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On January 27, 2021, CBP issued CSMS #45967303 – United Arab Emirates Section 232 Aluminum Absolute Quota limits beginning February 3, 2021, to implement Presidential Proclamation 10139. However, on February 1, 2021, President Biden revoked Proclamation 10139 before it was to take effect and restored the 10% duties for aluminum from the…

The long awaited Federal Law No. 15 of 2020 on Consumer Protection (“Consumer Protection Law”) has been issued on 10 November 2020 and is a major update which aims to revamp and repeal the old UAE consumer protection laws, being Federal Law No. 24 of 2006 (“Old Law”). Due to the rapid rise of e-commerce globally, including in the UAE, the Consumer Protection Law now acknowledges and captures e-commerce service providers. The Consumer Protection Law has also now imposed a restriction on using personal data of customers for marketing and promotion purposes.

Earlier last week, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), issued a decree introducing a number of fundamental changes to the UAE Commercial Companies Law (CCL Amendment) and to the UAE’s approach towards foreign direct investment (FDI) in general. The CCL Amendment adopted a new general rule of, in principle, allowing foreign investors to fully own certain types of companies in the mainland of the UAE.

The current UAE Commercial Companies Law No. 2 of 2015 (as amended) (CCL) was issued in 2015 and was a long awaited development. The CCL, however, maintained many of the foreign investment restrictions of its predecessor.

In 2018, the Decree Law No. 19 of 2018 regulating Foreign Direct Investment (FDI Law) was issued with an aim to relax the investment restrictions and facilitate the establishment of companies with up to 100% foreign capital in certain strategic sectors. This was a welcome change and a milestone in the development of the UAE foreign investment rules.

In addition to the comprehensive economic support and stimulus program launched by the UAE Central Bank to curb the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the UAE has introduced radical amendments to the UAE Bankruptcy Law, offering distressed debtors with some level of leniency during these times of economic uncertainty and market disruption caused by circumstances outside of their control.

Key changes include: adding new provisions to the law related to “emergencies” such as pandemics and natural and environmental disasters; new debtor’s rights  to delay filing for bankruptcy and to resort to out-of-court settlement agreement with creditors; and mechanisms to obtain new financing under certain rules and conditions.

On 14 October 2020, the UAE Federal Supreme Court passed its judgment on an appeal filed by the UAE Federal Tax Authority (FTA) in relation to the Court of Appeal’s judgment concerning the imposition of penalties resulting from a voluntary disclosure. The case was handled by a UAE local law firm on behalf one of the UAE’s largest financial institutions.

Our Middle East Tax Newsletter aims to provide you with regular updates, insights and practical guidance on the tax implications of doing business in the region.

In this issue, we provide a roundup of the current status of Value Added Tax (VAT) and the most recent tax related developments across the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), as well as their implications on the financial position of businesses.

Recent developments in the labour laws of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia and Bahrain have been issued to bridge the gender pay gap between men and women. The updates have been in relation to: (i) prohibiting discrimination, whether in pay or otherwise, between male and female employees who carry out the same job in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain; (ii) introducing paternity leave in the UAE; and (iii) granting female workers in Saudi Arabia further rights in the workplace (including working in hazardous workplaces and at night).

On 14 October 2020, the UAE Federal Supreme Court passed its judgment on an appeal filed by the UAE Federal Tax Authority (FTA) in relation to the Court of Appeal’s judgment concerning the imposition of penalties resulting from a voluntary disclosure. The case was handled by a UAE local law firm on behalf one of the UAE’s largest financial institutions.