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PRO Partner Group Regional News and Updates - Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Wider UAE, Oman & Qatar

  • UAE's Commercial Agencies Law could be next to see a major overhaul -

    Change continues to sweep through the UAE business landscape, and the latest one could be brought on by changes to Commercial Agencies Law.

    On Sunday 26th December 2021, the Financial, Economic and Industrial Affairs Committee of the Federal National Council issued a statement saying that a draft federal law on regulating ‘commercial agencies’ was part of its agenda.

    The stated intention is to update the current provisions of the Law – which came into effect in 1981 – to regulate the activity of commercial agencies in the country and “enhance the role of this vital activity in sustainably supporting the national economy and keeping pace with the economic trends adopted by the state”.

    The UAE has also recently effected far-reaching change to the Commercial Companies Law (CCL), which allowed foreign nationals to have 100 per cent ownership of the their business in the country.

    “This is the right time to end monopolies,” said Mohammed Al Asoomi, an economist specialising in GCC issues. “Only the Gulf markets were retaining the ‘local agent’ requirement, while the rest of the world had moved on to multiple dealerships and who could offer the best service and price for consumers.

    “No one is saying that the current agent should not be included. He can still rely on the infrastructure he built for the brand over the years – but others must be given the opportunity. The Commercial Agencies Law requires a major update to be in tune with the times."

    It is expected that the changes to the law will begin to allow agents and principals to negotiate their own contractual arrangements directly, including timelines, termination and renewal provisions that each could enforce with the local courts in accordance with the individual terms of each agreement. It will be very interesting to see how these changes are implemented in the coming months.

    For the full article click here

  • The first Civil Marriage was finalised at Abu Dhabi's new non-Muslim court -

    A Canadian couple have helped break new legal ground by registering Abu Dhabi's first civil wedding.

    The pair registered their union at the capital's new Non-Muslim Family Court on Monday, according to state news agency Wam.

    The court opened earlier this month and will hear all cases related to marriage, custody, divorce, paternity, inheritance and personal status.

    Sessions will be held in Arabic and English to ensure foreigners understand them and to improve judicial transparency.

    Youssef Al Abri, undersecretary of the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department said the completion of the civil marriage contract was an unprecedented step forward for the region.

    The court is part of new legislation introduced last month to better support foreign residents of the emirate. The new family law, issued by President Sheikh Khalifa, includes equal legal rights for men and women, joint custody and the expediting of divorce procedures.

    “The establishment of the first specialised court for non-Muslim family matters is part of the continuous efforts being made to further develop the judicial system of the emirate of Abu Dhabi,” Mr Al Abri said following its establishment.

    “The personal status law for non-Muslims, which is applied by the court, is the first of its kind in the world to apply civil principles in the regulation of family matters, as it addresses the smallest details regarding non-Muslim family issues, and provides a modern judicial umbrella for foreigners to resolve disputes in a flexible manner in accordance with international best practices."

    The civil marriage registration service is available on the department's website for residents and tourists and the registration is completed remotely through video technology.

    For the full article click here

  • UAE Labour Law - New three-year employment contracts -

    As the new labour law comes into effect from February 2, 2022, governing the private sector in the UAE, one major change that will affect many companies and staff is the removal of the unlimited contract.

    Previously contracts were either signed for a limited or unlimited period, with the rights and responsibilities changing slightly between the two contract types. However, the new Labour Law - Federal Decree-Law No 33 of 2021 on the Regulation of Labour Relations – will require new contracts to be drafted by February 1, 2023.

    All private sector employers must replace the current employment contracts with the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE) with new employment contracts that are in line with the changes as stated in Law No. 33 of 2021, within a maximum period of one year from the date of the law’s implementation so that the date February 01, 2023 becomes the deadline for making these changes.

    Article 8 of the new law looks at the requirements that an employment contract needs to fulfil and how it would only be applicable for a maximum duration of three years. The details of the contract will vary depending on the model of work that the worker has been contracted for – full-time, part-time, temporary or flexible.

    For the full article click here

  • Mubadala teams up with G42 to set up a biopharma manufacturing campus in Abu Dhabi -

    Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Investment Company has joined forces with Group 42, the artificial intelligence and cloud computing company, to set up a biopharmaceutical manufacturing campus (Biopharma Campus) in the UAE capital.

    The new facility will tap into global vaccine and therapeutic products to strengthen regional supply chains and drive forward the country's diversification and economic growth agenda, the organisations said in a joint statement on Wednesday.

    “Through the establishment of this campus in partnership with G42 and our group companies, we are investing in innovation and reinforcing Abu Dhabi’s rapidly developing life sciences ecosystem,” said Musabbeh Al Kaabi, chief executive of UAE Investments at Mubadala.

    Bringing cutting-edge manufacturing technologies to the UAE will not only strengthen the Emirates’ biopharma supply chain and pandemic response, but also provide opportunities for local talent development and long-term, sustainable economic growth, he added.

    For the full article click here

  • Abu Dhabi's Etihad Airways spins off new company for support services -

    Many of Etihad Airways support services will be branched off into a new ADQ aviation company, it was announced on Thursday.

