspiring educators and community leaders can contribute to the promotion of Islamic education while ensuring compliance with regulations.

As the UAE continues to uphold its commitment to fostering religious and educational opportunities, individuals and organisations are encouraged to approach the establishment of Quran classes with diligence and respect for the law.

In doing so, they contribute to the enrichment of society and the preservation of Islamic values.

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Planning a Hindu Marriage in the UAE? Legal Requirements and Considerations

In the UAE, Hindu marriages are usually governed by personal status laws and regulations that vary depending on the emirate. While Hindu marriages are not officially recognised by the UAE government, couples often undergo a religious or cultural ceremony to mark their union. However, there are certain legal requirements that couples may need to fulfill, which can include:

Documentation: Couples may need to provide certain documents, such as passports, birth certificates, and a no-objection certificate (NOC) from their respective consulates or embassies.

Registration: Some emirates require Hindu marriages to be registered with the relevant authorities. This registration process may involve submitting a marriage application along with the required documents.

Legalisation: In some cases, couples may need to have their marriage certificate legalised by the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs or the relevant embassy or consulate.

Validity of the Marriage: It's essential to ensure that the marriage ceremony adheres to the customs and rituals recognized by Hindu tradition. Additionally, couples should consult with legal experts or religious authorities to understand the validity of their marriage under Hindu law.

Consent: Both parties must consent to the marriage without coercion or duress. Consent is a fundamental requirement for the validity of any marriage.

Age Requirements: In the UAE, the legal age for marriage is generally 18 years old. However, there may be exceptions for minors under certain circumstances, such as parental consent and approval from the courts.

Witnesses: Witnesses may be required to attest to the marriage ceremony. These witnesses must be of legal age and have the capacity to understand the significance of their role.

It's crucial for couples planning to marry in the UAE to consult with legal experts or religious authorities familiar with the local laws and customs to ensure they fulfill all necessary requirements.

Additionally, couples may consider obtaining legal advice from professionals specializing in family law or international marriages.

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Profiting From Crisis: Legal and Moral Perspectives on Price Gouging in the UAE

‘One Room for Dh8,000 a Night: Some UAE Hotels Raise Prices as Floods Leave Residents Stranded’; ‘Dh600 Towing Cost: Motorists Face Increased Prices After Abandoning Cars Amid Floods’ – These were among the recent headlines in UAE media following the floods that wreaked havoc across the UAE.

While the recent catastrophe saw people unite to support those in distress and the government introduce measures on a war footing, some took advantage of the crisis situation to make a quick profit.

In the aftermath of the flash floods in the UAE, a contentious issue has emerged – price gouging by some businesses, especially hotels. As residents grappled with the natural disaster, reports surfaced of exorbitant room rates, leaving many stranded and questioning the morality and legality of such actions.

What are the moral and legal dimensions of price gouging in the UAE, particularly in light of Federal Law No. 15 of 2022 on consumer protection?

Price gouging refers to the practice of raising prices excessively during times of high demand or emergency situations, often to exploit consumers' urgent needs. In the context of the recent floods, reports have highlighted instances of hotels charging exorbitant rates for accommodation, with some rooms reportedly priced as high as Dh8,000 per night.

From a moral standpoint, price gouging raises ethical concerns about fairness, exploitation and social responsibility. In times of crisis, such as natural disasters, communities rely on businesses to act ethically and prioritise the well-being of consumers over profit maximisation.

Price gouging undermines trust and solidarity within society, as it exacerbates the vulnerability of those already facing hardship.

Legal Framework

In the UAE, Federal Law No. 15 of 2022 on consumer protection serves as a cornerstone for regulating business practices and protecting consumers' rights. The law prohibits unfair commercial practices that harm consumers, including price manipulation and exploitation.

Article 8 of the law explicitly prohibits price gouging, stating that businesses must not exploit consumers' circumstances to charge prices significantly higher than the market value of goods or services.

Enforcement and Penalties

Under Federal Law No. 15 of 2022, businesses found guilty of price gouging can face severe penalties, including fines, suspension of activities and even closure of establishments. The law empowers regulatory authorities to investigate complaints of price gouging and take appropriate enforcement actions to ensure compliance with consumer protection regulations.

Call for Accountability

In light of the reported instances of price gouging by hotels in the wake of the floods, there is a growing call for accountability and transparency in the hospitality sector. Consumers, advocacy groups and regulatory authorities are urging business establishments to adhere to ethical pricing practices and comply with legal obligations to protect consumers' rights.

Price gouging in the UAE, particularly in the aftermath of natural disasters, raises complex moral and legal questions. While businesses have a duty to operate profitably, they must also uphold ethical standards and respect consumers' rights.

As the UAE continues to prioritise consumer protection and fair business practices, it is imperative for all stakeholders to work together to combat price gouging and promote a fair and just marketplace for all.

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You Can Start a Business in UAE While Employed, but Avoid Conflict of Interest

Is it possible for employees to start their own business while still being employed?

Yes, you can start a business in the UAE while working full-time; however, it's important to ensure that your business activities do not conflict with your employer's.

Obtaining a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from your employer might be necessary, but the decision to grant it rests with your employer.

Whether you need an NOC depends on the licensing agency and its specific requirements. If your business activities overlap with those of your employer, they may include a non-compete clause in your employment contract, prohibiting you from starting a similar business without their permission.

There are various factors to consider regarding whether your employer can prevent you from starting a business. If you choose to establish your venture in certain free zones where an NOC is not required, you won't need your employer's permission.

However, they may decline your request due to concerns about competition, protecting trade secrets, or compliance with regulations.

Thanks to changes in UAE law, many free zones no longer require employed individuals to obtain permission from their current employer. When you approach a free zone to obtain a licence, they will inform you whether you need an NOC from your current employer.

The regulations outlined in Federal Decree-Law No. 33 of 2021 on the Regulation of Employment Relations, along with those in Cabinet Resolution No. 1 of 2022 concerning the Executive Regulations of Federal Decree-Law No. 33 of 2021, apply in this context.

If an employee wishes to establish or join an entity in the UAE, whether as a partner or shareholder, they must obtain an NOC from their employer.

This requirement ensures compliance with employment regulations and should be fulfilled before commencing any business activities.

Furthermore, if the employee's proposed business activities overlap with their current role, their employer may perceive it as competition.

In such cases, the employment contract may include a non-competition clause, as stipulated in Article 10(1) of the Employment Law.

This clause outlines restrictions on the employee's ability to engage in similar business activities after their employment contract expires, typically for a period of up to two years.

However, the applicability of the non-competition clause can be waived if both parties agree in writing or under specific circumstances outlined in Article 12(4) of Cabinet Resolution No. 1 of 2022.

Moreover, Article 12(5) of the same resolution provides exemptions from the non-compete clause under certain conditions.

These include scenarios where compensation is provided to the former employer, termination occurs during the probationary period, or specific professional categories are determined by the ministry to be exempt from such restrictions.

Under Article 10 of the new UAE Labour Law, if your job gives you access to your employer's clients or trade secrets, they can include a non-compete clause in your contract.

This clause specifies the duration, location, and type of work you're restricted from engaging in after your contract ends, typically for up to two years.

The UAE has enacted new legislation concerning part-time and flexible work arrangements. Part-time employees now have explicit rights, including pro-rated vacation leave.

The legislation also recognises the possibility of remote work or starting a business with the employer's approval.

Additionally, under the new laws, resigning employees are entitled to a full end-of-service gratuity after completing at least one year of service.

Previously, this benefit was only available after five years of service. When you leave your job, your previous employer cannot prevent you from pursuing your business interests.

However, it's crucial to consider the potential impact on your current visa status before taking any action.

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Major Surge in Trademark Registrations in UAE Reflects Growing Investor Confidence

The UAE has experienced a notable surge in trademark registrations during the first quarter of 2024, showing a 64 per cent increase compared to the same period last year.
This rise underscores the growing confidence among investors in the nation's innovative entrepreneurial landscape.

In Q1 of 2024, the UAE recorded a total of 4,610 trademark registrations, up from 2,813 in the corresponding period of 2023, according to official data published by the Ministry of Economy.

Trademark experts and analysts view this surge as a positive indicator for the UAE's business community, reflecting increasing investor confidence in the nation's economy and business climate.

Sunil Ambalavelil, partner and legal consultant at NYK Law Firm, emphasised that trademark registration is crucial for safeguarding intellectual property rights, enabling businesses to differentiate their products and services in the market.

"By registering a trademark, businesses can prevent others from using their brand name, logo, or slogan, establishing a unique identity in the marketplace," Ambalavelil explained.

"This not only fosters brand recognition and customer loyalty but also enhances the value of their offerings."

He further stated: "The uptick in trademark registrations in the UAE demonstrates growing awareness among businesses about the importance of protecting their intellectual property rights. It also signifies confidence in the country's legal framework and enforcement mechanisms, which are critical for safeguarding trademarks and other intellectual property assets."

Shulka Chavan, legal associate at Kaden Boriss, highlighted the UAE's efforts to strengthen intellectual property laws and regulations in recent years. "This increase in trademark registrations is a testament to the effectiveness of these measures," said Chavan.

"It signals growth driven by innovation and is likely to boost business confidence in the UAE, promoting increased competition, innovation, and foreign investment, thereby driving overall growth and prosperity."

During March alone, 2,018 new brands were recorded in the UAE, spanning various sectors such as smart technology, transportation, food and beverage, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, finance and real estate. The trend continued with 2,592 trademarks registered in January and February, demonstrating sustained growth in trademark registrations.

In 2023, there was a substantial increase in trademark registration applications, rising by 9.6 per cent compared to 2022. Additionally, there was a 29.5 per cent increase in the registration of intellectual works.

The Ministry of Economy received 3,415 patent applications in 2023, marking a 19.5 per cent increase from 2022. The total number of registered patents reached 5,108 in 2023, up by 13.7 per cent.

Earlier this year, the Ministry of Economy introduced a new intellectual property (IP) system comprising 11 integrated initiatives aimed at fostering innovation and creativity. Abdulla bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy, emphasised the significance of intellectual property for economic growth and highlighted the UAE's commitment to becoming a global hub for innovation.

According to legal experts, the UAE's adherence to international treaties and agreements, such as the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property and the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights, strengthens its trademark registration system and enhances international cooperation in trademark enforcement.

They noted that the UAE has established effective mechanisms to protect trademark rights and combat infringement, offering civil remedies like damages, injunctions, and seizure of infringing goods, as well as criminal penalties for trademark counterfeiting and piracy.

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Understanding UAE's Corporate Laws: FAQs on Federal Decree-Law (32) of 2021 Answered

Federal Decree-Law No. (32) of 2021, enacted on 20/09/2021, revolutionises the regulatory framework for commercial entities in the United Arab Emirates.

This law emphasises governance, shareholder protection and economic growth, setting high standards for corporate operations.

Here are your FAQs based on Federal Decree-Law No. (32) of 2021 which we have covered.

What is Federal Decree-Law No. (32) of 2021 About?

This decree law pertains to commercial companies in the United Arab Emirates, aiming to regulate various aspects such as governance, shareholder rights protection, foreign investment facilitation, and corporate social responsibility.

Which Companies Fall Under the Jurisdiction of this Decree-Law?

The Decree law applies to commercial companies established within the UAE. Additionally, its provisions extend to foreign companies establishing their head office, branch, or representative office in the UAE for conducting business activities.

Are there any Exemptions to the Application of this Decree-Law?

Yes, certain companies are exempted, including those wholly owned by the Federal or Local Government, companies operating in specific sectors like energy, and entities exempted under special federal laws or Cabinet decisions.

How Can Companies Exempted from this Decree-Law Adjust their Situation if they Engage in Certain Activities?

Exempted companies may need to adjust their status if they sell shares to the public, offer shares for public subscription, or list their shares on financial markets within the UAE.

What are Special Purpose Acquisition Companies (SPACs) and Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) Mentioned in the Decree-Law?

SPACs are public joint-stock companies approved by the Authority with the sole purpose of acquiring other companies, while SPVs are entities established to segregate obligations and assets for specific financing operations. Both types have special provisions outlined in the decree-law.

Who Oversees the Implementation of this Decree-Law?

The Ministry of Economy, along with other relevant authorities such as the Securities and Commodities Authority, plays a role in enforcing the provisions of this Decree-Law.

How Does this Decree-Law Contribute to the Development of the UAE's Economic Landscape?

By establishing clear regulations on governance, shareholder protection and foreign investment, this Decree-Law aims to enhance the business environment, bolster economic capabilities and align with global standards.

What are the Objectives Outlined in Article 2 of the Decree-Law?

The objectives include fostering development in the business environment, enhancing corporate governance, protecting shareholder and partner rights, promoting foreign investment inflow and encouraging corporate social responsibility.

How are Strategic Partners Defined within the Context of this Decree-Law?

Strategic partners refer to those who provide beneficial support to a company in terms of technical, financial, operational, or marketing aspects, as outlined in the provisions of the Decree-Law.

How are Decisions Made within Joint-stock Companies According to the Decree-Law?

Special decisions within joint-stock companies require a majority vote of shareholders who collectively own at least three-quarters of the shares represented in the general assembly meeting.

Federal Decree-Law No. (32) of 2021 signifies a crucial stride towards modernising UAE's commercial regulations. By prioritizing transparency and facilitating investment, this law paves the way for a vibrant and sustainable business environment.

Its implementation underscores the UAE's commitment to fostering economic development and attracting global enterprises

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Comprehensive vs. Third-Party Insurance: Which Option is Most Suitable for Your Needs?

Auto insurance is a critical aspect of owning a vehicle, offering protection and financial security in case of unforeseen events.

When it comes to insuring your vehicle, you have two primary options to choose from --third-party insurance and comprehensive insurance. Each comes with its own set of benefits and considerations. Let's delve into understanding the differences between the two and how to select the best option for your needs.

Comprehensive Insurance

Comprehensive insurance is an optional plan that provides both third-party liability and own-damage coverage. This type of insurance offers extensive protection against various risks, including accidents, natural disasters, theft and more. In addition to covering damages to third-party life or property, comprehensive insurance also safeguards your vehicle from unforeseen events.

Third-Party Insurance

As mandated by The Motor Vehicles Act, third-party insurance is compulsory for all vehicles in India. This type of insurance provides coverage for damages or losses incurred by third parties due to your vehicle. 

While it offers basic financial and legal assistance in case of accidents, it primarily focuses on protecting third parties rather than your own vehicle.

Differences Between Comprehensive and Third-Party Insurance

The main disparity between comprehensive and third-party insurance lies in their coverage. While third-party insurance protects only against damages to others, comprehensive insurance covers both own vehicle damage and third-party liabilities. Here's a comparative analysis to help you understand better.

Own Damage Cover

Comprehensive insurance protects your vehicle against damages caused by accidents, theft, natural calamities and more, ensuring financial security in case of unforeseen events.

Add-ons

With comprehensive insurance, you have the option to customise your plan with add-ons such as zero depreciation, roadside assistance and engine protection, providing additional layers of protection.

Exclusions in Comprehensive Insurance

Before purchasing comprehensive insurance, it's essential to understand the exclusions. Common exclusions include expired policies, failure to follow traffic rules, fraudulent activities, consequential damages and non-purchase of required add-ons.

Why Choose Comprehensive Insurance?

Comprehensive insurance offers extensive coverage, ensuring financial security for both third-party liabilities and own vehicle damages. It provides peace of mind, flexibility and mandatory compliance with insurance laws.

Selecting the Best Insurance Policy

When choosing between comprehensive and third-party insurance, consider factors such as your insurance requirements, vehicle usage, policy fine print and the reputation of the insurer. Ensure that the policy aligns with your needs and offers adequate coverage.

Auto insurance is a crucial investment that provides financial protection and peace of mind. While third-party insurance is mandatory, comprehensive insurance offers extensive coverage, including own vehicle damages. 

By understanding the differences between the two and assessing your needs, you can make an informed decision and select the best insurance policy for your vehicle.

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Lost Your Licence Plate in Heavy Rains? Here's Your Roadmap to Replacement

 

Heavy rains have recently battered several regions across the UAE, and residents are now grappling with the aftermath of the inclement weather. Among the myriad challenges faced by motorists, losing a licence plate during heavy rains ranks high on the list.

Here is a comprehensive guide on how to navigate the process of applying for a replacement licence plate, ensuring you can swiftly get back on the road legally and safely.

Report the Loss to Authorities

The first crucial step in the process is to report the loss of your licence plate to the relevant authorities. Contact your local police station or traffic department immediately to inform them of the situation. They will provide you with a report confirming the loss, which is essential for initiating the replacement process.

Gather Required Documentation

Once you've filed a report with the authorities, gather all necessary documents for the replacement application. This typically includes your Emirates ID, vehicle registration card and a copy of the police report confirming the loss of the licence plate.


Visit the Traffic Department or Customer Service Centre

Armed with the requisite documents, make your way to the nearest traffic department or customer service centre. Locate the designated counter for license plate replacement and submit your application along with the required documentation.

Pay the Replacement Fee

Be prepared to pay a replacement fee at the time of submitting your application. The fee amount may vary depending on your location and specific circumstances. Ensure you have the necessary funds available to cover the cost.

Await Processing and Notification

Following the submission of your application and payment of the replacement fee, the traffic department will process your request. This typically involves verifying your documents and issuing a new licence plate.

Await notification from the authorities regarding the status of your application and the availability of your new licence plate.

Collect Your Replacement Licence Plate

Upon notification of approval, proceed to the traffic department or customer service centre to collect your replacement licence plate. Ensure you bring along your Emirates ID and any other required documentation for verification purposes.

Losing your licence plate during heavy rains can be a daunting experience, but with the right guidance and proactive steps, obtaining a replacement is entirely feasible.

By promptly reporting the loss to authorities, gathering the necessary documentation and following the prescribed application process, motorists can expedite the replacement process and resume their travels with ease.

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Is Your Vehicle Rain-damaged? Now, Get Your Insurance Claim Certificate Using Police App

Severe rainfall in the UAE has caused significant damage to vehicles, resulting in the need for insurance claims to cover repairs or replacements. However, managing these claims can be overwhelming due to extended wait times and extensive paperwork.

Thankfully, technological advancements have simplified the process of certifying insurance claims. In this article, we will discuss how you can expedite the certification of your rain-damaged car insurance claim using police apps, making the entire process quicker and more efficient.

You can expedite the certification of your rain-damaged car insurance claim using police apps, making the entire process quicker and more efficient.

Understanding the Importance of Certification

When filing an insurance claim for rain-damaged cars in the UAE, it's essential to have your claim certified by the police. This certification serves as official documentation of the damage and is required by insurance companies to process your claim.

Police Apps

Police apps have revolutionised the way individuals can interact with law enforcement agencies in the UAE. These apps allow users to report incidents, request services and even file insurance claims for vehicle damage directly from their smartphones.

Steps to Certify Your Insurance Claim Using Police Apps

Download the App: Start by downloading the official police app relevant to your emirate, such as Dubai Police, Abu Dhabi Police, or Sharjah Police.
Report the Incident: Navigate to the "Report Incident" or "File a Report" section within the app and provide details about the rain damage to your car, including the location, time and extent of the damage.
Upload Supporting Documents: You may be asked to upload photos or videos of the damage, as well as your vehicle registration and insurance documents.
Receive Certification: Once your report is submitted, a police officer will review the details and, if necessary, visit the location to assess the damage. Upon verification, you will receive a certified police report confirming the rain damage to your car.

Benefits of Using Police Apps for Insurance Claims

Convenience:With police apps, you can file your insurance claim from the comfort of your home or office, eliminating the need to visit a police station in person.
Efficiency: The streamlined process of filing claims through police apps helps expedite the certification process, allowing you to receive your certified report quickly.
Accuracy: By providing detailed information and supporting documents through the app, you can ensure the accuracy of your insurance claim, reducing the likelihood of delays or disputes.

Tips for a Smooth Certification Process

  • Ensure all relevant information and documentation are complete and accurate before submitting your claim.
  • Follow up with the police department or insurance company if you haven't received certification within a reasonable timeframe.
  • Familiarise yourself with the features and functionalities of the police app to maximise efficiency.

In conclusion, rain-damaged car insurance claims in the UAE can be certified easily and conveniently using police apps. By leveraging technology and following the steps outlined above, you can streamline the certification process and expedite your insurance claim, getting your vehicle back on the road sooner.

Don't let rain damage dampen your spirits – take advantage of police apps to ensure a hassle-free claims experience.

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Safeguard Your Home Against Disasters: The Legal Guide to House Insurance in the UAE

In the UAE, where heavy rains and unpredictable weather pose significant risks to homes, securing adequate house insurance is essential for homeowners. Insuring your house not only protects against damages from natural disasters like flooding and storms but also provides coverage for theft, fire and other unforeseen events.

Understanding the legalities and regulations set by the UAE Insurance Authority is crucial for navigating insurance options effectively. This guide breaks down key considerations, including types of policies available, coverage details, documentation requirements, premium factors, claims processes and the importance of seeking legal assistance when needed.

