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On April 28, 2021, the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) issued a final rule amending and reissuing the Somalia Sanctions Regulations, 31 C.F.R. Part 551 (“Regulations”) to further implement two existing Executive Orders, Executive Order 13536 of April 2010 and Executive Order 13620 of July 2012, and to replace the prior Somalia Sanctions Regulations that were published in May 2010 in abbreviated form.

On 26 March 2021 Saudi Arabia’s long awaited Privatisation Law was published, promulgated by Council of Ministers’ Resolution No. 436 dated 3/8/1442H (corresponding to 16 March 2021) and Royal Decree M/63 dated 5/8/1442H (corresponding to 18 March 2021) (the “Privatisation Law”). The Privatisation Law will come into effect 120 days after publication, and will provide a transparent and flexible regulatory framework for the procurement and documentation of Public Private Partnership projects (“PPPs”) and existing asset privatisations (“Asset Privatisations”) in the Kingdom (“Privatisation Projects”).

Travel restrictions implemented due to the pandemic have changed the way the majority of employers plan their workforce mobility programs. This is especially the case if they are based in countries included on travel red lists due to current high infection rates or different virus variants. While some sectors require employees to be physically present, in many others, remote working has taken off and is expected to remain a permanent feature of the modern workforce, even once cross-border travel has recovered.

Due to rapid advances in digitalization, retail banks are facing increasing client demand for hyper-personalised products and services. However, financial institutions must navigate a myriad of laws and regulations to ensure that in the process of creating hyper-personal solutions for their customers, they are not breaching their privacy.

On April 8, 2021, the US Treasury Department published an updated List of Countries Requiring Cooperation With An International Boycott (the “Treasury List”). Significantly, Treasury announced that it had removed the UAE from the Treasury List following the UAE’s repeal of its law requiring participation with the Arab League Boycott of Israel and subsequent implementation of the new policy.

Dubai senior associate Andrew Massey discusses the scenarios where the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Courts take jurisdiction over claims. Andrew also talks about how the DIFC Courts have adopted an expansive approach to jurisdiction over disputes and how it has introduced the necessary and proper party jurisdiction into DIFC law to help resolve multiparty and multijurisdictional disputes.

In South Africa, the draft Amendments to Regulation 28 of the Pension Funds Act were published by National Treasury earlier this month. These amendments will allow retirement funds to invest up to 45% of their assets in infrastructure. This is set to open a huge potential source of funding for domestic infrastructure projects, but there has been some debate around whether this will be enough to help bridge the country’s infrastructure gap.

The COVID-19 pandemic has not gone away and the prolonged business issues will continue to affect various market players in the short and long-term. As anticipated, this has resulted to a rise in increasingly complex disputes across all industries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region as well…