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On 4 February 2022, the Dubai International Financial Centre Office of the Commissioner of Data Protection announced that the commissioner issued an adequacy decision recognising, among others, Singapore’s Personal Data Protection Act for safe data transfers from the DIFC. This is a welcome development as it facilitates cross-border personal data transfers from the DIFC to Singapore, which can in turn strengthen business ties between the two territories.

The UAE Ministry of Finance has announced the introduction of a corporate tax regime that will apply to businesses. It will become effective for financial years starting on or after 1 June 2023. The headlines are that the tax rate will be 0% for taxable income up to AED 375k and 9% on taxable income above AED 375k. Large businesses (expected to be those with revenue above EUR 750m) may be subject to a different tax rate (potentially 15%) in line with the Pillar Two OECD BEPS project.

The UAE has introduced a number of new welcome legislative changes to mark the UAE’s 50th anniversary, with the aim of solidifying the country’s position as a global trade and commercial hub. Among these changes is the issuance of Federal Law by Decree No. 32 of 2021 on Commercial Companies (“New Law”), which has now come into force last 2 January 2022.

The long-awaited Decree-Law No. 33 of 2021 on Regulation of Labour Relations is among a number of new legal developments introduced recently in the UAE. On Tuesday, 7 December 2021, the UAE Government announced that effective 1 January 2022, Federal Government entities shall operate on a 4-and-a-half day working week, with the weekend set to start on Friday afternoon and include Saturday and Sunday.

The UAE’s Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) has issued a long awaited resolution setting out exceptions to Article 13 of Federal Law No. 2 of 2019 (“Health Data Law”), which by default prohibits the transfer, storage, generation or processing of health data that relates to health services provided in the UAE (“UAE Health Data”) outside of the UAE.

On June 9, 2021, the US Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) issued a final rule, effective June 8, amending the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) to reflect the formal termination by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) of its participation in the Arab League Boycott of Israel (the “Amendment”). This means that certain requests for information, action or agreement from the UAE will no longer be presumed to be boycott-related if made after August 16, 2020.

On June 9, 2021, the US Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) issued a final rule, effective June 8, amending the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) to reflect the formal termination by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) of its participation in the Arab League Boycott of Israel (the “Amendment”). This means that certain requests for information, action or agreement from the UAE will no longer be presumed to be boycott-related if made after August 16, 2020.

The UAE Federal Tax Authority (FTA) announced that any person or group proven to have violated the provisions of tax legislation has the right to apply to the FTA to reduce or be exempted from an administrative penalty, provided that there is an excuse acceptable to the FTA, and that there is evidence available justifying the excuse and the violation related thereto, which led to the imposition of an administrative penalty.