Ensure your home is safeguarded against unexpected challenges with comprehensive house insurance tailored to your needs.

Understanding Insurance Regulations

The UAE Insurance Authority (IA) regulates the insurance sector in the country, overseeing the licensing, operation, and supervision of insurance companies.
Insurance companies offering house insurance must comply with the regulations and guidelines issued by the IA to ensure transparency, fairness and consumer protection.

Types of House Insurance Policies

Homeowners in the UAE can choose from various types of house insurance policies tailored to their needs, including:

Building Insurance: Covers the structure of the house against damage or loss caused by perils such as fire, natural disasters, and vandalism.
Contents Insurance: Protects personal belongings and household items inside the house against theft, damage, or loss.
Comprehensive Home Insurance:Combines building and contents insurance, providing comprehensive coverage for both the structure and contents of the house.

Coverage and Exclusions

It's essential to understand the coverage and exclusions of your house insurance policy before purchasing. Typical coverage includes damage or loss due to fire, lightning, explosion, storm, flood, burglary and accidental damage. Exclusions may vary but commonly include acts of war, terrorism, wear and tear and intentional acts.

Documentation and Application Process

To insure your house in the UAE, you'll need to provide certain documents and information to the insurance company, including:

  • Title deed or proof of ownership of the property.
  • Details of the property's construction, including its size, materials used and age.
  • Estimated value of the property and contents to be insured.
  • Any additional features or security measures installed in the house.

Once you've submitted the required documents, the insurance company will assess the risk associated with insuring your house and provide you with a quotation based on the coverage requested.

Premiums and Payment

House insurance premiums in the UAE are typically calculated based on factors such as the value of the property, its location, construction type and the level of coverage.
Premiums can be paid annually, semi-annually, or monthly, depending on the terms agreed upon with the insurance company.

Claims Process

In the event of damage, loss, or theft covered by your house insurance policy, you'll need to file a claim with the insurance company. The claims process may involve providing documentation, such as a police report for theft or damage assessment reports for property damage.

Once the claim is approved, the insurance company will compensate you for the covered losses or damages as per the terms of your policy.

Legal Assistance

If you encounter any legal issues or disputes related to house insurance in the UAE, it's advisable to seek legal assistance from a qualified lawyer or legal advisor familiar with insurance laws and regulations in the country.

By understanding these legalities and following the proper procedures, you can ensure that your house is adequately insured and protected against unforeseen events in the UAE.

(The writer is a legal associate at NYK Law Firm, one of the top legal consultants in Dubai)

For any enquiries or information, contact ask@tlr.ae or call us on +971 52 644 3004Follow The Law Reporters on WhatsApp Channels.

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Legal Initiatives: UAE Battles Counterfeit Medical Products, Bolsters Cosmetic Regulations

In recent years, the UAE has taken decisive regulatory steps to confront the pervasive issue of counterfeit medical products, a threat that extends to the burgeoning cosmetic landscape.

During festive occasions, the application of traditional mehendi remains a cherished tradition. However, concerns have emerged over the increasing use of black or white henna, often laced with synthetic chemicals that can be harmful to the skin.

A prominent dermatologist has recently sounded the alarm about the risks posed by these chemicals, highlighting adverse effects on skin health. Synthetic alternatives found in black or white henna, such as PPD (paraphenylenediamine), present substantial health hazards.

Some products contain PPD levels far surpassing safe thresholds seen in hair dyes, leading to redness, swelling, blistering, painful chemical burns and scarring.

Combatting Counterfeit Medical Products

In parallel to these concerns over cosmetics, the broader issue of counterfeit medical products poses a significant risk to public safety. Consumers must remain vigilant and proactive to avoid falling victim to counterfeit medicines and devices.

Globally, counterfeit medical products are a persistent challenge, with alarming figures showing that approximately 1 in 10 medical items in low- and middle-income countries is falsified (World Health Organisation).

These misrepresented medications, intentionally mislabelled in terms of identity and origin, can have dire consequences, including treatment failure, drug resistance and fatalities.

UAE's Response

The UAE, like many nations, faces the influx of counterfeit medicines with growing apprehension. Despite robust enforcement efforts, counterfeit medications, particularly lifestyle drugs, persist in infiltrating the market, posing a grave risk to public health.

In response to this escalating threat, the UAE has intensified its efforts to combat counterfeit medical products. In recent years, enforcement agencies have tightened scrutiny of medical supplies, resulting in substantial seizures of fraudulent goods.

Collaborative operations involving law enforcement bodies such as Dubai Police and the Dubai Department of Economic Development have yielded the confiscation of millions of counterfeit medical masks, thermometers and related items.

Technological Innovations

The UAE has embraced innovative technologies and initiatives to bolster its anti-counterfeit capabilities. The Department of Health (DoH) has introduced a device capable of swiftly detecting counterfeit medicines, enhancing inspection efficiency.

Furthermore, plans for a new app to identify counterfeit medical products in the UAE market underscore the government's unwavering commitment to safeguarding public health.

 

Legislation in the UAE for Counterfeit Medical Products

The UAE has implemented stringent laws to deter individuals involved in the production, distribution, or sale of counterfeit medical products. The Federal Trademarks Law and Pharmacy Law impose severe penalties, including imprisonment and hefty fines, on offenders.

Under Article 37 of the Trademarks Law, penalties include imprisonment and a fine of not less than Dh5,000 for dealing with counterfeit products. Article 110 of the Pharmacy Law imposes penalties of imprisonment and/or fines ranging from Dh200,000 to Dh1,000,000 for falsifying or imitating medical products.

Cosmetic Products Regulation in the UAE

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) boasts a vibrant cosmetic industry, offering consumers a diverse range of beauty and personal care products. To ensure the safety and quality of these products, the UAE has established robust regulatory measures overseen primarily by two key administrative bodies: The Dubai Municipality (DM) and the Emirates Authority for Standardisation and Metrology (ESMA).

These organisations play a pivotal role in setting regulatory standards for cosmetic products entering the UAE market. In line with international best practices, the UAE adheres to the unified regulations for cosmetics established by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

This harmonised regulatory framework requires cosmetic products to undergo registration with both the DM and the ESMA before they can be launched in the market.

The registration process entails the submission of detailed information on the product's formulation, labelling requirements and safety assessments.

Labelling of Cosmetic Products

The labelling of cosmetic products in the UAE is meticulously regulated to ensure transparency for consumers. Labels must be presented in both Arabic and English, featuring clear instructions for use, pertinent safety warnings and other essential information.

Products containing specific substances must comply with corresponding labelling requirements.

To uphold compliance with quality standards and consumer safety, the DM and the ESMA conduct thorough testing and evaluation of cosmetic products.

The Emirates Conformity Assessment Scheme (ECAS) further certifies products that meet regulatory requirements, providing consumers with assurance of quality and safety.

The UAE has taken significant steps to address the problem of counterfeit medical products, leveraging both technological advancements and legislative measures.

The aim is to eliminate counterfeit medical products from the market and safeguard the health and well-being of its citizens and residents.
Similarly, the UAE prioritises safety, quality and transparency in the cosmetic industry.

Cosmetic manufacturers are mandated to adhere to Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) guidelines, ensuring high-quality standards throughout the production process.

Rigorous evaluations by the DM and the ESMA certify cosmetic products as safe and compliant before they are made available to consumers.

(The writer is a legal associate at NYK Law Firm, one of the top legal consultants in Dubai)

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Establishing Accountability for UAE Building Fire/Collapse: Legal Options and Recourse

In the wake of a devastating fire that swept through a high-rise building in Al Nahda, UAE, claiming the lives of five individuals and leaving 44 injured, with 17 in critical condition, urgent questions arise about accountability and legal liability.

The fire erupted on Thursday, April 4, at 9:30 pm, shrouding the community in tragedy. Emergency responders swiftly evacuated 156 residents, including 18 children, to safety. However, the grim toll of casualties and injuries underscores the gravity of the situation and the pressing need for accountability for the building fire.

Who Bears the Responsibility?

In the UAE, negligent property owners of industrial and commercial buildings face the legal burden of firefighting costs in the event of a fire. This stringent measure is designed to discourage owners from disregarding fire safety standards and ensure compliance with the latest building regulations in the UAE.

Owners found to be non-compliant with fire safety standards are held accountable for all expenses associated with extinguishing the blaze, encompassing firefighting efforts and fines for regulatory violations.

Determining accountability in such tragedies involves a thorough investigation into the cause of the fire and whether any negligence or violations of safety regulations contributed to its escalation. Building owners, property managers, maintenance personnel and relevant authorities may be held legally accountable if lapses in fire safety protocols are identified.

What are the Legal Issues Involved?

Legal issues arising from a building fire may encompass violations of building codes, safety regulations and duty of care obligations towards residents. Civil lawsuits for wrongful death, personal injury and property damage could be pursued against liable parties found negligent in ensuring adequate fire prevention and emergency response measures.

How can Victims of Building Fire Get Compensation?

Victims of building fire and their families may seek compensation through legal avenues such as filing civil lawsuits against responsible parties or negotiating settlements for damages incurred. Additionally, insurance claims for medical expenses, loss of income, and property damage may be pursued to alleviate financial burdens resulting from the tragedy.

What can Tenants Do?

Tenants are encouraged to report any violations observed on the building premises to Civil Defence for appropriate action against the owner.

What is the Role of Insurance Companies?

Insurance companies are prohibited from processing fire insurance claims for establishments that do not meet safety regulations without Civil Defence approval. Any violation of these rules by insurance companies renders them liable in case of fire-related accidents.

Stricter fire prevention measures are being adopted in the UAE to prioritise the safety of individuals and maintain a peaceful environment in commercial and industrial buildings. With stringent measures in place to hold negligent property owners accountable for firefighting costs and promote adherence to fire safety norms, the UAE is steadfast in its commitment to safeguarding the lives and properties of its residents.

(The writer is a legal associate at NYK Law Firm, one of the top legal consultants in Dubai)

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Demystifying Evidence in UAE Courts: Your Complete Guide to How Cases Are Decided

In legal procedures and under UAE Law of Evidence, evidence is generally defined as any information presented by either party to support their position, with the objective of enabling the courts to definitively determine or decide the case.

Courts across the UAE, including those in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, carefully review the evidence presented in cases before the trial begins. This is essential to ensure that the trial is fair and based on solid facts.

In civil cases, the court examines the evidence to determine its relevance and credibility. The court's decision on the evidence guides the trial process.

In criminal cases, the prosecutor assesses whether there is sufficient evidence to proceed to trial by reviewing all the evidence and making a determination. Based on this assessment, the case may either proceed to trial or be dismissed.

During criminal trials, witnesses may be asked to share their knowledge at different stages, such as when the complaint is made, during questioning by the prosecutor, and during the trial itself. This process helps in establishing all relevant facts.

In civil trials, witness questioning is less common, typically occurring only during the trial itself, not before. Before the trial, the prosecutor reviews all the evidence to determine whether there is enough to proceed to trial. If not, the case may be dismissed.

However, in civil trials, evidence is typically considered during the trial itself, not beforehand.

The Federal Law No. 10 of 1992 on Evidence in Civil and Commercial Agreements governs and regulates the use of evidence in civil and commercial cases in the UAE (Evidence Law). It outlines the methods and rules for presenting written evidence, utilising oral witnesses, expert testimony, and other relevant topics in the UAE Law of Evidence.

During the trial, the court evaluates different types of evidence to better understand the case. This includes:

  • Written Evidence: Official documents and customary documents are considered written evidence. Official documents are those endorsed by a government official or public authority, while customary documents are those signed or acknowledged by the involved parties.
  • Testimony of Witnesses: Witnesses provide statements about the facts they know, which aids in understanding what transpired. Witness testimony is a crucial part of the evidence.
  • Presumptions and Evidence of Accomplished Facts: Certain facts can be presumed true based on evidence or circumstances. These presumptions contribute to understanding the case.
  • Admission and Examination of the Adversaries: Both parties present their arguments and evidence to support their claims. The court assesses these arguments to render a fair decision.
  • Oaths: In some cases, oaths may be taken to affirm the truthfulness of statements or promises made.
  • Observation and Proof of Circumstances: The court may consider the circumstances surrounding the case to understand the context and render a judgment.
  • Expertise: Expert testimony may be sought in cases requiring specialised knowledge to understand the evidence.
    Checking evidence before trial is crucial to ensuring a fair trial and protecting everyone's rights.

(The writer is a legal associate at NYK Law Firm, one of the top legal consultants in Dubai)

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Thousands Join Fundraiser to Save Keralite from Saudi Death Row with Rs340M Blood Money

The deadline loomed like the sword of Damocles, but astonishingly, it took just four days for people in the South Indian state of Kerala to channel their compassion and rally together, raising an astounding Rs34 crore (15 million Saudi riyals) to save a man from the state from the gallows in Saudi Arabia.

In a remarkable display of solidarity, people in Kerala have joined forces to save Abdul Rahim, a native of Kozhikode. His only chance for survival is to pay the blood money of 15 million Saudi Riyals, roughly equivalent to Rs34 crore, before April 18, 2024.

Rahim has spent 18 years behind bars in Saudi Arabia for allegedly causing the death of a Saudi boy in 2006. Until five days ago, the action committee formed to work for Rahim's release had only managed to raise a modest amount. However, as the deadline approached, the campaign intensified, and support poured in from Keralites worldwide, the action committee reported on Friday.

Local sources claim that Rahim was imprisoned in 2006 after accidentally causing the death of a specially-abled boy under his care. He was sentenced to death in 2018 when the Saudi boy's family declined to grant amnesty.

Blood Money Offer

Members of the action committee informed the media that although appeals were rejected by higher courts, the family later agreed to pardon Rahim upon payment of 'blood money.'

Commending the spirit of the people of Kerala, state Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan hailed this as the "Real Kerala Story" of compassion and justice. "In the face of relentless hate campaigns targeting Kerala, the indomitable spirit of Malayalis shines through, uniting to uphold our state's resilience and compassion," Vijayan remarked.

"Abdul Rahim's ordeal, a Kerala man facing execution in Saudi Arabia, embodies this resilience. With Rs34 crore raised for his release, Kerala's commitment to its people and values is crystal clear, dispelling divisive falsehoods."
"

Gratitude to all who joined hands for this humanitarian cause. Together, we will continue to share the Real Kerala Story of compassion and justice," Vijayan concluded.

Tireless Effort

The action committee, addressing the media in Kerala, disclosed that over 75 organisations in the Gulf region, along with Kerala-based businessman Bobby Chemmannur and various political groups in the state, worked tirelessly in the final days to meet the deadline.

"A multitude of ordinary people contributed whatever they could, and all helped us raise the required funds," a committee member stated.
Rahim's mother expressed astonishment at the amount raised, stating, "I never imagined we could gather Rs34 crore, as we lacked the means. Yet somehow, it became possible."

The committee confirmed that all transactions were conducted through a mobile application created for crowd-sourcing, ensuring transparency.

Chemmannur organised multiple events in recent days to raise funds, even arranging the sale of one of his products and donating the proceeds to the cause. He has also pledged to offer Rahim a job upon his return to the state.

(The writer is a legal associate at NYK Law Firm, one of the top legal consultants in Dubai)

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UAE Sees Surge in Crypto Adoption Amid Progress in Regulatory Safeguards

 

The UAE is emerging as a leading destination for crypto growth, attracting institutional investors and financial giants.  Crypto giants like Crypto.com, Coinbase, Paxos, Laser Digital, and Circle have established a presence in the country.

The UAE offers a welcoming environment for businesses and investors, which is why the country boasts six regulators issuing crypto licences, providing a clear regulatory framework for operating companies. Dubai Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority and the Abu Dhabi Global Market have introduced regulations to facilitate the operation of decentralised crypto companies and the issuance of digital tokens.

Furthermore, the UAE Central Bank has eased the process for legitimate crypto businesses to open bank accounts, addressing a significant challenge faced by crypto multinationals.

Locally, crypto adoption is growing, with customers using cryptocurrencies for everyday transactions such as dining at restaurants or purchasing groceries through apps like Talabat. Although the business climate seems promising, companies might still encounter obstacles due to stricter regulations and rules.

Let's dive into the details of cryptocurrency regulations in the UAE to make it easier for you to understand.

Key Regulatory Measures

In November 2020, the Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA) issued Decision No. 23 of 2020, which outlines regulations for crypto asset activities. These regulations cover the listing, offering, trading, and issuing of digital assets within the onshore UAE.

The law categorises virtual assets and sets requirements for marketplaces, custodian services, exchanges and crowdfunding platforms, along with related financial services.
The Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA) is the primary regulatory body overseeing this domain, playing a pivotal role in formulating and enforcing regulations.

Recognising the importance of investor protection and market integrity, the SCA has classified certain cryptocurrencies as securities, subjecting them to existing securities laws and regulations.

Providers of crypto assets must be licensed by the SCA and comply with AML/CFT, data protection, and cybersecurity laws. They are only permitted to operate in onshore UAE, Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), or Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM).

To operate within the UAE, cryptocurrency enterprises must secure a licence from the SCA and comply with activities such as exchanges and wallet services. Moreover, stringent Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Know Your Customer (KYC) protocols are mandatory to curb illicit activities and ensure robust customer verification processes.

The Role of the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA)

While not exclusively tailored to cryptocurrencies, the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) of Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) has played an important role in crafting a regulatory framework for various fintech endeavors, including cryptocurrencies.

Regulating ICOs and Token Offerings

The UAE imposes regulations on Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) and token offerings, necessitating approval from the SCA and adherence to securities regulations.

Cryptocurrency AML Regulations in the UAE

In a recent case, a gang in Dubai was convicted for orchestrating a Bitcoin scam worth Dh10 million. The group had targeted over 180 victims across the UAE through a social media advertisement campaign. Each member of the gang was fined over Dh321,000 for illegally obtaining money and conducting virtual assets without proper licensing.

Victims reported being duped out of Dh321,000 after the gang promised to double their investments through a crypto wallet scheme. The UAE has taken proactive steps to regulate money laundering activities in the cryptocurrency market. In November 2020, the Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA) issued Decision No. 23 of 2020, which outlines regulations for crypto asset activities.

These regulations cover the listing, offering, trading, and issuing of digital assets within the onshore UAE. The law categorises virtual assets and sets requirements for marketplaces, ICOs, custodian services, exchanges, and crowdfunding platforms, along with related financial services.

Despite the UAE government's efforts to protect crypto assets from money laundering, criminals continue to exploit technology for illegal activities at a faster rate than technological advancements in the crypto space.

However, UAE regulators are making progress in implementing protective laws, emphasising the importance of identifying red flags promptly to foster growth and innovation in the crypto space, which indicates promising prospects for the future economy.

(The writer is a legal associate at Dubai-based NYK Law Firm)

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Dubai Establishes Authority to Resolve Conflicts Between DIFC Courts, Judicial Bodies

In his role as the Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, issued Decree No. (29) of 2024 concerning the ‘Judicial Authority for Resolving Jurisdictional Conflicts between DIFC Courts and Judicial Authorities in the Emirate of Dubai’.

The Decree applies to all judicial bodies in Dubai, including the Court of Cassation, the Court of Appeal, the Court of First Instance and any future courts established under Dubai's Judicial Authority. It also extends to the DIFC Courts.

Under this Decree, the name of the Judicial Tribunal for Dubai Courts and DIFC Courts will change to the ‘Judicial Authority for Resolving Jurisdictional Conflicts between DIFC Courts and Judicial Authorities in Dubai’, as required by Dubai's legislation.

The Authority will be chaired by the President of the Court of Cassation at Dubai Courts, with the Deputy Chief Justice of DIFC Courts serving as Deputy Chairman. Other members include the Secretary General of the Dubai Judicial Council, the Presidents of the Court of Appeal and the Court of First Instance at Dubai Courts and two judges from DIFC Courts appointed by the Chief Justice.

The Chairman of the Authority has the authority to appoint a Secretary-General from Dubai's judicial bodies. The Authority's responsibilities include determining the appropriate court for disputes, specifying enforceable judgments in conflicts and carrying out tasks assigned by the Ruler of Dubai or the Chairman of the Dubai Judicial Council. Decisions made by the Authority are final and not subject to appeal.

Moreover, the legal principles set by the Judicial Authority in its decisions under this Decree are binding on all courts, including DIFC Courts. Conflicting rulings can be appealed through established legal channels.

The Chairman of the Dubai Judicial Council will issue the necessary decisions to implement this Decree, replacing Decree No. (19) of 2016 concerning the Judicial Tribunal for the Dubai Courts and DIFC Courts.

The Decree supersedes any contradictory legislation and will be published in the Official Gazette, coming into effect the day after its publication.

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Be Prepared to Pay Up to Dh1million in Fine if You Violate UAE Tobacco Control Law

Federal Law No. 15 of 2009, also known as the Tobacco Control Law, is a significant legislation enacted in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to regulate the production, sale, advertisement and use of tobacco and tobacco products.

