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Top UAE News

Israeli teenager Appeals Life Sentence for Killing 33-Year-Old, Claims 'Self-Defense'


An Israeli teenager convicted of murder in Dubai is appealing his life sentence, asserting he acted in self-defense.

In January, the Dubai Court of First Instance found the 19-year-old guilty of the premeditated murder of a 33-year-old man outside a shisha café in Business Bay in May 2023.

The teenager reportedly stabbed the victim to death with a knife. However, the defense contends there was no deliberate intent behind the incident.

The defense lawyer stated that the defendant did not premeditate the killing, arguing instead that he was acting in self-defense after the victim attacked him with a chair. The teenager's lawyer explained that the victim initiated the confrontation, and the client acted to protect himself.

In addition to the teenager, five of his friends received 10-year sentences for aiding and abetting. All six Israeli convicts will be deported after serving their sentences.

Details of the incident, as submitted to the appellate court, reveal that the conflict began inside the shisha café. The victim's friend allegedly insulted the defendant's family, leading to a quarrel.

When the friend left, the defendant and his companions followed, which led to the victim attacking the defendant with a chair. The defendant then stabbed the victim to defend himself.

Less than 24 hours after the murder, Dubai Police arrested the suspects. Investigations revealed that the parties involved had previous disputes dating back to their time in Israel, suggesting the murder was connected to these past issues.

In a new development, the defense argued that the victim had been threatening the defendant's life in Israel, prompting the teenager to seek refuge in Dubai.

The lawyer claimed the defendant was unaware that the victim had followed him to Dubai. Citing her client's testimony, the lawyer emphasised that the defendant acted in self-defense and had no intention to kill. She requested a reduced sentence under Article 98 of the Penal Code, given the defendant's age of 19.

The defense also noted that carrying a weapon is common in the defendant's culture, arguing that he did not possess the knife with the intent to kill.

The lawyer concluded by asking the appellate court to acquit her client of murder and reject the prosecutors’ call for a harsher sentence. The Appeal Court's judgment is expected in July.

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Sheikh Mohammed Unveils Streamlined UAE Home Loans, Approves £334M Housing Package

The UAE has simplified home loans for Emiratis and approved a housing package valued at more than £334 million. A new housing loan approval system will make it simpler for citizens to secure funding for real estate in the country.

The UAE Cabinet, chaired by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, sanctioned a new housing approval package for citizens valued at Dh1.682 billion (£334 million).

The package includes 2,160 decisions for beneficiaries of housing assistance in June 2024 under the Sheikh Zayed Housing Programme.

The Cabinet also endorsed the introduction of the “Manzili” bundle for beneficiaries of the Programme. This bundle provides 18 housing services to citizens through collaboration with 24 federal and local government entities, simplifying the customer journey and reducing the necessary documents by decreasing the involved entities from 11 to one and the documents from 10 to two.

The procedures are reduced from 14 to three steps, and the service fields from 32 to five. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum said: “During the Cabinet meeting, we approved 2,160 new housing decisions for citizens under the Sheikh Zayed Housing Programme valued at Dh1.682 billion.

“We also sanctioned a project to simplify and reduce procedures within the programme in collaboration with 24 government entities. This will streamline the process, reducing the number of required documents for housing loan approval from 10 to two.

“We thank the teams working tirelessly to eliminate bureaucracy, re-engineer all government procedures, simplify them, and improve the lives of our citizens.”

These decisions coincide with the upcoming Eid Al-Adha and aim to achieve social stability. They align with the UAE’s ongoing policies of support and empowerment, ensuring a dignified life and suitable housing for all citizens.

Additionally, the “Manzili” bundle enhances the quality of digital government services, ensuring speedy delivery and simplified procedures for citizens.

The launch of the “Manzili” bundle aligns with the objectives of the upcoming phase, which includes eliminating 2,000 government procedures within a year, reducing the time needed to complete government services by 50 per cent, and re-engineering them to offer a new generation of proactive integrated services, making the UAE government the best globally.

The “Manzili” bundle provides 18 housing services in collaboration with 24 federal and local government entities, simplifying the customer journey and necessary documents.

This involves dealing with one entity instead of 11, reducing the documents from 10 to two, and procedures from 14 to 3. The service fields are reduced from 32 to 5.

Suhail Mohamed Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, said: “The bundle supports the goals of advancing digital transformation and adopting technological solutions in designing future services. This ensures the achievement of national objectives and strategies by providing integrated digital services, improving the lives of community members and delivering leading services that enhance the happiness of citizens and facilitate their transactions.”

Eng. Mohamed Al Mansouri, Director General of Sheikh Zayed Housing Programme, explained that the bundle embodies the UAE’s commitment to accelerating the achievement of national housing objectives under the “We the UAE 2031” vision.

It highlights the UAE’s commitment to achieving sustainable development and enhancing the quality of life for its citizens. The Dh1.682 billion (£334 million) housing package includes 437 housing decisions worth Dh297.65 million (£59 million), following the directives of Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, to complete all previous housing grant requests through the President’s initiatives with a total amount of Dh2.3 billion (£457 million).

It also includes 1,654 housing financing decisions worth Dh1,301,609,308 (£259 million) as part of the new housing policy plan in collaboration with national banks and financial institutions. It also includes 69 government housing decisions worth Dh82.8 million (£16 million).

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Sheikh Mohammed Presides Over swearing-in of Judicial Inspection Authority Members

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, presided over the swearing-in ceremony of three new members of Dubai’s Judicial Inspection Authority.

His Highness Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, First Deputy Ruler of Dubai, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of the UAE, and Chairman of the Dubai Judicial Council, also attended the ceremony that took place at the Union House in Dubai.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed wished the new judges success in their roles, emphasising their crucial role in enhancing Dubai's judicial efficiency. He also highlighted the vital part that judges play in upholding fairness, protecting society and maintaining the rule of law.

Members of the Judicial Inspection Authority who were sworn in included Dr Mostafa Ali Khalaf Mohamed Amin, Dr Hussein Ali Saleh Al-Amri and Dr Nassar Mohamed Sabeitan Al-Halama. The newly appointed officials pledged to uphold justice, abide by the law, and perform their duties with integrity.

The ceremony was attended by Mohammed Ibrahim Al Shaibani, Vice Chairman of the Dubai Judicial Council; Chancellor Essam Issa Al Humaidan, Attorney General of Dubai; Dr Saif Ghanem Al Suwaidi, Director General of Dubai Courts; and Judge Mohammed Mubarak Al Sabousi, Director of Dubai’s Judicial Inspection Authority.

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FTA Issues Public Clarification on Corporate Tax Registration Deadlines for Taxable Persons

The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) has issued a public clarification on the registration timelines for taxable persons for corporate tax. The clarification further explains the specific deadlines for the different categories of taxable persons subject to corporate tax and encourages them to submit their tax registration applications to the FTA.

The clarification underscores the FTA’s commitment to informing taxable persons and stakeholders about all key updates and developments to ensure complete transparency and compliance. It aims to clarify the timelines prescribed in Federal Tax Authority Decision No. 3 of 2024 regarding the registration of taxable persons for corporate tax under Federal Decree Law No. 47 of 2022 on the taxation of corporations and businesses and its amendments.

The FTA stated that this clarification neither amends nor seeks to amend any provision of the aforementioned legislation. Therefore, it is effective from the date of implementation, i.e., March 1, 2024, unless stated otherwise.

The public clarification emphasises the deadlines for various types of taxable persons, both resident persons and non-resident persons, including juridical persons and natural persons.

It also addresses the registration requirements for juridical persons seeking exempt status from the FTA under the corporate tax law. However, the timeline for applying for exemptions remains unchanged, as per FTA Decision No. 7 of 2023.

According to the clarification, all taxable persons are required to submit a tax registration application to the FTA by the specified deadlines. Non-compliance will result in an administrative penalty of Dh10,000.

The public clarification includes a comprehensive analysis and examples to help taxable persons understand how the timelines apply to their specific category. The FTA encourages all affected persons to adhere to the specified timelines to ensure compliance and avoid any penalties. Therefore, it is crucial for all taxable persons to review the public clarification and ensure the timely submission of their corporate tax registration applications.

Key Highlights

Juridical persons that are resident persons incorporated or otherwise established or recognised prior to March 1, 2024 must submit their tax registration application for corporate tax based on the month of their licence issuance. If such a juridical person does not hold a licence as of March 1, 2024, the application deadline is May 31, 2024.

If the taxable person holds an expired licence as of March 1, 2024, the reference for submission is still based on the month of its original licence issuance. For those with multiple licences, the deadline is determined by the earliest issuance date, considering the year of issuance of the licence.

For juridical persons that are incorporated or otherwise established or recognised on or after March 1, 2024, they must submit a tax registration application within three months from the date of incorporation, establishment, or recognition.

Juridical persons recognised under foreign legislation but managed and controlled in the UAE must submit a tax registration application within three months from the end of their financial year.

Juridical persons that are non-resident persons prior to March 1, 2024, by virtue of having a permanent establishment in the UAE, must submit a tax registration application within nine months from the date of existence of the permanent establishment.

The date of existence of the permanent establishment is when the permanent establishment is recognised for UAE corporate tax purposes. Therefore, for a fixed place of business permanent establishment, the existence of the permanent establishment will be when all the requirements are met, including establishing a degree of permanence of six months in the UAE, starting from when the corporate tax law came into force on June 1, 2023.

If an international agreement provides a longer duration for recognising a permanent establishment, the international agreement prevails. Juridical persons that are non-resident persons by virtue of having a nexus in the UAE prior to March 1, 2024 must submit their application by May 31, 2024.

Juridical persons that are non-resident persons on or after March 1, 2024 by virtue of having a permanent establishment in the UAE must submit a tax registration application within six months from the date of existence of the permanent establishment.

If non-resident persons have both a permanent establishment and a nexus in the UAE, the deadline to submit a tax registration application for corporate tax to the FTA is the earliest of their respective deadlines.

Starting January 1, 2024, natural persons that are resident persons must submit a tax registration application for corporate tax if their turnover from businesses or business activities in the UAE exceeds Dh1 million within a Gregorian calendar year. If this threshold is met, a tax registration application must be submitted by March 31 of the subsequent Gregorian calendar year.

Natural persons that are non-resident persons must submit a tax registration application for corporate tax if their turnover from businesses or business activities derived via a permanent establishment in the UAE exceeds Dh1 million during a Gregorian calendar year, starting from January 1, 2024. Such natural persons are required to complete a tax registration application within three months of meeting the requirements of being subject to corporate tax.

A natural person who is a non-resident person will meet the requirements to be subject to corporate tax when they have a permanent establishment in the UAE and, in the Gregorian calendar year, they exceed the Dh1 million turnover threshold derived from the permanent establishment.

The first possible tax period for a natural person, regardless of whether they are a resident person or a non-resident person, will be the 2024 Gregorian calendar year. Any income generated before January 1, 2024 will not be subject to corporate tax, and the deadline to submit a tax registration application is March 31, 2025.

The public clarification on corporate tax registration timelines underlines the FTA's dedication to fostering a transparent and efficient tax environment, ensuring that all persons can operate within a well-defined and supportive framework. 

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UAE Urges 'Smoke-Free' Companies: Enforce Strict Disciplinary Action Against Violators


The UAE's Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) has urged companies with ‘tobacco-free’ policies to take disciplinary actions against employees who breach smoking regulations. According to MoHAP, smokers must be initially informed about the company's tobacco-free workplace policy and issued a written notice.

“There must be a record documenting the violator’s name, the incident location, timing and consequences,” MoHAP stated. The announcement coincides with the release of a tobacco-free workplace guide for companies. A ‘tobacco-free facility’ prohibits the use of tobacco in all forms.

In such government and private entities, smoking is not allowed anywhere on the premises, including outdoor and parking areas. UAE laws prohibit smoking in enclosed public spaces.

The use of any form of tobacco in all public places, including governmental, health and educational institutions, public transport and other public areas, is also forbidden, according to the guide.

Dr Hussain Abdul Rahman Al Rand, Assistant Undersecretary for the Public Health Sector, said: “This guide will serve as a key resource to assist both government and private entities in fostering a workplace free from the use of all tobacco products.

It aligns with the UAE's commitment to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC), ratified in 2005, which aims to implement effective measures to protect against exposure to tobacco smoke in workplaces, public transportation, and public places.”

Performance Documentation

The ministry recommends that the implementation of the tobacco-free policy initiative be integrated into the professional performance documentation. “To ensure a facility is tobacco-free, we recommend developing and implementing written procedures.”

These procedures should be clear and straightforward:

  • Nominate management and staff members responsible for overseeing the implementation of these procedures.
  • Raise awareness among employees about a tobacco-free environment.
  • Provide essential information to employees to help them quit smoking.
  • Communicate the procedures to all employees.
  • Outline measures to be followed in case of non-compliance.

As part of the policy, companies should place a board displaying the smoking prohibition measures prominently at the facility entrance.

“(The firm must) strictly prohibit smoking across the facility without any exceptions, especially in indoor or enclosed spaces, as well as (its) vehicles. Smoking must not be allowed in any part of the facility, including outdoor and parking areas. There must be no designated smoking rooms within the facility,” the guide stated.

Companies must remove all cigarette receptacles. The policy must be applied to everyone in the facility “without any exceptions”, including managers, employees, workers, contractors, experts, consultants, suppliers, and visitors.

Companies should place an “adequate number” of no-smoking signs in prominent places across the facility. “The signs must indicate the smoking prohibition and the associated penalties. It is imperative to place no-smoking signs throughout the smoke-free facility, including all enclosed areas, waiting rooms, corridors, lifts and other areas where smokers are likely to congregate.”

Dangers of Passive Smoking

Tobacco smoke contains more than 4,000 toxic chemicals. “Scientific studies and research have demonstrated that exposure to passive smoking increases the risk of critical conditions, such as coronary artery disease, angina pectoris, asthma attacks, lung cancer, sudden infant death syndrome and respiratory diseases in childhood. Emissions from any form of tobacco smoking or heating pose a health risk to individuals surrounding the smoker, as particles of heavy metals persist in the air for long periods,” the guide stated.

Ventilation systems only remove the smell and visible aspects of smoke, “not the toxic substances causing cancer.”

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22 Chief AI Officers Appointed Across Government Entities in Dubai

For the first time in Dubai, 'Chief AI (Artificial Intelligence) Officers' have been appointed across 22 government entities. The initiative was approved by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council.

In a post on his X account, Sheikh Hamdan stated that these appointments are "part of a future-driven vision focused on utilising AI in government work. This move will support Dubai’s journey and expertise, and transform its horizons in developing innovative solutions built on advanced technology".

He added: "The acceleration of AI, its tools and applications is a key pillar of the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum (Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai) to position Dubai as a global hub in developing and deploying AI solutions".

Sheikh Hamdan concluded: "The appointment of the new Chief AI Officers in the Dubai government is a step towards achieving our vision for the future of government work, in line with the Dubai Universal Blueprint for AI (DUB.AI). We expect them to transform our vision into reality by accelerating the work, and doubling down on our efforts".

The Chief AI Officer position was established under DUB.AI, designed to enrich the quality of life and well-being of residents. Additionally, it supports Dubai's endeavour to become the most future-ready city, consolidating its leadership as a global hub for technology and innovation.

DUB.AI aims to cement the emirate’s position as a global hub for AI governance and legislation, while facilitating AI adoption across strategic sectors. Furthermore, the initiative bolsters Dubai's standing in the Global AI Readiness Index, where it presently holds a position in the top 10.

The newly appointed Chief AI Officers represent several government entities across Dubai, including: Community Development Authority in Dubai, Dubai Government Human Resources Department, Dubai Customs, Dubai Police, The Judicial Council, Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Mohammed Bin Rashid Housing Establishment, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, Digital Dubai Authority, General Directorate of Civil Defence in Dubai, Dubai Data and Statistics Establishment, Dubai Health Authority, Public Prosecution, Protocol Department in Dubai, Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority, Dubai Culture & Arts Authority, Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University, Dubai Department of Economy and Tourism, Dubai Corporation for Ambulance Services, Department of Finance in Dubai, Endowments and Minors’ Trust Foundation (Awqaf Dubai), and Dubai Municipality. 

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ADAFSA Introduces New Food Sampling Procedures to Enhance Safety and Quality


The Board of Directors of the Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority (ADAFSA) has decided to implement new procedures for food and fodder sampling for control and inspection in Abu Dhabi.

They have instructed the Director-General of ADAFSA to establish guidelines for sampling and to appoint qualified staff to perform these tasks. The decision aims to standardise the sampling process for monitoring food and fodder at all stages of the supply chain and trade within the Emirate.

The initiative is part of ADAFSA’s ongoing efforts to enhance workflows, update the legal framework and ensure the correct application of policies related to food and feed sampling, control and inspection. It also aims to strengthen adherence to the rules and laws enforced by the Authority.

ADAFSA seeks to update the relevant legislative system, ensure the safety and quality of food and fodder throughout the food chain, ensure compliance with technical regulations and standard specifications and enhance security in aspects related to food safety and animal health by regulating sampling for food and fodder control and inspection.

Saeed Al Bahri Al Ameri, Director-General of ADAFSA, confirmed that the decision would facilitate the re-analysis of samples taken from food establishments and fodder handling facilities for control and inspection purposes.

He emphasised that this decision is part of a plan to modernise and develop the legislative system supporting ADAFSA’s work. It also aligns with federal legislation issued after Regulation No. 5 of 2010 by including fodder samples in the scope of food sampling operations for control and inspection.

