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General and Legal News from the UAE – April 2021 № 1

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published on 15 April 2021 | reading time approx. 5 minutes

 

The following provides a brief overview about the latest business, economic and legal news from all around the United Arab Emirates and GCC region.

 

    

 

UAE approves multiple-entry tourist visas

The UAE Cabinet has approved a proposal for multiple-entry tourist visas for all nationalities. This move comes along with the UAE’s tourism revival and opening strategy after having suffered severe loss within the tourism sector during the first pandemic COVID 19 months.
 
It has been reported that the Cabinet also approved a ‘Virtual Visa – a new visa category, which will enable employees to work online from Dubai regardless of where their offices are located.
 
The new Remote Work- Visa Scheme aims to attract talents and expertise from across the world and has a validity of 1 year. Remote workers from all over the world enter the UAE under self-sponsorship.
 
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai tweeted “During a Cabinet Meeting I chaired, we approved a new Remote Work Visa that en­ables employees from all over the world to live and work remotely from the UAE even if their companies are based in another country. We also approved a multiple entry tourist visa for all nationalities to strengthen the UAE’s status as a global economic capital.”
 
The multiple entry tourist visa, which is a five-year visa where tourists have the possibility to enter the UAE multiple times and remain within the country for 90 days on every visit, which can be extended for another 90 days.
 
The proposal came along several other initiatives resulting from the UAE’s aim to position itself as an ideal tourist and business destination.
 

Dubai has launched “World Logistics Passport”

The World Logistics Passport has gained popularity as it attracts more nations across the globe to promote global trade cooperation.
 
The initiative was launched last year during the World Economic Forum in Davos under the directives of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. It is until now supported by 11 strategically located nations- amongst them India, South Africa, Brazil, Indonesia, Thailand and Colombia where expansion to other trade hubs in the West and East is anticipated.
 
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai launched this initiative aiming at creating further trading opportunities between emerging markets.
 
He said that the WLP “is yet another major initiative that reflects the UAE’s vision to shape a brighter future for our world through innovative programs that foster global trade cooperation.”
 
The WLP provides member businesses to access over hundred operational and financial benefits to high performing businesses in return for increased trade in each of the program’s hubs and enjoy the opportunity to diversify into new emerging markets such as South East Asia, Africa and Latin America while shoring up their regional connectivity.
 
According to top government officials the initiatives creates a platform, which standardizes and simplifies processes, uniform data, boost trade efficiency while reducing trade costs and hyper connect governmental entities with logistic hubs.
 
Among the major multinational companies that have already registered with the WLP program are UPS, Pfizer, Sony LG, Johnson & Johnson amongst others.
 
Cooperations will remain internationally competitive by reducing costs and simultaneously increasing the efficiency of the logistics value chain, creating high- quality jobs and enhancing investment. Governments will enjoy improved competitiveness and economic resilience especially in times of Covid19 recovery.
 
The CEO of WLP, Mike Bhaskaran, said “Since its launch, the WLP has been welcomed by governments and businesses around the world for the numerous benefits it delivers to local economies, traders and homegrown business. It is a great example of a public- private partnership delivering impact.”
 

All listed UAE companies need at least one female board director

28 out of the 110 companies registered on the UAE stock market have women currently sit on their boards, however they only hold 3,5 per cent of director positions.
 
The Securities & Commodities Authority have recently introduced a ruling that all listed UAE companies need at least one female board director. This measure has been taken in order to reach the set target by the SCA for enterprises to achieve a female representation of 20 per cent on their boards.
 
Abdullah bin Touq, Minister of Economy and Head of the SCA Board said “The UAE markets must be elevated to meet the highest global standards.” He added “It is a priority for the SCA and its board during the coming period and we will work with all partners to enhance the local investment environment and support its legal infrastructure to meet the UAE Vision 2021 and the targets of the next 50 years”.
 

This step is part of further measures being taken to encourage female representation at the highest level of UAE companies.
 
In 2020, the UAE had 57,5 per cent of female participation in their workforce, the highest level of any country in the Middle East and North Africa, according to the World Bank.
 

Dubai plan to boost foreign trade to Dh2 trillion

During a recent Council Meeting Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai has approved a five-year plan to increase foreign trade from Dh1,4 trillion to Dh2 trillion.
 
Sheikh Mohammed was quoted saying “We also approved the Dubai International Trade Roadmap, which includes shipping and air routes that currently connect to more than 400 cities around the world, aiming to expand this network with 200 more cities. Dubai will be home to the world’s main airport and ports. We know what we want and how to reach. We have capacities to implement the plan.”
 

Sheikh Mohammed launches “Operation 300bn” strategy to foster UAE industrial sector

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid AL Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai has launched a 10-year comprehensive industrial strategy “Operation 300bn” in order to further strengthen the industrial sector.
 
Aim of this operation is to increase the sectors contribution to the GDP from currently Dh133bn to Dh300bn by 2031 and to turn the industrial sector into a sustainable national economy. In line with this operation programs will be rolled out to support more than 13500 SMEs by 2031.
 

Over 33,000 industrial enterprises in the UAE make 95 per cent of SMEs. The Ministry of Industry & Advanced Technology plan to spend a total of Dh57bn by 2031 on research and development in the industrial sector.

Sheikh Mohammed said that “developing the industrial sector and achieving self-sufficiency in some vital sectors safeguards our economy against emerging global crises.”
 
Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Commander of the UAE Armed Forces mentioned the importance of the younger population to adopt technological advancements and to invest in the youth’s talents in future industrial sectors such as Artificial Intelligence and space technologies amongst others.
 
A further important part of ‘Operation 300bn’ is to reduce reliance on foreign imports. By increasing the contribution of industrial SMEs toward the national economy, the strategy plans to boost the UAE’s exports.
 
Under the umbrella of ‘Operation 300bm’ Sheikh Mohammed launched the slogan ‘Make it in the Emirates’ aiming to build trust in UAE products. The ‘Operation 300bn’ strategy as well as the Unified Industrial Brand Identity aim at promoting a “manufacturer mentality” among the UAE’s business community – including foreign investors.

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