The law aims to protect public health by reducing tobacco consumption, preventing underage smoking, and mitigating the harmful effects of second-hand smoke. So let's delve into some frequently asked questions about this law and its implications.

FAQs Related to Federal Law No. 15 of 2009:

Is smoking prohibited by law in the UAE?

Federal Law No. 15 of 2009 on Tobacco Control sets forth stringent regulations governing the importation, sale, advertising, and use of tobacco and tobacco products to uphold public health standards.

As per the law, smoking is strictly prohibited in enclosed public areas. However, exceptions are made for religious areas, educational institutions, and health and sports facilities, where designated smoking areas may be established under the supervision of the Competent Authority, per the regulations outlined in the law.

What are the Key Provisions of UAE Federal Law No. 15 of 2009 Tobacco Control?

The law prohibits various activities related to tobacco, including importing tobacco products that do not meet UAE standards, advertising or promoting tobacco products, selling tobacco products to individuals under 18 years old, and smoking in public areas and enclosed spaces.

Additionally, it regulates the packaging of tobacco products and mandates the display and sale of tobacco products only in designated areas.

Is Chewing Tobacco Legal in the UAE?

Chewing tobacco, like other forms of tobacco, is regulated by UAE laws and regulations. Federal Law No. 15 of 2009 encompasses all forms of tobacco and tobacco products, imposing restrictions to protect public health.

Is Smoking While Driving Allowed in the UAE?

Smoking while driving a private car containing a child under the age of 12 years is prohibited under Federal Law No. 15 of 2009 on Tobacco Control. The law aims to prevent exposure to second-hand smoke and promote safer environments, especially for children.

Are there Designated Smoking Areas in the UAE?

Yes, designated smoking areas are established in certain public places, subject to the regulations outlined in Federal Law No. 15 of 2009 and its executive regulations. However, smoking is prohibited in enclosed public areas, educational institutions, healthcare facilities and places of worship.

What are the Penalties for Violating Specific Articles of Federal Law No. 15 of 2009?

Article 13 states that violating the rules dealing with the importation, advertising, sale and use of tobacco and tobacco products can result in imprisonment for not less than one year and a fine ranging from Dh100,000 to Dh1,000,000. Repeat offenders may face imprisonment for not less than two years and a fine of not less than Dh1,000,000.

What Penalties Apply to Violations of Articles (3) and (4) of Federal Law No. 15 of 2009?

According to Article 14), individuals who violate the rules dealing with advertising campaigns, promotional events, sponsorship agreements, or any other means aimed at encouraging the use of tobacco may be fined between Dh100,000 and Dh1,000,000. The penalty may be doubled for repeat offenses.

What is the Penalty for Non-compliance with the Orders of the Competent Authority as per Article (15)?

Article 15 states that failure to comply with the orders of the Competent Authority may result in a fine ranging from Dh50,000 to Dh200,000. Repeat offenders may face imprisonment for up to one year and a fine of not less than Dh200,000.

What are the Consequences of other Contraventions of Federal Law No. 15 of 2009?

Any other contravention of the law may result in an immediate fine of Dh500 for reconciliation. If reconciliation is not possible, the incident will be referred to the criminal court, and the penalty may range from Dh3,000 to Dh10,000. Multiple contraventions will lead to multiple penalties.

Federal Law No. 15 of 2009 plays a crucial role in regulating tobacco use and promoting public health in the UAE. By enforcing strict regulations on the production, sale, advertising and use of tobacco products, the law aims to reduce tobacco consumption and mitigate the adverse health effects associated with smoking.

Understanding and adhering to these regulations, which include significant fines and penalties for violations, are essential for individuals and businesses to ensure compliance and contribute to a healthier society in the UAE.

(The writer is a legal associate at Dubai-based NYK Law Firm)

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UAE President Clears up to Dh155m in Pupil Debt at Government Schools

UAE President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed has taken decisive action to alleviate the financial burden on pupils attending government schools in the UAE by clearing up to Dh155 million in outstanding fees.

The directive, issued by President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed, aims to relieve pupils living in the Emirates of owed fees, particularly those enrolled in government schools.

While government education is predominantly free for most pupils, up to 20 per cent of students are subject to fees. Benefiting from this initiative are pupils registered at government-run schools, with the debt accrued up to the academic year 2023-2024 set to be eradicated, as reported by the state news agency Wam.

The initiative will be executed in collaboration with the Emirates School Education Foundation. In the UAE, government-run schools offer free education to pupils who meet specific criteria, including Emirati children, UAE passport holders, citizens of GCC countries and children of individuals holding decrees issued by Sheikh Mohamed.

For those not falling within these categories, government school attendance is possible for a tuition fee of Dh6,000, provided certain conditions are met and acceptance is granted:

  • Registration is limited to Years 2 through 12.
  • The guardian must be employed in a government, semi-government, or local entity.
  • The pupil's grades in Arabic, English, and mathematics must not fall below 85 per cent.
  • Both the pupil and their guardian must possess valid residence permits.
  • The proportion of expatriate pupils should not exceed 20 per cent in each government school and class.

Instruction at government schools is predominantly conducted in Arabic for all subjects, with English taught as a secondary language.

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UAE Has Tough Measures to Stub Out Smoking, With Special Focus on Protecting Minors

 

According to statistics from the World Health Organisation (WHO), tobacco claims the lives of over eight million individuals annually, with approximately 1.3 million non-smokers succumbing to the effects of second-hand smoke.

Health experts in the UAE emphasise that exposure to second-hand smoke poses significant health risks to non-smokers, including children, particularly in confined spaces.

Despite smoking being prevalent among residents in the UAE, the emergence of e-cigarettes and vapes has made it easier to access alternative smoking methods and tobacco-related products.

UAE legislation has instituted stringent measures to combat smoking, particularly around minors, and regulate the sale of tobacco-related products.
Smoking is strictly prohibited in enclosed public areas, educational institutions, healthcare facilities, places of worship, and certain outdoor areas.

It is also illegal to sell tobacco and vape products to individuals under the age of 18. Violating these laws may lead to fines, penalties, or other legal consequences.

Here is an overview of the laws related to smoking and tobacco products.

Federal Law No. 3 of 2016

Federal Law No. 3 of 2016 concerning child rights, also known as Wadeema's Law, forbids the sale or attempt to sell tobacco or tobacco products to children. Sellers are obligated to verify the purchaser's age, ensuring they are at least 18 years old.

Additionally, smoking in public or private transportation means and indoor places in the presence of a child is strictly prohibited. Violators face fines starting at Dh5,000.

Additional Prohibitions under Federal Law No. 15 of 2009

This law prohibits and penalises various smoking-related activities, including:

  • Selling tobacco products to individuals under 18.
  • Smoking in private cars when a child under 12 is present.
  • Smoking in houses of worship, educational institutions, health and sports facilities.
  • Selling sweets resembling tobacco products.
  • Operating automatic vending equipment and devices for tobacco distribution.
  • Tobacco advertisement.

Penalties for Tobacco Sales to Minors

Those found selling or attempting to sell tobacco products to minors confront severe penalties, including a minimum prison sentence of three months and/or fines not less than Dh15,000. Sellers are mandated to verify the purchaser's age, ensuring they are at least 18 years old.

This penalty also applies to individuals selling or attempting to sell alcoholic beverages or any other hazardous materials to minors, prioritizing the protection of children's health and well-being.

Here are some commonly asked questions related to smoking and tobacco products by people in the UAE:

Is smoking prohibited by law in the UAE?

Yes, smoking is prohibited by law in the UAE. Federal laws and regulations strictly govern smoking, including vaping, and aim to protect public health and well-being.

Smoking is banned in enclosed public spaces, educational institutions, healthcare facilities, places of worship, and specific outdoor areas. Additionally, selling tobacco and vape products to individuals under 18 is illegal.

What is UAE Federal Law No. 15 of 2009 Tobacco Control?

UAE Federal Law No. 15 of 2009, known as the Tobacco Control Law, outlines comprehensive regulations concerning tobacco usage. This law prohibits various smoking-related activities, including selling tobacco products to individuals under 18, smoking in private cars with children under 12 present, smoking in specific areas like houses of worship and educational institutions, selling tobacco-like sweets, operating tobacco vending machines, tobacco advertisements and smoking in enclosed public spaces. It aims to promote public health and reduce the prevalence of smoking-related illnesses.

Is chewing tobacco legal in the UAE?

Chewing tobacco, like other forms of tobacco, is regulated by UAE laws and regulations. While specific laws may vary, tobacco consumption in any form is generally subject to restrictions to protect public health. It is advisable to familiarise oneself with the relevant laws and regulations regarding tobacco usage in the UAE.

Is smoking while driving allowed in the UAE?

Smoking while driving is not explicitly prohibited by UAE law. However, smoking in private cars with children under 12 present is prohibited under Federal Law No. 15 of 2009 Tobacco Control.

Additionally, smoking in private vehicles may be restricted in certain circumstances or locations, such as enclosed parking lots or designated non-smoking areas.

It is essential to adhere to relevant laws and regulations to ensure compliance and promote road safety and public health. While smoking is a personal choice, it's crucial to recognise the importance of abiding by laws and respecting the cultural norms in the UAE.

Understanding UAE's smoking and tobacco laws is essential for both residents and businesses to ensure compliance and contribute to a healthier society. By adhering to these regulations, individuals not only fulfill their legal obligations but also play a vital role in promoting public health and well-being in the UAE.

(The writer is a legal assocuate at Dubai-based NYK Law Firm)

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Starting April 1, Landlords in Dubai Need Legal Order to Seek Rent Re-evaluation

Starting April 1, 2024, Dubai landlords are required to obtain a legal order before seeking a rent re-valuation.
Dubai landlords still have the option to apply for a rent re-valuation through the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) if they believe they are entitled to a higher rental rate than suggested by the updated Rental Index.

However, they must adhere to new requirements set by the RERA, which mandate the attachment of a judgment or legal order to their re-valuation request. This requirement applies to all rent re-valuation requests made from April 1, 2024 onwards.

According to the Ejari portal, landlords must initiate the process through the Rental Dispute Centre (RDC) and file a case to obtain the necessary legal order.

Previously, landlords could apply for a rental evaluation to adjust their rental rates based on the outdated calculator.

This recent change marks a shift from the previous practice where landlords could pay a fee to the Dubai Land Department for rental valuations, as noted by property management firm Allsopp & Allsopp Group.

The updated RERA Rental Index calculator now serves as the sole reference for calculating rental increases, following its update on March 1, 2024. Consequently, landlords are no longer permitted to raise rental prices above the benchmark provided by the calculator.

While landlords retain the option to request re-evaluations, the process for obtaining a revaluation certificate has undergone modifications, according to a statement from Allsopp & Allsopp.

Anisha Sagar, Director of Property Management at Allsopp & Allsopp Group, highlighted the significance of this change, citing that as of the first quarter of 2024, approximately 72,885 rental contracts have been renewed in Dubai, involving 145,770 tenant and landlord decisions.

Given this substantial volume, utilising the RERA calculator as the definitive source for rental adjustments is deemed logical.

The introduction of legal requirements ensures that valuation changes are scrutinised fairly against the updated calculator, providing assurance to both landlords and tenants alike.

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Popular Raffle Draw Big Ticket Services Halted Citing Regulatory Compliance

Abu Dhabi's Big Ticket Raffle Draw will halt operations starting April 1, in alignment with UAE regulatory gaming requirements, the Abu Dhabi-based raffle draw announced on Monday.

Despite this pause, the scheduled live draw for series 262 will proceed on Wednesday, April 3, featuring the distribution of all prizes, including a guaranteed grand prize of Dh10 million.

Additionally, Dream Car draws for Maserati Ghibli and Range Rover Evoque, originally slated for May 3, will also occur during this event.

Last year, Big Ticket awarded a total of Dh246,297,071 in prizes. The most recent winner, Dubai-based Indian expat Mohammad Shereef, intends to share his Dh15 million jackpot with 19 friends.

Following suit with other major raffle draw operators, Big Ticket's cessation of operations complies with directives from the UAE Gaming Regulatory Authority (GCGRA), which aims to foster a socially responsible gaming environment.

GCGRA oversees regulatory activities, licensing, and the responsible development of commercial gaming.

Big Ticket expressed gratitude to its customers for their unwavering support and pledged to maintain transparency, responsibility, and integrity in prize distribution.

Updates regarding the resumption of operations will be communicated through official channels, with a commitment to swiftly return to normal business.

During the pause, customers will be unable to access their accounts, but full access will be restored once operations resume. Big Ticket ensures the security and guarantee of all previously won prizes.

While no specific timeline for resuming business was provided, customers can contact Big Ticket customer support for inquiries or assistance at +971022019244 or help@bigticket.ae.

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‘Thank You, UAE’, Movie Buffs and Expat Fans Shower Praise on Govt for Goat Life Release

From Thursday onwards, movie enthusiasts in the UAE unite in gratitude towards the authorities for granting approval for the release of the pan-Indian film, The Goat Life, which was not authorised for screening in theatres in other GCC countries.

Starring Prithviraj, The Goat Life debuted simultaneously in Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Hindi in theaters across the UAE.

Despite it being Ramadan time, theatres in the UAE experienced significant attendance, even for late-night shows. Many were eager to attend the first screening. Some had doubts about whether the film, which portrays an Arab as the antagonist to the protagonist Najeeb, would ever be permitted for screening in any Gulf countries. However, many are still left wondering how the authorities sanctioned the screening of such a film.

A Great Experience

"It’s a great step as far as the UAE is concerned, as the rulers of this country never hesitate to absorb the necessary changes the time demands. It’s a great joyful experience and big relief for the moviegoers in the UAE that they can also watch one of the biggest dream projects of the Malayalam film industry at the same time as it is watched in India," said Sameer Ali, a cinematographer who works for Malayalam films as well as films produced in the UAE.

Sameer Ali, Cinematographer

"The UAE government’s careful and well-studied approach to the various modern-day art forms is an emulative example for many countries," said Prasad Enathil, who works as a supervisor at Tack and Track company.

Prem Raj, who works for a private firm, was short of words to praise UAE authorities for allowing the screening of a film that discusses even some negative aspects of Arabs. "Will this magnanimity happen in any other countries?" he asked.

Vivekanandan Ennazhiyil, an outdoor salesman in a private firm, is apprehensive about a change in attitude among Arabs after watching this film. "Will they lose their love and affection towards us after watching this?" he asked.

Vivekanand Ennazhiyil, Prasad Enathayil, Prem Raj

But he was quick to add: "Though the cruel sponsor in the film is an Arab, the person who showed the path to escape out of the desert is an African Arab, and the rich person who took Najeeb to safety in his luxury car was also an Arab, which means that the film tries to depict all aspects of human beings, regardless of nationality."

Sahad from Thiruvananthapuram, who works in a real estate company in Dubai, was struggling to come out of the hangover created by the film in his mind.


 

Sahad

"I have never watched a film like this. The enchanting Arabian desert and its various hues have captured my mind," he said, adding that earlier films like Sameer and Gaddama, that had similar aspects about Arabs, were not allowed to be screened, while The Goat Life got the clearance of the authorities in the UAE.

GCC Countries Yet to Make a Decision

The Goat Life was released on March 28 in the UAE theatres along with the rest of the world, though other GCC countries are yet to make a decision on the release.

Recently, the Bollywood movie Fighter, starring actors Hrithik Roshan and Deepika Padukone, was banned in the UAE, as was the case with the Malayalam movies ‘Gaddama’ and ‘Sameer’ a few years back, indicating that they were in violation of the regulatory framework of the UAE.

The Goat Life delves into the challenges faced by a migrant labourer working as a goatherd in Saudi Arabia. Given the sensitive nature of certain themes depicted in the film, there was concern about potential backlash or suspension in the UAE. The portrayal of the struggles of migrant workers and life in Saudi Arabia could have attracted scrutiny in the UAE too, highlighting the ongoing tension between artistic expression and cultural considerations.

Goat Life is a survival drama film written, directed, and co-produced by famous Indian director Blessy. The film is an international co-production involving companies in India and the United States.

It is an adaptation of the 2008 Malayalam novel Aadujeevitham by Benyamin, which he claims is based on a true incident.

The film stars Prithviraj Sukumaran as the protagonist Najeeb, an Indian immigrant labourer from Kerala who finds himself forced into slavery as a goatherd on a secluded farm in Saudi Arabia.

For any enquiries or information, contact ask@tlr.ae or call us on +971 52 644 3004. Follow The Law Reporters on WhatsApp Channels.

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From Mumbai to the UAE: DJ's Fight for Justice Against a Cake and a Conspiracy

The family of a 37-year-old DJ from Mumbai is gearing up to appeal his 25-year prison sentence in the UAE following a drug-related conviction in Sharjah.

An appellate court in Sharjah had rejected in last November the appeal filed by the DJ, who was purportedly framed in a drugs smuggling case by a Borivali-based baker and his associate.

The DJ, also a Borivali resident, was arrested in Sharjah on February 6 and sentenced to 25 years’ imprisonment after he was found carrying a cake laced with drugs.

Wife's Faith

The DJ’s wife expressed her unwavering faith in the UAE's legal system while speaking from Mumbai to a prominent UAE-based daily. She emphasised her belief that justice will ultimately prevail. Her optimism stems from a Mumbai Police report suggesting that husband was framed by a baker and an accomplice who employed similar tactics on multiple individuals.

Police Investigation

According to Mumbai Police, the baker deceived unsuspecting victims into unknowingly transporting drugs to the UAE, subsequently alerting local authorities about the contraband. In April, the Mumbai police’s Crime Branch had arrested the baker and his associate for framing a famous actress using a similar modus operandi.

The case against the actress was dropped and she was released from the Sharjah jail after the Mumbai police arrested the baker and his associate and provided all the documents to her lawyer to produce in the Sharjah court.

The appellate court has, however, refused to accept the evidence collected by the Crime Branch in the DJ’s case and has dismissed his appeal.

The Cake Laced with Drugs

The Crime Branch investigation revealed that on January 28, the DJ received a call from a person, who told him that he was from a recruiting agency and wanted to offer the DJ a job at their club in Sahara Star, for which he would have to give a demo to his bosses in Dubai.

The DJ met this person the next day at a coffee shop to discuss the offer. After accepting the job, he was to leave Mumbai in the early hours of February 6, a few hours after his nine-year-old daughter’s communion, which was also attended by the Borivali baker. The recruiting agency man called up the DJ after the function and asked to meet him at the gate of ITC Hotel on the way to the airport to pick up a cake to be sent to his bosses.

“The recruiting agency guy had earlier said that he would accompany the DJ but said he had to cancel his trip at the last minute,” says the DJ’s wife.
The DJ left his house at 12.30 am on February 6 and went to pick up the cake from the agency man, who specifically told him to put the cake inside his luggage.

At 2.30 pm, when baker went to the DJ’s house to pick up his wallet which he had purportedly left there, the DJ’s wife received a message from the agency man’s number that her husband had been arrested in Sharjah for being in possession of drugs.

The baker then pretended to make a few calls and told the DJ’s wife that the authorities in Sharjah were demanding ₹80 lakh to release him. “I asked him (the baker) to talk to my brother-in-law but he refused, saying that his name should not be revealed.

Till March 25, he kept calling me on WhatsApp, telling me to arrange for the money for my husband’s release, which had by then fallen to ₹15 lakh. It sounds like a movie plot, but it was an extremely well-planned frame-up. We did not even think of foul play,” she says.

Well-planned Frame-up

The Dj’s wife had known the baker’s girlfriend through work since 2012 and was introduced to him in 2018. “When they broke up, he had called my husband to help patch things up, as he wanted to marry her,” she said. “He even invited us to a farmhouse in Vajreshwari for a weekend to thank us for our help.”

The baker’s girlfriend was earlier married to his cousin and had a son from the marriage. This son, according to the DJ’s wife, would often remark that the DJ reminded him of his father, which had irked the baker. “Throughout the trip to the farm, the baker was furious. He also felt that it was bizarre that the DJ reminded the child of his father.”

This reportedly was the reason the baker sought revenge and framed the DJ, just as he had framed the actress earlier on account of a disagreement with her.

Remaining Hopeful

The DJ’s wife disclosed to the Dubai daily that they have provided her husband’s legal team in the UAE with the confession and call records, which indicate that the tip-off to Sharjah authorities regarding the drugs originated from the baker's number.

Describing the profound impact on their family, she mentioned their daughter and the DJ’s bedridden father, both deeply affected by the situation.
Recounting the events leading to her husband’s arrest, she explained how her husband was enticed into the trap with a job offer as a DJ in a new Mumbai hotel.

She detailed how the accomplice convinced him to travel to the UAE to showcase his skills to potential investors.
Deputy Commissioner Krishnakant Upadhyay highlighted the baker's modus operandi, asserting, "He himself would then alert the police and airport authorities, providing details of the individual and orchestrating their arrest."