The decision underscores ADAFSA’s commitment to consumer health and safety, ensuring the provision of safe and healthy products for humans and animals. It follows the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President, Deputy Prime Minister, Chairman of the Presidential Court, and Chairman of the Board of

Directors of ADAFSA, to enhance the quality and safety of food and fodder products. Al Ameri stated: “These controls provide precise guidelines and directives for sampling operations, including the technical procedures and standards necessary to ensure accurate and reliable results.

We encourage all stakeholders in food and fodder handling facilities to cooperate with sampling procedures and fully comply with the specified procedures to achieve our desired levels of quality and safety.”

 Key Takeaways

Standardisation of Sampling Process: ADAFSA's new guidelines ensure a consistent approach to sampling food and fodder, enhancing reliability and accuracy.
Improved Regulatory Framework: The updated procedures modernise the legislative framework, aligning with federal regulations and supporting ADAFSA's broader objectives.
Enhanced Consumer Safety: The new sampling controls reinforce ADAFSA's commitment to protecting consumer health and safety, ensuring food and fodder products meet stringent standards.
Comprehensive Quality Assurance: The initiative includes technical procedures and standards to guarantee precise and reliable results, maintaining high-quality food and fodder products.
Support for Stakeholders: ADAFSA encourages cooperation from all stakeholders in the food and fodder sectors, promoting compliance with the new sampling procedures for optimal quality and safety.
Focus on Food Security: The new procedures enhance food security by ensuring that all food and fodder products conform to technical regulations and standards, benefiting public health and animal welfare.
Leadership and Vision: Reflecting the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the initiative underscores ADAFSA's proactive approach to improving food and fodder quality and safety in Abu Dhabi.

ADAFSA’s new sampling procedures mark a significant step forward in ensuring the safety, quality and reliability of food and fodder in Abu Dhabi. By standardising processes, updating the regulatory framework and encouraging stakeholder cooperation, ADAFSA aims to protect consumer health and enhance food security, demonstrating a firm commitment to excellence in food safety and animal health.

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Abu Dhabi Restaurant Closed Due to Multiple Violations of Food Safety Standards

A restaurant in Abu Dhabi, Desi Pak Punjab Restaurant, has been ordered to close due to multiple violations of food safety standards, authorities announced.

Insects were discovered in the restaurant's food preparation area, alongside generally poor hygiene practices. Additionally, inadequate ventilation was reported, according to a statement issued by the Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority (ADAFSA).

Desi Pak Punjab Restaurant has repeatedly violated regulations, prompting the closure. ADAFSA confirmed that the shutdown will remain in effect until all food safety issues are resolved and all requirements are fully met.

In 2023, the food regulatory authority conducted over 103,000 inspections across the emirate to ensure adherence to food safety guidelines. This included 63,690 inspections in Abu Dhabi City, 29,583 in Al Ain City and 9,998 in the Al Dhafra Region.

The recently launched Zadna Rating app, which provides the public with access to inspection reports for over 9,000 food establishments, has helped improve compliance rates by over 75 per cent. The public is encouraged to report any food safety concerns through the hotline 800555.

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Unified Economic Licence Launched in Abu Dhabi to Enhance Business Competitiveness

The Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED), in collaboration with the Abu Dhabi Free Zones Council, has launched the Unified Economic Licence in Abu Dhabi. This initiative is led by Khalifa Economic Zones Abu Dhabi (KEZAD Group), Abu Dhabi Airports Free Zone (ADAFZ), Masdar City Free Zone and the Creative Media Authority (CMA).

The aim is to boost the emirate's attractiveness as a business-friendly destination for investors and entrepreneurs. The new initiative standardises the procedures for registering economic licences across the Emirate and its free zones, streamlining the business setup process and improving governance and transparency.

It will introduce a standardised reference number for all licences and ensure company data remains current within a newly integrated Abu Dhabi registry. This will simplify data management and foster collaboration between free zones and mainland authorities.

Investors will benefit from a seamless and faster digital setup process, reflecting Abu Dhabi's commitment to continuously improving the business ecosystem and solidifying its position as a global business hub. To ensure a smooth transition, representatives from entities responsible for economic licence registration have formed a task force.

Ahmed Jasim Al Zaabi, Chairman of ADDED and the Abu Dhabi Free Zones Council, stated: "Free zones play a significant role in our economic diversification and attraction of foreign direct investments (FDIs) in key targeted sectors.

Unifying the licensing process of economic establishments in the emirate is a pivotal step, underscoring Abu Dhabi's commitment to enhancing a business ecosystem that aligns with global standards, empowers investors, entrepreneurs and exceptional talents to capitalise on the extensive and promising opportunities offered by the Emirate's dynamic and thriving economy. This is achieved through the revision and enhancement of legislative and regulatory frameworks and accelerated efforts in digital transformation."

Capt Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, Managing Director and Group CEO of AD Ports Group, said: "AD Ports Group and its subsidiary KEZAD Group welcome the Abu Dhabi Free Zones Council’s initiative to unify the licensing process of economic establishments in Abu Dhabi.

This collaboration exemplifies our commitment to creating a streamlined and efficient business environment that aligns with global standards. By enhancing our legislative and regulatory frameworks and accelerating our digital transformation efforts, we are empowering investors, entrepreneurs, and exceptional talents to fully leverage the extensive opportunities within our thriving economy.

"This unified system will facilitate easier business establishment and significantly boost Abu Dhabi's global competitiveness. We look forward to continuing our partnership with ADDED, ADAFZ, Masdar City Free Zone and the Creative Media Authority to achieve our shared strategic goals and ensure Abu Dhabi remains a premier destination for business and investment," he added.

Elena Sorlini, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer at Abu Dhabi Airports, said: "At Abu Dhabi Airports Free Zone, our strategic vision is to establish Abu Dhabi as a premier global business hub catering to a diverse investor base. Central to our mission is facilitating seamless business operations, and we wholeheartedly support initiatives that aim to create a conducive business environment that attracts investors across target sectors.

Our collaborative efforts to unify licensing for economic establishments will significantly streamline and enhance Abu Dhabi’s business landscape. This alignment with the emirate’s ambition fosters sustainable economic growth through increased diversification, ultimately advancing Abu Dhabi’s economic development aspirations."

Ahmed Baghoum, Chief Executive Officer of Masdar City, praised the initiative to consolidate the registration and licensing of economic establishments in Abu Dhabi. He remarked: "This pivotal measure fortifies the business ecosystem within the Emirate and elevates its standing on the global competitiveness stage. It is in perfect alignment with Masdar City's strategic objective to bolster and advance Abu Dhabi’s sustainable economic framework."

Mohamed Dobay, Acting Director General of the Creative Media Authority, said: "We are proud of the strategic partnership with the Department of Economic Development and all economic sectors in Abu Dhabi, as the MoU and the initiative to unify and facilitate the registration procedures is a remarkable step that aligns with our goal of maintaining Abu Dhabi's position as a leading global destination for creative and media companies."

The mandate of the Abu Dhabi Free Zones Council, established in 2021, is to raise the standards for collaboration between free zones and other entities in the emirate, develop policies and legislation and establish key performance indicators to ensure alignment with socio-economic strategies.

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Dhul Hijjah Crescent Moon Sighted in Abu Dhabi Signals Beginning of Eid Al Adha in UAE

On Friday, June 7, the crescent marking the start of Dhul Hijjah 1445 was photographed in Abu Dhabi. In a social media post, the UAE's Astronomy Centre shared an image of the faint crescent, captured by the Al-Khatim Astronomical Observatory at 10am UAE time (6am GMT).

Islamic countries determine the start of Dhul Hijjah and the celebration of Eid Al Adha based on local moon sightings. The crescent Moon, which signifies the beginning of Dhul Hijjah, was spotted in Saudi Arabia on Thursday, June 6.

Following this sighting, the Supreme Court of Saudi Arabia announced that Friday would be the first day of Dhul Hijjah, with the standing at Arafat scheduled for Saturday, June 15, 2024.
However, in Oman, the crescent moon was not seen on Thursday evening, leading to Monday, June 17, being observed as the first day of Eid Al Adha in Oman.

Countries Yet to Announce Dates

A few more countries — including India and Pakistan — are yet to announce the dates for Dhul Hijjah and Eid Al Adha. Based on astronomical calculations, though, they are expected to see the Moon after sunset.
Here's a list nations that will be on the lookout for the crescent Moon today:

  • India
  • Pakistan
  • Indonesia
  • Bangladesh
  • Iran
  • Morocco
  • Ghana

Eid Al Adha, also known as the Feast of Sacrifice, involves special prayers and the slaughter of livestock -- typically a goat, sheep, cow, or camel -- in remembrance of Prophet Ibrahim's test of faith. The festival commemorates Prophet Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his son following Allah’s command. Before the sacrifice took place, Allah provided a ram for Ibrahim to slaughter instead. 

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Call for Resident Juridical Persons to Apply for Corporate Tax Registration by June 30

The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) has issued a call to resident juridical persons with licences issued in March and April (regardless of the year of issuance) to submit their Corporate Tax registration applications by June 30, 2024, to comply with tax legislation.

In a press release, the FTA emphasised the importance of adhering to the Federal Tax Authority Decision No. (3) of 2024, effective from March 1. This decision sets deadlines for taxpayers subject to Corporate Tax to submit registration applications.

The FTA highlighted that administrative penalties, as per Cabinet Decision No. (75) of 2023, will be imposed on those who fail to meet the specified timeframes for Corporate Tax registration. The FTA clarified that the registration deadlines apply to both resident and non-resident juridical persons, as well as natural persons.

Resident natural persons conducting business in the UAE during 2024 or subsequent years, with total earned revenues exceeding Dh1 million in a Gregorian calendar year, must submit their Corporate Tax registration application by March 31 of the following year. Therefore, for the 2024 tax year, the deadline is March 31, 2025.

Non-resident natural persons conducting business activities in the UAE during 2024 or subsequent years, and whose total earned revenues exceed Dh1 million, must submit their Corporate Tax registration application within three months of meeting the eligibility criteria.

Corporate Tax registration is available through the "EmaraTax" digital tax services platform, accessible 24/7. The process involves four main steps and takes approximately 30 minutes. VAT or excise tax registrants can directly access their accounts on the "EmaraTax" platform, complete the Corporate Tax registration application, and submit the required documents. Upon approval, applicants will receive their Corporate Tax registration number.

Non-registered taxpayers subject to Corporate Tax must create a new user profile. New users can access the "EmaraTax" platform at this link and create an account by registering with their email and personal phone number. Once a user profile is created, taxpayers can complete their registration by selecting the corporate taxpayer option.

To diversify its service delivery channels and promote tax compliance, the FTA allows taxpayers to register directly through the "EmaraTax" digital tax services platform or with the assistance of authorised tax agents listed on the FTA website.

The FTA has also enabled Corporate Tax registration applications through numerous Government Service Centers across the UAE. Taxpayers can submit their applications with the help of specialists at these centers, which provide services electronically. After completing the application process and verifying the data, FTA specialists will review the application internally, and the applicant will receive their tax registration number via email.

The FTA urged taxpayers to review the Corporate Tax Law, implementing decisions, and related guides published on its website at https://tax.gov.ae/en/default.aspx.

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Abu Dhabi Judicial Department, MoD to Strengthen Cooperation in Judicial, Legal Fields

The Abu Dhabi Judicial Department (ADJD) and the Ministry of Defence (MOD) have signed a cooperation agreement to enhance collaboration, exchange expertise in judicial, legal and professional fields, and uphold quality standards in services and training.

The agreement was signed by Yousef Saeed Alabri, Undersecretary of ADJD and Major General Salem Juma Al Kaabi, Head of Military Justice, in the presence of officials and officers from both sides. Alabri reiterated the Judicial Department's commitment to strengthening cooperation with local and federal partners to improve the UAE's stature and support strategic objectives.

This initiative aligns with the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President, Deputy Prime Minister, Chairman of the Presidential Court and Chairman of ADJD, to enhance cooperation with institutions that share responsibilities in consolidating justice and the rule of law.

The agreement aims to train professionals from both entities in judicial, legal, technical, and professional practices, promote the exchange of experiences, practices, and studies, and facilitate coordination and communication to expedite judicial and legal processes.

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Economic Integration Committee Reviews Progress of Trademark Protection Efforts

The Economic Integration Committee held its third meeting of 2024, chaired by Abdulla bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy, and attended by Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, along with representatives from local economic development departments across all emirates.

The Committee reviewed the progress on the implementation of its previous meeting's agenda from March, discussing several crucial topics. A key focus was enhancing national efforts to improve trademark registration in the UAE in line with global best practices.

Abdulla bin Touq Al Marri stated: “In accordance with the directives of our wise leadership, the UAE has made significant strides towards fostering an exemplary legislative and economic framework, adhering to the highest global standards. This advancement is evident in the implementation and refinement of diverse policies and regulations across vital economic sectors, particularly those pertaining to emerging sectors like technology, innovation, intellectual property and trademarks.

Notably, the UAE has been named the premier global destination for initiating and conducting new economic ventures, according to the 2024 Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) report. This recognition aligns with the 'We the UAE 2031' vision, which aims to position the UAE as a compelling and influential economic hub within the next decade.”

Bin Touq emphasised the importance of the Economic Integration Committee and local economic development departments in supporting national efforts to enhance and update competitive and flexible economic laws and policies.

These efforts play a crucial role in supporting the UAE’s vision of transitioning to a knowledge-based and innovative new economic model. Additionally, they will attract foreign direct investments and instill confidence in investors, businessmen and capital owners within the national economy.

He highlighted the significant economic growth achieved by the UAE under the vision and guidance of the wise leadership in 2023. These accomplishments include a 3.6 per cent growth in GDP at constant prices from 2022 to Dh1.68 trillion. Furthermore, the non-oil GDP at constant prices reached Dh1.25 trillion, growing by 6.2 per cent compared to 2022.

These figures solidify the UAE’s position as the fifth-largest economy globally in terms of real GDP growth. Additionally, the UAE has been ranked first in the region and 18th globally in the World Economic Forum's Travel and Tourism Development Index (TTDI) 2024, climbing seven places from its 25th global ranking in 2019.

Last week, the UAE signed an Economic Partnership Agreement with South Korea, marking the beginning of a new era of economic growth and promoting positive collaboration across various sectors such as trade, investment, and economy. This agreement aims to foster constructive cooperation with one of the world’s strongest economies.

The Committee reviewed the progress made in developing the National Economic Registry, utilising the latest technological solutions and artificial intelligence. The registry consists of two phases: the first links data from local licences issued by UAE emirates to companies and institutions and the second links data from licences issued by free zones to companies and institutions.

It will also integrate data of all licence types from all registration authorities in the UAE and free zones. Once complete, the registry will provide an integrated database of companies registered in the country, aligning with best practices and legislations and developing sectoral economic policies based on comprehensive, precise and continuous data.

The Committee further reviewed the UAE’s efforts to fortify the trademark registration and protection system, considering the legislations implemented in alignment with best standards. These efforts play a pivotal role in enhancing the UAE's attractiveness to trademark-related investments and advancing the growth of its products in Emirati markets, ultimately enhancing the reputation of the national economy.

Notably, the total number of registered trademarks, owned by both local and international companies, has reached an impressive figure of 216,937.

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Dubai: Over 220 Cars Impounded for Illegal Passenger Transport; Fines Up to Dh50,000

At least 225 vehicles have been impounded as part of a crackdown by the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) aimed at curbing illegal passenger transport services. The campaign specifically targets private vehicles used for unauthorised passenger transport.

Illegal transport operators carrying passengers or goods anywhere in Dubai face fines of up to Dh50,000 for corporate violators and Dh30,000 for individuals.

Recently, the RTA conducted a series of inspections targeting unlicensed passenger transport and related activities. These inspections, carried out in collaboration with Dubai Police, Airport Security and Emirate’s Parking, resulted in the seizure of over 220 vehicles and the issuance of hundreds of fines to violators.

Saeed Al Balooshi, Director of Passenger Transport Activities Monitoring at RTA’s Public Transport Agency, stated: “RTA, in collaboration with Dubai Police, launched an operation against unlicensed passenger transport operators across the emirate to curb 'passenger smuggling.' The campaign is part of our plan to ensure passenger safety and discourage illegal transport operators.”

The most common areas for illegal transport are airports, where unlicensed operators target incoming passengers with much lower fares. During the inspections, at least 90 vehicles were impounded at terminals 1, 2, and 3 of Dubai Airports.

Similarly, the RTA impounded 49 vehicles around the Jebel Ali area, which is also notorious for illegal passenger transport, as unauthorised taxi operators offer cheaper rides to low-income workers in these areas. He also advised people to avoid using such illegal transport services, as they may not be safe. He noted that RTA teams conduct regular inspections across Dubai to curb these activities and ensure the safety of residents and tourists.

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ADJD Expert Affairs Committee Suspends Registration of Two Experts

The Experts Affairs Committee at the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department (ADJD) issued a decision suspending the registration of two experts, after reviewing the findings of the technical assessment of the work of the experts enrolled in the Department’s roster for the month of April 2024, and based on the outcome of the technical assessment and inspection of their performance in accordance with the regulations and controls in force.

During its meeting which was chaired by Counselor Yousef Saeed Alabri, Undersecretary of the Judicial Department, the Committee approved the applications for the renewal of the registration of three experts in different disciplines on the list of experts registered with the Judicial Department, and endorsed the request made for the registration of an expert on the list of receivers.

The Committee also examined a complaint lodged against an expert and took the appropriate decisions in accordance with the applicable procedures.

