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The Middle East luxury brands industry has rapidly expanded in recent years, driven by rising global consumption and major strides in online retail sales and marketing. These developments have also brought new challenges for the industry as companies face more stringent regulations as well as complex corporate and employment issues as they expand into new markets. As luxury goods companies gather large amounts of customer information, data protection has also become a major concern. Join Baker McKenzie for an update on the employment and data protection laws for luxury brands in the Middle East on 8 February 2023 from 2:00 – 3:00pm GST.

In this vlog series, our MENA team of cross-practice specialists provide a quick roundup of the latest legal and commercial developments in the region as well as insights to emerging challenges and opportunities, to guide you as you shape your organization’s business resilience and strategy in the medium and long term. In addition, our senior female lawyers from our BakerWomen Middle East team join the conversations and share their insights on business and inclusion issues and trends in the region, as together we look to build trust and well-being in a post-pandemic world.

On Wednesday, 24 February 2021, the Financial Conduct Authority was ordered to halt its investigation into a trader involved in the European Cum-Ex dividend scandal pending the outcome of the separate case brought by the Danish tax authorities in the UK.

Judge Jonathan Swift said in his ruling (available here) that the FCA must stop its disciplinary investigation into the trader until the Danish tax authorities’ High Court case first resolves a number of legal issues, which is expected to be around the beginning of 2022.

Signing of the “Al-Ula Declaration” ending trade and other restrictions against Qatar

As reported in our previous client update, on 5 January 2021, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain and the rest of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states, along with Egypt, signed the “Al-Ula Declaration” at the 41st GCC Summit held in the city of Al-Ula. This marks the end of a three-and-a-half-year boycott against the State of Qatar, which was put in place in June 2017. Although the formal text of the “Al-Ula Declaration” has not been made public, it is clear from public statements made by senior Saudi, UAE, Egyptian, Bahraini and Kuwaiti officials that the instrument paves the way for the reestablishment of political and economic ties between Qatar and the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt (the Quartet).

On 5 January 2021, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain and the rest of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states, along with Egypt, signed the “Al-Ula Declaration” at the 41st GCC Summit held in the city of Al-Ula, paving the way for the re-establishment of political and economic ties with the State of Qatar. This marks the end of a three-year dispute which began on 5 June 2017, and reinforces the commitment of the GCC member states to the political and economic stability of the region.

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).

October 2018 The state of United States (US), European Union (EU), and other sanctions regimes is in flux like never before, with significant implications for Middle East trade and finance. US sanctions against Iran are increasing following the US withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal (the 2016 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)),…