The DJ’s wife revealed that they first learned about his arrest through a text message, originating from the same number used to contact him for the job offer and book his tickets.

Despite the challenges, she remains hopeful for justice through the Emirates' judicial system, trusting that her family will ultimately prevail.

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What Should You Do if You are a Victim of Cyberbullying, Online Harassment in the UAE?

Cyberbullying and online harassment have become prevalent issues in the UAE, and understanding the laws and reporting mechanisms is crucial for combating these offenses and ensuring online safety.

UAE laws against cyberbullying and harassment are robust, and Federal Decree No. 34 of 2021 deals with countering rumours and cybercrimes. This article delves into what constitutes such behaviour and how users can navigate the legal landscape.

Defining Cyberbullying and Online Harassment

Under the Cyber Law Federal Decree No. 34 of 2021, cyberbullying encompasses various forms, with spreading rumours highlighted as a significant offense falling under Article 52. These acts can result in severe consequences, including legal repercussions and detrimental impacts on mental health. The law outlines different violations and corresponding penalties:

  • Spreading rumours (Article 52): Up to two years in jail and a minimum fine of Dh100,000.
  • Online threats (Article 42): Punishable by up to two years in jail and fines ranging from Dh250,000 to Dh500,000. In severe cases, imprisonment can extend to 10 years.
  • Defamation (Article 43): Potential imprisonment and fines ranging from Dh250,000 to Dh500,000.
  • Invasion of privacy (Article 44): Punishable by up to six months in jail and fines between Dh150,000 to Dh500,000.
  • Breach of personal data and information (Article 6): Minimum six months in jail and/or a fine of at least Dh20,000 up to Dh100,000.
  • Incitement to lewdness or prostitution (Article 33): Provisional imprisonment and fines ranging from Dh250,000 to Dh1 million, with stricter penalties if the victim is a child.
  • Unauthorised circulation of personal pictures or pornographic material (Article 34): Jail time and/or fines ranging from Dh250,000 to Dh500,000, with more severe consequences for offenses involving children.

Reporting Cybercrimes

Various platforms and channels are available for reporting cybercrimes in the UAE, including:

  • Ministry of Interior: Use the hotline (116111), visit the MOI's website, or use the Hemayati application.
  • UAE Federal Public Prosecution: Access their website or use the 'My Safe Society' app.
  • Al Ameen: Contact via toll-free number, SMS, or email.
  • Dubai Police and Abu Dhabi Police: Use their respective websites or contact their services directly.

Guidance for Victims: What to Do if You Experience Such Criminal Behaviour?

You should follow the following steps if you become victims of cyberbullying or harassment:

  • Maintain records: Keep records of all incriminating messages, posts, emails, or any other forms of communication for future reference.
  • Educate yourself about the laws: Familiarise yourself with laws related to cybercrimes, cyberbullying, and online harassment to understand your rights and legal options. Seek legal advice if necessary.
  • Block and report: Prevent further contact by utilising the 'block and report' feature available on mobiles, online platforms and emails. Notify concerned social media platforms of abusive behaviour.
  • Exercise caution: Limit the amount of personal information shared online to reduce vulnerability to cyberbullying and harassment.
  • Raise awareness: Share your experiences with others on social media platforms to raise awareness about cyberbullying and online harassment and encourage proactive measures to combat them.

By understanding UAE laws and reporting mechanisms, individuals can effectively combat cyberbullying and harassment, promoting a safer online environment for all users.

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UAE Extends The Goat Life a Cinematic Pass, While Rest of the Gulf Gives it the Hoof

As the long-awaited pan-Indian film Goat Life (titled "Aadu Jeevitham" in Malayalam), starring Prithviraj Sukumaran, is set to release on March 28, 2024, in UAE theaters, film enthusiasts are breathing a sigh of relief that it has not faced the axe here, unlike in other GCC countries.

Recently, the Bollywood movie Fighter, starring Hrithik Roshan and Deepika Padukone, was banned in the UAE, as were Malayalam movies Gaddama and Sameer a few years back, for violating the regulatory framework of the UAE.

Goat Life delves into the challenges faced by a migrant worker working as a goatherd in Saudi Arabia. Given the sensitive nature of certain themes depicted in the film, there were concerns about potential backlash or suspension in the UAE as well. The portrayal of the struggles of migrant workers and life in Saudi Arabia could have attracted scrutiny in the UAE, highlighting the ongoing tension between artistic expression and cultural considerations.

Unwanted Comparisons

"It’s a fact that some Indian media outlets with vested political interests are celebrating the ban of Goat Life in GCC countries except in the UAE. They are using the ban to draw comparisons and interpretations related to freedom of expression in India, where the legal system differs," said Nisar Ibrahim, an award-winning short film director and sculptor, who was part of the crew of many Indian films shot in the UAE.

Nisar Ibrahim

"As an expatriate film enthusiast working in the UAE, I am proud and happy that Goat Life is not banned here, as it does not undermine Arab culture or the legal system of the GCC countries. The decision to avoid risk and ban the movie might stem from the impression that the script or content could be harmful, often fuelled by propaganda. In fact, Saudi Arabia only recently opened its doors to films. Their decision to ban the movie might be part of their efforts to uphold their regulations," continued Nisar.

"I was part of another movie, Sameer, with a script similar to the content of Goat Life. It was not allowed to be screened in the UAE. But Goat Life has been cleared. This shows that UAE authorities are convinced that 'Goat Life' is a film with content that will attract international exposure and won’t offend Arab culture," he said, hoping that other GCC countries will follow suit once the film is released.

UAE Open-minded

"The cultural landscape in the UAE differs from that of other GCC countries. It has an open mind towards literature, theater, and stage shows, which is precisely why Goat Life received permission for screening," said Shaji Haneef, a prominent writer in the UAE and producer of many short films.

Shaji Haneef

"It’s a docu-fiction and does not depict a cross-section of Arabia. It’s only a part of it and cannot be generalised. A story, cinema, or art form depicts an exceptional piece of work. 'Goat Life' is a rare incident. Generally, Arabs are very lovable, and they have contributed many positive aspects to our lives," said Shaji, who is also a well-established businessman.

Survival Drama

Goat Life is a survival drama film written, directed, and co-produced by the renowned Indian director Blessy. The film is an international co-production involving companies from India and the United States. It is an adaptation of the 2008 Malayalam novel Aadujeevitham by Benyamin, which he claims is based on a true incident.

The film stars Prithviraj Sukumaran as the protagonist Najeeb, an Indian immigrant laborer from Kerala who finds himself forced into slavery as a goatherd on a secluded farm in Saudi Arabia.

The Arabic translation of Aadujeevitham was banned in both the UAE and Saudi Arabia. The novel earned several awards, including the Kerala Sahitya Academy Award in 2009. It was translated into English, Hindi, and other Indian languages, making a significant literary impact.

The recent suspension of Fighter in the UAE highlights the delicate balance that authorities strive to maintain between cultural norms and the portrayal of content in films. The government's unwavering commitment to preserving cultural and religious sensitivities has led to the temporary cessation of movies found to contravene these values.

The meticulous scrutiny of content in the UAE was further exemplified by the situation surrounding the Barbie movie, which encountered restrictions due to its portrayal of themes conflicting with cultural norms and sensitivities.

Prohibition Criteria in the UAE

The UAE authorities have established specific criteria which, if breached, can result in the prohibition or suspension of films. Here are nine primary reasons behind such determinations:

Cultural Sensitivity: Movies that disrespect or portray cultural, religious, or traditional values in a manner inconsistent with UAE norms may undergo censorship.

Political Content: Political content that might be considered offensive or contrary to the interests of the UAE or its allies may lead to the suspension of films.

Nudity and Sexual Content: Excessive nudity, explicit sexual content, or scenes that violate the conservative norms of the UAE can result in film censorship.

Profanity and Obscenity: The use of strong language, profanity, or obscene content may lead to the prohibition or suspension of films in the UAE.

Drug Promotion: Films that glamorise or promote drug use or any form of substance abuse may face restrictions in the UAE.

Violence and Gore: Excessive violence or graphic scenes that contradict the country's standards for public viewing may lead to the suspension of films.

LGBTQ+ Themes: Movies featuring LGBTQ+ themes or content perceived as promoting non-heteronormative relationships could undergo censorship.

Anti-Islamic Content: Any content perceived as disrespectful or critical of Islam may lead to the banning or suspension of films in the UAE.

National Security Concerns: Films that raise concerns about national security or depict activities deemed threatening to the UAE can result in censorship.

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Understanding Due Diligence on Properties in the UAE: Be Well-informed and Protected

Conducting due diligence is an essential step that involves extensive research and examination before entering into any property agreement, especially for those looking to invest in UAE real estate.

This step is highly recommended by property lawyers in the UAE as it ensures that you are well-informed and protected before making any purchase.
When it comes to conducting due diligence on properties in the UAE, the process can be overwhelming without proper guidance.

To make things easier, here’s a list of frequently asked questions to ensure you are well-informed before making any property-related decisions.

What is Due Diligence When Buying Property in the UAE?

Due diligence is a thorough check-up conducted before purchasing a property in the UAE. It involves examining every aspect, from legalities to the physical condition of the property, to ensure a safe and informed investment.

What is the Importance of Due Diligence?

Due diligence is essential to comprehend the property's true nature, identify any potential risks or issues, and ensure a smooth transaction process. It provides peace of mind and safeguards against unexpected complications.

What is the Process?

Due diligence entails several steps, including reviewing property titles, conducting physical inspections, verifying financial aspects, researching the neighbourhood and identifying any legal disputes or historical issues associated with the property.

Start by reviewing the property's title deed to confirm ownership, any existing mortgage agreements and accurate property specifications. Obtain copies from the property developer or seller and conduct a title search at the Dubai Land Department to verify ownership and identify any legal encumbrances.

Employ a licensed technical inspection company to verify the property's dimensions and physical condition, ensuring there are no defects or discrepancies. This step provides assurance and confidence in the property's condition before proceeding with the transaction.

After completing due diligence, draft a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to outline the key terms of the property transaction. Ensure that any additional terms and conditions are attached as addendums to Form F, which must be signed and recorded with the Dubai Land Department.

Who are the Professionals Involved?

To conduct proper due diligence on the property's title deed, ensure you have the necessary power of attorney from the seller or developer. Consider seeking assistance from the best lawyers to guide you through the process and ensure legal compliance.

Professionals such as lawyers, surveyors and real estate agents play crucial roles in the due diligence process. They provide expertise in legal matters, property inspections, and market insights to facilitate a seamless transaction.

What are the Timelines and Costs?

The duration of due diligence varies depending on the property's complexity but typically takes a few weeks to a couple of months. While there are associated costs with hiring professionals, the investment is worthwhile for the security and confidence it brings to the purchase.

What are the Common Pitfalls?

Pitfalls in due diligence include overlooking ownership laws, cultural or legal misunderstandings, developer reputation, contractual complexities and inadequate dispute resolution planning. Engaging knowledgeable professionals helps mitigate these risks.

Also, sellers may attempt to make alterations to the property after due diligence, so conduct a final check closer to the transfer date to ensure the property status remains unchanged.

Stay proactive, stay informed and take the support of legal experts to navigate the complexities of property due diligence with ease.

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Dubai Set to Host World's First Flying Taxi Service in Tie-up with Joby Aviation

Joby Aviation Inc. a US-based firm which develops all-electric aircraft for commercial passenger service is planning to launch its flying taxi service in Dubai ahead of any other location, including its home base in the US.

According to Joby’s president of operations, Bonny Simi, progress on a partnership with the emirate, announced earlier this year, is more advanced than in other areas, enabling a Dubai launch first.

“We signed a definitive agreement with the government of Dubai that grants Joby exclusive rights to operate air taxis in the Emirate for six years. The agreement includes financial support and identifies a regulatory pathway to enable early operations,” the company said in its financial statement.

In February, Joby announced plans to commence initial operations by 2025 in Dubai, where it secured a six-year exclusive agreement for its electric air-taxi services, with commercial services slated for early 2026. Simi now suggests this milestone may be achieved as soon as late 2025.

Dubai’s government has offered economic support, with regulators dedicating resources specifically to Joby, facilitating a swift and safe progression. This support aims to financially de-risk the initial launch.

Initially, Joby plans to establish four vertiports across Dubai for its electric vertical takeoff and landing vehicles, including Dubai International Airport, Palm Jumeirah, downtown Dubai near the Burj Khalifa tower and the city’s marina.

Meanwhile, rival Archer Aviation Inc. struck a preliminary deal last year with the government of nearby Abu Dhabi, targeting manufacturing and a service launch by 2026. Although Joby will enjoy exclusivity for flights within Dubai, Archer plans to operate flights between Abu Dhabi and Dubai, as well as across the UAE.

Several other eVTOL market contenders have also turned their attention to the oil-rich Gulf states. Lilium NV, Embraer SA’s Eve Air Mobility and Volocopter GmbH have all signed agreements in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, or both.

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Grave Mistakes: 12 Violations to be Avoided During Burial Procedures in the UAE

Saying goodbye to a loved one is always the most challenging part of dealing with their passing. Given the United Arab Emirates' diverse population, with people from various faiths and cultures, each family may have its unique burial traditions.

According to Federal Law regulations, deceased individuals must be interred exclusively in cemeteries officially designated by competent authorities.

The funeral rites and procedures following the passing of a loved one are particularly challenging moments. Given the UAE's diverse population, consisting of individuals from various ethnic backgrounds and religious beliefs, funeral customs may vary among residents.

In addition to streamlining a concise five-step protocol for post-mortem formalities within the country, the Emirates has instituted stringent legislation and substantial penalties concerning burial and funeral practices, aiming to ensure uniformity and safety.

These measures not only facilitate families in bidding farewell to their departed loved ones peacefully but also uphold legal compliance and respect for the deceased.

Here are 12 infractions during the burial process that could result in fines of up to Dh500,000, which you may not be aware of:

Fine Range of Dh10,000 to Dh50,000

1 Illegally transferring a body, remains, or organs within the country without a permit.

2 Unauthorised photography of a deceased person for purposes other than legally permitted.

3 Erecting structures or additions within a cemetery.

4 Conveying the deceased in a vehicle not designated for this purpose, excluding ambulances.

5 Using unofficial means to transport corpses within the country.

6 Misusing cemeteries for purposes other than burial.

Heavier Penalties

7 Burial in an undesignated cemetery within the UAE may result in up to one year of imprisonment, along with a fine ranging from Dh10,000 to Dh100,000.

8 Conducting a burial within the UAE or transferring a deceased individual out of the country without the required permits could lead to imprisonment for up to one year and fines ranging from Dh100,000 to Dh500,000.

Desecration Offenses

9 Desecrating a cemetery, grave, or storage area for the deceased incurs a fine between Dh100,000 and Dh200,000, along with a prison term of up to one year.

10 Unauthorised exhumation of a grave to remove a person or organ results in fines ranging from Dh100,000 to Dh200,000, coupled with imprisonment for four years or more.

11 If desecration occurs during the process of exhumation, the penalty escalates to imprisonment for over five years.

Import and Export Regulations

12 Importing or exporting deceased bodies, organs, or remains without proper permits in the UAE attracts fines between Dh50,000 to Dh100,000 and imprisonment for less than a year.

To ensure a respectful and lawful burial process in the UAE, individuals must follow regulations and avoid violations.

By respecting diverse cultural and religious backgrounds, while upholding legal standards and honouring the deceased, families can bid farewell peacefully and with dignity.

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How Long Do You Live? Danish AI Algorithm Set to Predict Life and Death

Researchers in Denmark are harnessing artificial intelligence and data from millions of people to help anticipate the stages of an individual's life all the way to the end, hoping to raise awareness of the technology's power and its perils.

Far from any morbid fascinations, the creators of life2vec want to explore patterns and relationships that so-called deep-learning programs can uncover to predict a wide range of health or social "life-events".

"It's a very general framework for making predictions about human lives. It can predict anything where you have training data," Sune Lehmann, a professor at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) and one of the authors of a study recently published in the journal Nature Computational Science, told AFP. For Lehmann, the possibilities are endless.

"It could predict health outcomes. So it could predict fertility or obesity, or you could maybe predict who will get cancer or who doesn't get cancer. But it could also predict if you're going to make a lot of money," he said.

The algorithm uses a similar process as that of ChatGPT, but instead, it analyses variables impacting life such as birth, education, social benefits, or even work schedules.

The team is trying to adapt the innovations that enabled language-processing algorithms to "examine the evolution and predictability of human lives based on detailed event sequences".

"From one perspective, lives are simply sequences of events: People are born, visit the pediatrician, start school, move to a new location, get married and so on," Lehmann said.

Yet the disclosure of the program quickly spawned claims of a new "death calculator", with some fraudulent sites duping people with offers to use the AI program for a life expectancy prediction -- often in exchange for submitting personal data.

The researchers insist the software is private and unavailable on the internet or to the wider research community for now.

Data from Six Million

The basis for the life2vec model is the anonymised data of around six million Danes, collected by the official Statistics Denmark agency.

By analysing sequences of events it is possible to predict life outcomes right up until the last breath. When it comes to predicting death, the algorithm is right in 78 per cent of cases; when it comes to predicting if a person will move to another city or country, it is correct in 73 per cent of cases.

"We look at early mortality. So we take a very young cohort between 35 and 65. Then we try to predict, based on an eight-year period from 2008 to 2016, if a person dies in the subsequent four years," Lehmann said.

"The model can do that really well, better than any other algorithm that we could find," he said.

According to the researchers, focusing on this age bracket -- where deaths are usually few and far between -- allows them to verify the algorithm's reliability.

However, the tool is not yet ready for use outside a research setting.

"For now, it's a research project where we're exploring what's possible and what's not possible," Lehmann said. He and his colleagues also want to explore long-term outcomes, as well as the impact of social connections have on life and health.

A Scientific Counterweight

For the researchers, the project presents a scientific counterweight to the heavy investments into AI algorithms by large technology companies.

"They can also build models like this, but they're not making them public. They're not talking about them," Lehmann said.
"They're just building them to, hopefully for now, sell you more advertisements, or sell more advertisements and sell you more products."

He said it was "important to have an open and public counterpoint to begin to understand what can even happen with data like this".

Pernille Tranberg, a Danish data ethics expert, told AFP that this was especially true because similar algorithms were already being used by businesses such as insurance companies.

"They probably put you into groups and say: 'Okay, you have a chronic disease, the risk is this and this'," Tranberg said. "It can be used against us to discriminate us so that you will have to pay a higher insurance premium, or you can't get a loan from the bank, or you can't get public health care because you're going to die anyway," she said.

When it comes to predicting our own demise, some developers have already tried to make such algorithms commercial.

"On the web, we're already seeing prediction clocks, which show how old we're going to get," Tranberg said. "Some of them aren't at all reliable."

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Mandatory Health Insurance: Win-Win for Private Sector Workers and Companies

In a significant move aimed at enhancing healthcare coverage for private sector workers, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has declared the implementation of a mandatory health insurance scheme starting from the year 2025.

The decision, announced by government officials, marks a pivotal step towards ensuring comprehensive healthcare access for all employees working in the private sector across the Emirates.

The initiative underscores the UAE government's commitment to prioritising the well-being and healthcare needs of its workforce, a vital component in sustaining the nation's economic growth and prosperity.

The implementation of a mandatory health insurance scheme is expected to have a significant impact on both employees and insurance companies operating within the UAE.

For employees, this scheme brings a sense of security and peace of mind, knowing that they will have access to essential healthcare services without bearing the burden of hefty medical expenses.

With healthcare costs often being a concern for individuals and families, the introduction of mandatory health insurance is poised to alleviate financial strain and ensure timely access to medical treatment when needed.

However, for insurance companies, this announcement brings both opportunities and challenges. On one hand, the mandatory health insurance requirement will likely result in a surge in demand for health insurance policies, leading to increased business opportunities for insurance providers.

This could potentially translate into higher revenues and market growth for the insurance sector in the UAE.

On the other hand, insurance companies will need to adapt to the increased demand and ensure they can efficiently manage the influx of new policyholders while maintaining quality service standards.

Additionally, insurers may encounter pressure to provide competitive premiums and comprehensive coverage packages to maintain attractiveness in the market amid intensified competition.

They must employ a measured approach to premium adjustments, ensuring transparency to prevent sudden financial strain on both employers and individuals.

It is imperative for insurers to recalibrate their offerings, guaranteeing fair and equitable pricing that considers the needs of all policyholders, thus avoiding disproportionate impacts on family coverage costs.

Following the implementation of the mandatory insurance scheme, UAE is poised to witness a significant increase in health insurance premiums.

There has been substantial growth in the health insurance market in Abu Dhabi in 2007 and Dubai in 2012 following the introduction of mandatory medical insurance.

While there may be some initial adjustments for newly enrolled family members, the overall impact is expected to be minimal, particularly in emirates like Abu Dhabi, where employers are responsible for covering the employee, spouse, and up to three children.