The meeting of the Experts Affairs Committee was chaired by Undersecretary of the Judicial Department, in the presence of the Committee members, namely Counselor Ali Al Shaer Al Dhaheri, Director of the Judicial Inspection Division, Judge Mohamed Kamel Elgendy, Judge at Al Ain Court, Yousef Hasan Alhosani, Executive Director of the Judicial Support Sector, Khamees Mubarak Al Qubaisi, Director of Lawyers and Experts Affairs Division and expert Dr Hareb Hamad Al Kuwaiti, Head of the Expertise Technical Office.

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Dubai Implements Total Ban on Single-Use Bags Starting June 1: Fines and Regulations


Starting June 1, customers will no longer be able to purchase single-use plastic bags for 25 fils at shops. Instead, they must use alternatives, as Dubai Municipality has announced a complete ban on all single-use bags, including those made of paper.

In a post on its X account, the Municipality reminded residents that the ban will take effect on June 1. This measure is part of a broader policy aimed at phasing out various single-use products by 2026.
Violators of the single-use bag ban will face a fine of Dh200, according to the Municipality.

The civic body encourages residents to switch to reusable cloth bags. They have also communicated the details of the new policy to various stakeholders, including what it covers, the sectors it affects, and more.

Why is Dubai Banning Single-use Plastic and other Single-Use Products?

The ban is part of a global effort to promote sustainability. Reducing the environmental footprint of individuals is essential for preserving natural resources and protecting environmental habitats. These changes will ultimately lead to a healthier environment, which is crucial for maintaining a sustainable and high quality of life.

What are the Environmental Factors Involved?

  • 86 Per cent of dead turtles found on some of the emirates’ shores had ingested plastic materials.
  •  A significant percentage of camel deaths in the UAE are due to the consumption of plastic bags.
  •  100,000 marine animals are affected yearly by plastic pollution.
  •  It takes over 400 years for plastic to decompose, with its negative impacts lasting thousands of years.

Which Bags Does the Ban Include?

The ban covers the plastic bags announced in January 2024 and extends to all bags thinner than 57 micrometers from June 2024 onwards, including:

  • Plastic bags
  •  Paper bags
  •  Bags less than 57 micrometers thick
  •  Bags made of biodegradable vegetable materials
  •  Biodegradable bags

Which Bags are Excluded?

  •  Bread bags
  •  Knot bags
  •  Roll bags for vegetables, meat, fish, and chicken
  •  Bags more than 57 micrometers thick
  •  Laundry bags
  •  Electronic gadgets bags
  •  Garbage bags of different sizes and types
  • Grain bags

For more information, residents are encouraged to read further updates from the Municipality.

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Abu Dhabi Police Deny Rumors of a 50% Discount on Traffic Fines, Clarifying Official Schemes

Abu Dhabi Police refuted a rumour regarding a 50 per cent discount on traffic fines. Through their social media channels, the police clarified that the only official discount scheme remains as previously announced.

Officials detailed that a legitimate 35 per cent discount on fines is available if paid within 60 days of the violation date, excluding serious violations. Additionally, there is a 25 per cent discount for fines paid between 60 days and up to one year after the violation is issued.

Motorists can also opt to pay fines in installments over 12 months with zero interest if the credit card is issued by banks partnered with the Abu Dhabi Police General Command. Payment can be made via TAMM, the official Abu Dhabi Government platform, or through customer service and happiness counters.

On Wednesday, police urged motorists to rely only on official sources for information and to avoid spreading unverified reports.

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Dubai Court of First Instance Orders BlueChip Owner to Pay Dh10 Million Within 7 Days


The owner of the dodgy BlueChip company has been ordered by the Dubai Court of First Instance to pay Dh10.05 million to a cheque execution applicant or the court treasury within seven days.

If he fails to comply, legal action will be taken against him, the court has warned. The owner, whose current location is unknown, is under extensive investigation after allegedly absconding with millions of investors' funds.

The court order, issued on May 27, follows a similar instance from last year. On May 17, 2023, the Dubai Courts published a notice in a local newspaper, ordering the BlueChip owner to pay Dh2.05 million to another investor.

Recently, a number of UAE investors received a shock when the Blue Chip Group, a company they trusted, abruptly stopped returning their investments. The office where they once went for inquiries is now empty, and the owner and staff are nowhere to be found.

With millions of dollars at stake, investors are deeply concerned about recovering their money. Even Bollywood actor Sonu Sood, who had appeared at one of their events, has clarified that he is not involved with the company.

While cases of financial fraud like the one involving the BlueChip are distressing for investors, the UAE's robust legal framework offers avenues for recourse and justice. By seeking legal guidance and taking proactive steps to assert their rights, investors can navigate these challenging situations and pursue legal action.

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ADJD Settles 822 Execution Cases Worth Dh702M in Wahat Al Zaweya Dispute

The Abu Dhabi Judicial Department (ADJD) has successfully settled 822 execution cases related to lawsuits filed by buyers of the Wahat Al Zaweya Project, amounting to Dh702 million in refunds.

This comprehensive resolution was achieved through the dedicated efforts of a judicial body specifically tasked with handling disputes related to the project. This body was established by His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President of the UAE, Deputy Prime Minister, Chairman of the Presidential Court, and Chairman of the Judicial Department in Abu Dhabi, with the mandate to safeguard claimants' funds and ensure proper execution guarantees.

The special judicial body facilitated the settlement by issuing final rulings to terminate the contracts, deposit the refund amounts into buyers' bank accounts and close the execution files.

Additionally, the judicial body is progressing with the second phase of settlements for 630 buyers with pending lawsuits, offering them the option to continue with the project under current real estate market conditions.

The second phase aims to resolve all remaining disputes, ensuring claimants receive their rights and allowing them to decide whether to continue based on updated market information before finalising the lawsuits, ultimately closing the Wahat Al Zaweya Project file.

The judicial body has also moved forward with resuming the project, following a proposal from the company's board of directors to resolve legal issues by year-end.

The project development will be carried out by authorised contractors, with properties handed over to their rightful owners within timelines ranging from one to three years, depending on the segment location within the project.

The company has pledged to deposit all collected amounts into an escrow account and not disburse any funds until receiving a completion certificate from the relevant authority, ensuring disbursements are proportional to the project's progress.

Furthermore, the company has committed to timely payments of initial installments and provided legal assurances to complete the project as agreed with buyers who have not filed claims, as well as to settle with claimants who wish to proceed with the project. 

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DIFC Courts Signs Cooperation Agreement with The Law Society of Hong Kong

The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Courts have signed a cooperation agreement with The Law Society of Hong Kong, one of Asia's leading financial centres.

The agreement was formalised during a visit to Dubai by a Hong Kong delegation, which included Paul Lam SC, Secretary for Justice of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government and representatives from the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC).

Justice Omar Al Mheiri, Director of DIFC Courts, highlighted the significance of the agreement, stating, "the development of modern commercial courts should rank among the region's foremost achievements of the last two decades; not the facilities themselves, but rather the certainty that they have brought to the domestic and international businesses and individuals operating in the region.

"Connectivity is one of the four mission pillars of the DIFC Courts, and crafting productive partnerships underpins this objective. By working together with other legal bodies from across the world to explore practical synergies, and by sharing best practices, we will be best able to support our respective business communities and the economic success of our respective states."

The agreement aims to enhance investor confidence and promote greater access to justice. It will strengthen relations between two leading common law institutions and boost business confidence for companies in Hong Kong and the UAE, facilitating transactions between two of Asia's key financial hubs.
CM Chan, President of The Law Society of Hong Kong, described the agreement as "the first of its kind between The Law Society of Hong Kong and a Middle Eastern courts system.

" He expressed confidence in the agreement's potential to significantly bolster the legal and judicial sectors, fostering collaboration between businesses in both regions and globally.

In 2024, Hong Kong's Census and Statistics Department reported that the non-oil foreign trade value between the UAE and Hong Kong surged from $9.4 billion in 2020 to $16.23 billion in 2022. This trend continued in 2023, with trade value reaching $16.2 billion in the first 11 months of the year.

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Legal Studies: ADJD Releases Special Edition of ‘The Judiciary and Law Journal

The Abu Dhabi Judicial Department's Centre for Judicial Research and Studies published a special issue of the scholarly journal "The Judiciary and Law," focusing on environmental protection.

The objective of this research is to enhance legal scholarship and analyse the issue from various perspectives, aiming to develop rational and objective solutions that address environmental challenges and align with government sustainability directives.

The editorial of this special issue, available electronically on the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department website, highlights the UAE's efforts in hosting the most significant global event on sustainability and environmental protection -- the 28th session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations

Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 28). The event, which concluded last December, resulted in the historic UAE Climate Action Agreement.
The editorial notes that the world's convergence in the UAE to discuss climate issues and take appropriate measures against growing challenges underscores the country's leading role in environmental protection, resource conservation and the promotion of sustainability.

This role aligns with the vision of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, UAE’s founding father, and is endorsed by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, who declared 2023 the Year of Sustainability, extending the initiative into 2024.

The release of this special issue on environmental protection aligns with the Judicial Department's efforts to uphold the rule of law and protect rights. It reflects the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President of the UAE, Deputy Prime Minister, Chairman of the Presidential Court, and Chairman of the Judicial Department in Abu Dhabi.

The focus is on conducting research and scientific studies to offer innovative solutions that enhance the UAE's global competitive position.

The journal features a collection of specialised studies, including topics such as green economy contracts and their role in combating climate change, the impact of climate change on criminal behaviour, criminal protection of children from environmental harm, national and international efforts by the UAE to combat climate change, compensation funds as alternatives to tort claims for a sustainable future, green courts and environmental judges, and the role of the media in raising awareness about climate change issues.

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GPSSA Outlines Three Essential Steps For Emiratis to Receive Insurance Benefit

There are three essential steps for insured Emiratis at the beginning and end of their employment. These steps include:

  •  Registering with the General Pension and Social Security Authority (GPSSA) upon employment.
  •  Ensuring monthly contributions are paid on time, starting from the first month of employment.
  • Following up on the disbursement of retirement pension, end-of-service gratuity, or compensation.

If an insured Emirati is not registered with the GPSSA, they will not be entitled to receive insurance benefits.

Although it is the responsibility of entities to register Emiratis with the GPSSA, employees should confirm that the registration and contribution process has been completed within 30 days from the joining date. If this has not been done, the individual must proactively inform the GPSSA immediately to preserve their rights.

To meet GPSSA’s registration and contribution criteria, the insured must be an Emirati national (including those who obtain UAE nationality at any time), between the ages of 18 and 60, and submit a medically fit health certificate upon employment.

This applies to all Emiratis working in the federal, government, or private sectors in the UAE, except for employees in the government and private sectors in Abu Dhabi and the government sector in Sharjah.

Once registered, the insured should know the exact contribution percentage and amount due from both the entity and themselves to ensure there is no delay in the transaction. This safeguards the insured’s rights in receiving insurance entitlements from the GPSSA.

The GPSSA, not the employer, is authorised to disburse insurance entitlements (pension, end-of-service gratuity, or additional compensation) at the end of employment. Entities are only responsible for registering their employees and ensuring timely monthly salary deductions for contributions.

Emiratis working in the private sector who wish to benefit from the NAFIS programme must also register and contribute monthly to the GPSSA.

The GPSSA shares an electronic link with NAFIS, which shows the extent to which employers comply with registration and monthly contribution requirements for their employees. 

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ADAFSA Shuts Down High-Quality Foodstuff Trading: How to Report Food Safety Violations?

The Abu Dhabi Agricultural and Food Safety Authority (ADAFSA) has closed down High Quality Foodstuff Trading - One Person Company LLC after discovering significant safety standard violations.

During a routine inspection, ADAFSA officials found live poultry improperly stored at the supermarket, prompting immediate action due to the serious nature of the breach.

ADAFSA conducts regular inspections to ensure all food establishments comply with stringent safety standards. The violation at High Quality Foodstuff Trading located in Musaffah was deemed severe enough to warrant the closure of the supermarket until the issues are rectified.

To keep the public informed, ADAFSA shared details of the violation and subsequent closure on social media. The supermarket will be allowed to reopen only after it addresses ADAFSA’s concerns and meets all required safety standards.

How to Report Food Safety Violations

If you observe any safety violations at your nearest food outlet or grocery store, it is the responsibility of the public to report them to the authorities to help maintain public health and safety standards. In Abu Dhabi, you can contact the Abu Dhabi Agricultural and Food Safety Authority (ADAFSA) by calling their helpline at 800 555.

Abu Dhabi sets a high benchmark for food safety and consumer protection by ensuring that only compliant businesses operate. The prompt actions taken by ADAFSA underscore the city's commitment to upholding these rigorous standards.

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ADJD’s Lawyers' Affairs Committee Approves Registration of 11 New Emirati Lawyers

The ADJD’s Lawyers' Affairs Committee approved requests for registration of 11 new Emirati lawyers on the practicing lawyers’ roster. The committee also agreed to transfer the registration of an Emirati lawyer in the list of non-practicing lawyers.

This approval was given at a meeting led by Counselor Youssef Saeed Al Abri, the Undersecretary of ADJD, during which the committee assessed three complaints against lawyers and responded accordingly.  

Furthermore, requests for the re-registration of lawyers whose registrations had lapsed for over two months, as well as four other requests from lawyers, were also reviewed and appropriate actions were taken.

The committee convened under the chairmanship of the undersecretary of ADJD, and was attended by the committee members, namely Judge Bushaib Hijami president of Al Ain Court of Appeal, Judge Assem Al Saadani from Abu Dhabi Court of Appeal, Counselor Mohammed Dwaiher Al Kathiri from the Public Prosecution, Lawyer Abdullah Fadhl Al Hammadi and Khamis Mubarak Al- Qubaisi, Director of Lawyers and Experts Affairs Division, as the rapporteur.  

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Blue Chip Scam: What to Do When Faced with Financial Fraud Cases in the UAE?

Recently, a number of UAE investors received a shock when the Blue Chip Group, a company they trusted, abruptly stopped returning their investments.

The office where they once went for inquiries is now empty, and the owner and staff are nowhere to be found. With millions of dollars at stake, investors are deeply concerned about recovering their money. Even Bollywood actor Sonu Sood, who had appeared at one of their events, has clarified that he is not involved with the company.

This confusing situation leaves investors feeling helpless. In cases like the one involving the Blue Chip Group, where investors are distressed due to alleged financial misconduct, understanding the legal aspects becomes essential. The UAE has stringent laws to combat financial fraud and protect investors' interests.

Firstly, it's crucial to note that financial activities in the UAE require proper licensing and approval from regulatory authorities such as the Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA).

Any entity engaging in financial activities without such authorization violates UAE laws. In the case of the Blue Chip Group, the absence of licensing raises significant legal concerns and may indicate potential fraudulent practices.

Investors need to document all relevant evidence, including communication with the company, financial transactions and any contractual agreements. This documentation will be vital in supporting their claims and seeking redress through legal channels.

Furthermore, investors should consider alternative dispute resolution mechanisms, such as mediation or arbitration, to resolve conflicts efficiently and cost-effectively. These methods may offer a quicker resolution compared to traditional litigation and can help mitigate the financial and emotional burden on affected investors.

Investors affected by such incidents should promptly seek legal advice to explore their options. They may consider filing complaints with relevant authorities and initiating legal proceedings to recover their investments.

Legal experts can guide investors through the complex process of navigating regulatory frameworks and pursuing civil claims against the responsible parties.

Additionally, laws related to financial fraud in the UAE impose severe penalties on individuals and entities found guilty of fraudulent activities.

These penalties may include hefty fines, imprisonment, and other punitive measures. By holding perpetrators accountable under the law, the UAE aims to deter future instances of financial misconduct and safeguard the integrity of its financial system.

In conclusion, while cases of financial fraud like the one involving the Blue Chip Group are distressing for investors, the UAE's robust legal framework offers avenues for recourse and justice.

By seeking legal guidance and taking proactive steps to assert their rights, investors can navigate these challenging situations and pursue legal action. 

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Over 1,300 Companies in UAE Fined up to Dh100,000 for Violating Emiratisation Rules


More than 1,300 companies in the UAE have faced fines ranging from Dh20,000 to Dh100,000 for breaching Emiratisation regulations, the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) revealed on Friday.

Between mid-2022 and May 16, 2024, these penalties were imposed on 1,379 firms found to have unlawfully employed 2,170 UAE nationals.

Private enterprises in the nation are mandated to progressively boost their Emirati workforce by two per cent annually, aiming to achieve a minimum of 10 per cent by 2026.

According to the ministry, the current count stands at over 97,000 Emiratis employed across approximately 20,000 private companies, based on data collected during the aforementioned period.

Regular inspections are conducted to ensure adherence to these regulations. Since the enforcement of these rules, hundreds of companies have been identified for non-compliance, resorting to illicit hiring practices to evade targets.

Emiratisation is deemed deceptive when it is confirmed that a UAE national occupies a nominal position devoid of substantive responsibilities solely to meet Emiratisation quotas. Some entities engage in 'rehiring' Emiratis to manipulate data.

In addition to substantial fines of up to Dh100,000, offenders are referred to the Public Prosecution. Certain entities face downgrading to the lowest rating within the MoHRE system, while others are obligated to make financial contributions towards Emiratisation initiatives.

"The ministry is committed to addressing any detrimental practices aimed at subverting Emiratisation obligations, employing robust measures in accordance with the law," stated the ministry.

Residents are encouraged to report any violations of labour regulations by contacting 600590000, or utilising the MoHRE app or website.

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UAE Dismisses Claims of 'Dubai Unlocked' Report, Affirms Commitment to Pursuing Global Criminals

The UAE is deeply committed to safeguarding the integrity of the global financial system, a responsibility it takes extremely seriously.

