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

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published on 6 July 2021 | reading time approx. 3 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.

 

    

  

Fight against tax fraud: German Minister of Finance buys data from Dubai containing tax information

In his fight against tax evasion the German Minister of Finance Olaf Scholz acts decisively. He intends to intensify the fight on tax fraud: “The Federal Central Tax Office has on my instigation procured a disc, which holds tax relevant data, from the Emirate of Dubai.” The data is being evaluated.
 
It is the first time that the Minister of Finance has acquired – through the Federal Central Tax Office – secret data in order to expose tax fraud en masse. Until now it was only the federal states that individually bought tax data.
 
The relevant data gives detailed information on assets hidden from the reach of the tax office and wealth of millions of taxable individuals, amongst them thousands of Germans, that amongst other assets own property and real estate in Dubai.
 
The Minister of Finance is expecting to reveal tax offenses of considerable extent across countries. Further­more the obtained data is supposed to secure that the responsible tax authorities gain a full insight on business executed across countries. In this way revenue shortfall shall be avoided.

Sharjah Ruler raises minimum wage for Emiratis to Dh 25,000

Due to rising living expenses in the UAE and following a study assessing living standards of citizens of the Emirate of Sharjah done by the Department of Social Services of Sharjah the Ruler of Sharjah Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi has ordered an increase of the minimum wage for citizens of the Emirate from currently Dh 17,500 to Dh 25,000 equaling an increase of 43 per cent.
 
Sheikh Sultan has promised reviewing the amount and conducting new studies if living expenses continue to increase saying “If the situation becomes detrimental to people with low income, I will not leave them.” In response to the challenges caused by the pandemic, Sharjah announced Dh1bn of economic stimulus: certain government fees and charges were being reduced, cancelled or waived.
 
Furthermore, the Employment Processing Committee has been established to assess the job market situation in the Emirate and to support Emiratis seeking employment. “There are more than 12,000 jobseekers in Sharjah. We will not close the door to any jobseeker, even those who do not meet the terms of employment”, stated Sheikh Dr. Sultan.
 
The mission of the new committee according to Sheikh Dr. Sultan is “to study the employment applications and find solutions to address the problems of everyone who faces an employment difficulty.” Sharjah has increased its budget by 12 per cent for 2021 to Dh 33,6bn to fund procedures required backing economic and social development.
 

UAE private sector continues to recover in May as domestic demand improves

Despite the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the non-oil private sector in the UAE keeps recovering and climbed in May 2021 to the highest since July 2020.
 
The UAE’s Purchasing Manager’s Index showing the performance of the non-oil private sector in the UAE rose to 52,3 in May.
 
The consecutive stabilization of the performance of the non-oil private sector is a result of the solid expansions in output and the establishment of new businesses in May, which also comes as a consequence of the ever improving business and investor friendly environment in the UAE.
 
The growth resulted also mainly from improving domestic sales rather than from international orders limited by Covid-19 restrictions.
 
However, as companies lowered their selling prices due to competitive pressure and uncertainty, the average output charges slightly decreased.

19 countries vaccinated residents can visit without quarantine

Emirates Airlines announced that from July onwards they will operate on a weekly basis 280 flights to destinations in Europe. In a recent update the airline announced that UAE residents fully vaccinated against Covid-19 are now allowed to travel to 19 countries and over 30 cities without having to undergo quarantine.
 
The second dose has to been taken no less than 14 days prior to the intended date of travel. Accepted vaccines are vaccines authorized by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and/or one of the vaccines listed in the WHO Emergency Use List: PfizerBioNTech, Sinopharm & Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines; whereas Sinopharm is not accepted in all European Member States.
 
Vaccination certificates need to be physically provided upon arrival. Children below the age of six years accompanying their parents do not need to provide proof of vaccination whereas children above six years of age are required to provide a negative test result no more than 48 or 72 hours taken prior to departure from the UAE depending on destination. Furthermore, Health Control Forms (HCF) need to be filled out prior to departure.
 
As of 15 June 2021 the following destinations can be travelled to quarantine free by fully vaccinated UAE residents:

  • Europe: Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Russia, Turkey, Spain, France (from 9th), Germany (from 25th)
  • Middle East: Jordan, Lebanon, Bahrain, Egypt
  • Asia: The Maldives, Seychelles, Thailand (Phuket)
  • Africa: Kenya, Tanzania, Morocco
  • US: Emirates flies to 11 US destinations. On 22 July, Miami will be added as its 12th getaway.
  • Mexico: From 2 July
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