The launch of the mandatory scheme is expected to stimulate investments in healthcare infrastructure, thereby enhancing service quality and fostering competition, innovation, and advancements in healthcare on a larger scale.

Overall, the scheme represents a significant milestone towards achieving universal healthcare coverage and fostering a healthier workforce.

As the deadline for compliance approaches, employees and insurance companies are gearing up for the transformative changes that lie ahead and are poised to navigate the evolving landscape of healthcare provision in the Emirates.

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Firms can be held responsible for Crimes Committed by their Representatives

In cases where a company fails to meet its obligations, such as paying government taxes, complying with laws, or adhering to the provisions of its Articles of Association and Memorandum of Association, the issue of liability arises.

The question then arises: can those decision-makers responsible for running the business be held accountable under the law?

Corporate criminal liability is a looming concern in the modern business landscape, especially within the legal framework of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The scope of potential crimes for which companies can be held accountable is broad and encompasses a variety of offenses outlined in the Federal Penal Code.

Article 21 of Federal Decree-Law No. 32 of 2021, known as the Companies Law, came into effect on January 2, 2022, replacing Federal Law No. 2 of 2015. Concurrently, Article 66 of the Penal Code delineates the framework for corporate criminal liability in the UAE.

Article 66 of the Penal Code establishes that a company can be held accountable for any offense outlined in the Penal Code committed by one of its representatives acting in its favour or on its behalf.

However, the Dubai Court of Cassation has ruled that a company cannot be criminally liable for the actions of its employees if the employee in question acted negligently, without intent, or without representing the company.

Corporate Liability

The new Companies Law stipulates that a company obtains "legal personality" upon its incorporation, establishing a corporate veil between the company and its shareholders and managers, although exceptions exist where this veil can be pierced.

Regarding corporate criminal liability in the UAE, Article 66 of the Penal Code outlines that legal entities, excluding government agencies and official departments, can be held criminally accountable for crimes committed by their representatives, directors, or agents acting on their behalf.

However, the Dubai Court of Cassation clarified that a company may not face criminal responsibility for the actions of its employees if the employee was negligent, acted unintentionally, or was not acting on behalf of the company.

Managers of a company are typically obligated to exercise due care, and failure to do so may result in personal liability. For instance, managers can be held liable if their actions cause harm, breach obligations, or constitute gross misconduct or negligence, including fraudulent activities.

Previously, managers were held personally accountable for issuing bounced cheques due to insufficient funds, which was deemed a crime under Article 401 of Federal Law No. 3 of 1987.

However, the new Penal Code decriminaliSed this act, except for specific exceptions. Despite this, beneficiaries of bounced cheques retain the right to pursue civil claims, including seizing assets owned by the issuer.

Enforcement Authorities

Prosecuting cases related to Corporate Criminal Liability in the UAE involves three authorities:

Police Department: Responsible for safeguarding the public, collecting initial statements, arresting suspects, conducting investigations and executing orders from the Public Prosecution to aid in the investigative process.
Public Prosecution’s Office: Initiates criminal cases on behalf of society members, overseeing the entire process from investigation to indictment or case dismissal. The Public Prosecution holds exclusive jurisdiction to initiate and prosecute criminal proceedings until a final judgment is rendered.
Criminal Courts: Handle criminal cases initiated by federal or local prosecution in each emirate. These courts include courts of first instance, courts of appeal and a supreme court, such as the Court of Cassation in Abu Dhabi.

Damages and Compensation

Victims of crimes have the option to request that a compensation claim be attached to the criminal charges and considered by the Criminal Court, as stipulated in Article 23 of the Criminal Procedural Law. This compensation is determined upon the establishment of criminal liability.

In practice, once a conviction and sentence are issued, the Criminal Court transfers the civil claim to the Civil Court per Article 27 of the Criminal Procedural Law. The Civil Court then assesses the extent of damages, as the conviction implies liability.

While the UAE does not have a class action system, multiple victims can collectively present their compensation claims to the Criminal Court.

Additionally, victims of white-collar offenses can seek compensation for losses through the Civil Courts, where a claim for harm (similar to tort) must demonstrate the act, sustained damage and the causal relationship between the act and the damage.

Procedure for Prosecuting a Company

The procedure for prosecuting a company for a white-collar criminal offense in the UAE is regulated by the Criminal Procedural Law, similar to other criminal prosecutions in the country. Article 9 of the Criminal Procedural Law grants exclusive jurisdiction to the Public Prosecutor to initiate and oversee criminal proceedings. The process unfolds as follows:

Filing a Complaint: A complaint can be lodged either with the Public Prosecution directly or with a Judicial Police Officer as per Article 12 of the law. Alternatively, the Public Prosecutor may initiate criminal proceedings independently.
Police Investigation: If a complaint is filed with the police, they investigate the alleged offense. This includes interviewing the complainant, the accused, and other witnesses and compiling all evidence into a case file.
Referral to Public Prosecutor: The case file is then forwarded to the Public Prosecutor, who may conduct further investigation with the assistance of Judicial Police or investigating officers, especially for more serious offenses. The Public Prosecutor evaluates the evidence and decides whether to proceed with the case or dismiss the complaint.
Decision by Public Prosecutor: Based on the evidence gathered, the Public Prosecutor determines whether to issue an indictment against the accused and refer the matter to court or dismiss the complaint.
Collection of Evidence by Judicial Police: The Judicial Police are empowered to collect necessary information and evidence for the investigation and indictment of criminal offenses. This includes interviewing complainants, victims and accused individuals, taking statements and engaging expert assistance.
Specialist Departments: Specialised departments within the police and Public Prosecutor’s office handle specific types of crimes, such as financial crimes (e.g., bribery, money laundering, abuse of power, embezzlement and misuse of funds) and cybercrimes. These departments are equipped to deal with the complexities of such offenses effectively.

Case Law

In November 2022, the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) levied a fine of $1.12 million against the DIFC branch of Bank of Singapore Limited for multiple violations of DFSA regulations, notably related to deficient anti-money laundering measures.

Additionally, the DFSA imposed its most substantial fine to date on an individual, Arif Naqvi, the former CEO and founder of Abraaj Group.

Naqvi was fined approximately $135 million, a penalty upheld by the Financial Markets Tribunal. This significant fine followed the DFSA's determination that Naqvi was complicit in misleading and defrauding investors concerning the misuse of their funds.

As a consequence, Naqvi was also subjected to restrictions preventing him from performing any functions within or from the DIFC.

As eloquently stated by Martin Luther King Jr., "The moral arc of the universe is long, but it bends towards justice." Therefore, in cases where a company or its members commit civil or criminal offenses, they can indeed be held accountable under the law.

This principle is crucial in a jurisdiction like the UAE, which hosts several major entities and thus recognises the importance of holding companies and their members accountable for breaches of rules, regulations, or laws.

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Has Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi Breached Data Privacy Rules in UAE?

Residents of the UAE, including Indian expatriates and individuals of various nationalities, received an unexpected WhatsApp message from an Indian number over the weekend.

The message, accompanied by a letter from Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the form of a PDF attachment, sought feedback and suggestions on the Indian government's schemes and initiatives.

While some recipients appreciated the opportunity to provide input on national matters, others expressed concerns over potential data privacy breaches and questioned the relevance of the message to non-Indian residents in the UAE.

Dubai-based Pakistani journalist Asma Zain and Pakistani resident Fahad Siddiqui voiced their confusion and skepticism to the local media, questioning the necessity of their involvement in Indian government affairs. Similarly, a British resident of Dubai, who initially assumed the message was related to his professional engagements, found the communication puzzling."

Amidst the confusion, Emiratis also reported receiving the letter, raising questions about how their contact information was obtained and highlighting concerns over potential violations of data privacy regulations in the UAE.

Opposition parties criticised the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government's outreach efforts, alleging political propaganda and misuse of resources for electoral gain. Congress lawmaker Shashi Tharoor shared screenshots of concerns raised by UAE-based individuals on social media and called for action from the Election Commission of India.

The incident comes at a time when digital data protection and privacy have become increasingly important issues globally, with the UAE implementing strict regulations to safeguard the personal information of its residents, raising significant concerns regarding data privacy laws and the protection of personal information.

With the UAE implementing strict regulations to safeguard individuals' digital data, the intrusion into residents' data by foreign entities without consent highlights potential violations of local privacy laws. Such unauthorised access to personal information not only undermines individuals' privacy rights but also underscores the importance of enforcing stringent measures to prevent unauthorised data collection and ensure compliance with data protection regulations in cross-border communications.

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Is Mediation Act of 2023 the Future of the Indian Legal System?

India, with its dense population, sees numerous disputes, whether civil or commercial, which remain backlogged in the already burdened judiciary system.

Timely justice delivery is hindered, as evidenced by the District Judiciary alone shouldering approximately 44.79 million pending cases in January 2024, while the High Courts had a backlog of 6.2 million cases during the same period.

The Supreme Court of India, not immune to this dilemma, had 69,766 cases pending as of July 1, 2023. This dire situation emphasises the urgent need for alternative dispute resolution (ADR) methods that are quicker, less costly and more flexible than the traditional adversarial system.

The Mediation Act 2023 represents a significant evolution in India's approach to dispute resolution, further leveraging technology to enhance access to justice.

India's journey towards recognising mediation in its legal framework dates back to the Industrial Disputes Act of 1947, which introduced the concept of conciliators to resolve industrial disputes.

Subsequent legal reforms, such as the Legal Services Authorities Act of 1987 and the Arbitration and Conciliation Act of 1996, further strengthened the recognition of mediation. However, the Mediation Bill of 2021 laid the foundation for the comprehensive Mediation Act 2023.

The Bill aimed to introduce a thoughtfully curated institutional dispute-resolution mechanism backed by collaborative problem-solving and the preservation of relationships.

It mandated that all civil and commercial disputes undergo mediation before entering the court arena, underscoring the significance of exhausting alternative remedies before resorting to litigation. This made the standing committee question the consent and voluntary nature of mediation.

Bringing strategic amendments to the bill, at its core, the Mediation Act 2023 aims to induce a culture of amicable settlement while alleviating the burden on the overburdened judicial system.

It provides a more structured framework for mediation, both offline and online, allowing disputing parties to resolve their issues with the assistance of a neutral third party, the mediator.

Key provisions of the Act include mandating mediation as a prerequisite for civil and commercial disputes before resorting to litigation; setting clear guidelines for mediator qualifications, procedural norms and confidentiality aspects, including online mediation to leverage technology and bridge geographical barriers and establishing a regulatory body for mediator registration and oversight.

The Mediation Act 2023 thus stands in the continuum of revolutionising India's dispute resolution landscape. By promoting the use of mediation, the Act will expedite the resolution process and empower disputants to shape their outcomes collaboratively.

The Act’s additional feature of online mediation further addresses logistical barriers and improves access to justice, especially in remote regions.

Moreover, the Act's focus on quality assurance through mediator accreditation and oversight cements the integrity of the mediation process.

By validating mediation as a credible and effective mechanism, the Act instills confidence in stakeholders and encourages greater adoption of alternative dispute resolution methods.

Lastly, the Mediation Act 2023 heralds a new dawn of dispute resolution in India, characterised by efficiency, accessibility and fairness. By accepting mediation and leveraging technology, India is on the brink of overcoming the daunting challenges that have long obstructed its judicial system.

As The Mediation Act 2023 comes into effect and its provisions are implemented, it signifies a transformative reform towards invoking harmony and equality in society.

In the journey towards justice, the Mediation Act 2023 will play a crucial role in guiding India towards a future where disputes are resolved amicably, efficiently and impartially.

(Roopa Shetty is the Founder of Bangalore-headquartered law firm Lex Situs)

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How Indian Expatriates Living in the UAE Can Obtain an Aadhaar Card?

For Indian expatriates residing in the UAE, obtaining an Aadhaar card—a crucial identification document in India—can be accomplished with the correct documentation and process.

Aadhaar, a unique 12-digit identification number linked with biometric data, serves as comprehensive proof of identity, age, and address within India.

While non-resident Indians (NRIs) are not obligated to possess an Aadhaar card, having one can simplify various transactions upon their return to India or during extended stays, including banking, property rentals and government procedures.

The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) offers NRIs the opportunity for 'Aadhaar on Arrival,' requiring physical presence in India for biometric authentication during the enrollment process.

Different Aadhaar card forms cater to various age groups:

  • Form 1: Individuals aged 18 and above
  • Form 2: NRIs enrolling or updating with an address outside of India
  • Form 3: Children aged five to under 18 years, residents, or NRIs with Indian address proof
  • Form 4: NRI children in the same age group without Indian address proof

The application process involves the following key steps:

Booking an appointment: Schedule online via the UIDAI website or visit an Aadhaar centre in person.
Document submission: Submit necessary documents in person at the UIDAI enrollment centre.
Biometric data collection: Record biometric details, including finger scans, iris scans and a photograph, at the enrollment centre.
Card delivery: Await delivery of the Aadhaar card to the registered Indian address within 90 days.

Mandatory documents required for NRI Aadhaar card application include a valid Indian passport serving as proof of identity and address.

In the absence of Indian address proof, alternative UIDAI-approved Proof of Address (PoA) documents such as PAN or utility bills can be submitted. Additionally, documentation demonstrating residency status in another country, such as a stamped visa photocopy, may be requested.

For NRI children, a valid Indian passport serves as the sole accepted Proof of Identity (PoI) and Proof of Address (PoA).

(The writer is a legal associate at
Dubai-based NYK Law Firm)

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Tax Registration Number is Mandatory If Your Revenue is Above Dh375,000

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is renowned for its progressive policies and business-friendly environment. To streamline operations within the country, the UAE government has implemented the Tax Registration Number (TRN) system.

This system provides a unique identification number for businesses and individuals in the UAE, specifically for tax-related matters. Whether you're a resident, a business owner, or a visitor, understanding how to obtain a TRN number in the UAE

This article simplifies everything, from explaining recent updates and implications to helping you apply for a TRN. Let's start clearing up any questions you may have about TRNs in the UAE.

Understanding TRN in the UAE

The Tax Registration Number (TRN) is a distinctive 15-digit identifier designated for businesses and individuals in the UAE for taxation purposes.

It is essential for various financial and business transactions, including Value Added Tax (VAT) processing and tax return filings. TRN is a fundamental requirement for businesses operating in the UAE.

Changes in the TRN Number System

The new TRN system brings about several notable changes to simplify tax-related procedures and increase transparency. The key changes include:

Unified System: The new TRN system aims to unify tax registration across all Emirates, replacing the previous separate registration processes for each Emirate.
Format: TRN numbers under the new system are structured differently, with a unique identification code assigned to each entity or individual taxpayer.
Centralisation: The new system centralises tax registration and management, allowing for easier access to taxpayer information and facilitating more efficient tax administration.

Implications of the New TRN System

The introduction of the new TRN system carries several implications for businesses and individuals in the UAE:

Compliance Requirements: Entities and individuals must ensure timely registration under the new TRN system to remain compliant with UAE tax regulations.
Data Accuracy: Accuracy in providing information during the TRN registration process is crucial to avoid discrepancies and potential penalties.
Integration with Tax Processes: The new system is expected to integrate with various tax processes, including filing returns and payment of taxes, leading to smoother operations and reduced administrative burdens.

Eligibility for TRN in the UAE

The UAE's Federal Tax Authority (FTA) has set a revenue threshold of Dh375,000. If your revenue falls below this threshold, you are not obligated to register for VAT and obtain a TRN.

Documents Required for TRN

To obtain a TRN in the UAE, specific documents need to be submitted. These typically include legal identification documents, trade licences and other relevant business paperwork. Requirements may vary based on your business activities. 

  • Steps to Apply for a TRN Number in UAE
  • Visit https://eservices.tax.gov.ae and select the Sign-up option.
  • Fill out the sign-up form for the TRN number.
  • Verify your registered email address via the auto-email sent.
  • Log in to your e-service account.
  • Click on Register for VAT in your dashboard and proceed through the Getting Started Guide.
  • Complete the online form comprising 8 sections, ensuring to provide accurate details.
  • Review and apply for approval.

Application Processing Time

It takes approximately 20 business days from the date the completed application was received by the FTA. However, if additional information is needed, the FTA may require more time to process the application.

In such cases, applicants must provide the necessary additional information and resubmit the application.

Verifying Your TRN Number

Verifying your TRN number is crucial to ensure its accuracy and legitimacy. This can be easily done through official UAE government websites or by contacting the Federal Tax Authority (FTA). Verifying your TRN helps prevent issues stemming from incorrect or invalid numbers.

Next Steps After Receiving TRN for Your Company

Upon receiving your Tax Registration Number (TRN) in the UAE, it's crucial to streamline your VAT compliance by:

Updating Tax Invoices: Ensure your invoices comply with FTA's format, including the TRN and other mandatory details.
Updating Records: Incorporate relevant VAT modules into your records to accurately document transactions.
Maintaining Accurate Bookkeeping: Keep meticulous financial records for tax filing and potential VAT refund claims

Checking TRN Number Validity

TRN numbers are subject to validity periods and may require renewal. Regularly checking the validity of your TRN is essential to avoid disruptions in business operations. Promptly renew your TRN if it has expired.

Linking Tax Registration Number with Customs Registration Number (TRN - CRN Linkage):

Option One: Update your customs registration number on your registration profile with the Federal Tax Authority (FTA) by logging onto the FTA’s e-Services portal. Multiple customs registration numbers can be provided by selecting the Edit option and adding the details.
Option Two: Provide the customs department office with your TRN.
The customs department officer can verify the TRN by logging onto the e-Services portal or by visiting the FTA website and by using the feature of TRN verification.

Once the customs department office verifies the TRN ownership, the customs department can update your TRN on the customs department system.

Can You Operate in the UAE Without a TRN?

Yes, it is possible to operate in the UAE without a Tax Registration Number (TRN) under certain circumstances. The UAE's Federal Tax Authority (FTA) has set a revenue threshold of Dh375,000.

If your revenue falls below this threshold, you are not obligated to register for VAT and obtain a TRN. However, once your revenue exceeds this threshold, VAT registration becomes mandatory, and you will need to apply for a TRN accordingly.

It's essential to keep track of your revenue and comply with VAT regulations as per the FTA guidelines to avoid any penalties or legal complications.

VAT De-registration

VAT deregistration in UAE allows a taxable person or a business to cancel their VAT registration and suspend their Tax Registration Number (TRN). FTA VAT Deregistration is an online process.

Who Must De-register for UAE VAT?

A business or individual registered under the Federal Tax Authority (FTA) must apply for VAT deregistration under the following circumstances:

If the business or individual stops making taxable supplies and does not expect to make any taxable supplies over the next 12-month period.

If the business or individual is still making taxable supplies, but the value in the preceding 12 calendar months is less than the Voluntary Registration Threshold (Dh187,500).

If the business or individual is still making taxable supplies, but the value in the previous 12 months was less than the Mandatory Registration Threshold (Dh375,000) and 12 months have passed since the date of registration (if registered voluntarily).

Please note that a person who has voluntarily registered under VAT cannot apply for deregistration in the 12 months following the date of registration. Late VAT deregistration penalties amount to Dh10,000.

Steps for FTA VAT De-registration

  • Log in to your FTA VAT portal.
  • Navigate to the dashboard and locate the VAT registration section.
  • Click on the 'De-Register' button next to the VAT registration.
  • Your taxable person details will be pre-populated in the deregistration application.
  • Choose the reason for VAT deregistration from the provided options.
  • Specify the effective date from which the Taxable Person is required or eligible to deregister.
  • Upload all relevant supporting documents by clicking on 'Choose Files'.
  • Review and confirm the authorised signatory and declaration section of the application form before submission.

The implementation of the new TRN system in the UAE signifies a significant step towards modernising tax administration and enhancing regulatory efficiency.

Understanding the changes, implications, and application process is essential for all entities and individuals operating within the UAE to navigate the transition smoothly and maintain compliance with tax regulations.

By staying informed and proactive, businesses and individuals can adapt to the new system effectively and ensure seamless operations in the UAE's evolving tax landscape.

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Know Your Rights as a Tenant for a Stress-Free Tenancy in the UAE

Are you a tenant in the UAE feeling overwhelmed or uncertain about your rights? Don't fret! Understanding your rights as a tenant is key to ensuring a harmonious and stress-free living experience.

Whether you're renting an apartment, villa, or commercial space, familiarising yourself with your rights can empower you to navigate any challenges with confidence and ease.

Here's a breakdown of your rights as a tenant in the UAE:

Security of Tenure: As a tenant, you have the right to occupy the property for the duration specified in your lease agreement. Your landlord cannot arbitrarily evict you without a valid reason or proper legal procedures.

Fair Rental Contract: Your lease agreement should clearly outline the terms and conditions of your tenancy, including rent amount, payment schedule, maintenance responsibilities, and any additional fees. Ensure that the contract is fair and compliant with UAE laws.