Recently, it garnered recognition from an international body dedicated to combating money laundering.

Highlighting this commitment, a UAE official dismissed a recent report alleging that the country has provided sanctuary to some of the world’s most wanted criminals, attributing this claim in part to the secrecy of its real estate sector.

The official emphasised the UAE's significant strides in pursuing global criminals, citing praise from the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) earlier this year for its substantial progress.

Experts in banking and finance hailed the UAE's removal from the FATF's grey list, lauding it as a testament to the country's dedication to combating financial crime and sanctions evasion, which greatly bolsters its financial system.

Regarding a recent data leak reported by the Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, which identified numerous alleged criminals, individuals under sanctions and politically exposed persons who have owned property in the UAE, the official reiterated the government's unwavering commitment to upholding the integrity of the global financial system.

Stressing the UAE's ongoing efforts in combating illicit finance, the official underscored the nation's collaboration with international partners to disrupt and deter all forms of financial misconduct, promising sustained efforts in the present and the future. 

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Abu Dhabi Judicial Department Committee for Rehabilitation Discusses Sanctions


Chaired by Counselor Youssef Saeed Al Abri, Undersecretary of the Judicial Department, the Committee for Rehabilitation and Correctional Policies, as established under Law No. 4 of 2024 regarding the regulation of rehabilitation and correctional centres in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, held its inaugural session.

During the session, the committee discussed various initiatives pertaining to penalties, alternatives to incarceration, and the restructuring of rehabilitation and correctional centres in relation to judicial processes. It also examined proposals regarding best practices observed in international rehabilitation and correctional centres.

Counselor Al Abri underscored the Judicial Department’s commitment to developing a comprehensive oversight system for rehabilitation and correctional centres, aligning with the highest global standards.

This commitment reflects the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister, Chairman of Presidential Affairs and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department, aimed at enhancing the judicial system and bolstering Abu Dhabi's competitive standing.

He emphasised the committee’s role in proposing suitable measures and mechanisms to enhance rehabilitation and correctional centres, with the ultimate aim of rehabilitating and reintegrating convicts as productive members of society.

Additionally, the committee aims to suggest ways to reduce prison sentences and broaden the utilisation of alternative forms of punishment.

Furthermore, he noted that the committee is tasked with drafting a plan, policy and operational guide for rehabilitation and correctional centres, ensuring their alignment with the work plans of courts and prosecution offices in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.

It also seeks to propose legislation aimed at expanding the use of alternative measures to incarceration for minor offenses, such as community service, which serves the dual purpose of rehabilitation and discipline.


TDRA Warns Individuals About Platforms that Promise Big Returns from Minimal Investments

In Dubai, you might have encountered a video on your social media feed or received a call from an unfamiliar number. "Grow your wealth rapidly through online trading," declares the voice on the other end.

Although the advertising and promotion for such platforms can be alluring, the Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority (TDRA) in the UAE advises people to be wary of unlicensed platforms.

Through its official social media channels, the TDRA issued a warning regarding fraudulent advertisements that utilise media content and well-known influencers to endorse links promising trading opportunities, often exploiting people's trust.

Sharing a video featuring someone endorsing a trading platform with the pitch: "Invest just Dh300 to earn over Dh3,500 per month," the post informs individuals about how these ads may deceive users.

"Some individuals become victims of fraud, so it's essential to verify any links before registering. You can reach out to official authorities in the country to authenticate trading platforms," the advisory emphasises.

If you're uncertain about dealing with a particular trading platform, the UAE's Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA) offers a straightforward solution. They maintain a webpage listing entities you should avoid investing with, as they operate without the necessary licence, authorisation, or approval from the SCA.

Last year, the SCA launched an awareness campaign to combat unlicensed financial activities in the UAE. During this campaign, the SCA advised individuals seeking to invest to first verify that the company is licensed for the specific investment purpose. This can be confirmed through the SCA's website and other approved official channels.

Similarly, the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), the independent regulator of financial services in or from the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), provides a dedicated webpage listing alerts issued to warn people of potential scams.

Authorities also caution investors about companies that may impersonate legitimate entities by using their name and logo to defraud people. To avoid falling victim to such scams, the SCA advises investors to verify the identity of the entity they are dealing with before entering into any agreements or financial transactions.

You can also verify if a trading platform is licensed in the UAE by consulting the list of companies licensed by the SCA on their website. Additionally, the list of brokerage firms licensed by the Dubai Financial Market to trade DFM and Nasdaq Dubai listed securities is available on their website.

If you find yourself a victim of online fraud, you can file a complaint through the UAE's eCrime platform or other official online platforms provided by the government.

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Abu Dhabi-based Core42 Unveils Jais Chat: An Arabic-English AI Mobile Application


Abu Dhabi-based Core42 has unveiled Jais Chat, a bilingual AI mobile application now available for download on iOS. This chatbot, developed to meet the growing demand for Generative AI capabilities, is poised to revolutionise digital interactions within the region.

Core42, a subsidiary of Abu Dhabi’s G42 artificial intelligence and cloud company, is a leading provider of sovereign cloud, cybersecurity, and AI infrastructure solutions.

Jais Chat's interface resembles popular AI interfaces such as OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Microsoft’s CoPilot, providing users with a familiar yet advanced platform.

Tailored to meet the expanding usage of GenAI, Jais Chat enables users to access information, find solutions and engage in seamless conversations using various prompts.

Leveraging G42’s extensive language model for Arabic, named Jais and developed in collaboration with Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence and Silicon Valley-based Cerebras Systems, Jais Chat sets a new standard for Arabic language processing.

“With its Arabic-first approach, Jais is redefining how bilingual individuals interact with technology,” commented Andrew Jackson, Executive Vice President and Chief AI Officer at Core42. “Jais Chat represents a significant step forward in our mission to democratize AI access worldwide.”

Core42 has announced plans for future iterations of Jais Chat, which will include enhanced functionalities such as document processing, voice conversation capabilities, and enterprise support with customizable subscription models.

The app’s name, Jais, pays homage to the UAE’s highest peak in the Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah, symbolising its ambition to achieve new heights in AI innovation.

At its core lies Jais 30B, hailed as the world’s most performant Arabic Large Language Model (LLM).

Trained on a vast dataset comprising 126 billion Arabic tokens, 251 billion English tokens, and 50 billion code tokens, Jais Chat boasts unparalleled proficiency in Arabic language processing and accuracy, rivaling top-performing English language models of similar magnitude.

Jackson revealed that “Since Jais' inception in August 2023, the response has been overwhelmingly positive. With the recent launch of JAIS 30B, we’ve witnessed a significant enhancement in its performance metrics. With its Arabic-first approach, Jais is redefining how bilingual individuals interact with technology.”

Key Features

*Bilingual Capability: Fluent in both Arabic and English.
*Cultural and Linguistic Sensitivity: Engineered with an Arabic-centric model for efficient processing of Arabic text.

Unique Features

Generative AI Power: Capable of summarisation, content generation and information retrieval with an Arabic-first approach.

Exciting updates in the pipeline for Jais Chat include document processing, customisable user settings, voice conversation capabilities, and an enterprise support and subscription model tailored to businesses seeking advanced functionalities.

Despite Arabic being spoken by approximately 400 million people worldwide, its representation in AI developments has historically been limited.

Jais Chat aims to bridge this gap by offering a cutting-edge platform that caters to the unique linguistic and cultural needs of Arabic speakers, marking a significant milestone in the evolution of AI technology.

Jais Chat’s launch opens up new possibilities for the region, promising to revolutionise government communications, elevate customer service automation and empower workforces across various sectors. 

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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's New Traffic Strategy to Adopt Remote Work and Flexible Hours to Ease Congestion

Dubai's latest traffic strategy aims to enhance the flow of traffic by implementing flexible working hours and remote work policies across both public and private sectors. The objective is to alleviate traffic congestion throughout Dubai.

The specifics of how and when this policy will be put into action remain unclear. Earlier, authorities in Dubai conducted a comprehensive survey to gather insights into how flexible hours and remote working could alleviate traffic, particularly during peak periods.

Dubai's offices already possess the necessary digital infrastructure to enable remote work for employees during emergencies. Following the heavy rainfall experienced in mid-April and early May, both private and government sector offices transitioned to online operations, allowing employees to work from home.

In addition to remote work initiatives, the traffic flow plan approved by the Executive Council on Wednesday includes the development of priority public bus routes to reduce trip times by up to 59 per cent. The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) previously announced plans to expand Dubai's network of dedicated bus lanes to over 20km, with completion expected between 2025 and 2027.

Moreover, the traffic flow plan encompasses the formulation of a policy to encourage the use of school transport by students, which is projected to enhance traffic flow around schools by 13 per cent.

The Executive Council approved these measures as Dubai Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed chaired the meeting during the Arabian Travel Market at the World Trade Centre.

Furthermore, the council endorsed a policy aimed at enhancing community involvement in shaping policies, legislation, and government services. The initiative seeks to enhance service quality by aligning them more closely with community needs and expectations identified through increased public engagement.

The policy intends to foster collaboration among various stakeholders to enhance the quality of life for all Dubai residents.

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UAE: ICA Introduces Family Data Service as Modern Alternative to UAE Family Book

The Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs and Ports Security (ICA) has unveiled the introduction of a Family Data service, offering Emirati individuals and families an alternative to the current UAE Family Book system.

This initiative aims to streamline access to government services electronically. Scheduled to commence on May 13, the service will be accessible via individuals' personal accounts on the authority's website and smartphone application.

The new service is designed to enable Emiratis to seamlessly access all government services digitally, eliminating the need for traditional paper-based transactions. It replaces the current Family Book system.

ICA has confirmed that this service will extend to all family members through their respective electronic accounts on the authority's website and smartphone application, under the name Family Data.

Facilitating the electronic exchange of data among relevant government entities, the service ensures the availability of information necessary for obtaining various services.

All existing Family Book data will be migrated to the Family Data service, while passports will remain the primary identification for travel and movement outside the country.

The protocols for extracting, updating, or amending information within the Family Data service will align with those governing the Family Book system.

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ADJD Showcases Latest Legal Publications, Awareness Initiatives at International Book Fair

The Abu Dhabi Judicial Department is set to participate in the 33rd edition of the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair (ADIBF), taking place from April 29 to May 5 at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre.

The participation reflects the department's commitment to advancing legal culture and disseminating educational messages through innovative means, alongside introducing new and pioneering services regionally and internationally.

During a tour of the department's pavilion, Counselor Yousef Saeed Al Abri, Undersecretary of the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department, underscored the department's continual involvement in the Abu Dhabi Book Fair.

He emphasised the diversification of activities aimed at promoting legal awareness and delivering educational messages to all segments of society, aligning with the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President of the UAE, Deputy Prime Minister, Chairman of the Presidential Court and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department.

These directives highlight the crucial role of fostering legal knowledge across society as a cornerstone for upholding the rule of law.

In addition to showcasing legal publications encompassing a diverse range of books and specialized journals in the judicial and legal fields, the department's pavilion also exhibits products crafted by inmates of correction and rehabilitation centres.

These include handicrafts, artworks and creative pieces, aimed at supporting their skill enhancement and integration into society.

The department's participation in the current book fair extends to delivering educational messages aligned with the campaigns launched by the Abu Dhabi Centre for Legal and Community Awareness (Masouliya). These campaigns focus on combatting domestic violence, raising awareness of preventive measures against such crimes, outlining the rights and duties within families and highlighting the penalties for offenders.

Additionally, the campaign "Respecting Privacy... a Right & Duty" aims to educate social media users about the legal responsibilities concerning privacy violations.

Visitors to the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair can benefit from family and psychological consultations offered by specialists, alongside engaging in contests and interactive activities in the children's corner, aimed at educating and strengthening family relationships to uphold societal cohesion and stability.

Furthermore, the department dedicates a section of its pavilion to showcase the services of the ADJD’s English Notary Services Bureau, the first of its kind in the Middle East.

This bureau plays a pivotal role in supporting the business sector by streamlining legal documentation procedures, thereby enhancing ease of doing business to bolster Abu Dhabi's international competitiveness and attractiveness for foreign investment.

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UAE Property Prices Will Slowdown Over Next 12 Months: S&P Global Ratings

The UAE’s real estate market is expected to witness a slowdown in price increases, dropping by nearly 10 per cent by the end of 2024, according to S&P Global Ratings.

Speaking at a media roundtable, Tatjana Lescova, Associate Director at S&P Global Ratings spoke about the outlook of the UAE’s real estate sector and the upcoming supply inventory that will impact the market.

“If you look at the real estate sector today, the first three months of the year (2024) saw double digit growth compared to last year and the prices are continuing to rise. So, we generally think prices will increase on a full-year basis at (the rate of) 5 to 7 per cent this year,” she said. “But this also points towards a deceleration in growth because prices in 2023 increased by almost 15 per cent.”

Lescova added that they expect demand to slow down as well in 2024, “leading towards an eventual turn in the cycle”.

“Businesses coming here will sustain the current trend for some time before the bulk of the new supply, coming in in 2025 and 2026, could result in a shift,” she continued. “So, if you ask whether a slowdown in the real estate sector will come in Q4 2024, it’s hard to point that out, but we think generally it will slow down coming over the next 12 months.”

Lescova also spoke about the impact of the recent UAE floods on the real estate market, saying “it was too early to judge.”

“I think this month (April) will see a dip in transactions, following the impact of the floods, but the long-term impact would greatly depend on the reputation of the development. But if you echo people’s experiences from different areas, this can have an impact on prices potentially,” she said.

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Sheikh Mohammed Presides over Swearing-in Ceremony of New Judges at Dubai Courts

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, presided over the swearing-in ceremony of five judges newly appointed to the Dubai Courts.

During the ceremony at Emirates Towers in Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed wished the newly appointed members of the judiciary success in their new roles and in contributing to further enhancing the efficiency of Dubai’s judicial system.

His Highness urged the judges to uphold the principle of fairness, maintain the highest degree of efficiency in their work, and adhere to the highest professional standards, emphasizing their pivotal role in safeguarding society and the importance of maintaining the rule of law.

The ceremony was attended by His Highness Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, First Deputy Ruler of Dubai, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance and Chairman of the Dubai Judicial Council, along with Sheikh Mansoor bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Dubai Ports and Borders Security Council.

Also present at the swearing-in ceremony were Chancellor Essam Issa Al Humaidan, Attorney General of Dubai; Dr Saif Ghanem Al Suwaidi, Director-General of Dubai Courts; and Dr Abdullah Saif Al-Sabousi, Assistant Secretary-General of Dubai Judicial Council.

The newly appointed judges pledged to uphold justice, abide by the law, and perform their duties with integrity, dedication, and utmost honesty.

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UAE's CSI Church and BAPS Temple: Visitors Beware of Rules and Fines Up to Dh3 Million

The newest CSI church has become the talk of the town, boasting a design inspired by 'wings of angels'.

Opening its doors to the public on May 5, this place of worship stands opposite the BAPS Hindu Temple in Abu Dhabi, occupying 4.37 acres of land in Abu Mureikha. Generously gifted by President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, this magnificent temple has already drawn crowds of residents and tourists alike.

For those planning to visit these non-Muslim places of worship, understanding the proper etiquette and regulations is essential to ensure safety and harmony within the community. Here are the guidelines to follow when visiting these sacred sites in the Emirates.

Regulations in Effect

To safeguard these places of worship from misuse, the UAE has enacted specific laws applicable to both visitors and administrators of these revered sites.

  •   Avoid disrespecting the teachings of any religion, sect, or belief system.
  •   Refrain from using the temple or prayer rooms for any purpose other than their intended use.
  •   Avoid involvement in the country's internal or external affairs, including politics, laws, or actions that may disrupt public order, within these premises.
  •   Do not incite sectarian, racial, religious, or ethnic tensions, or promote extremism or violence in any manner.
  •   Abstain from activities aimed at advocating for a particular religion, sect, or belief.
  •   Perform religious practices only within the designated areas of these structures and refrain from conducting rituals outside these areas.
  •   Prohibit any rituals or practices that may endanger the safety or well-being of individuals, visitors, or workers within these premises.
  •   Obtain approval from the competent authority before organizing conferences, seminars, gatherings, or events.
  •   Avoid affiliations with foreign institutions, organizations, or entities without proper authorisation.
  •   Ensure that funds collected are used only for their intended purposes.
  •   Refrain from soliciting donations or publicizing fundraising efforts through various media channels.
  •   Administrators of these institutions must refrain from establishing any formal or informal relationships with diplomatic or official institutions of foreign states.
  •   Do not engage in internal or foreign political activities or utilize the place of worship for such purposes.

Penalties for Violations

Under the UAE's Federal Law (9) of 2023 regulating non-Muslim places of worship, severe penalties are imposed for breaching the aforementioned regulations and other stipulations outlined in this law.

The fines for violations range from Dh100,000 to Dh3 million, depending on the gravity of the offense.

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Remove Non-compliant Ads or Risk Fines up to Dh50,000, Dubai Realty Brokers Warned

Brokers in Dubai are required to advertise entire off-plan projects, rather than individual units, according to a recent update from the local regulator.
Advertising specific properties is deemed a violation of the permits issued by the
Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA), the regulator asserts.

"It has been observed that some brokers are breaching the terms and conditions for real estate advertisements by obtaining permits to market specific properties," notes RERA, emphasising that this practice will not be tolerated.

Brokers have been instructed to remove all non-compliant ads from property portals within five days, failing which they may face penalties. Violators risk fines of up to Dh50,000 and suspension for up to three months.