    Once the transaction is complete, Etihad Engineering, Etihad Airport Services Cargo, Etihad Airport Services Ground, Etihad Aviation Training, Etihad Secure Logistics and Etihad Technical Training will become part of the new entity.

    ADQ, one of the region’s largest holding companies, also has Abu Dhabi Airports and AD Ports Group in its portfolio.

    Additionally, two Etihad businesses will join Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Company (ADNEC). Etihad Airport Services Catering will combine with ADNEC’s catering business Capital Hospitality, and Etihad Holidays will join ADNEC’s tourism promotion business, Tourism 365.

    For the full article click here

  • Abu Dhabi to team up with Pfizer for early clinical trials -

    Authorities in Abu Dhabi will collaborate with biopharmaceutical company Pfizer to develop training programmes for early-stage clinical trials and drug development programmes.

    The UAE Capital’s Department of Health said the collaboration seeks to train up to 150 qualified clinical researchers within two years. This includes research mentorship opportunities with Pfizer research partners, with the aim to have “up to 500 specialised and qualified clinical researchers by 2025”.

    The collaboration will help develop national competencies and clinical research capacity in Abu Dhabi.

    Dr Jamal Mohammed Al Kaabi, Undersecretary of UAE Department of Health DoH, said: “DoH is committed to positioning Abu Dhabi as an incubator for innovation in the field of life sciences and as a leading healthcare destination in the world. We do this by providing a legislative environment that attracts and motivates research and innovation in healthcare, enhancing the means of cooperation that join Abu Dhabi with global partners, and continuing to roll out promising clinical trials and research projects.

    “We are excited for our collaboration with Pfizer, which focusses on conducting safe and efficient early-stage clinical trials based on international guidelines and global best practices. The partnership contributes to developing our expertise and advancing our capabilities in the UAE which positively impact the health and well-being of individuals worldwide.”

    Experts will conduct the training courses from Pfizer, academic institutions and other partners. Participants will receive training in technologies and artificial intelligence tools that accelerate the drug discovery process.

    For the full article click here

  • Abu Dhabi opens bilingual family court for non-Muslims -

    A dedicated family court for non-Muslims has opened in Abu Dhabi as part of efforts to advance the judicial system and help attract global talent to the capital. The court will hear all cases related to marriage, custody, divorce, paternity, inheritance and personal status.

    Sessions will be held in Arabic and English to ensure foreigners understand them and to improve judicial transparency.

    “The establishment of the first specialised court for non-Muslim family matters is part of the continuous efforts being made to further develop the judicial system of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi,” said Youssef Saeed Al Abri, undersecretary of Abu Dhabi Judicial Department.

    The new family law, issued by President Sheikh Khalifa, includes equal legal rights for men and women, joint custody and the expediting of divorce procedures. The move is designed to bring Abu Dhabi in line with international practices and enhance its position as a destination for global talent.

    Joint and equal custody of children will automatically be granted to parents after divorce, with procedures in place to settle disputes, and the presiding judge will also have the power to settle divorce disputes and can also officiate in civil marriages.

    For the full article click here

  • UAE labour rules: New end-of-service schemes from 2022 to be announced soon -

    The unified general labour regulations will enable public and private sector employers to adopt creative end-of-service schemes that increase their competitiveness in the labour market, confirmed a UAE Minister.

    Starting from February 2, 2022, employees in the federal government and private sector will also be equally entitled to the same gratuity under the new unified regulations announced by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation on Monday.

    Dr. Abdulrahman Al Awar, Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation, said the labour regulations will present diverse gratuity options for employers beyond the conventional scheme.

    He explained, “employers can, for example, adopt a savings scheme that enables employees to invest in their gratuity from the date of joining until end of their service.”

    The move, he said, is part of the country’s broader goals to provide flexibility for employers in a competitive labour market that meets the aspirations of talents coming from all over the world.

    “Employers will have options to opt for to distinguish themselves in the market and attract global talents and competencies, boosting the UAE’s economy on the global map.”

    The additional gratuity schemes are also aimed at fitting employees working in the job models introduced in the labour law last month including temporary, flexible and part-time.

    For the full article click here

  • ADNOC announces significant discoveries in prized onshore asset -

    The oil and gas finds could together hold "up to 1 billion barrels of oil equivalent"

    Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) has announced "significant" conventional oil, condensate and gas discoveries in Abu Dhabi’s Onshore Block 4 concession that is operated by Japanese giant Inpex.

    The Emirati state-owned giant revealed the discoveries in a social media post on 14 December and said the oil and gas finds together have the potential of “up to 1 billion barrels of oil equivalent from an exploration well in Abu Dhabi’s Onshore Block 4 concession”.

    “The discovery comprises substantial Murban oil resources and represents the first find from this concession area as well as from a new geological formation,” ADNOC said.

    The Abu Dhabi giant said the next steps involve appraising and further quantifying these resources as well as exploring the promising potential in and around Onshore Block 4.

    ADNOC has an option to hold up to a 60% stake in the production phase of the 35-year Block 4 concession that covers an area of 6100 square kilometres extending from Abu Dhabi city to the boundary with the emirate of Dubai.

    For the full article click here


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