Privacy and Peaceful Enjoyment: You have the right to privacy and peaceful enjoyment of the rented property. Your landlord must respect your privacy and cannot enter the premises without prior notice except in cases of emergency or legal requirements.

Maintenance and Repairs: It is the landlord's responsibility to maintain the property in a habitable condition, ensuring that essential services (such as water, electricity, and sanitation) are functioning properly. The landlord should promptly address any necessary repairs at no cost to the tenant.

Security Deposit: Upon signing the lease agreement, you may be required to pay a security deposit to the landlord. This deposit should be refunded to you in full at the end of the tenancy, minus any legitimate deductions for damages beyond normal wear and tear.

Rent Increases: Your landlord cannot increase the rent arbitrarily. Any proposed rent increase must adhere to the guidelines set by the Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA) and should be communicated to you in writing with sufficient notice.

Dispute Resolution: In the event of a dispute between you and your landlord, both parties have the right to seek resolution through amicable negotiation, mediation, or legal channels such as the Rental Dispute Settlement Center (RDSC) or Dubai Courts.

In addition to the above, there are specific laws and regulations that can empower tenants to assert their rights:

Rent Disputes Settlement Centre (RDSC): Established in Dubai, the RDSC is a specialised judicial body that resolves rental disputes between landlords and tenants. It offers mediation and arbitration services to help parties reach amicable settlements or issue binding judgments when necessary.

Rent Increase Caps: In Dubai, the Rental Increase Calculator issued by the Dubai Land Department sets limits on how much landlords can increase rents based on various factors such as the current market rent, property type, and location. This helps protect tenants from arbitrary rent hikes.

Ejari System: The Ejari system, managed by the Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA), requires all rental contracts in Dubai to be registered online. This ensures transparency and legal protection for both landlords and tenants, as well as facilitates dispute resolution processes.

Tenancy Contracts: According to UAE law, all tenancy contracts must be in writing and registered with the relevant authorities. The contract should include essential terms such as the parties involved, rent amount, payment schedule, duration of tenancy, and terms of renewal or termination.

Security Deposit Limits: While there is no specific federal law governing security deposits in the UAE, local regulations may set limits on the amount landlords can charge as a security deposit. For example, the security deposit in Dubai is typically limited to 5% of the annual rent.

Notice Periods for Eviction: UAE law stipulates specific notice periods landlords must provide tenants before initiating eviction proceedings. The notice period varies depending on the reason for eviction and the emirate in which the property is located.

Knowledge is power! By familiarising yourself with your rights as a tenant in the UAE, you can confidently assert your rights and protect your interests throughout your tenancy.

If you ever encounter any issues or uncertainties, don't hesitate to seek guidance from legal professionals or relevant authorities. Your comfort and peace of mind in your rented space matter, and knowing your rights is the first step towards achieving a harmonious living environment.

(The writer is a legal associate at Dubai-based NYK Law Firm)

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Dubai Unveils New Logo; Government Entities to Implement Within 6 Months

Dubai's Crown Prince unveiled a new logo for the Government of Dubai on Sunday, during the inaugural session of the executive council following its recent reconstitution.

He directed the immediate adoption of the new logo across all government entities in Dubai, while allowing them to maintain their distinct individual logos as well. Government entities will have a six-month transition period to implement the new logo.

Furthermore, the Crown Prince allocated Dh40 billion for the ‘Dubai Portfolio for Public-Private Partnership’ for 2024-2026. This initiative, overseen by the Department of Finance through Dubai Digital Platforms, aligns with the objectives of the Dubai Economic Agenda, D33, aiming to increase government spending to Dh700 billion, elevate private sector investment in development projects to Dh1 trillion and raise foreign direct investment to Dh650 billion by 2033.

Among other initiatives, Sheikh Hamdan also endorsed Dubai’s ‘Affordable Housing Policy’ and the ‘Dubai Sandbox’ project.
The ‘Affordable Housing Policy’ is in line with Dubai's 2040 Urban Master Plan, seeking to create vibrant communities by addressing housing needs and offering diverse job opportunities.

It aims to provide housing options for individuals across different income levels and improve accommodations for workers nearer to their workplaces. Entities such as Dubai Municipality, the Roads and Transport Authority, Dubai Land Department, and Dubai Electricity and Water Authority are involved in its implementation.

The ‘Dubai Sandbox’ project aims to accelerate the growth of start-ups, especially in technology and emerging sectors, fostering an entrepreneurial culture and facilitating access to funding. It also seeks international integration with the global innovation ecosystem.

As part of the first package of 100 transformative projects of D33, aligned with the goal of doubling the emirate's economy over the next decade, the project focuses on areas such as artificial intelligence, real estate technology, health-tech, and green technologies to combat climate change.

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Facing a Labour Dispute in the UAE? Here's Your Essential Action Plan!

In the UAE, where economic activity thrives, labour-related disputes can sometimes arise. However, navigating these disputes and seeking justice is facilitated by a well-defined process overseen by competent authorities.

Understanding the procedures and provisions in labour cases is crucial for anyone seeking to file a labour complaint in the UAE

Rights Upheld by UAE Laws

In accordance with government authorities, the laws of the UAE uphold the rights of both employers and employees, particularly in cases of labour disputes between the two parties.

Both employers and employees are entitled to file a complaint with the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) should a dispute arise. Upon filing a complaint, it undergoes examination and aims to be resolved amicably.

However, if a resolution cannot be reached through amicable means, the matter is then referred to the judiciary.

Competent Authorities

Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE): The primary authority responsible for overseeing labour affairs in the UAE. It offers mediation and conciliation services to resolve disputes amicably.

Labour Courts: Provide a judicial forum for adjudicating disputes when mediation efforts fail. They ensure that labour laws are upheld and justice is served.

Procedures for Filing a Labour Case

Grievance Procedure: Attempt to resolve the dispute informally with the employer before initiating legal action.

Lodging a Complaint: File a formal complaint with MoHRE, detailing the nature of the dispute, relevant evidence, and desired outcome.

Mediation and Conciliation: MoHRE facilitates sessions to reach a mutually acceptable resolution.

Referral to Labour Courts: If mediation fails, the case may be referred to labor courts for adjudication. Parties may engage legal representation and present their case before a judge.

Understanding the Time Limit

According to the UAE Labour Law – Federal Decree Law No. 33 of 2021, claims for any rights due will not be heard after one year from the date of violation. Hence, it is essential to file complaints as early as possible.

Work Permits and Employment during Legal Proceedings

Article 17 (4) of Cabinet Resolution No. 1 of 2022 authorizes the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) to revoke an employee's work permit, enabling them to seek employment in another company.

Additionally, under Article 4 and 5 of Ministerial Resolution No. 47 of 2022, MoHRE has the discretion to cancel an employee's work permit or visa based on specific conditions.

Following such cancellations, the employee must reapply for a visa and permit to ensure compliance with UAE regulations, avoiding potential fines and ensuring legal residency in the UAE.

Fees and Complaint Types

Article 55 of the UAE Labour Law exempts workers or their heirs from paying judicial fees for claims less than Dh100,000.

Different types of salary complaints include delayed salaries, non-receipt of overtime compensation, and illegal salary deductions.

How to File a Labour Complaint in the UAE

Through the MoHRE Call Centre: Contact MoHRE's call centre on 04 665 9999 and provide details of the complaint to a representative.

Through the MoHRE WhatsApp Service: Utilise MOHRE's verified WhatsApp account by saving the number 600590000 on your phone and initiating a chat with a ministry representative.

Through the MoHRE App: Follow these steps to file a labour complaint through the MoHRE app:

  • Download the "MOHRE UAE" app from the Apple App Store or "MOHRE" from the Google Play Store.
  • Tap on 'Menu', select the 'Employee' category, and click on the 'Complain' service.
  • Enter personal details and employment information, add the complaint details, and register the complaint.
  • Receive a confirmation with a transaction number to track the application's status.

Additional Provisions and Requirements

Ministerial Resolution No. 47 of 2022 outlines specific requirements for workers whose labour complaints are referred to the Labour Court.

Workers must register their labour complaint with the competent court within a maximum period of 14 days from the date of approval for referral to the judiciary.

Employees must refrain from seeking employment with another employer without obtaining a temporary work permit from the ministry.

Upon issuance of the final judgment in the labour lawsuit, in the event of termination of the work relationship between the two parties, employees must submit a request to cancel the original work permit within 14 days from the date of issuance.

Employees must apply for a temporary work permit with a new employer during the labour case process, except when reported absent by their employer.

In cases where a labour complaint results in the cessation of work for the worker, their work permit will be cancelled six months from the date of referral of the complaint to the labour court.

Conclusion

Thorough understanding of the competent authorities, procedures, and provisions governing labour disputes in the UAE empowers individuals to navigate the process of filing labour cases with confidence.

By arming themselves with knowledge, they can effectively assert their rights, seek resolution for grievances, and ensure that justice prevails in the dynamic landscape of the UAE's labour market.

This comprehensive approach not only safeguards the interests of both employers and employees but also contributes to fostering a fair and equitable working environment for all stakeholders involved.

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It’s Right Time to Claim Your Slice of the Dubai Dream; Follow TLR Realty Tips

Investing in property in Dubai offers promising prospects for long-term gains. The city boasts a favourable property price-to-rent ratio, suggesting potential capital appreciation in the future. Dubai's real estate market remains robust, attracting investors seeking diversification and high returns.

Recent data indicates that investments in Dubai's real estate reached $100 billion in 2023, with a projected five per cent growth in 2024, aligning with the UAE's 4.5 per cent economic growth.

With Dubai's residential real estate market predicted to experience a 15 per cent growth rate in 2024, it's an opportune moment for investors to acquire properties at reasonable prices and benefit from high annual yields, with profit margins ranging from five per cent to nine per cent.

When contemplating property acquisition in Dubai, it's essential to grasp both the legal landscape and the various advantages associated with investing in this dynamic city. Understanding the legal aspects ensures compliance with regulations, while recognising the benefits empowers buyers to make informed decisions.

Let's explore the legal framework and benefits of property purchase in Dubai.

Legal Procedures

Purchasing property in Dubai involves navigating legal procedures and administrative requirements. By understanding the legal framework, steps involved and key considerations, buyers can make informed decisions.

Legal Framework: Law No. 7 of 2006 serves as the primary legislation governing property ownership in Dubai. This law allows UAE and GCC residents to purchase property anywhere in Dubai. Foreign nationals, however, can buy property in designated areas classified as freehold or leasehold.

Freehold and Leasehold Ownership: Freehold ownership grants full ownership rights to the property without any restrictions, whereas leasehold ownership allows individuals to own the property for a set period, typically up to 99 years.

Steps to Buying Property in Dubai

Prepare the Buyer-Seller Contract: Negotiate terms with the seller and draft a precise contract outlining pricing, payment methods, and terms to avoid misunderstandings.
Sign the Real Estate Sale Agreement: Download the sale contract (Form F) from the Dubai Land Department (DLD) website, customise it as needed, and sign it in the presence of a witness.

Apply for No Objection Certificate (NOC): Obtain an NOC from the developer to finalise ownership transfer, ensuring there are no outstanding charges on the property.
Transfer Ownership at Registrar’s Office: Submit required documents, pay fees and receive approval for ownership transfer, resulting in the issuance of a new title deed in the buyer’s name.

Administrative Costs: Administrative fees for property purchase in Dubai include Dh580 for issuing the title deed and four per cent of the property value as fees payable to the Dubai Land Department (DLD).

Buying Property Without an Agent: Direct purchases from developers or individual sellers are possible in Dubai, bypassing the need for a real estate agent.

Role of Trustee Offices: Trustee offices in Dubai act as intermediaries authorised by the DLD to oversee property registration, manage mortgages and facilitate transactions, ensuring compliance with regulations and maintaining market integrity.

Understanding Title Deeds: A title deed issued by the DLD certifies property ownership and outlines legal rights, including the right to use, mortgage, sell or lease the property. It contains essential details such as owner name, property location, size and type.

TLR Tips for Property Purchase

  • Deal only with RERA-registered real estate agents.
  • Ensure documents in foreign languages are attested and translated into Arabic.
  • Complete transactions within 60 days of contract signing.
  • Prominent freehold districts for foreign buyers include Arabian Ranches, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai Marina and Downtown Dubai.

Benefits of Investing in Dubai Realty Market

Dubai has emerged as a hotspot for property investment, attracting individuals and businesses from around the world. From its strategic location to its tax-free environment, Dubai offers a multitude of advantages for property buyers, making it an attractive proposition.

High Returns on Investment: Dubai's real estate market has witnessed remarkable growth, with property values appreciating steadily. This presents an opportunity for property owners to enjoy substantial capital gains over time, making it an attractive destination for investors seeking high returns on their investments.

Tax-Free Environment: One of the most appealing aspects of buying property in Dubai is the lack of property and income taxes. This tax-free environment allows investors to maximize their returns without the burden of additional tax obligations, making Dubai an enticing option for property buyers.

Strategic Location: Situated between Europe, Asia, and Africa, Dubai serves as a strategic hub for international business and commerce. Its advantageous location enhances the potential for rental income and capital appreciation, making it an appealing option for property investors seeking global connectivity.

Stable Economy: Dubai boasts a stable and diversified economy, supported by key sectors such as tourism, finance, real estate, and logistics. The city's commitment to economic diversification and infrastructure development ensures a conducive environment for property owners, minimizing risks and enhancing long-term stability.

World-Class Infrastructure: Dubai's infrastructure is renowned for its modernity and sophistication. The city offers state-of-the-art amenities, including world-class transportation systems, healthcare facilities, educational institutions and entertainment options. This quality infrastructure enhances the desirability of properties, attracting both residents and investors.

Safety and Security: Dubai is known for its high levels of safety and security. The government has implemented stringent measures to maintain law and order, ensuring a peaceful living environment for residents and investors alike. This factor instils confidence in property buyers, making Dubai a preferred destination for real estate investment.

Cultural Diversity: Dubai actively embraces cultural diversity, welcoming people from all around the world to reside and work in its cosmopolitan environment. The city's diverse population fosters a vibrant social scene, offering a rich tapestry of cuisines, festivals, and cultural experiences for residents to enjoy.

Lifestyle and Entertainment: Dubai epitomises luxury and opulence, providing residents with access to unparalleled lifestyle amenities and entertainment options. From lavish hotels to high-end shopping centres and exquisite dining establishments, Dubai offers a high-quality lifestyle that appeals to discerning individuals.

Residency Opportunities: Purchasing property in Dubai provides a residency opportunity, enabling individuals to enjoy the city's benefits, including access to healthcare, education and other essential services. Depending on the property's value, investors may be eligible for a renewable residency visa, making Dubai an attractive option for those seeking long-term settlement or investment.

Future Growth Potential: Dubai continues to invest in ambitious projects and initiatives, positioning itself as a global destination for business, tourism, and innovation. The city's forward-thinking approach and commitment to growth indicate the potential for future appreciation in property values, making it an attractive long-term investment option for savvy investors.

Dubai presents a compelling proposition for investors looking to capitalide on the city's growth and prosperity. Whether you're seeking a lucrative investment opportunity or a luxurious lifestyle, Dubai's real estate market has something to offer for everyone.

For any enquiries or information, contact ask@tlr.ae or call us on +971 52 644 3004Follow The Law Reporters on WhatsApp Channels.

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All You Need to Know About 'Mahr': Understanding the Legal Limits of Dowry Payments

In the multi-cultural landscape of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), where tradition intersects with modernity, one practice that continues to spark debate is the tradition of dowry, known locally as "mahr."

As discussions on cultural practices and legal compliance gain momentum, the general public grapples with the question of whether the dowry system aligns with the UAE's evolving legal frameworks.

Cultural Tradition vs Legal Compliance

The dowry system, deeply rooted in tradition, is a customary practice where the groom provides a financial or material gift to the bride as a symbol of commitment and support.

While traditionally prevalent in many societies, including parts of the UAE, its legality and compliance with contemporary laws are under scrutiny.

Under Islamic law, the payment of mahr is a fundamental aspect of marriage contracts, with specific guidelines outlined in Sharia. However, interpretations vary, and the implementation of dowry practices can differ across cultural and familial traditions.

Law on Determining Dowry and Wedding Expenses in the UAE

  • Federal Law No. 21 of 1997 determines the dowry in marriage contracts and related expenses in the UAE. It aims to regulate the practice of determining dowry amounts in marriage contracts and to establish guidelines regarding related wedding expenses within the UAE.In a marriage contract, the dowry given in advance cannot exceed Dh20,000, and the deferred dowry cannot be more than Dh30,000.
  • Any disputes over dowry amounts above these limits won't be heard in court, even if the case was filed before this law came into effect.
  • Weddings can only last for one day.
  • No more than nine camels can be slaughtered at wedding ceremonies.
  • Anyone breaking this law loses the marriage grant set by Federal Law No. (47) of 1992.
  • Breaking the rules about camels at weddings can result in a fine of Dh500,000.
  • The Minister of Interior and Minister of Justice, Islamic Affairs, and Endowments are responsible for enforcing this law and can make necessary decisions about it.
  • Any laws or provisions that go against this law are cancelled.
  • This law will be published officially and becomes effective immediately upon publication.

Legal Frameworks and Debates

In recent years, the UAE has witnessed significant legal reforms aimed at promoting gender equality and protecting women's rights.

The UAE Personal Status Law, for instance, outlines provisions related to marriage contracts, including stipulations regarding mahr.

Critics argue that the dowry system, if not regulated effectively, can perpetuate financial burdens on grooms and reinforce gender inequalities.

They advocate for stricter legal oversight to prevent exploitation and ensure that dowry payments are reasonable and consensual.

Conversely, proponents of the dowry system view it as a cultural tradition that strengthens familial bonds and reflects the groom's commitment to providing for his bride.

They emphasise the importance of preserving cultural heritage while respecting individual freedoms and choices.

Legal Experts' Perspectives

Legal experts weigh in on the debate, highlighting the importance of aligning cultural practices with legal frameworks to uphold fundamental rights and prevent exploitation.

They emphasise the need for clarity in defining dowry obligations within marriage contracts, ensuring transparency and consent from all parties involved.

Furthermore, legal scholars stress the significance of ongoing dialogue and collaboration between religious authorities, legal institutions and community leaders to address the complexities surrounding the dowry system effectively.

Moving Forward

As discussions on the legality of the dowry system in the UAE continue, stakeholders advocate for a balanced approach that respects cultural traditions while safeguarding individual rights and promoting gender equality.

The evolving legal landscape presents opportunities for constructive dialogue and policy reforms aimed at addressing societal norms in alignment with contemporary values and principles.

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Are You a Victim of Domestic Violence? What You Can Do to Protect Yourself?

If you are suffering from domestic violence, it's crucial to understand that assistance is available. You can approach law enforcement agencies, medical facilities, social welfare services, or support groups dedicated to aiding victims of abuse, and support is within your reach.

Domestic violence is a major issue affecting individuals worldwide, including those residing in the United Arab Emirates. The UAE government has taken decisive action to address this issue, notably with the implementation of the Family Protection Policy in 2019.

The policy aims to protect women, children, the elderly and individuals with special needs from all forms of violence and abuse. Furthermore, the UAE has enacted legislation specifically tailored to safeguard victims of domestic violence and ensure they have access to essential legal rights and support networks.

Under Federal Decree Law no.10/2019 on the Protection of Domestic Violence, domestic violence includes various forms of abuse, including physical, psychological, sexual and economic mistreatment.

The law outlines specific legal rights provided to victims of domestic abuse in the UAE:

Filing a Complaint: Victims have the right to report incidents of abuse to law enforcement authorities, leading to a thorough investigation and necessary interventions to ensure their safety.

Protective Orders: Victims can seek protection orders from the court, which prohibit the abuser from contacting or approaching them. These orders are issued based on the victim's application and are designed to provide effective protection measures.

Medical Care and Counselling: Victims have access to medical care and counselling services offered by various healthcare facilities and organisations, ensuring comprehensive support for their physical and emotional well-being.

Legal Representation: Victims have the right to legal representation if they opt to pursue legal action against their abuser, ensuring fair treatment throughout the legal process.

Compensation: Victims are entitled to compensation for damages incurred as a result of the abuse, including medical expenses and lost income.
Despite social customs and habits that may contribute to underreporting of domestic violence cases, there has been a notable increase in women taking action against their abusers in recent years.

This proactive approach has led to a 20 per cent decrease in reported cases in 2022, highlighting the positive impact of increased awareness and support mechanisms.
It’s not just about getting immediate help but also about knowing your legal rights and options.

Therefore, if you find yourself facing domestic violence in the UAE, it's necessary to reach out to an experienced lawyer or law firm for guidance. A lawyer can walk you through your legal rights and options, ensuring you understand the steps you can take to protect yourself.