RERA's latest intervention aims to eliminate fake and duplicate listings of Dubai freehold properties online. In February, the authority mandated the immediate removal of ads for properties that had been sold or rented out, to uphold transparency in the property market.

The latest rules indicate that RERA is also focusing on off-plan sales marketing. The new rule requires a single brokerage firm to directly assume all responsibilities for marketing a project, rather than subcontracting it to other agencies.

Off-plan sales have continued to outstrip ready home sales in Dubai, with developers rushing to launch new projects slated for handovers between 2026-2028.

Impact on the Dubai Property Market

For brokers, the cap of three brokers per property ad fosters equitable competition and declutters listing portals, enabling prompt identification of market trends.

For sellers and developers, it means diminished competition from unverified listings and enhanced accuracy in pricing trends.

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Abu Dhabi Investment Office, AD Mobility Unveil UAE’s First Operational Vertiport

Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO), in collaboration with the UAE’s General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) and Abu Dhabi Mobility (AD Mobility), an affiliate of the Department of Municipalities and Transport – Abu Dhabi (DMT), has unveiled the inaugural vertiport for vertical take-off and landing aircraft (eVTOLs) in the United Arab Emirates.

The unveiling took place at DRIFTx, an international event showcasing smart, autonomous and sustainable urban mobility across air, land and sea.

Constructed in accordance with the latest industry standards and regulations set by the UAE’s General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), the temporary vertiport facility offers a preview of Abu Dhabi’s ambitious vision to lead the world in advanced electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft (eVTOLs) by 2026.

AD Mobility will oversee the regulation of this cutting-edge air mobility sector in Abu Dhabi in collaboration with the UAE’s GCAA.

Saif Mohammed Al Suwaidi, director-general of the General Civil Aviation Authority, emphasised the significance of collaboration in fostering innovation while ensuring safety and regulatory compliance within the dynamic field of advanced air mobility.

He highlighted events like DRIFTx as essential catalysts for advancing the development of this sector in Abu Dhabi and the wider UAE.

The establishment of the world's first national regulation on vertiports by the UAE's GCAA last year laid a solid foundation for advanced air mobility in the country, guaranteeing the presence of secure and suitable infrastructure to accommodate eVTOL aircraft.

This comprehensive regulation encompasses design, operations and certification standards for vertiports on both land and sea, reflecting a commitment to innovation while prioritising safety and regulatory adherence in aviation.

Abdulla Al Marzouqi, director-general of Abu Dhabi Mobility (AD Mobility), revealed plans for vertiport installations in strategic locations across Abu Dhabi, including major business centres and tourist destinations.

Once operational, the vertiport network will serve as a vital component of Abu Dhabi’s SAVI cluster, centred in Masdar City, offering advanced facilities and support services within a regulatory framework conducive to the development of innovative technologies across various mobility sectors.

Badr Al-Olama, director-general of ADIO, emphasised the transformative impact of Abu Dhabi's vertiport network on transportation innovation and the future of mobility.

The partnership between ADIO and AD Mobility will play a central role in establishing robust infrastructure to integrate smart and autonomous vehicles into daily life, driving progress towards a more connected and efficient future while unlocking significant commercial opportunities and fostering economic development alongside technological advancement.

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Abu Dhabi Court Adjourns Hearing in Terrorist 'Justice and Dignity Committee' Case to May 2

The Abu Dhabi Court has decided to postpone the hearing in the case involving the 'Justice and Dignity Committee' Organisation to May 2, 2024.

The decision aims to allow for the completion of defense arguments and the defendants' response to the prosecution's assertions in Case No. 87 of 2023, which pertains to State Security Offenses.

The case involves 84 defendants accused of establishing and leading a covert terrorist group within the UAE called the ‘Justice and Dignity Committee’.

Allegations against them range from plotting terrorist activities to fundraising for the organization while concealing the origins and destinations of these funds.

During the recent court session, attended by defendants' families and media representatives, defense lawyers argued for over three hours.

Their main contention centered around the court's jurisdiction, citing a previous ruling in Case No. 79 of 2012.

This aspect formed a crucial part of their defense strategy, supported by all defendants. Additionally, they challenged the validity of the charges and disputed the presented evidence.

In response, the prosecution reiterated their stance, emphasising the distinction between the current charges and those in the previous case.

They argued that the actions in question constitute separate criminal offenses, particularly highlighting the financing of a terrorist organisation, which was not addressed in the prior trial.

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Now You Can Report a Crime Online via the UAE Ministry of Interior Smartphone App

If you need to contact the police to report a crime, you don't have to visit a police station in person.

The Ministry of Interior (MoI) in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has launched a new online initiative allowing residents to file criminal reports, aimed at improving convenience and efficiency.

The ministry has informed residents about the option to file criminal reports online through its official smartphone app, 'MOI UAE'.

In a post on its official social media accounts, the ministry shared details of this convenient reporting method available to people in the UAE.

Here are the steps:

  • Download the ‘MOI UAE’ app and log in using your UAE Pass.
  • On the home page, scroll down and click on the ‘File criminal reports’ service.
  • Click on the add icon to create a new request. You will first see the terms and conditions for the service. Click on ‘accept’.
  • Locate the incident location on the map and click ‘Next’. You will then be asked to allow access permissions.
  • Select your preferred reporting method – writing, voice recording, video recording, or photos.
  • Enter incident details and upload the required evidence.
  • Click ‘Submit’.

This service is free of charge, and according to the app, the estimated response time is 30 minutes. The introduction of the online criminal reporting system signifies a landmark achievement in the UAE's continuous efforts to enhance public safety, empower residents, and embrace digital innovation.

By providing a user-friendly and easily accessible avenue for reporting criminal activities, the MoI aims to strengthen community partnerships and foster a society that is safer and more secure for all residents.

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Get in Early: Spinneys IPO Opens in Dubai for Investors -- Here's How to Invest!

From today onwards, you have the opportunity to be among the inaugural investors in the grocery retailer Spinneys’ initial public offering (IPO) in Dubai.

Here's what you need to know about purchasing and owning shares before its public listing on May 9 and how to proceed.

Following Spinneys' announcement of offering 900 million shares, equating to a 25 per cent stake, new investors can now subscribe to the IPO at a price range of between Dh1.42 to Dh1.53 per share. This range indicates the company's valuation at Dh5.1 billion to Dh5.5 billion upon listing.

Spinneys operates premium grocery retail supermarkets under the brands ‘Spinneys’, ‘Waitrose’, and ‘Al Fair’ in the UAE and Oman, with more than 70 stores in the UAE alone. It has reserved five per cent of the stake for individual investors, while the remainder is allocated to institutional investors.

By investing and becoming a shareholder, investors will benefit from dividend payouts. The company plans to distribute dividends in April and October each year, allocating 70 per cent of its profits to shareholders.

How to Subscribe to Spinneys Shares?

To subscribe to or purchase Spinneys’ IPO shares, you must submit a subscription application through your bank or brokerage firm in your own name (unless representing another subscriber).

Investors can participate in Spinneys’ IPO through various banks including Emirates NBD, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, Dubai Islamic Bank, and others.

When investing, ensure you have an updated NIN and complete all necessary fields in the subscription application with the required documents.

How to Apply for a National Investor Number (NIN)?

Apply for an Investor Number instantly or by submitting the necessary documents via DFM eServices on their website.

  • Register for DFM eServices on the DFM website or DFM Smart Services mobile app.
  • Log in with your username and password.
  • Select the eFORMS tab, choose the form, and complete it.
  • Attach the required documents and click ‘Submit.’
  • Receive the Investor Number via SMS and email notification upon request status update.

Minimum Investment Threshold

Individual investors can subscribe with a minimum of Dh5,000, while additional investments can be made in lots of at least Dh1,000. Institutional investors have a minimum subscription of Dh1 million.

Subscription Period and Allotment

The subscription period runs from April 23 to April 29, with share allotment expected by April 30. The final offer price will be determined on May 1.

Considerations for IPO Investments

Investors should bid early in the IPO process to enhance their chances of allotment, as demand typically exceeds supply. It's essential to review the company's prospectus, financial circumstances, and risk tolerance before investing.

Overall, this IPO presents an opportunity for investors to participate in an exciting venture with potential for volatile price movements post-listing.

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LexisNexis Report: 42% of UAE Firms Experience Year-on-Year Increase in Online Fraud

In the UAE, 42 per cent of companies saw a surge in fraud, according to a recent survey.

The LexisNexis True Cost of Fraud Study – Europe, Middle East and Africa revealed that UAE organisations faced an average cost of Dh4.19 (Dh3.62 for retailers and Dh4.99 for financial institutions) for each dirham lost to fraud.

This includes financial losses, labour costs, external expenses, interest, fees and replacement of stolen merchandise.

LexisNexis Risk Solutions released findings from its 2023 report, based on a Forrester Consulting survey. Businesses in Europe, the Middle East and Africa now bear fraud costs 3.90 times the value lost in fraudulent transactions.

Digital payments' rapid adoption enhances payment experiences but exposes systems to more fraud. Across EMEA, digital channels account for 52 per cent of fraud losses, exceeding physical fraud for the first time.

Cybercriminals exploit digital anonymity for fast, untraceable fraud. Scams and technologies like AI aid criminals, expanding their ability to exploit consumers and businesses.

The study reflects evolving criminal tactics. Over half (52 per cent) of EMEA businesses see synthetic identities as the main challenge in customer identity verification. Fraud remains a widespread issue, straining financial resources, operational efficiency, customer trust, and reputation.

Jason Lane-Sellers, LexisNexis Risk Solutions director for EMEA fraud and identity, stressed the escalating risk of financial losses. Fraud requires a multi-layered approach across the customer journey.

Key Findings

Fraud's Commercial Impact: Fraud impacts customer satisfaction (92 per cent in UAE vs. 75 per cent in EMEA) and conversion rates (96 per cent in UAE vs. 71 per cent in EMEA).

UAE shows heightened sensitivity to customer experience, where any fraud impact or prevention method affects satisfaction and company performance.

Evolving Fraud Management: Criminals innovate constantly, exploiting new payment methods and targeting identity theft, scams and digital wallet fraud.
Moving Forward: Organisations must adopt forward-thinking fraud management and authentication solutions, leveraging technologies like AI, machine learning, biometrics, and behaviour-based authentication.

The report surveyed 1,845 global fraud management decision-makers at financial institutions and retail companies, including 55 in the UAE, over 12 months. It provides insights into fraud's current state and challenges in digital payments in emerging markets.

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UAE Rains: Sharjah Police Announces Fees Waiver for Car Damage Certificates

Major General Saif Al Zari Al Shamsi, Commander-in-Chief of Sharjah Police, has announced that certificates of destruction will be issued free of charge to all those affected in the Emirate of Sharjah.

Affected individuals are encouraged to complete and submit their applications through the official platforms of the command, including the Sharjah Police Smart App and its website. The initiative supports the authorities' efforts to alleviate the burden on families affected by the floods during these exceptional circumstances.

The official further explained that field teams are working tirelessly in cooperation with all partners and stakeholders to ensure housing stability and provide maximum assistance to affected families, enabling them to return to normal life across all cities in the Emirate of Sharjah soon.

Maj. Gen. Al Shamsi emphasised that the safety and security of citizens, residents, and visitors remain a top priority. The General Command is collaborating with all partners to fulfill its national, societal, and humanitarian responsibilities.

This action aligns with the directives of the wise leadership and demonstrates commitment to its strategy, which prioritises the highest level of preparedness in crisis management.

Ajman Initiative

Ajman Police officers are taking proactive steps to issue car damage reports, eliminating the inconvenience of motorists having to navigate rainwater or visit a police station. The initiative comes in response to the recent heavy rains in the UAE, which caused flooding and stranded vehicles.

In Ajman, the Police General Command has launched a proactive service to issue loss and damage certificates to community members whose vehicles were affected by flooding. This approach aims to streamline the process for affected individuals, ensuring timely assistance without additional inconvenience m

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Sharjah Cancels all Traffic Violation Penalties Received During Unstable Weather

Sharjah has announced the cancellation of all traffic violation fines incurred during the period of unstable weather. The order was issued by Major General Saif Al Zari Al Shamsi, the Commander-in-Chief of Sharjah Police.

The unstable weather conditions affected the UAE from Monday (April 15) through Wednesday (April 16), with Tuesday (April 16) experiencing the worst of it due to a "low surface pressure" extension and two waves of unstable weather.

This decision to waive all traffic violations reflects the police force's commitment to serving society during these extraordinary circumstances arising from the aftermath of the weather depression experienced by the country.

Last week, the UAE experienced its heaviest rainfall in 75 years, surpassing any recorded precipitation since data collection began in 1949. Many motorists across the Emirates encountered vehicle damage after heavy rains, leading to water-logged roads and flooding.

As the extreme weather persisted, hundreds of residents were compelled to abandon their vehicles on the roadside. With roads submerged under rising floodwaters, motorists had no choice but to wade through murky water to reach safety.

In addition to the fear of traffic violations, motorists faced the daunting challenge of repairing their vehicles due to many cars being stuck in water, resulting in technical issues, damages, and lost car plates.

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ADJD’s Expert Affairs Committee Approves Renewal of Registration for Four Experts

The Expert Affairs Committee of the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department (ADJD) has approved the renewal of registration applications submitted by four experts listed on the roster of experts before the courts and public prosecution units in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.

The committee also considered several new applications for registration across various disciplines. The decision was made during a meeting chaired by Counselor Yousef Saeed Alabri, Undersecretary of the Judicial Department.

During the meeting, the committee addressed a complaint lodged against an expert and took appropriate action in accordance with the established procedures and controls.

The meeting of the Expert Affairs Committee was attended by the Undersecretary of the Judicial Department, along with committee members: Counselor Ali Al Shaer Al Dhaheri, Director of the Judicial Inspection Division; Judge Mohamed Kamel Elgendy, Judge at Al Ain Court; Yousif Hasan Alhosani, Executive Director of the Judicial Support Sector; Khamees Mubarak Al Qubaisi, Director of Lawyers and Experts Affairs Division; and expert Dr Hareb Hamad Al Kuwaiti, Head of the Expertise Technical Office.

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Supermarket Giant Spinneys to Launch IPO, Aiming for Expansion in UAE and Saudi Arabia

Spinneys, the operator of premium supermarkets in the UAE and Oman, plans to list its shares through an initial public offering (IPO) on the Dubai Financial Market to capitalise on "enormous opportunities" for expanding its UAE presence and venturing into Saudi Arabia.

Spinneys intends to sell 900 million shares, representing 25 per cent of the company's issued share capital, through the IPO, announced on Tuesday.

All shares offered in the public float are held by Al Seer Group as the selling shareholder, with the option to adjust the offering size.

The IPO will be open for subscription to UAE investors as part of the retail tranche and to institutional investors as part of the qualified investors’ offering.

Subscription Period

The subscription period for retail investors will run from April 23 to April 29, while for professional investors, it will conclude on April 30.

"This is the opportune time to invite investors to join us in our future growth," remarked Sunil Kumar, Spinneys' chief executive.

"This listing will provide us with strategic flexibility for our ambitious plans moving forward, attract a diverse shareholder base, and grant us access to the capital market to achieve our growth objectives."

Kumar highlighted the significant growth opportunities in the UAE and Saudi Arabia, driven by macroeconomic expansion in the region.

The final offer price for the IPO will be determined through a book-building process, with Spinneys shares anticipated to commence trading on the DFM in May.

Spinneys anticipates strong demand from regional and international investors, buoyed by discussions outlining the company's growth plans and expected dividend payouts.

Investor confidence in the UAE and wider GCC stock markets, robust macroeconomic growth, and recent strong performances of regional listings also support Spinneys' outlook.

Spinneys currently holds a 27 per cent market share in Dubai and 12 per cent in the UAE's Dh23 billion target market for 2022, driven by growth in online sales, private label brands, and fresh food offerings.

Spinneys’ IPO announcement aligns with increased economic activity in Dubai, with companies raising Dh34.5 billion ($9.4 billion) through share sales over the past three years.

In November 2021, Dubai announced plans to list 10 state-owned companies and establish a Dh2 billion market maker fund to foster listings from private companies.

Expansion Plans

Spinneys plans to expand into Saudi Arabia this year, opening its first shop in the kingdom by mid-year and three more by year-end, aiming for two to four new stores annually over the next five years.

In the UAE, Spinneys will launch "Kitchen by Spinneys" offering ethnic food options, with the first concept store set to open in Dubai Mall in the first half of this year.

Spinneys anticipates funding its expansion plans through cash flow, with the IPO providing additional access to capital for potential future mergers and acquisitions, though no immediate deals are planned.

The company operates 75 outlets across 1.3 million square feet of gross leasable area, with revenue expanding to Dh2.87 billion last year, driven by increased online penetration and store footprint expansion in the UAE.

Rothschild & Co Middle East serves as the independent financial adviser, with Emirates NBD Capital, Merrill Lynch, and HSBC Bank Middle East acting as joint global coordinators and bookrunners.

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

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UAE Law Prohibits Gambling, with Limited Exceptions for Lotteries Authorised by MoE

In light of recent developments, such as the temporary suspension of operations by raffle draw operators like Big Ticket, Emirates Draw and Mahzooz, questions may arise regarding the legality of such lotteries in the UAE

Lottery, another term for gambling, is considered haram (forbidden) according to the Holy Quran, Sunnah and the consensus of Islamic scholars.
In the United Arab Emirates (UAE), lottery laws strictly adhere to Islamic principles, which prohibit gambling in any form as per Islamic law, the primary source of legislation in the country.

