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Afridi & Angell | February 2024

in the past week, guidance has been provided by both the Ministry of Finance and the Federal Tax Authority (FTA) regarding deadlines for Corporate Tax registration.   The new deadlines have the potential to significantly reduce the time left for meeting the deadlines for Corporate Tax registration. For example, certain applicable taxable persons will be required to submit the Corporate Tax registration applications by 31 May 2024 in order to avoid a violation and the applicable penalties ...

Afridi & Angell | February 2024

The Commission for the Unification of Federal and Local Judicial Principles (the “Commission”) recently issued a number of decisions aimed at harmonising certain “judicial principles”. Since the doctrine of stare decisis is not followed in the UAE, there have been instances of incongruities in the application of law by the UAE courts ...

Afridi & Angell | December 2023

Ownership of shares by companies usually results in tax being payable for dividends received or capital gains realised upon sale. However, in the UAE, the Corporate Tax law (Federal Decree No. 47 of 2022) ("CT Law") provides an exemption to Corporate Tax in a certain scenario referred to as the Participation Exemption.   Article 23 of the CT Law states:   "Participation Exemption"   1 ...

Afridi & Angell | December 2023

Article 319(1) of the UAE Civil Procedure Law authorises an execution judge to imprison a debtor who fails to satisfy a judgment debt, unless the debtor is able to prove that he is insolvent.   Although the text of Article 319(1) places the burden of proving insolvency on the judgment debtor, this appears to have been reversed following a decision of the General Assembly of the Dubai Court of Cassation issued in October 2023 ...

Afridi & Angell | December 2023

The UAE’s arbitration landscape continues to evolve and, as 2023 draws to a close, we summarise some of the more significant judgments issued by the UAE on-shore Courts in relation to arbitration this year. While the trend of the judgments reinforces the ‘arbitration-friendly’ approach of the UAE Courts of late, 2023 has not been without its outlier cases ...

Afridi & Angell | November 2023

As expected, the new Maritime Law significantly improves the maritime landscape in the UAE, and will no doubt seal the UAE as a shipping-hub in the region. On the precautionary arrest of a vessel front, the new law requires the applicant seeking an arrest of the vessel to provide security to cover the expenses of the crew, and to maintain the vessel ...

Afridi & Angell | October 2023

Under the employment law that was previously in force in the UAE, employers were not permitted to terminate an employee’s employment (even with notice) absent a “legitimate reason” and if “the reason for such termination has no connection with work”. In other words, the concept of termination “at will” was not recognised as an enforceable right in the context of an employer-employee relationship ...

Afridi & Angell | October 2023

Article 54 of the Labour Law (Federal Decree-Law 20 of 2023 on the regulations of labour relations, as amended) dealing with employment disputes has been amended to give greater powers to the Ministry of Human Resource and Emiratisation (the Ministry). The amended provision shall come into effect from 1 January 2024 ...

Afridi & Angell | October 2023

A survey* published by the Dubai Statistics Center has called for input from the public in what appears to be research relating to the application of 'Common Law' in all free zones in Dubai. The survey is not about the use of 'Common Law' in a general sense. Instead, the Dubai government is focused on integrating DIFC laws and giving jurisdiction to the DIFC Courts for overseeing civil and commercial disputes within the free zones ...

Afridi & Angell | October 2023

The DIFC Courts have recently confirmed that Decision Notices issued by the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) are not binding on the Court as findings of fact ...

Afridi & Angell | October 2023

The UAE recently enacted Federal Decree Law 15 of 2023 (theAmendment) making certain changes to the provisions of the law governing arbitration, Federal Law 6 of 2018 (theArbitration Law). These changes are consistent with the UAE’s forward-looking approach to arbitration. Some of the key amendments are highlighted below ...

Afridi & Angell | October 2023

The new commercial transactions law (Federal Decree Law 50/2022), which abrogated Federal Law 18/1993, has significantly reduced the period of limitation for initiating action relating to commercial transactions between ‘merchants’ from ten years to five years.   Application of the new commercial transactions law The new commercial transactions law applies to merchants and all forms of commercial activities ...