(The writer is a Legal Associate at Dubai-based NYK Law Firm)

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New Law Issued for Creating Digital Platform for Company Registration in Dubai

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has issued Decree No. (13) of 2024 concerning the establishment of a Unified Digital Platform for company registration in Dubai.

The decree is part of Dubai's ongoing efforts to bolster its business environment and foster economic development.

The platform aims to consolidate various licensing procedures in Dubai, including those overseen by the Department of Economy and Tourism, as well as authorities managing special development zones and free zones such as the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), among others.

The integration is geared towards substantially enhancing the experience of investors in Dubai by providing a streamlined avenue for accessing information, obtaining licenses, and accessing other services pertinent to economic activities.

Applicable to all economic endeavours in Dubai, the decree also aims to standardize the issuance of licenses, permits, and approvals in the emirate to promote clarity and simplicity. Furthermore, it seeks to assist investors in overcoming challenges encountered during the establishment or operation of businesses in Dubai.

The decree underscores the importance of electronic integration between licensing departments and other relevant entities to eliminate procedural redundancies and support Dubai's digital transformation objectives in alignment with the goals outlined in the Dubai Economic Agenda D33, aimed at positioning the city as a hub for the digital economy.

In a complementary move, His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai, has issued Resolution No. (5) of 2024 of the Council, endorsing the fundamental principles aimed at facilitating investors' journeys in Dubai.

These principles are applicable across all processes related to licensing, permits, and approvals for business activities in Dubai, effective concurrently with the implementation of the new decree.

According to the resolution, all licensing entities and federal and local regulatory bodies overseeing business activities in Dubai are tasked with ensuring a seamless journey for investors and implementing the necessary procedures to facilitate this objective.

Furthermore, the resolution outlines various measures to enhance the investor experience, including registration on the 'Invest in Dubai' digital platform, unified digital data registration, expedited licensing and renewal processes, simplified fee payment procedures, streamlined licensing requirements, and the standardisation of procedures, regulations and conditions.

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Where There is a Will, There is Peace of Mind; Register it Now to Safeguard Your Legacies

Creating a will is a fundamental aspect of estate planning, regardless of one's nationality or location. A will allows individuals to specify how they want their assets, properties and belongings to be distributed upon their death.

Registering a will adds an extra layer of security, ensuring that the document is legally recognised and accessible to relevant authorities and beneficiaries. Taking the time to register your will offers invaluable peace of mind and reassurance for both you and your beneficiaries.

For expatriates, ensuring that their assets and belongings are distributed according to their wishes in the event of their passing is a crucial consideration. However, registering a will as an expatriate requires navigating legal processes that may vary depending on the country of residence.

This article aims to provide expatriates with a comprehensive guide on how to register their wills to ensure their wishes are legally recognised and upheld.

Steps to Register Your Will as an Expat

Consult Legal Experts: Before drafting your will, seek advice from legal professionals who specialise in estate planning and inheritance laws in your country of residence. They can provide guidance on the legal requirements and formalities involved in creating and  registering a will as an expatriate

Draft Your Will: Work with your legal advisor to draft a comprehensive and legally sound will that accurately reflects your wishes regarding the distribution of your assets and the appointment of guardians for minor children, if applicable. Ensure that your will complies with the laws and regulations of your country of residence.

Choose a Registration Method: Research the available options for registering your will in your country of residence. Some countries may have specific government agencies or registries responsible for will registration, while others may recognise wills registered with private institutions or notaries.

Complete the Registration Process: Follow the prescribed procedures for registering your will, which may include submitting the document to the relevant authority, completing registration forms and paying any associated fees. Be sure to retain copies of all registration documents for your records.

Review and Update Regularly: Review your will periodically to ensure that it accurately reflects your current circumstances, wishes and intentions. Life changes such as marriage, divorce, the birth of children, or acquiring new assets may necessitate updates to your will.

Benefits of Registering Your Will

Legal Validity: Registering your will adds credibility and authenticity to the document, making it legally enforceable and recognised by courts and authorities.

Prevent Disputes: A registered will provides clarity and certainty regarding your intentions, reducing the likelihood of disputes or challenges among beneficiaries.

Expedited Probate Process: Registering your will can streamline the probate process by providing clear instructions for the distribution of your estate, thus facilitating a faster resolution of your affairs.

Peace of Mind: By registering your will, you can have peace of mind knowing that your wishes will be carried out and your loved ones will be provided for according to your instructions.

Registering your will as an expatriate is a proactive step towards ensuring that your assets and belongings are distributed according to your wishes after your passing.

By consulting legal experts, carefully drafting your will, choosing a suitable registration method and staying informed about the legal requirements, expatriates can safeguard their legacies and provide for their loved ones even from afar.

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It’s Time to be Patient: Respect Ramadan Rules, Fostering Sense of Unity

With the Holy Month of Ramadan underway, residents and visitors in the UAE are reminded of the importance of observing the rules and traditions associated with this significant time in the Islamic calendar.

Ramadan is a time of fasting, prayer, reflection, and charitable acts for Muslims worldwide. However, for those unfamiliar with the customs or unaware of the local laws, it's crucial to understand the implications of breaking Ramadan rules in the UAE.

Eating in Public: One of the most noticeable rules during Ramadan is the prohibition of eating or drinking in public during fasting hours. This rule applies to both Muslims and non-Muslims out of respect for those observing the fast.

While restaurants and cafes are usually open during the day, they typically have designated areas where patrons can dine discreetly without offending those fasting.

Breaking this rule by openly eating or drinking in public can result in penalties, including fines or even imprisonment, depending on the severity of the offense and the discretion of law enforcement authorities. Residents and tourists alike need to be mindful of their actions and respect the cultural norms during this time.

Children are permitted to eat and drink in public during Ramadan.

If you unintentionally eat or drink in public, it's advisable to apologise and strive to avoid repeating the mistake.

Begging:Another practice that is strictly prohibited during Ramadan in the UAE is begging. While begging is generally illegal throughout the year, it is particularly frowned upon during Ramadan when the community is encouraged to focus on charitable giving through official channels and organisations.

Individuals found begging during Ramadan may face legal consequences, including fines and deportation, as it is considered a violation of the country's laws and cultural norms. The UAE authorities take a zero-tolerance approach to begging, especially during this sacred time, to maintain the safety and well-being of the community.

Fundraising:While charitable giving is highly encouraged during Ramadan, fundraising activities must be conducted through approved channels and registered charities.

Any unauthorised fundraising or solicitation of donations, especially in public spaces or through unverified means, is strictly prohibited and can result in legal consequences.

Residents and organizations wishing to conduct fundraising activities during Ramadan are advised to seek proper authorisation from the relevant authorities and ensure compliance with local regulations to avoid penalties.

Ramadan is a time of spiritual reflection, self-discipline and compassion. It's essential for both residents and visitors in the UAE to respect and understand the significance of this Holy Month for Muslims.

By observing the rules and traditions associated with Ramadan, individuals can contribute to fostering a sense of unity and respect within the diverse community of the UAE.

(The writer is a legal associate at Dubai-based NYK Law Firm)

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Citizenship Amendment Act Notified, Weeks Before India General Elections

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Indian government on Monday implemented the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), five years after it was passed in Parliament. The notification comes ahead of the announcement of dates for the Lok Sabha elections by the Election Commission of India.

The applications will be submitted in online mode for which a web portal has been provided.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah lauded the notification of Citizenship (Amendment) Rules, 2024 and said its implementation would enable minorities persecuted on religious grounds in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan to acquire citizenship in India.

"With this notification PM Shri @narendramodi Ji has delivered on another commitment and realised the promise of the makers of our constitution to the Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians living in those countries," the Home Minister said in a tweet.

Last month, Amit Shah said that the CAA will be implemented before the Lok Sabha elections this year after issuing the rules in this regard.

The CAA, enacted by Parliament on December 11, 2019, has been a subject of intense debate and widespread protests across India.

The CAA amends the Citizenship Act of 1955 to provide a fast-track pathway to Indian citizenship for migrants from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan who belong to Hindu, Sikh, Jain, Parsi, Buddhist and Christian communities and who entered India on or before December 31, 2014, due to facing religious persecution in their home countries.

There were sit-ins at Delhi's Shaheen Bagh and protest gatherings in Guwahati, Assam. All the protests fizzled out during the Covid-induced restrictions and lockdowns.

After the government's notification, the Delhi Police has amped up security in and around the Shaheen Bagh area, which was the epicentre of the anti-CAA protests last time. Besides, the Gautam Buddh Nagar Police also conducted a flag march in Noida, following Centre's announcement.

"As per the directions given by the CM, we are conducting foot patrolling at populated and sensitive areas. Through this, we are trying to assure people that we are with them," Joint Commissioner Shivhari Meena told news agency PTI.

Meanwhile, the Congress questioned the timing of the government's notification, saying it had been done to "polarise the elections".

"It has taken four years and three months for the Modi Government to notify the rules for the Citizenship Amendment Act that was passed by the Parliament in December 2019. The Prime Minister claims that his government works in a business-like and time-bound manner. The time taken to notify the rules for the CAA is yet another demonstration of the Prime Minister’s blatant lies," Congress's Communications In-charge Jairam Ramesh said in a post on X.

"After seeking nine extensions for the notification of the rules, the timing right before the elections is evidently designed to polarise the elections, especially in West Bengal and Assam. It also appears to be an attempt to manage the headlines after the Supreme Court’s severe strictures on the Electoral Bonds Scandal," he added.

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Understanding Rent Increase in the UAE: Legal Implications and Tenant Rights

Renting a property in the UAE can be a complex process, particularly when it comes to rent increases. Given the dynamic real estate market and the influx of expatriates, it is crucial for both landlords and tenants to have a clear understanding of the legal framework surrounding rent hikes.

This article aims to explore the intricacies of rent increase regulations in the UAE, shedding light on the legal implications and tenant rights associated with such changes.

In the UAE, the relationship between landlords and tenants is governed by Federal Law No. 26 of 2007, commonly known as the UAE Tenancy Law, along with its subsequent amendments. Additionally, each emirate may have its own regulations pertaining to rental matters.

However, the UAE Tenancy Law applies to all emirates unless otherwise specified. Under the UAE Tenancy Law, landlords are allowed to increase the rent of residential properties under certain circumstances.

These circumstances typically include the completion of the lease period, which is usually set at one year, or if the current rent is significantly lower than the average market rate for similar properties in the vicinity. However, any rent increase must comply with the guidelines outlined in the law.

Legal Implications

Notice Period: Landlords are obligated to provide tenants with sufficient notice before implementing a rent increase. Generally, this notice period ranges from 90 to 180 days, depending on the emirate and the terms specified in the tenancy contract. Failure to provide adequate notice can render the rent increase invalid.

Limitations on Increase: The UAE Tenancy Law imposes restrictions on the extent to which landlords can increase the rent. While there is no specific cap mentioned in the law, rent hikes must be justifiable and reasonable. Any arbitrary or excessive increase beyond the prevailing market rates may be considered unlawful.

Dispute Resolution: In the event of a disagreement between landlords and tenants regarding a rent increase, both parties have the option to seek resolution through appropriate channels. This may involve filing a complaint with the relevant rent dispute committee or utilising mediation services provided by governmental authorities.

Tenant Rights

Right to Challenge: Tenants have the right to challenge any proposed rent increase that they believe is unjust or unreasonable. They can provide evidence, such as market comparisons or rental valuation reports, to support their case.

Protection from Retaliation:Landlords are prohibited from retaliating against tenants who exercise their rights or express concerns about rent increases. Any form of harassment, eviction threats, or arbitrary lease terminations in response to such actions is illegal and can lead to legal consequences for the landlord.

Renewal Options: When the tenancy contract expires, tenants have the choice to renew the lease under mutually agreed terms. Landlords cannot force tenants to accept a rent increase as a condition for renewal if it violates the provisions of the UAE Rent Law.

Rent increases in the UAE are governed by strict legal regulations designed to safeguard the rights of both landlords and tenants. It is crucial for individuals to understand the legal framework surrounding rent hikes, including notice periods, limitations, and dispute resolution mechanisms, in order to ensure a fair and transparent rental market.

Tenants should be aware of their rights and the options available to them in the event of unjustified rent increases, while landlords must adhere to the prescribed procedures to avoid legal consequences.

By upholding principles of fairness and compliance with the law, the rental landscape in the UAE can foster harmonious relationships between landlords and tenants.

(The writer is a legal associate at Dubai-based NYK Law Firm)

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Spreading Rumours Can Land you in Jail and Fines of up to Dh500000

Have you ever pondered about the consequences of spreading rumours in the UAE? While some may view rumours as harmless gossip, spreading them is considered a serious legal offense in the UAE, carrying severe repercussions.

News plays a crucial role in our lives, shaping our perceptions and guiding our choices. Dissemination of false information can have far-reaching consequences. The UAE has enacted stringent measures to combat misinformation and rumours, and protect societal interests.

Spreading rumors, particularly on social media, is strictly prohibited under UAE's cybercrime laws. Those who violate the law can face severe penalties, including imprisonment and hefty fines. Article 29 of Federal Law number 5 of 2012 outlines punishments for spreading rumours with malicious intent, while Article 9 addresses the misuse of IP addresses.

Rumours pose a serious threat to society by hindering development and challenging stability, which is precisely why the UAE's laws aim to maintain order and protect its citizens from misinformation.

The rapid spread of news through social media often overlooks its credibility, leading to the dissemination of false information and fabricated stories. The UAE acknowledges this challenge and has taken proactive steps to address it. The implementation of Federal Decree-Law No. 34/2021 and Federal Decree-Law No. 31/2021 signifies the government's commitment to combat rumours and cybercrimes

Article 43 of the Cyber Law penalises individuals who use information networks or technology to spread false events or insults, with punishments ranging from detention to fines of up to Dh500,000.

Similarly, Article 52 of Federal Decree-Law No. 34/2021 targets the spread of false information that disrupts public peace or threatens public interest. Offenders face detention and fines starting from Dh100,000, with more severe penalties for cases involving epidemics, crises, or emergencies.

These laws aim to safeguard public opinion, maintain peace and protect national interests in the digital age. Spreading rumours can harm someone's reputation, cause emotional distress and even damage relationships.

The UAE takes pride in its strong sense of community and respect for individuals, and spreading rumours goes against the values of honesty and integrity that the UAE upholds.

(The writer is a legal associate at Dubai-based NYK Law Firm)

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INSPIRE INCLUSION: Support For Women’s Rights and Skills Accelerate UAE’s Progress

The global community commemorates International Women's Day on March 8, a day dedicated to acknowledging the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women.

This year's celebration adopts the theme 'Invest in Women: Accelerate Progress.' The campaign theme, titled 'Inspire Inclusion,' underscores the critical need to address economic challenges faced by women.

Let's delve into how women in the UAE have progressed, supported by government investments in their rights and skills.
The protection of women's rights in the UAE is bolstered by a comprehensive legal framework that upholds gender equality and ensures the well-being of women across various facets of life, including reproductive rights and adoption.

According to the UAE Constitution, women hold equal legal status as men, entitling them to access education, professional opportunities and property inheritance rights.

Reproductive Rights

Regarding reproductive rights, the UAE recognises the significance of women's autonomy and consent, particularly concerning matters such as abortion. Although specific legislation addressing abortion may not be explicitly outlined, the broader legal framework supporting women's rights and autonomy likely extends to decisions concerning reproductive health, including abortion, with a focus on women's consent and welfare.

Moreover, adoption is open to single women in the UAE, reflecting a commitment to supporting women in diverse family structures. This inclusive stance acknowledges the capability of single women to provide nurturing environments for children.

Maternity Leave

Maternity leave constitutes another vital aspect of women's rights in the UAE. The nation acknowledges the necessity of granting adequate time off for women during and after pregnancy to safeguard their health and that of their newborns. Typically, maternity leave in the UAE spans 45 days with full pay.

Some employers may offer extended maternity leave periods as part of their benefits package, thereby providing additional support to women during this critical period. Additionally, women are entitled to additional unpaid leave beyond the initial 45 days if necessary for medical reasons related to childbirth or pregnancy complications.

Education, Business

The UAE demonstrates a noteworthy commitment to gender equality in education, with more women than men completing secondary education and pursuing higher education, including in STEM fields. This emphasis on education ensures equal opportunities for personal and professional development for women.

Moreover, women actively participate in various sectors of the economy, including business and government. The UAE has implemented policies to promote women's participation in both the private and public sectors, ensuring equal access to economic resources and leadership positions.

In the UAE, women possess the freedom to own property and secure mortgages, with approximately 30 per cent of all real estate in Dubai owned by women. This reflects the country's dedication to economically empowering women and ensuring their financial independence.

Women's representation in government and diplomacy is significant in the UAE, with women holding leadership roles in parliament and serving as ambassadors and consuls general. This representation underscores the UAE's commitment to gender balance and empowerment across all levels of governance and international relations.

Furthermore, women in the UAE are making substantial contributions to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) fields, showcasing their expertise and leadership in areas such as space exploration, engineering and technology. The UAE's support for women in STEM underscores its dedication to advancing innovation and knowledge-based industries with gender-inclusive participation.

The UAE's adherence to international conventions and treaties, such as the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), highlights its commitment to aligning its policies with global standards for women's rights and empowerment.

Overall, the UAE's legal framework and initiatives reflect a holistic approach to protecting and promoting women's rights, encompassing reproductive rights, education, economic participation, political representation, and contributions to STEM fields.

The UAE government's efforts to invest in women's rights, skills, and economic empowerment align with the theme of 'Invest in Women: Accelerate Progress' for International Women's Day 2024. These initiatives continue to inspire inclusion and accelerate the progress of women, contributing to their social, economic, cultural, and political achievements.

(The writer is a legal associate at Dubai-based NYK Law Firm)

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Although Not Illegal, Cohabiting Couples May Face Legal and Societal Challenges

In the UAE, living together as an unmarried couple is not explicitly illegal. Recent legal reforms have removed criminal implications, offering a more comfortable environment for cohabiting couples. However, it is crucial to note that while not illegal, the UAE legal system does not grant unmarried couples the same rights and recognition as married counterparts.

Acknowledging the growing number of tourists from Western countries who may seek investment opportunities and prolonged stays in the UAE, the government has embarked on a comprehensive series of legal reforms.

These reforms represent a significant legal evolution, tackling key issues such as divorce, inheritance laws, and addressing sensitive matters like honour killings. Aimed at improving the quality of life for expatriates in the UAE, these initiatives include legal amendments concerning live-in relationships.

The concept of living together in the UAE frequently ignites the interest of both expatriates and residents, sparking uncertainty and prompting a plethora of questions regarding its legality and societal acceptance.

Let's delve into these common inquiries and explore the experience of living together in the UAE, covering legal aspects, societal perspectives, and essential considerations.

Is Living Together in the UAE Legal?

Living together as an unmarried couple is not expressly prohibited in the UAE. The implementation of recent legislation has effectively eliminated its classification as a criminal offense, thereby creating a more comfortable environment for couples in informal partnerships to stay in the UAE.

However, it's vital to recognise that the legal system in the UAE does not recognise unmarried couples in the same way it does to married ones. This absence of legal recognition may influence several facets of life, encompassing residency, inheritance rights and healthcare access.

What are the Implications?

Living together without being married can carry legal consequences. Unmarried partners do not possess the same legal rights and protections as married individuals. This disparity can affect various aspects, such as the accessibility of joint bank accounts, shared assets and specific healthcare benefits for unmarried couples.

What are the Societal Attitudes?

In the UAE, renowned for its cultural diversity and tolerance, societal attitude towards unmarried cohabitation can vary. Marriage is highly valued in the UAE, and certain traditional communities may view living together without formal marriage differently. 

Though not illegal, unmarried couples may face challenges regarding legal recognition and societal acceptance.
By understanding the legal landscape, respecting cultural norms and seeking appropriate guidance, unmarried couples can navigate their living together journey in the UAE with clarity.

(The writer is a legal associate at Dubai-based NYK Law Firm)

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Is the $6 Billion Legal Fee in Elon Musk's Tesla Pay Package Lawsuit Justified?

Lawyers who successfully challenged Elon Musk's $56 billion Tesla pay package as excessive acknowledged that their request for a $6 billion fee is "unprecedented." Yet, from certain perspectives, it might be deemed economical.

The fee's assessment, much like Musk's contested compensation, defies simple comparison. A Delaware judge will soon deliberate on its reasonableness and compliance with various legal standards.

According to documents filed in the Court of Chancery in Delaware, the fee translates to an hourly rate of $288,888 for the efforts expended by each of the 37 lawyers, associates and paralegals involved in the case. In contrast, premier corporate attorneys bill $2,000 per hour, while seasoned associates at major law firms earn approximately $288,000 annually.

At the $2,000 per hour rate, the aggregate time invested by the shareholders' legal team—roughly 19,500 hours—would tally around $39 million, significantly less than $6 billion.