The UAE upholds strict adherence to Islamic law, which categorically prohibits gambling. Article No. 355 of the UAE's Penal Code classifies engagement in any form of gambling as a criminal offence, subjecting offenders to imprisonment, fines, or both. This prohibition extends to participation in lotteries or other chance-based games, whether conducted online or in physical settings.

However, there are limited exceptions to this stringent stance on lotteries within the UAE. Under Federal Law No. 3 of 1987, as amended, only companies authorised by the Ministry of Economy (MoE) are permitted to conduct raffles, lucky draws and lottery activities accessible to the general public.

These authorised draws typically operate through two channels:

One-time Valid Ticket Purchases

  • Emirates Draw: Administered by Dubai Duty Free, an entity owned by Emirates.
  • Mahzooz: An online platform enabling customers to engage in daily and weekly draws, including the Mahzooz Grand Lottery.
  • Dubai Lottery: Offering a spectrum of prizes ranging from cars and cash to luxury items.
  • Dubai Duty Free Millennium Millionaire Lottery: Bi-monthly draws featuring substantial prizes.
  • The Finest Surprise Draw: Conducted thrice annually, presenting high-value rewards.
  • Dubai Sports City Daily Draw: Holding two draws daily.
  • Dubai Gold Rush Lottery: Providing opportunities to win without a purchase.

Investment-based Lucky Draws

Various financial institutions offer millionaire draws for their investors such as Mashreq Bank's Mashreq Millionaire and Emirates Islamic Bank's Kunooz Millionaire Certificate.

Functioning of UAE Lottery

The UAE Lottery is a government-operated system open to all UAE residents, irrespective of nationality, provided they possess a valid UAE identity card.

Drawings occur multiple times monthly, adhering to specific schedules. Each ticket comprises four distinct numbers, which must be accurately marked before issuance.

During the draw, numbered balls are randomly selected, with winning combinations determined by matching ticket numbers.
Prize allocations are overseen by the Ministry of Culture and Education, with winners receiving their awards upon verification of ticket numbers.

Purchasing Procedures

  • Individuals can procure lottery tickets via various methods like:
  • Online purchase through the official UAE Lotto website.
  • Direct purchase from Dubai Duty Free offices or retail outlets at Dubai International Airport.
  • Telephone hotline orders.
  • In-person acquisition from designated lottery stores across the UAE.

Foreigners and Tourists

Foreign nationals may participate in lotteries depending on the lottery's jurisdiction and residency status. In the UAE, foreigners can engage in draws through platforms like the Big Ticket website, catering to diverse nationalities, including non-residents.

Nonetheless, participants should be cognizant of local laws and regulations before partaking in any lottery activity, ensuring compliance and awareness of potential fees or taxes.

Tourists visiting the UAE can also participate in lotteries, with the Dubai Duty-Free website facilitating ticket purchases.

Emirates Loto

Emirates Loto, UAE's first Sharia-approved lottery, distinguishes itself from traditional lotteries by operating as a collectables scheme. It is a fatwa-approved lottery scheme offering the chance to enter a weekly live draw.

Emirates Loto upholds Sharia law and complies with UAE governmental regulations, allowing users to accrue points through the purchase of collectables from an online platform or over 15,000 registered physical outlets. Upon accumulating a specified number of points, participants become eligible to partake in the lottery.

While UAE lottery laws maintain strict prohibitions on gambling, there are some exceptions. However, the objective remains to ensure fair conduct, transparency and utilisation of proceeds for public welfare. Unauthorised participation in gambling activities beyond sanctioned lotteries can incur severe penalties.

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

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Convenient Service: You Can Now Access Sharjah Property Ownership Deeds on UAE Pass

Sharjah's Real Estate Registration Department has introduced a convenient new service allowing customers to access ownership and usufruct deeds through the UAE Pass app, making it the first government entity in the emirate to offer this feature.

Through the UAE Pass digital identity app, customers can now download various types of deeds, including ownership and private benefit deeds (such as ownership deed, joint ownership deed, usufruct deed, or joint usufruct deed), directly onto their mobile devices.

Abdul Aziz Ahmed Al-Shamsi, Director-General of Sharjah Real Estate Registration Department, emphasised the department's commitment to providing a seamless and efficient experience for customers. He stated: "We aim to facilitate smooth transactions for our customers by ensuring they can complete their tasks quickly and effectively. This aligns with our strategic objectives to deliver services according to the highest global standards."

The "UAE Pass" serves as the nation's primary digital identity for all citizens and residents, enabling users to securely access services from local and federal government agencies without the need to physically visit service centers.

The initiative underscores the UAE's commitment to digital transformation and enhancing public service delivery through innovative digital solutions.

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

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UAE Cements Status as Premier Global Investment Hub on Back of Diversification Push

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has solidified its status as a premier global investment hub, climbing to the 8th position on Kearney’s 2024 Foreign Direct Investment Confidence Index (FDICI).

This marks a remarkable ascent from its 18th place ranking in 2023 and positions the UAE as the 2nd on the Emerging Market Index, trailing only behind China.

The FDICI, now in its 26th edition, remains a reliable indicator of global FDI trends, with the UAE’s progress underscoring its effective pursuit of economic diversification and its emergence as a pivotal regional player on the world stage.

The UAE's diverse economy has experienced substantial growth across pivotal sectors, a testament to the success of its diversification initiatives. Notably, FDI inflows surged from $20.7 billion in 2021 to $22.7 billion in 2022, constituting 60 per cent of the total FDI attracted to Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries.

Rudolph Lohmeyer, Partner at National Transformations Institute, Kearney Middle East, remarked: “The UAE's exceptional rise in Kearney’s 2024 FDI Confidence Index underscores its visionary leadership and proactive measures towards economic diversification, positioning the UAE as a magnet for global investment. Its enhanced ranking reflects growing investor confidence buoyed by the UAE’s consistent policy reforms. With its resilience, advanced infrastructure, robust capital markets and vibrant tech ecosystem, the UAE offers an exceedingly attractive proposition for global investors, even amidst fierce global competition.”

The UAE’s appeal to global investors is further bolstered by its concerted efforts to foster an optimal business environment, notably through the development of a cutting-edge technology ecosystem. This has led to increased investment in sectors such as fintech, e-commerce, agritech, logistics, ICT and renewable energy.

Moreover, the UAE's world-class infrastructure not only facilitates business operations but also enhances overall quality of life, making it a preferred destination for high-value industries. The nation’s unwavering commitment to infrastructure development remains pivotal to sustaining its economic momentum.

The Kearney FDI Confidence Index is an annual survey of global business executives gauging the markets likely to attract the most investment in the next three years.

Unlike backward-looking data on FDI flows, the FDICI provides forward-looking analysis of markets investors intend to target for FDI in the coming years. Since its inception in 1998, the Index has closely tracked the top destinations for actual FDI flows in subsequent years.

Constructed from primary data sourced from a proprietary survey of senior executives of leading global corporations, the index is based on responses from C-level executives, regional and business leaders.

Participating companies have annual revenues exceeding $500 million and are headquartered in 30 countries across various sectors. Index values are calculated based on the likelihood of making a direct investment in select markets over the next three years.

These markets collectively received 95 per cent of the world’s inward FDI flows in 2022, according to UNCTAD data. Higher Index values denote more attractive investment targets.

All economic growth figures cited in the report are the latest estimates and forecasts available from Oxford Economics, unless otherwise specified. Secondary sources include investment promotion agencies, central banks, ministries of finance and trade, relevant news media, and major data sources.

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Who Will Get it? UAE Raffle Draw Operators Eyeing for Licence to Operate National Lottery

In the wake of recent developments, including the temporary halting of operations by raffle draw operators such as Big Ticket, Emirates Draw and Mahzooz, speculation arises regarding the emergence of new gaming products in the UAE market.

While all three companies have attributed the pause to regulatory compliance, the exact timeline for the resumption of their activities remains unspecified. Here's an overview of the situation and what we might expect moving forward.

Big Ticket cites compliance with new directives from the Gaming Regulatory Authority (GCGRA) as the reason behind their temporary halt, aligning it with applicable gaming regulations.

Similarly, Mahzooz and Emirates Draw suggest an industry-wide mandate in line with regulatory efforts to ensure a well-regulated gaming environment in the UAE.

Potential for a National Lottery

Speculation is rife about the possibility of a national lottery being introduced in the UAE, with indications suggesting that a licence to operate such a lottery could be awarded to a raffle draw operator in the country.

Exploring Alternatives

While Mahzooz and Emirates Draw are exploring various options for future endeavours, specific plans have yet to be finalised by either company.

Big Ticket's Upcoming Draws

Despite the pause in operations, Big Ticket assures that scheduled draws, including a grand prize of Dh10 million, will proceed as planned. However, ticket sales have been temporarily suspended from April 1 until further notice.

Impact on Customers

Affected customers can expect temporary closures of physical stores, temporary suspension of certain digital platform functionalities, and the option to withdraw remaining account balances.

While Big Ticket customers' accounts will not remain active during the pause, Mahzooz and Emirates Draw reassure customers that existing accounts will remain active, with balances secured until operations resume.

Resumption of Draws

While specifics regarding the resumption of draws remain unclear, Big Ticket emphasises adherence to regulatory guidelines, Mahzooz expresses optimism for a swift return to operations, and Emirates Draw promises detailed information through official channels at the appropriate time.

Understanding the GCGRA

The establishment of the Gaming Regulatory Authority (GCGRA) in September signifies a concerted effort to introduce a regulatory framework for gaming activities in the UAE.

Tasked with fostering a socially responsible gaming environment, the authority aims to ensure compliance with strict guidelines and promote the economic potential of commercial gaming while upholding the highest standards.

As the UAE navigates regulatory changes and the potential introduction of new gaming products, stakeholders await further developments with anticipation.

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Attention UAE Investors: Direct Subscription to Foreign Funds No Longer Available

As of April 1, individual investors residing in the UAE will no longer have the option to subscribe directly to foreign funds through their local bank accounts, following new regulatory guidelines.

This change has been communicated by banks across the UAE to their clients. Notably, the new rule applies to subscriptions initiated after April 1, while existing investment commitments remain unaffected, as confirmed by banking sources.

Consequently, 'ordinary investors' in the UAE will no longer have access to foreign funds for subscription. However, 'professional investors' can continue their participation in foreign funds, provided they meet the minimum investment threshold of Dh500,000 per foreign fund.

For ordinary investors, only 'local funds' will be directly accessible through their UAE bank accounts.

'Ordinary' and 'Professional' Investors

'Ordinary investors' are those with funds of up to Dh500,000 available for investment. To qualify as 'professional investors,' individuals must possess assets of no less than Dh75 million (after deducting short- and long-term liabilities) and an annual income of no less than Dh150 million.

These directives have been issued to banks by the UAE's Securities & Commodities Authority, emphasising the importance of mitigating risks associated with investing in foreign funds not licensed in the UAE. Funds lacking local licences lack regulatory oversight, exposing investors to increased risk.

Financial industry insiders note a surge in foreign funds attempting to attract UAE-based investors with promises of market-beating returns.

While UAE residents can still invest in these foreign funds, they must now do so through bank accounts in their home countries.

Retail investors have been instrumental in driving spikes in the UAE stock market over the past two years, fuelled by a flurry of IPOs in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

According to financial sector analysts, the regulatory change bodes well for UAE capital markets, anticipating increased retail inflows.

This change sets the stage for sustained inflows into local stocks, marking an exciting evolution in the UAE's regulatory landscape.

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DLD’s New Collaboration to Enhance Opportunities for Emiratis in the Real Estate Sector

The Dubai Land Department (DLD) announced a significant collaboration with nine prominent developers, both private and government-backed, to boost job opportunities for Emiratis in the real estate sector.

The agreement, signed with companies including Emaar Properties, Expo Dubai, and Damac Properties, aims to allocate a portion of their projects, ranging from 10 to 15 per cent, to be sold exclusively through Emirati brokers.

This initiative is part of the "Dubai Real Estate Programme," designed to empower local talent and facilitate their advancement within the real estate industry.

Alongside project allocation, the agreement includes provisions for offering guidance, professional training, and ongoing support to Emirati professionals. The objective is to attract more nationals to the private sector and enhance their expertise, enabling them to establish successful ventures in real estate.

Following the surge in Dubai's real estate sector post-pandemic, there has been a notable increase in job opportunities, particularly in brokerage services.

The demand from both local and international investors has led to the establishment of numerous brokerage firms. Recognizing this trend, DLD aims to further expand its network by collaborating with additional developers in the near future.

The programme's primary goal is to boost Emirati participation in the real estate market. By encouraging their involvement in real estate activities, the initiative seeks to enhance their contribution to one of Dubai's key economic sectors.

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Scamsters Dupe Investors out of Millions of Dirhams by Posing as Leading Broker Equiti

The Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA) in the UAE has issued a cautionary alert to investors regarding an unlicensed entity allegedly posing as the reputable UAE-based global brokerage firm, Equiti.

According to media reports, investors, including notable personalities such as Dubai celebrity Lojain Omran, have been ensnared by this fraudulent scheme.

Lojain Omran

In its advisory released on March 27, the SCA clarified that MRL Investments, operating through the website equiity.com, lacks the necessary licence from the authority and bears no affiliation with Equiti Securities Currencies Brokers LLC (ESCB LLC), which operates under the licensed brand name 'Equiti'.

The SCA underscored that Equiity has no association whatsoever with Equiti, which is authorised by the SCA to conduct trading activities involving derivative contracts and currencies.

Equiti, a reputable global fintech group, recognised even to the extent of having a Dubai metro station named after it, affirmed that it promptly notified the SCA upon uncovering the deceitful activities of Equiity, MRL Investments and a third-party call centre in Sharjah.

Equiti disclosed that entities adopting the deceptive trade name 'EQUIITY' lure deposits via telephone, Equiity.com, or the Equiity app.

According to Equiti, victims reported being contacted by a call centre situated in Sharjah. The company stated in a media report that the Sharjah entity falsely claimed affiliation with Equiti, citing the company's SCA licence and its connection with the Dubai metro station, despite the absence of the licence number on their own website.

Exploiting Equiti's credibility, the scammers persuaded victims to deposit funds through websites or apps associated with the fraudulent scheme.

Equiti has reportedly been collaborating closely with regulatory bodies such as the UAE's SCA and Mauritius' FSC to probe these incidents and uphold the industry's integrity. Additionally, the company is pursuing legal and law enforcement measures against these fraudulent actors and impostors.

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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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ADJD Launches App Offering Advanced Platform for Easy Access to Legal Services

The Abu Dhabi Judicial Department (ADJD) has launched the latest version of its application, aiming to provide customers with an integrated and advanced platform for easy access to their judicial files and stay updated on developments in all courts and prosecution units in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.

The initiative leverages the latest technologies and technological means supported by business intelligence (BI) processes.

His Excellency Counselor Yousef Saeed Alabri, Undersecretary of the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department, highlighted that the release of the new version of the ADJD app aligns with ongoing efforts to further develop the judicial system in line with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, and the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President of the UAE, Deputy Prime Minister, Chairman of the Presidential Court and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department.

These efforts aim to continuously update and improve services to provide smart and innovative solutions that reinforce the competitive position of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi globally.

The Judicial Department has made significant progress in implementing digital transformation requirements, in accordance with its Strategic Plan objectives and priorities, as well as its programs and projects focusing on technical development and smart services.

H.E. Yousef Alabri noted that these initiatives are enhanced by smart solutions and proactive procedures, offering multiple options through service centers and transactions via various smart devices.

The latest version of the Judicial Department's application, linked to the UAE Pass (digital ID), enables users to track case files and their status in courts and public prosecution units. Users can review case details, upload documents, file applications and pay fines and amounts due in judicial cases using multiple digital payment solutions such as Apple Pay and Google Pay.

The update also allows users to update their International Bank Account Number (IBAN) for court cases, track the hearing schedule, attend hearings remotely and access inquiry services on cases and criminal file status.

Additionally, users can access notary public and authentication transactions and digital marriage contracts.

A new notification feature has been introduced to keep litigants informed of judgments, necessary procedures and alerts regarding developments in their judicial files, court hearings, and submitted applications, guiding customers on subsequent actions required.

It's important to note that the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department continuously updates and develops this app to incorporate more judicial and legal services into a single integrated platform.

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Residents Alerted to Heightened Cyber Threats: Tips for Identifying Phishing Emails

Amid escalating cyber threats, UAE residents are urged to remain vigilant against various forms of malware and vulnerabilities. The proliferation of scams and cyber threats necessitates constant vigilance in today's digital landscape.

Instances of fraudulent activities, including impersonations of reputable entities like Dubai Police, local banks and governmental bodies, are witnessing a surge. Hence, it's crucial to conduct routine security assessments to identify and address any weaknesses within your system.

Recently, the UAE Cyber Security Council issued a warning on social media, highlighting the prevalence of deceptive phishing emails aimed at compromising online security.

Staying abreast of evolving scam tactics is vital, with experts noting a staggering 3.4 billion spam emails sent daily, many of which are phishing attempts disguised as legitimate correspondence.

These deceptive emails often masquerade as communications from courier services regarding package deliveries or prompt urgent actions from trusted banks for account verification. Residents are urged to exercise caution before clicking on links or divulging personal information, as this could lead to financial jeopardy. Here are some tips to identify phishing emails:

  • Scrutinize the sender's email address, ensuring it matches the verified account.
  • Avoid clicking on links within suspicious emails; instead, contact the sender through trusted channels.
  • Be wary of urgent requests or emails containing spelling and grammatical errors, common signs of phishing attempts.
  • Verify the authenticity of emails from purported government entities, as legitimate organizations typically use official email domains.