Afridi & Angell | October 2023

The UAE Cabinet recently issued Cabinet Decision 66 of 2023 (the Executive Regulations) concerning the executive regulations of the Federal Law 15 of 2020 on Consumer Protection (Consumer Protection Law). The Executive Regulations shall come into effect on 14 October 2023 ...

Afridi & Angell | September 2023

UAE companies can offer significant tax benefits when used as holding companies in certain scenarios.   As an example, assume that an Italian limited liability company (“ItalianCo”) holds a 90% stake in a Moroccan operating subsidiary (“MoroccanCo”) and does not have a permanent establishment in Morocco ...

Afridi & Angell | September 2023

Dubai’s real estate market has experienced significant growth in prices in the past few years. The average sales prices for residential properties in Dubai increased by 12% between 2021 and 2022 to reach AED 1,203 per sq ft. This is expected to increase even more by the end of 2023. In this market, off-plan properties appear to be a more affordable option to many purchasers as compared to completed properties ...

Afridi & Angell | September 2023

The UAE Cabinet recently approved a scheme for the establishment of savings and investment funds for employees primarily in the private sector (including free zones). This scheme is an alternative to the current system of payment of end-of-service benefits (gratuity) to an employee at the end of his employment.   Participation in the scheme will be optional for employers. Under this scheme, the participating employer will be required to make a monthly contribution to the selected fund ...

Afridi & Angell | July 2023

There are a number of reasons why parties who have agreed to arbitrate disputes (ordinarily by way of an arbitration clause in a contract) may later wish to litigate their dispute in the UAE courts. A common reason is the cost of arbitration, which can be quite significant compared to the cost of litigating in the UAE Courts ...

Afridi & Angell | June 2023

Over the past few years, the United Arab Emirates has witnessed an increase in awareness and significance of environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues. While businesses in the UAE have begun to acknowledge that conscious efforts towards ESG compliance is imperative for growth and longevity of their business, the question remains whether ESG compliance can truly be said to now form a part of the UAE compliance ecosystem ...

Afridi & Angell | May 2023

In the last few months, the UAE authorities have introduced a number of measures intended to increase the number of UAE nationals who are employed in the private sector. The Emirati Cadres Competitiveness Council (Nafis) program, originally established in 2016 with the aim of attracting UAE nationals to the private sector, has been reinvigorated ...

Afridi & Angell | May 2023

Last Friday, on 12 May 2023, the UAE Ministry of Finance (Ministry) published an Explanatory Guide which provides an explanation of the meaning and intended effect of each article of the Corporate Tax (CT) Law. The Explanatory Guide may be accessedHere ...

Afridi & Angell | March 2023

Whistleblowing or simply put, the act of drawing attention to or complaining about perceived wrongdoing, misconduct, unethical activity within one’s organisation has been a topic of great relevance in the last few years. While there is no federal law relating to whistleblowing in the UAE, there have been significant legal developments in this area.   The Dubai Law No ...

Afridi & Angell | March 2023

Introduction   Off-plan properties are those which are sold in advance of completion and can offer attractive payment plans and potentially high returns on investment. Therefore, the acquisition of off-plan property has always been a favored form of investment for those seeking to profit from the booming Dubai Real Estate market.   However, it is vital for buyers to understand the risks involved ...

Afridi & Angell | February 2023

The Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA) is a regulatory body established by the government of Dubai to oversee and regulate the virtual assets industry. In line with its mandate, VARA has issued a number of rule books, in particular the Compliance and Risk Management Rulebook (CRM), which sets out the regulatory framework for virtual asset service providers (VASPs) operating in Dubai ...

Afridi & Angell | February 2023

Introduction   Recent years have seen the UAE making regular updates to its laws in order to guarantee a legal regime that is forward-looking, and consistent with international standards and principles. The leaders of the UAE have been particularly cognizant of the need to have a robust criminal law regime to encourage legitimacy in business, and dissuade any unscrupulous activities that could reflect negatively on the UAE as a determined and fast-developing economy ...

Afridi & Angell | January 2023

The importance of the UAE as a trading and consumer goods hub resulted in a protective approach of the authorities towards distributors and franchisees. The UAE Federal Law No. 18 of 1981 on Commercial Agencies (Old Law) was drafted with the intent of protecting the interests of UAE nationals (and companies wholly owned by UAE nationals), and was protective towards the interests of registered commercial agencies ...

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