In addition to its magnitude, the fee stands out for its unconventional nature. The legal team seeks compensation by obtaining a portion of what Musk is relinquishing—Tesla stock from his pay package. Specifically, they aim for 29 million of the 266 million shares Tesla is receiving as a result of the ruling, asserting that the fee incurs no cost for Tesla.

The shareholders' legal representation comprises three law firms: Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann and Friedman Oster & Tejtel, both headquartered in New York, and Andrews & Springer of Wilmington. The legal team declined further comment beyond their court filing, as per an email from Greg Varallo of Bernstein, according to Reuters.

Ordinarily, in shareholder lawsuits like Richard Tornetta's 2018 case concerning Musk's compensation, legal teams operate pro bono, anticipating a share of any eventual settlement or judgment.

The highest fee awarded in a shareholder lawsuit to date is the $688 million granted in 2008 to the attorneys representing Enron shareholders, according to Stanford Law School. This securities fraud case stemmed from the commodities trader's concealed debts, leading to its bankruptcy.

Judges do not evaluate fees solely based on their sheer size. However, even by other metrics, the fee in the Musk case surpasses that of Enron. The Enron fee amounted to 9.5 per cent of the $7.2 billion settlement, also a record. In contrast, the lawyers in the Musk case stated that their fee request equates to 11 per cent of the stock Musk would be returning to Tesla.

Federal judges typically award lower percentages as settlements increase in size, particularly in cases surpassing $1 billion.

Exceptions

But there are exceptions, and they resemble cases akin to the Musk lawsuit. In 2016, a federal judge granted an unusually high fee of 25 per cent, equivalent to $422 million, from a $1.6 billion settlement in a securities lawsuit against Household International, a consumer finance company, for concealing its unsound lending practices. This protracted case, spanning 14 years, resembled the Musk case as it involved a rare occurrence in shareholder litigation—a trial. The court deemed the extensive duration and associated risks justified the fee.

Fortunately for the legal team representing shareholders in the Musk case, it was adjudicated in Delaware state court, where factors like the efforts of the legal team and case complexity are considered when assessing fees.

Delaware's approach was underscored in a 2011 ruling approving a fee of $304 million for a legal team contesting a deal by Southern Copper Corp that was found to favour its controlling shareholder, Grupo Mexico. Delaware judge Leo Strine faced a request for an unprecedented fee of $35,000 per hour, which defendants argued could disrupt the legal system. Strine deemed it a healthy incentive and sanctioned the fee, amounting to 15 per cent of the $2 billion judgment.

However, Delaware's approach might undergo changes. The Delaware Supreme Court is reviewing an appeal concerning a fee representing 27 per cent of a $1 billion settlement in 2022 involving Dell Technologies. This class-action lawsuit against the company stemmed from a 2018 stock conversion related to Dell's stake in VMware.

Oral arguments are scheduled for May, and two groups of law professors have submitted opposing amicus briefs—one positing that Delaware incentivises shareholder lawyers to pursue the largest settlements, and the other suggesting that fee percentages should decrease as recoveries increase.

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FB, Insta Down: Memes Mock SM Platforms While Elon Musk Shares a Playful Titter

On Tuesday night, a digital frenzy unfolded as platforms owned by Meta, including Facebook and Instagram, as well as Threads, Messenger and some WhatsApp users, grappled with significant outages.

Starting around 8:56 p.m., users faced difficulties loading content on their feeds, encountering issues with app functionality, login processes, and content uploading. This led users to turn to 'X' for confirmation of the widespread issue and, naturally, to create memes about it.

The Meta outage quickly became a viral topic on Elon Musk's 'X' platform, with numerous users reporting sudden logouts from Meta-owned social media platforms. Phrases like "Cyberattack," "Mark Zuckerberg," and "Instagram Facebook Down" surged to the top of trending topics.

Musk himself took advantage of the situation to showcase the "superiority" of his platform, while playfully poking fun at the outage, as seen in one of his posts: "If you’re reading this post, it’s because our servers are working."

But this was just the beginning. The influx of memes kept people entertained as they waited for services to be restored, injecting humor and jokes into the situation. Downdetector, a website tracking outages, recorded over 300,000 Facebook outages and more than 47,000 reports of Instagram downtime worldwide.

Andy Stone from Meta addressed concerns on 'X,' offering reassurance that solutions were in progress.
The outage persisted for approximately an hour, after which all apps resumed normal operation.

A statement was issued, expressing regret for any inconvenience caused and confirming the swift resolution of the issue. "We resolved the issue as quickly as possible for everyone who was impacted, and we apologise for any inconvenience."

The financial repercussions of this widespread disruption should not be overlooked, as it not only disconnected billions of users but also dealt a significant blow to the company, according to experts.

Meta's share price initially dipped by 1.5 per cent as issue reports flooded in, later sliding further by 1.6 per cent.
Experts have now revealed the staggering financial toll on Zuckerberg due to this colossal downtime. Dan Ives, managing director of Wedbush Securities, disclosed that Mark Zuckerberg suffered a loss of about $100 million in income on Tuesday as a result of the global outage of his platforms.

Netizens Fear Hacking, Cyber Attack

Hundreds of people took to microblogging site X reporting about Facebook and Instagram outage.
One user wrote, “Is meta down or am I being hacked? my instagram isn’t loading and my facebook is also “session logged out".

Another said, “I thought my Facebook and Instagram got hacked for a second."
"Me coming to twitter to see if #INSTAGRAM is down once again," another user tweeted.
An X user 'Fram Freeman' claimed, “I've been scrambling changing passwords 3 times thinking I'm racing the hackers like in a movie lol."

Meanwhile, a user names Fawad Rehman posted, "Instagram, Facebook and Whatsapp are down. #CyberAttack".

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Red Ferrari Belonging to Formula One Driver Stolen, Reappears After 28 Years

The pace at which justice unfolds might pale in comparison to the speed of Formula One, yet Scotland Yard has finally recovered a unique Ferrari once owned by racing icon Gerhard Berger, 28 years after its disappearance.

The red Ferrari F512M Testarossa worth £350,000 was stolen from the Austrian 10-times Grand Prix winner while he was competing at the San Marino Grand Prix at Imola in April 1995.

Also stolen was another Ferrari, a silver-grey F355, belonging to fellow Formula One driver Jean Alessi, which remains missing. Both drivers were competing for the Ferrari Formula One team at the time.

Berger, who is now 64, reportedly came across the thief as they were making off with the car and unsuccessfully tried to chase them in a friend’s Volkswagen Golf.

At the time, Italian police said they believed the cars were likely to have been stolen to order.

London's Met Police said officers received a report from the legendary Italian car maker in January this year after it had carried out checks on a car being bought by a US buyer through a UK broker last year.

The Organised Vehicle Crime Unit discovered the car had been shipped to Japan shortly after being stolen, before it was brought to the UK in late 2023.

Officers then swooped to take possession and prevent it from being exported.

Met Police said the team’s inquiries “were painstaking and included contacting authorities from around the world”, but resulted in the car being quickly recovered.

"The stolen Ferrari – close to the value of £350,000 – was missing for more than 28 years before we managed to track it down in just four days,” police said.

Berger, known for his illustrious Formula One career, finished third overall in the 1988 and 1994 championships, driving for Ferrari. Since retiring, he has transitioned into a respected pundit within the sport.

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New UAE Bankruptcy Law on the Anvil: Key Insights for Businesses, Individuals

Major changes await the UAE's financial landscape as the new Bankruptcy Law is slated to become effective on May 1, 2024. Published in the Official Gazette six months ago, this law grants businesses and individuals operating in the UAE a transition period to align with the changes and ensure compliance.

While replacing the Prior Law, it introduces enhancements aimed at bolstering the nation's bankruptcy framework and fostering a dynamic economic environment.

Key Features of the New Bankruptcy Law

Scope and Definitions: The new Bankruptcy Law  retains a broad scope, encompassing companies governed by the UAE Commercial Companies Law, individual traders, and licensed civil professional companies. It provides clarity and expands upon key definitions such as "cessation of payments" and "debtor's assets," while introducing terms like "related party" and "required majority" to enhance precision.

Establishment of Bankruptcy Court: A significant development is the establishment of a specialised Bankruptcy Court, with jurisdiction over bankruptcy-related matters. This dedicated tribunal aims to expedite proceedings and ensure efficient adjudication, offering immediate enforceability of judgments without the need for formal service.

Preventive Settlement Mechanism: Replacing the prior preventive composition, the new law introduces a court-supervised preventive settlement mechanism. This process enables debtors to continue business operations while addressing their debts, fostering a conducive environment for financial restructuring and debt repayment.

Liability of Management: The Bankruptcy Law extends liability beyond board members and managers to individuals directly involved in company management and liquidation. These individuals may be held accountable for actions contributing to the company's financial decline, subject to proportional liability for prescribed acts committed within two years before cessation of payments.

Claw Back and Enforcement: The law refines provisions regarding clawback, narrowing the timeframe for unwinding certain transactions to six months before cessation of payments, extendable to two years for transactions involving related parties. Moreover, it empowers creditors with secured debts to initiate enforcement proceedings against secured assets with the approval of the Bankruptcy Court.

Implications and Next Steps: Furthermore, the law's focus on holding management accountable underscores a commitment to fair business practices. Compliance with the Bankruptcy Law is crucial as non-compliance could result in serious consequences, including facing criminal charges for harming creditors.

In the coming months, stakeholders across various industries must familiarise themselves with and adhere to the new bankruptcy regulations. Detailed rules accompanying the law are expected, emphasising the importance of remaining vigilant and adaptable to leverage these changes optimally. The law will significantly impact how businesses address financial challenges, fostering a more favourable environment for investors in the UAE

(The writer is a legal associate at Dubai-based NYK Law Firm.)

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Dubai Police Launches Campaign to Combat Begging; Announces Hefty Fines

 

Dubai authorities are taking stern action to address the issue of begging in the Emirate with the aim of raising awareness on the importance of preserving the civilized image of the Emirate.

As part of this move, the Dubai Police General Command announced the launch of its annual “Fight Begging” campaign, which continues throughout the holy month of Ramadan.

This announcement came during a press conference held by the General Department of Criminal Investigations and Investigations at its headquarters in Dubai, in the presence of Brigadier Dr Saeed Abdullah Al Qamzi, Assistant Director of the General Department of Investigations for Criminal Operations Affairs, Brigadier Ali Salem Al Shamsi, Director of the Suspects and Criminal Phenomena Department, and Brigadier Nabil Al Redha, Director of the Emergency Department at the General Department of Security.

The campaign will be supported by General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai, the Dubai Municipality and the Department of Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities in Dubai.

Brigadier Dr Saeed Abdullah Al Qamzi said that Dubai Police annually monitors new methods used by beggars such as using social media platforms and new technologies to lure their victims, pointing out that "beggars exploit the compassion and generosity of people, particularly during the holy month of Ramadan. This behavior is seen as detrimental to the security and well-being of society".

Those found begging will face strict penalties, including a minimum fine of Dh5,000 and up to three months in prison.
Individuals caught organising begging activities and bringing people from abroad to participate in them will face severe penalties, including a minimum imprisonment of six months and a fine not less than Dh100,000.

The authorities have noted a concerning rise in the exploitation of social media platforms to promote begging, often under false pretenses of assisting those in need. Dubai Police emphasise that stringent actions will be taken to combat such deceptive practices.

According to the Information Technology Crime Law of 2012, article 5, anyone using information technology means to solicit or promote fundraising without an approved licence from the competent authority shall be fined not less than Dh250,000 and not more than Dh500,000, or subject to either of these penalties.

Authorities strongly advise residents against giving money to beggars and instead encourage them to utilise official channels for charitable donations and assistance. This ensures that contributions reach legitimate recipients and deserving causes through recognised charitable organisations and institutions. According to Dubai Police, 99 per cent of beggars perceive begging as a profession.

Residents are urged to cooperate with law enforcement by reporting any instances of begging in residential areas or outside shops. Dr Saeed Al Qamzi said that complaints can be lodged through the Dubai Police app or by calling 901.

Dubai Police have identified numerous individuals and groups accumulating substantial sums of money through begging. Colonel Al Qemzi reported that over 1,700 beggars were apprehended and punished between 2020 and 2023, including 487 females and 1,238 males.

To raise awareness about the issue of begging, the police plan to employ various mediums, such as panels in residential areas, ATM screens and 300 display screens across 26 Union Co-op supermarket branches.

Furthermore, awareness campaigns will be integrated into Friday prayer sermons, with lectures on begging scheduled after each of the five daily prayers.

Brigadier Ali Salem called on members of the public to report beggars by calling the toll-free number 901 or through the “Police Eye” service available on the Dubai Police application on smart phones, in addition to reporting electronic crimes or cases of electronic begging via the e-Crime service.

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Feeling Adventurous with Your Engine Roar? Be Prepared to Pay a Dh2000 Fine

If you enjoy revving your car engine while driving, brace yourself for a fine.

Abu Dhabi Police have issued a warning to drivers, advising against engaging in disruptive behaviours such as generating excessive noise from vehicles or any actions that disturb public peace and pose risks on the roads. Violators will face a fine of Dh2000 and 12 traffic points.

In addition to the warning, Abu Dhabi Police have released an awareness video emphasising the importance of refraining from driving vehicles that create excessive noise, urging motorists to avoid unnecessary honking and rapid acceleration.

The police highlighted that such disruptive activities are particularly prevalent in areas adjacent to sandy regions near residential zones, causing significant disturbance and anxiety among residents, especially vulnerable groups such as children, the sick, and the elderly.

The noise from vehicles disrupts public tranquility, leading to panic, tension and nervousness among motorists, pedestrians and residents.

Furthermore, Abu Dhabi Police urged motorcycle and vehicle operators to strictly adhere to safety and security measures, particularly in sandy locales and family camp areas.

Abu Dhabi Police warned of further legal measures against individuals who modify their vehicles without authorisation, invoking Article "73" for unauthorised engine or chassis modifications, which entails a fine of Dh1000, 12 traffic points, and a 30-day vehicle impoundment.

Under Law No. (5) of 2020 regarding the impoundment of vehicles in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, offenders may also be required to pay a Dh10,000 fee to release impounded vehicles, with the possibility of the vehicle being auctioned if fees are not paid within three months.

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Combating Crimes: A Deep Dive into UAE’s Financial Landscape

The UAE’s recent removal from the FATF’s "Grey List" signals global recognition of its robust measures against money laundering and financial crimes.

This decision underscores the country’s sustained efforts in investigating and prosecuting high-risk money laundering cases effectively, reflecting its commitment to global Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) standards. This milestone boosts investor confidence, strengthens the UAE’s reputation as a responsible financial hub, and sets a benchmark for other jurisdictions in combating financial crimes.

The UAE has emerged as a global financial hub in recent decades, attracting investors and businesses from around the world. However, with this growth in financial activity comes an increased risk of financial crimes, including money laundering. It poses a significant threat to the integrity of the financial system, national security and the economy.

What is Money Laundering?

Money laundering is the process of disguising the origins of illegally obtained money, typically by passing it through a complex sequence of banking transfers or commercial transactions.
The UAE, with its advanced financial infrastructure and diverse economy, presents an attractive environment for money launderers seeking to conceal the proceeds of their illicit activities.
Common methods of money laundering include structuring transactions to avoid reporting requirements, using shell companies to obscure ownership and investing in high-value assets such as real estate or luxury goods.

What are the Financial Crimes in the UAE?

The UAE faces various other financial crimes that undermine the integrity of its financial system. These include fraud, corruption, terrorist financing and tax evasion. Fraudulent activities range from corporate fraud to investment scams targeting unsuspecting individuals.
Corruption poses a serious threat to the UAE’s reputation as a business-friendly destination and erodes public trust in government institutions.
While relatively rare, terrorist financing remains a concern due to the country’s strategic location and international connections.
Tax evasion, while not as prevalent as in some other jurisdictions, remains a priority for regulatory authorities seeking to uphold tax compliance standards.

What are the Steps Taken to Combat Financial Crimes?

Legal and Regulatory Reforms: The UAE has enacted comprehensive legislation to address money laundering and financial crimes. The Federal Decree-Law No. 20 of 2018 on anti-money laundering (AML) and combating the financing of terrorism (CFT) established a legal framework to prevent and detect illicit financial activities. This law mandates reporting of suspicious transactions, customer due diligence, and the establishment of a financial intelligence unit (FIU) to analyse and disseminate information.

Enhanced Due Diligence: Financial institutions in the UAE are required to implement stringent due diligence measures to verify the identity of their customers, assess the nature of their transactions and monitor accounts for suspicious activities. Enhanced due diligence is applied to high-risk customers and transactions, ensuring a higher level of scrutiny and risk mitigation.

Regulatory Oversight: The UAE Central Bank and other regulatory authorities exercise strict supervision over financial institutions to ensure compliance with AML/CFT regulations. Regular inspections, audits, and enforcement actions are conducted to assess adherence to compliance standards and identify any lapses or deficiencies.

International Cooperation: The UAE actively participates in international efforts to combat money laundering and financial crimes. It is a member of various international organisations, including the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), and has signed numerous bilateral and multilateral agreements for information exchange and mutual legal assistance.

Technological Solutions: The UAE is leveraging advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence and blockchain to enhance its AML/CFT efforts. These technologies enable more effective monitoring of financial transactions, identification of suspicious patterns, and rapid response to emerging threats.

Bold Action

In a concerted effort to combat money laundering and terrorism financing, the UAE seized assets totalling $354 million between March and July last year. This decisive action reflects the country’s intensified measures to tackle financial crimes, underscoring its commitment to safeguarding its financial system and upholding global standards against illicit activities.

The UAE’s removal from the FATF’s "Grey List" is a testament to its unwavering commitment to combating money laundering and financial crimes. It reflects the country’s proactive approach, robust regulatory framework, and sustained efforts in upholding global AML/CFT standards. This milestone not only enhances the UAE’s standing in the international financial community but also reaffirms its role as a responsible global player in safeguarding the integrity of the financial system.

(The writer is a legal associate at Dubai-based NYK Law Firm)

For any enquiries or information, contact ask@tlr.ae or call us on +971 52 644 3004Follow The Law Reporters on WhatsApp Channels.

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Thinking About Buying Property in UAE? Here are 5 Important Tips to Remember

Whether you're seeking lucrative rental yields, capital appreciation, or a dream vacation home, the UAE's real estate landscape offers a wealth of opportunities for astute investors.

Embrace the journey, seize the opportunity, and unlock the untapped potential of the dazzling world of UAE real estate, where opulent skyscrapers, sun-kissed beaches, and unrivalled luxury make it an ideal destination for investors from around the globe.
If you're
thinking about investing in property here, we've got some simple tips to help you get started.

Choose a Location that Aligns With Your Lifestyle

From the glitzy metropolis of Dubai to the cultural tapestry of Abu Dhabi and the tranquil shores of Ras Al Khaimah, the UAE is a treasure trove of diverse real estate opportunities. Each emirate boasts its unique charm, lifestyle offerings, and investment potential. Delve into the heart of each location, considering factors like infrastructure, proximity to amenities, and future development plans to unearth the perfect investment gem that aligns with your vision.

Understanding Legal and Regulatory Framework

As you embark on your UAE property investment journey, navigating the legal landscape is paramount. Familiarise yourself with the laws and regulations governing property ownership, foreign investment, and residency visas. Stay abreast of recent regulatory changes, taxation policies, and compliance requirements to ensure a smooth and legally sound investment process. Consulting with legal experts specialising in UAE real estate law can provide invaluable guidance and peace of mind.

Stay Informed About Market Trends

The UAE's real estate market is a dynamic ecosystem influenced by a myriad of economic factors, geopolitical events, and market trends. Stay ahead of the curve by immersing yourself in market intelligence and analysing key indicators such as rental yields, occupancy rates, and demand-supply dynamics. Identify emerging investment hotspots, anticipate market shifts, and capitalise on lucrative opportunities to maximise your investment returns.

Choose Reputable Developers

When venturing into off-plan properties or new developments, partnering with reputable developers is paramount. Conduct thorough due diligence on developers' track records, past project deliveries, and reputation for quality and transparency. Look for industry accolades, customer testimonials, and regulatory certifications as hallmarks of excellence. Aligning yourself with trusted developers ensures a seamless investment experience and mitigates potential risks.

Financial Planning and Investment Strategy

As with any investment endeavors, prudent financial planning is key to success in UAE property investment. Define your investment objectives, set a realistic budget, and explore financing options tailored to your needs. Consider factors such as mortgage rates, loan tenure, and repayment terms when structuring your financial strategy. Leverage the expertise of financial advisors to optimise your investment portfolio and mitigate financial risks effectively.

Investing in property is a journey, and with the right knowledge and guidance, you can turn your real estate dreams into reality in the vibrant landscape of the UAE. Happy investing!

The writer is a legal associate at NYK Law Firm, Dubai

For any enquiries or information, contact ask@tlr.ae or call us on +971 52 644 3004Follow The Law Reporters on WhatsApp Channels.

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