Phishing attacks can manifest in various forms, including emails, text messages, phone calls, or social media posts. Regardless of the delivery method, they all aim to trick recipients into downloading infected attachments or visiting counterfeit websites.

Despite the UAE's robust efforts to combat cyber threats, public sector entities continue to face an average of 50,000 daily cybersecurity attacks, a figure exacerbated by global geopolitical tensions.

While legislative measures have been implemented to address cybercrime, including Federal Law No. 34/2021, public awareness and vigilance remain paramount in thwarting fraudulent activities and safeguarding against potential scams.

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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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 LuLu Group International Appoints Financial Institutions for $2billion Abu Dhabi IPO

LuLu Group International has enlisted the support of financial institutions for an IPO endeavour, potentially generating $2 billion for the hypermarket chain, Bloomberg reported.

Emirates NBD Capital, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB), Citigroup Inc and HSBC Holdings plc are reportedly collaborating on the proposed offering, alongside Moelis & Co, serving as an independent financial advisor.

The anticipated listing is slated for the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) and is scheduled for the latter half of the year.
With its international headquarters situated in the emirate, LuLu operates a network exceeding 260 stores across the GCC region.

According to Bloomberg's undisclosed sources, the company is contemplating a dual listing, potentially including the Saudi Arabian stock exchange Tadawul.

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Firms Based in Abu Dhabi's ADGM Set to Expand Business and Boost Hiring in 2024

According to a recent survey, over 70 per cent of companies within the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) are planning to increase their workforce this year.

With 1,825 active entities in the market as of 2023, this surge in hiring could result in hundreds, if not thousands, of new job opportunities.

Among the firms intending to grow their teams – representing 70.81 per cent of the financial hub – nearly 30 per cent anticipate substantial expansion, while 40.88 per cent are planning more moderate increases in staffing.

Conducted by the financial centre itself, the survey targeted senior management of ADGM-registered firms. It highlighted that 18.56 per cent of respondents recognise significant growth prospects in asset management within the financial centre.

Additionally, respondents identified notable growth potential in fintech, digital assets, blockchain and distributed ledger technology (DLT).

ADGM, serving as the financial free zone of Abu Dhabi, governs Al Maryah Island and expanded to include Reem Island in May 2023.

When asked about the centre's competitive edge, respondents cited various factors: 21.35 per cent pointed to the robust regulatory environment, 19.66 per cent highlighted its strategic location, 17.04 per cent emphasised the quality of life in Abu Dhabi, and 14.98 per cent acknowledged the diverse community. Furthermore, 11.24 per cent underscored the availability of a skilled workforce.

Recent announcements from multinational corporations reinforce ADGM's appeal. Standard Chartered's SC Ventures unveiled its ADGM office in January while investment bank Morgan Stanley inaugurated its fourth regional office there last month.

Additionally, Abu Dhabi developer Aldar disclosed plans for Dh5 billion ($1.361 billion) worth of developments, including a new Grade A commercial tower for Al Maryah Island, last month.

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Sharjah Consultative Council Approves Draft Law on Real Estate Leasing for 2024

Sharjah Consultative Council (SCC) has endorsed a draft law concerning the leasing of real estate in the northern emirate for the year 2024, following the introduction of several amendments during the sixth meeting of the first regular session of the eleventh legislative term.

This marks the second draft law to be deliberated by the Council at the onset of its activities for the eleventh legislative term, Wam reported.

During the session chaired by Dr Abdullah Belhaif Al Nuaimi, the Council deliberated on the real estate leasing draft law and examined the report presented by the Legislative and Legal Affairs, Appeals, Suggestions, and Complaints Committee of the Council.

Counselor Dr Mansour Mohammed bin Nassar, Head of the Legal Department of the Government of Sharjah, praised the development, emphasising the significance of the current draft law as it establishes a framework that contributes to Sharjah's progress and its commitment to regulating landlord-tenant relationships in accordance with existing laws in the emirate.

"Sharjah is an attractive environment for investors and families, hence the need for robust laws and regulations governing real estate transactions, including purchases, sales and other property rights, all of which will be addressed by the draft law," he said.

"Given that the previous law dates back to 2007, approximately 17 years ago, there is a pressing need to amend it to keep pace with developments and meet the evolving needs of all parties involved," the Counselor added.

Khaled Falah Al Suwaidi, Director of Customer Service at Sharjah Municipality, highlighted that the draft law includes regulatory provisions that align with the vision to enhance tourism, investment and residential appeal in the northern emirate.

"The current wording of the draft law addresses the societal living conditions and brings together all relevant stakeholders under an organised legal framework that reflects the developments and demand in the real estate sector of the emirate," he added.

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Unified Vision: Realty Giants Nakheel and Meydan Merge Under Dubai Holding


Real estate giants Nakheel and Meydan have merged with Dubai Holding, as declared by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, today.
H.H Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed will oversee Nakheel and Meydan's integration into Dubai Holding, according to the Executive Office.

Both Nakheel and Meydan's boards of directors will be dissolved as they amalgamate with Dubai Holding. This integration aims to sustain and propel growth through a unified vision, leveraging Dubai's global competitiveness, the Executive Office noted.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed stated: "In a significant stride towards reinforcing our economic growth, we have directed the incorporation of Nakheel and Meydan into Dubai Holding." His Highness highlighted the formation of a global economic entity, led by Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, diversifying across sectors like technology, media, hospitality, real estate and retail.

The objective is to establish a financially efficient entity with assets worth hundreds of billions, equipped with global expertise to compete regionally and globally, aligning with national objectives and the Dubai Economic Agenda D33, Sheikh Mohammed added.

Dubai Holding, established in 2004, has been dedicated to nurturing an innovation-driven, knowledge-based economy, managing a portfolio including Jumeirah Group, Dubai Properties and Tecom Group. The latter operates 10 business clusters, with Dubai Internet City and Dubai Media City as its flagships.

Nakheel and Meydan have introduced various projects across sectors such as property, retail, hospitality, leisure, and healthcare. Joining Dubai Holding will further diversify the conglomerate's operations across property, tourism, hospitality, leisure, entertainment and investments.

The strategic amalgamation aims to leverage synergies, diversify the economy and enhance competitiveness in the global market, the Executive Office said. It aims to address the growing demand for specialized services globally and capitalise on emerging opportunities for long-term global demand.

Dubai Holding's inception aligns closely with the emirate's ambition to become a global business and tourism hub. The company has spearheaded key projects in the emirate, including Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai Studio City, Dubai International Academic City and vital entities like Dubai Media City and Dubai Internet City. Its subsidiary, Tecom Group, manages business districts and oversees developments like Dubai Design District and Dubai Industrial City, while still retaining Dubai Holding's stake.

Investments and joint ventures under Dubai Holding encompass Dubai Hills Estate, du, Rove Hotels, and Dubai Waste Management Centre, alongside projects like City Walk, La Mer, and Bluewaters Island.

The conglomerate's entertainment division includes renowned developments such as Global Village, Ain Dubai, Dubai Parks and Resorts, Roxy Cinemas and Wild Wadi, along with radio stations like Dubai 92, Dubai Eye, and Virgin Radio.

Presently, Dubai Holding boasts assets worth Dh130 billion ($35.4 billion) spanning over a dozen countries. 

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Directives Issued to Reduce Work Hours for Employees in the UAE During Ramadan Season

As the Holy Month of Ramadan commenced on March 11, 2024, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has issued directives to reduce working hours for both public and private sector employees to honor this sacred period.

These changes are mandated by regulatory authorities such as the Federal Authority for Government Human Resources (FAHR) and the Ministry of Human Resources & Emiratisation (MoHRE), and governed by relevant legislation. They aim to accommodate the religious practices of fasting Muslims.

Public Sector

In accordance with directives issued by the FAHR, ministries and federal entities have implemented revised working hours during Ramadan.

Official working hours are set from 9:00 am to 2:30 pm from Monday through Thursday. On Fridays, traditionally a day of communal worship, working hours are further adjusted to 9:00 am to 12:00 pm, with exceptions made for roles requiring extended coverage.

These adjustments enable ministries and federal entities to adopt flexible working arrangements, ensuring compliance with daily working hour requirements while accommodating individual needs.

Private Sector

Private sector employers are required to reduce regular working hours by two hours throughout Ramadan, as prescribed by Cabinet Resolution No. (1) of 2022 and Federal Decree-Law No. (33) of 2021.

This legal framework ensures that employees have sufficient time for rest and sustenance during the fasting period. Additionally, employees who exceed stipulated working hours during Ramadan are entitled to overtime compensation in accordance with UAE Labour Law provisions.


While the overarching principle mandates reduced working hours, exemptions exist for workplaces operating fewer than six hours regularly during the non-Ramadan period.

Similarly, entities with established policies prescribing shorter hours on Fridays may maintain their customary schedules, provided they comply with regulatory standards and uphold employees' rights.

Such flexibility underscores the UAE's commitment to accommodating diverse workplace practices while upholding legal standards and respecting religious observances.

Navigating the intricacies of adjusted working hours during Ramadan requires both public and private sector entities to adhere to regulatory guidelines and protect employees' rights.

By fostering an environment of compliance and understanding, organisations can meet their legal obligations while demonstrating respect for the cultural and religious diversity inherent in the UAE's workforce.

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Are you Planning to Start a Business in UAE? Here’s a Complete Guide

Starting a business involves careful planning, making key financial decisions, and completing a series of legal activities.

It is advisable to seek professional guidance from legal experts , business consultants, or public relations services to efficiently navigate the complexities of starting a business in the UAE and ensure compliance with local regulations.

Additionally, conducting comprehensive market research and gaining an understanding of the cultural and business environment in the country can significantly contribute to the success of your venture.

Initiating a business in the UAE requires careful consideration and adherence to specific steps. Here is a brief outline of the process.

Determine the Business Type: Identify the business activity you wish to pursue and select the appropriate legal structure. Common business structures in the UAE include sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company (LLC) and free zone company

Choose a Business Name: Opt for a distinctive and fitting name for your business that aligns with the naming regulations established by the relevant authorities in the UAE. The chosen name should not infringe on any trademarks and should accurately represent your business.

Acquire Essential Licenses and Permits: Depending on the nature of your business activity and its location (mainland or free zone), you must secure the necessary licences and permits from the Department of Economic Development (DED) for mainland enterprises or the respective free zone authority for businesses situated in free zones.

Secure a Local Sponsor or Partner: For mainland businesses, it is essential to have a local sponsor or partner who is either a UAE national or a company entirely owned by UAE nationals. The sponsor will maintain a specific ownership percentage in accordance with UAE regulations.

Prepare and Authenticate Legal Documents: Develop essential legal documents like the memorandum of association (MoA) and articles of association (AoA) that outline the company's structure, operations, and shareholding specifics. These documents must be authenticated by a notary public in the UAE.

Register Your Business: Complete the registration process for your business with the relevant authorities, such as the DED for mainland businesses or the free zone authority for enterprises in free zones. This entails submitting the required paperwork, settling registration fees and obtaining the essential approvals.

Establish a Corporate Bank Account: After successfully registering your business, it is essential to open a corporate bank account in the UAE to facilitate financial transactions. Numerous banks in the UAE provide specialised corporate banking services tailored to meet the specific needs of businesses.

Acquire Visas and Work Permits: If you intend to employ individuals or work in the UAE personally, it is necessary to apply for visas and work permits  for both yourself and your employees. The requirements and procedures for obtaining these documents may vary depending on the type of visa and the jurisdiction (mainland or free zone).

Ensure Compliance with Tax and Regulatory Obligations: Familiarise yourself with the tax and regulatory obligations that apply to your business in the UAE. While the UAE offers a favourable tax environment, certain taxes such as value-added tax (VAT), may be applicable based on the nature of your business activities.

Establish Office Space: Make arrangements for suitable office space or commercial premises to carry out your business operations. The choice between leasing office space in a business centre, renting a commercial property, or operating from a free zone facility should be based on your business requirements and budget.

(The writer is a legal associate at Dubai-based NYK Law Firm)

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Forensic Probe Made Easy: Dubai Police Launch Virtual Autopsy

Dubai Police have entered a groundbreaking era in forensic investigation with the introduction of virtual autopsy technology, known as ‘virtopsy’.

This innovative approach utilises advanced scanning and imaging technology facilitated by artificial intelligence (AI), marking a significant leap forward in crime-solving capabilities.

The implementation of virtual autopsies was announced by Maj. Gen. Ahmed Thani bin Ghalita Al Muhairi, Director of the General Department of Criminal Evidence and Criminology.

The virtopsy procedure, similar to a CT scan, meticulously examines the deceased, identifying suspicious areas or organs without the need for extensive physical intervention.

Virtual autopsies employ modern radiographical aids such as computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to provide highly sensitive and accurate results. This technological advancement drastically reduces autopsy duration from hours to mere minutes, thanks to AI algorithms, thereby expediting the resolution of criminal cases.

One of the key advantages of virtual autopsies is the preservation of the dignity of the deceased. By minimising the need for invasive procedures, this approach respects cultural values and societal norms. Moreover, it considers psychological aspects, ensuring that autopsies are conducted only when urgently required.

Dubai Police have seamlessly integrated forensic medicine and crime scene investigation into a singular department, fostering collaboration and synergy. This integration has significantly contributed to a shortened crime-solving timeline, now standing at just 10 days, a remarkable feat compared to global standards.

Dubai Police's commitment to enhancing capabilities is highlighted by a state-of-the-art facility representing an investment of Dh550 million. This facility, equipped with cutting-edge technology, promotes environmental sustainability while bolstering forensic capabilities.

Under the leadership of Maj. Gen. bin Ghalita, Dubai Police have prioritised professional development and diversity within the force.

The General Department of Criminal Evidence and Criminology has experienced exponential growth, expanding from six individuals in 1986 to over 600 highly skilled professionals today. Emphasis is placed on empowering women and attracting talent with advanced degrees, ensuring a diverse and proficient workforce.

The introduction of virtual autopsy technology by Dubai Police signifies a paradigm shift in forensic investigation. By leveraging AI and advanced imaging techniques, the department has streamlined processes, enhanced accuracy and addressed cultural sensitivities.

This progressive approach underscores Dubai's commitment to innovation and excellence in law enforcement, setting a benchmark for forensic practices globally.

Incorporating virtopsy into forensic procedures represents a monumental stride towards efficient crime-solving and upholding the dignity of the deceased.

With continued investment in technology and human capital, Dubai Police are poised to maintain their position at the forefront of forensic science, ensuring justice and security for all.

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H.H Sheikh Mohammed Introduces a New 20% Annual Tax for Foreign Banks Operating in Dubai

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE, has issued Law No. (1) of 2024 concerning the taxation of foreign banks operating in Dubai.

The law applies to all foreign banks operating in Dubai, including those within special development zones and free zones, except for foreign banks licensed to operate in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).

Under the new legislation, foreign banks are liable to a 20 per cent tax on their annual taxable income. However, if these banks already pay corporate tax in accordance with Federal Law No. (47) of 2022 on the Taxation of Corporations and Businesses and its subsequent amendments, the corporate tax amount will be deducted from their overall tax liability.

The law delineates the principles guiding the calculation of taxable income, tax filing and payment procedures, protocols for tax filing audits, voluntary disclosures as well as the responsibilities and procedures associated with tax audits.

Moreover, the law elucidates the rights of foreign banks and their branches authorised by the Central Bank of the UAE. It establishes the protocol for communicating the outcomes of tax audits and permits the taxable entity to raise objections with Dubai’s Department of Finance regarding the tax amount or fines imposed on them, subject to certain conditions as stipulated in the law.

According to the law, the Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai will issue a decision on actions considered violations of this law and the penalties imposed for such violations. The cumulative penalties levied must not exceed Dh500,000, and for repeat violations within two years, the fine will be doubled up to a maximum of Dh1 million.
The new law will be applicable to the tax year commencing after its enactment. The Director-General of the Department of Finance will also issue the requisite decisions to execute the provisions of this law, which will be promulgated in the Official Gazette.

Moreover, this new legislation revokes Regulation No. (2) of 1996 or any other conflicting regulations. Decisions and memoranda issued to execute Regulation No. (2) of 1996 will remain valid until new decisions are issued to replace it.

Law No. (1) of 2024 on the taxation of foreign banks operating in Dubai becomes effective from the date of its publication in the Official Gazette.

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You Can’t Lie: Brain Scanners to Help Police in Determining Suspect’s Honesty

A brain scanner capable of discerning whether a suspect was present at a crime scene is set to be employed by law enforcement in the UAE.

Unveiled at the World Police Summit (WPS) in Dubai, the device features a headset furnished with electrodes for monitoring brain activity, along with attached wires and clips that secure to a person’s ears. This headset incorporates various markers to be assessed.

According to a spokesperson of the Ministry of Interior, "it surpasses the functionality of a polygraph machine.” The polygraph machine measures a person’s blood pressure, pulse and other physiological factors, many of which can be controlled by someone who can lie easily. However, brain activity is not something that can be as easily controlled.

The device will be affixed to a suspect's head, who will then be exposed to several photographs from a crime scene. Variations in brain activity will indicate familiarity or unfamiliarity with the images, providing insight into the individual's involvement.

Upon completion of the brain activity analysis, the headset will generate a comprehensive report detailing the neural responses to each photograph and their implications regarding the suspect's culpability.

Also showcased at the event was a smart police cap equipped with a focus-monitoring sensor. Connected to an application, this cap allows officers to gauge and enhance their focus levels through periodic tests. The innovation aims to mitigate accidents resulting from lapses in officers' concentration during duty.

Developed in Abu Dhabi, the cap is pending patent approval and is poised for trial deployment across police forces in the UAE.

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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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Are You Facing Travel Ban in UAE Due to Credit Card Dues? Don’t Worry

In the UAE, travel bans are being imposed on individuals who are unable to pay their UAE credit card debt. The travel ban is imposed by the government through the immigration authorities and is based on a list provided by the credit card companies. This list contains the names of individuals who have failed to pay their debts and are considered high-risk.

The travel ban has serious consequences for individuals who are affected. It restricts their freedom of movement and can lead to job loss and financial hardship. In addition, the ban can have a negative impact on their credit score, making it difficult for them to access credit in the future. This can result in a vicious cycle of debt and financial hardship.

Unpaid UAE credit card debts can lead to a number of legal consequences, including travel restrictions and arrest in some cases. However, whether or not an individual can be arrested in the home country specifically for unpaid UAE credit card debts depends on the details of the situation and the cooperation between the two countries.

The UAE travel ban on credit card dues can be a major obstacle for individuals facing financial challenges. However, there are solutions available to resolve this issue.

Understanding the Legal Landscape and Assessing Your Situation

Gain insight into the legal framework governing credit card dues and travel bans in the UAE. Learn about relevant laws, regulations, and procedures that impact individuals facing financial difficulties. Understand the reasons behind your credit card dues and evaluate the extent of the travel ban's impact on your plans.

Exploring Negotiation Options and Seeking Professional Guidance

Discover strategies for negotiating with creditors to address credit card dues and potentially lift the travel ban. Explore alternatives such as debt restructuring, settlement agreements, and repayment plans. Reach out to financial experts who specialize in navigating credit card dues and travel bans in the UAE.

Legal Remedies and Recourse, and Creating a Customised Plan

Explore legal remedies available under UAE law for individuals unable to resolve credit card dues through negotiation. Learn about options such as filing for bankruptcy, challenging the travel ban through legal channels, and seeking legal representation. This may involve negotiating repayment terms with your creditors, exploring debt consolidation options, or seeking financial assistance programs.

Implementing a Legal Strategy and Taking Action

Create a comprehensive legal strategy with the help of lawyers tailored to your specific circumstances, navigate the complexities of the legal system effectively, and take proactive steps to address your credit card dues. This may include making regular payments, adjusting your budget, or seeking additional sources of income to expedite the process.

Monitoring Progress and Compliance

Stay informed about the progress of legal proceedings and ensure compliance with any agreements or court orders. Understand the importance of monitoring your financial situation and taking proactive steps towards resolution.

Some Other Reasons for Travel Ban

Visa Overstay: Exceeding the permitted duration of stay on a visa can result in a travel ban being imposed.

Absconding Case: Being involved in a case related to absconding, where an individual leaves their place of work without informing their employer, can lead to a travel ban.

Defaulting on a Bank Loan: Failing to repay a bank loan can result in legal action, including the imposition of a travel ban.

Late Rent Payments: Falling behind on rental payments can lead to legal proceedings and potential travel restrictions.

Criminal Case Against You: Involvement in a criminal case may result in a travel ban until the legal proceedings are resolved.

Civil or Commercial Cases: Involvement in civil or commercial disputes can also result in travel bans until the cases are resolved.

Acting as a Guarantor: Acting as a guarantor for another individual’s financial obligations can potentially lead to a travel ban if the obligations are not met.

If you find yourself facing a travel ban, it is crucial to check the details and conditions of the ban on the Dubai Police App. Additionally, you can take steps to address the situation by applying for the ban to be lifted through the Ministry of Justice website.

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Carefully Plan Your Trip to UAE if You Have Pending Cases in Home Country

Are you gearing up for a memorable journey to the UAE? Amidst the anticipation of exploring this captivating destination, it’s essential to address any lingering concerns, especially regarding police cases in your home country that might affect your experience at UAE airports.

Travelling abroad comes with its share of excitement and preparation, but for individuals with pending legal matters back home, navigating airport procedures can be a daunting experience. However, you can ensure a smooth and stress-free travel experience with the right approach and information.

UAE airports adhere to stringent security measures to maintain safety and uphold the law within their borders. As part of these measures, authorities may conduct background checks on incoming passengers, particularly those flagged with legal issues in their home countries.

"Transparency and preparation are key when dealing with police cases from your home country while travelling to the UAE. It’s crucial to be upfront about any pending legal issues and gather all necessary documentation to present to airport authorities.  Seeking legal advice specific to international travel regulations can provide invaluable guidance and ensure a hassle-free experience, "says Mary Rintu Raju from Dubai-based NYK Law Firm.

Rintu further advises travellers to approach their travel plans meticulously, emphasising the significance of understanding potential implications and being prepared for rigorous screening procedures. She highlights the necessity of staying informed about UAE immigration policies and recommends considering travel insurance to mitigate any unforeseen disruptions.

Ultimately, travellers are encouraged to communicate effectively with legal representatives and plan to enhance their travel experience and enjoy all that the UAE has to offer.

If you find yourself in this situation, you must approach your travel plans carefully. Here’s what you need to know:

Be Transparent: Honesty is paramount when traveling to the UAE. If you have a pending police case or any legal issues in your home country, inform airport authorities upon arrival. Concealing information can lead to complications and unnecessary delays.

Gather Documentation: Compile all relevant documents related to your police case, such as court orders, legal notices, or communication with law enforcement agencies. Presenting these documents can facilitate a smoother process at the airport.

Seek Legal Advice: If you’re uncertain about the implications of your police case on your travels to the UAE, seek guidance from legal experts familiar with international travel regulations. They can provide clarity and guidance tailored to your specific situation.

Prepare for Screening: Understand that UAE airports maintain strict security measures. Be prepared for potential additional screening or questioning, especially if your case is complex. Cooperation and patience are key during these procedures.

Know the Consequences: Familiarise yourself with potential outcomes upon arrival, such as being denied entry or detained for further inquiries. Knowing what to expect can help you mentally prepare for any scenario.

Understand Your Rights: As a traveler, you have rights regardless of your legal status. Educate yourself on your rights during airport screenings and interactions with authorities. Don’t hesitate to ask for clarification or assistance if needed.

Stay Updated: Keep abreast of any changes to UAE immigration and security policies that may impact travelers with pending police cases from their home countries. Stay informed to adapt your travel plans accordingly.

Consider Travel Insurance: Consider obtaining comprehensive travel insurance to safeguard against unexpected disruptions related to your police case or travel arrangements.

Communicate with Legal Representatives:If you have ongoing legal proceedings in your home country, inform your legal representatives about your travel plans. They can offer guidance on managing your case while abroad and assist if required.

Plan Ahead: Plan your travel itinerary meticulously, including accommodation and transportation arrangements within the UAE. A well-organised plan can mitigate potential challenges and ensure a seamless journey.

So, as you embark on your adventure to the UAE, keep these tips in mind and prepare to create unforgettable memories in one of the world’s most dynamic destinations.

The writer is a legal associate at NYK Law Firm, Dubai

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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.


Scamsters on the Prowl Again, This Time Posing as UAE Central Bank


A fraudulent scheme has emerged once again on various social networking platforms in the UAE, tricking residents into revealing personal information and banking details to scammers.

Several residents told The Law Reporters they have recently received dubious messages on their WhatsApp accounts, sparking worries regarding their legitimacy.

A similar scam had emerged last year, stirring panic among the public. The concerning development prompted the Central Bank of the UAE (CBUAE) to issue a warning, urging residents to refrain from engaging with deceptive emails and notices.

A resident of the UAE has confirmed receiving a WhatsApp message claimed to be from Ministry of Finance UAE and Ministry of Interior. The message included a PDF document stating that immediate action must be taken to prevent the freezing of the recipient's bank account. The resident noted that the fraudsters employed logos and stamps resembling those of the ministries to enhance authenticity. Nevertheless, upon closer scrutiny, it became apparent that the message was fake.

The messages read: “Sorry for the inconvenience, but we need your immediate attention. Due to security reasons, your bank account (ATM, Debit, Credit Cards) is set to be frozen temporarily.”

The CBUAE clarified on its website last year that it is not a retail bank and does not engage in transactions or hold funds for the public. It emphasised that any claims of funds held at CBUAE or investment opportunities purportedly from the institution are likely fraudulent. Scammers often exploit the CBUAE's name, logo, and employee identities without authorization.

How to Identify a Scam?

To help individuals identify such scams, the CBUAE as provided some key points:

  • CBUAE never communicates via public email accounts like Gmail, Hotmail or Yahoo, nor through social media platforms such as Facebook or Twitter.
  • Official emails from CBUAE always originate from addresses ending in @cbuae.gov.ae, with no variations.
  • Victims of fraud are encouraged to report incidents to local law enforcement and inform CBUAE of any misuse of its name, logo, or employee identities.

Individuals can confidentially report incidents or seek assistance by emailing information.security@cbuae.gov.ae or sending a written letter to Head -- CBUAE Information Security, PO Box 854, Abu Dhabi, UAE.

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


Dubai Introduces 5-Year Multiple-Entry Visa for Indian Travellers

Dubai has introduced a five-year multiple-entry visa for Indian tourists, several Indian media outlets reported on Thursday.

According to reports, the Dubai Department of Economy and Tourism (DET) highlighted this initiative as part of boosting tourism from one of its top markets during a travel expo in Mumbai this week.
The Law Reporters independently confirmed on Friday that the five-year multiple-entry visa is available for tourists of all nationalities and has been there for the past two years.

The UAE introduced the multiple-entry permit in 2021, with the issuance of the initial visas swiftly following suit.The visa, which is issued within two to five working days upon receiving and accepting the service request, allows its holder to stay in the country for 90 days, extendable once for a similar period, with a total stay not exceeding 180 days in one year.

Bader Ali Habib, the Regional Head of Proximity Markets at DET, posted on LinkedIn that this visa has become a game-changer, removing barriers for last-minute travel and emerging as the preferred choice for frequent travellers.

“As a key market for Dubai, India will continue to play an integral role in enabling us to achieve the goals of the D33 (Dubai Economic) Agenda, further reinforcing Dubai's position as a hub for business, investment, and tourism. The five-year multiple-entry visa initiative signifies a strategic step towards deepening our already existing ties with India,” he added.

“This historic milestone will not only open doors to a longer and more enriching experience for Indian tourists but also provide a platform for increased economic collaboration. It is also a testament to Dubai's commitment to India and the infinite possibilities that can be explored between the UAE and the subcontinent. With exceptional flight connectivity and our ongoing commitment to the Indian market, we are confident that our upcoming initiatives will further amplify awareness about Dubai's diverse offerings, multicultural setting, and abundance of hotels and attractions, continuing to make it the top travel choice for Indian tourists,”Ali Habib noted.

Surge in Travellers

A record 2.46 million overnight visitors travelled to Dubai from India in 2023, marking a 34 per cent YoY growth. Dubai welcomed 2.46 million overnight visitors from India between January and December 2023, according to the latest data from the Dubai Department of Economy and Tourism (DET). This marks a significant increase from the 1.84 million tourists the UAE hosted in 2022.

With an exceptional 34 per cent YoY growth, India continues to deliver the highest number of international visitors from a single market. This robust influx of Indian tourists contributed significantly to Dubai's record-breaking tourism performance in 2023.

The growth aligns with the goals of the Dubai Economic Agenda, D33, launched just over a year ago by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to further consolidate Dubai's position as one of the top three global cities for business and leisure, and the best city to visit, live and work in.

Dubai welcomed a record number of tourists in 2023, attracting 17.15 million international overnight visitors over the course of the year, according to DET. Representing a 19.4 per cent YoY growth over the 14.36 million tourist arrivals in 2022, last year’s figure also exceeded the previous record of 16.73 million visitors registered in 2019.

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


UAE Defers Law Regulating Heavy Vehicle Dimensions

The UAE Cabinet has postponed the enactment of regulations governing the sizes and weights of heavy vehicles in the nation.

The Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure has been tasked with conducting a thorough study on the rationale behind the decision, while the Ministry of Economy has been directed to collaborate with all economic stakeholders to prevent any unwarranted escalation in prices.

Earlier this year, limits on the maximum weight and dimensions of heavy vehicles traveling on federal roads had been introduced, with violators facing fines of up to Dh15,000.
In September 2023, the Cabinet had sanctioned a federal law to regulate the weights and dimensions of heavy vehicles, including a provision barring heavy vehicles exceeding a maximum total weight of 65 tonnes from using the roads.

Cabinet Resolution No. 138 of 2023 was issued to enforce Federal Decree No. 12 of 2023.
Initially planned for implementation in the first quarter of 2024, the resolution would be enacted following the installation of 24 smart electronic gates in coordination with relevant authorities, as disclosed by Suhail Mohamed Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, during a press conference in Abu Dhabi on September 13, 2023.

The resolution forms part of the UAE's ongoing initiatives to bolster road safety, reduce traffic accidents, and support the infrastructure and transport sectors, thereby extending the road service life and diminishing the carbon footprint of land transport.

Last year, it was reported that the resolution's provisions apply to heavy vehicles utilising UAE roads, including those licensed from other countries and permitted entry into the UAE, except vehicles owned by security, military, police, and civil defense authorities.

In the latest announcement on Sunday, the commencement date of the resolution's implementation was not specified.

As per earlier reports, under the resolution, the maximum permissible gross weights for heavy vehicles vary based on the number of axles. Vehicles with two axles must not exceed a gross weight of 21 tonnes, while those with three axles, four axles, five axles, and six axles must adhere to maximum weights of 34 tonnes, 45 tonnes, 56 tonnes, and 65 tonnes respectively.

Regarding violations and fines, the resolution stipulates fines ranging from Dh400 to Dh600 per tonne for exceeding the maximum gross weight, with penalties escalating for higher deviations. The resolution also clarifies the imposition of fines, impounding penalties, and conditions for release of impounded vehicles.

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


Want to Hire a Maid? Take the Legal Route Tailor-Made for You

Are you feeling overwhelmed with the never-ending household chores piling up? Do you daydream about having an extra pair of hands to help out? Well, you're not alone! Many have been there, and hiring a maid or domestic worker can be a game-changer. But before you jump into the deep end, let's navigate through the process together, especially considering the legal ins and outs in the UAE.

In light of recent regulatory actions and compliance with UAE laws, it is imperative to adhere to the legal requirements when employing domestic workers or maids. The UAE has stringent regulations aimed at safeguarding the rights of both employers and employees, ensuring a fair and transparent employment process.

Recent reports highlight that 50 companies and five social media accounts have faced penalties for engaging in illegal recruitment and mediation activities without the necessary permits from the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation in 2023. These penalties include fines, restrictions in the ministry's records, and referral to the Public Prosecution, demonstrating the seriousness with which the authorities address such violations.

According to UAE law, it is illegal to recruit or temporarily employ domestic workers without obtaining a permit from the ministry. Violators of these regulations may face severe consequences, including imprisonment for no less than a year and fines ranging from Dh200,000 to Dh1 million. Additionally, social media accounts involved in illegal recruitment activities have been blocked as part of the enforcement measures.

Employers must ensure compliance with these regulations to avoid legal repercussions and uphold the rights of domestic workers. By understanding and adhering to the legal requirements, employers can create a safe and fair working environment while contributing to overall compliance with UAE labour laws.

Let's start by shedding some light on the legal side of things. The UAE has a set of regulations governing the employment of domestic workers, aiming to protect their rights and ensure a fair and transparent hiring process. These laws are in place to safeguard both you as the employer and your future employee, outlining rights, responsibilities, and procedures to follow throughout the employment journey.

So, let's break down the steps you need to take to hire a maid or domestic worker in the UAE:

Understand the Legal Requirements: Before you start the hiring process, familiarize yourself with the current laws and regulations for employing domestic workers in the UAE. This includes understanding the visa requirements, employment contract guidelines, and any other relevant regulations set forth by the government.

Choose a Reputable Agency: While hiring a maid or domestic worker independently is possible, many employers opt to work with licensed recruitment agencies. These agencies help streamline the hiring process, ensure compliance with regulations, and provide support throughout the employment period.

Draft an Employment Contract: Once you've selected a candidate, it's essential to draft a detailed employment contract outlining the terms and conditions of employment. This contract should include key details such as job responsibilities, working hours, compensation, vacation days, and termination clauses. Review the contract with the employee to ensure mutual understanding and agreement.

Process the Visa and Work Permit: As an employer, you are responsible for arranging the necessary visa and work permit for your domestic worker. This involves submitting the required documents to the relevant government authorities and obtaining the necessary approvals. Working with a reputable agency can simplify this process and ensure compliance with visa regulations.

Provide Adequate Accommodation and Benefits: As per UAE law, employers are required to provide suitable accommodation for their domestic workers, along with other benefits such as food, healthcare, and transportation. It's important to ensure that your employee's living conditions meet the necessary standards and that they have access to essential amenities.

Respect Your Employee's Rights: It's crucial to treat your domestic worker with respect and dignity, ensuring fair treatment, timely payment of wages, and adherence to the terms of the employment contract. Be mindful of their working hours and provide them with adequate rest and time off as per the law.

Stay Informed and Compliant: The legal landscape surrounding the employment of domestic workers in the UAE may evolve, so it's essential to stay informed about any changes or updates to the regulations. This includes attending relevant workshops or training sessions and seeking guidance from legal experts if needed.

In conclusion, hiring a maid or domestic worker in the UAE can be straightforward when approached with care and attention to detail. By understanding the legal requirements, working with reputable agencies, and respecting your employee's rights, you can create a positive and mutually beneficial working relationship while staying compliant with the law. So go ahead, make life a little easier, and welcome some extra help into your home!

(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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