Sharjah Second Engineering Forum

January 29, 2020

Al Suwaidi & Company was invited to participate in the Sharjah Second Engineering Forum organized by the Sharjah Municipality that took place on 21 & 22 of January 2020. Our associate, Mr. Reda Hegazy attended on behalf of our firm and he gave a talk and a presentation on the topic: “Basic Conditions for Contracting Contracts”. Mr. Reda communicated/delivered to the attendees a deep legal understanding of the Contracting Contracts detailing the liability of the parties including the subcontractors.

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Tourism Boost: The New Five-Year Multiple-Entry Tourist Visa

January 23, 2020

This month, the UAE Cabinet approved the issuance of a five-year, multiple entry tourist visa for all nationalities visiting the country. This move aims to enhance the UAE’s position as a top tourist destination and further strategically supports the Dubai Expo 2020 efforts. Holders of the five-year multiple entry tourist visa shall be allowed to stay in the UAE for a period of six (6) months on each visit . This is a welcome development for tourists, visitors and UAE residents who now have the option to apply for a tourist visa once and may re-enter on the same visa. Currently,  tourists can visit with a single entry for 30 days or multiple entry for 90, from the date of the entry. Such enhancement shall increase the number of business visitors, family visitors of residents and those who decide to visit the UAE on short notice from countries where potential visitors may have had to re-apply for a new tourist visa. The details behind the five-year, multiple entry tourist visa shall be introduced to the people within the next four months. While eligibility and terms and conditions are said to remain the same as those in place for other tourist visa types, the UAE’s Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship has been tasked by the UAE Cabinet with implementing the new decision. The announcement was well-received by UAE’s business community who anticipate sustainable growth arising from a continuous inflow of tourists to the UAE who shall spend on the local economy from retail through hospitality thereby providing added lift to the real estate, transportation, tourism and entertainment sectors. We at Al Suwaidi & Company shall continue to monitor the developments, implementing rules and further details surrounding this important decision that will surely support the achievement of the UAE’s goal to welcome more tourists into the country for this year and further into this decade. If you have any questions related to this, please reach out to Vida Grace at  vida@alsuwaidi.ae

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Legal Corner with Al Suwaidi & Company / Swiss Business Council Dubai. “How to Avoid & Handle Bad Debts”

January 22, 2020

Al Suwaidi & Company was recently invited to perform a presentation before the Swiss Business Council held in Dubai, UAE. Our Senior Associate, Mr. Suneer Kumar represented our firm by leading a seminar on the topic: ‘How to Avoid & Handle Bad Debts’. Mr. Suneer’s depth of research and understanding on the topic in question, and his ability to present the subject in such an interesting way produced a very memorable and engaging presentation for all the attendees. The seminar trained everyone to effectively identify bad debts and the detrimental effects it may have on a business, as well as familiarized them with means of avoiding bad debts and mitigating its effects through measures and remedies. The in-depth presentation provided a lot of information to be desired for, yet also allowed room for much discussions and many immersed questions to be asked during the end, which Mr. Suneer was able to address and answer with relative ease and sound knowledge – demonstrating Al Suwaidi & Company as the go-to law firm for all your effective solutions.

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Ensuring Validity of Arbitration Agreements in the UAE

January 21, 2020

Recognizing the importance and the growing preference for arbitration as a form of dispute resolution, UAE authorities promulgated Federal Law No. (6) of 2018, otherwise known as the UAE Arbitration Law. This law repealed Articles 203 to 218 of Federal Law No. (11) of 1992 or the UAE Code of Civil Procedures and further has provided better guidance for arbitration in the UAE. Unlike the more traditional forms of dispute resolution, Arbitration allows the parties to confer jurisdiction on settlement of their disputes to an arbitral tribunal, and in the process, take away the jurisdiction from the regular courts. As an extraordinary remedy, the choice of arbitration has not always been given efficacy in the past due to various reasons. The most notable of which are (1) the dispute concerns a matter of public policy, (2) the lack of capacity of the signatory, and (3) a defective arbitration agreement. It is also interesting to note that, in the past, not being able to plead the existence of an arbitration clause at the first hearing is treated by the Courts as waiver of the arbitration agreement. An arbitration agreement is defined in Article 1 of the UAE Arbitration Law as the agreement of the parties to refer a matter to arbitration, whether such agreement is made before or after the dispute arises [should this be in quotes?] It can be contained in a particular contract in respect of all or some disputes that may arise between the parties, by separate agreement, or through an explicit referral considering such clause as a part of the contract [what is an explicit referral?]. Since arbitration as a choice of dispute resolution is agreed by both parties consent, an arbitration agreement can be entered into even after a dispute arises and even if a claim is already before the courts. In order to give effect to the choice of arbitration as alternative dispute resolution, the following points should be considered in entering into an arbitration agreement: The dispute should be a matter where composition or settlement is allowed, and Article 4(2) of the UAE Arbitration Law stipulates that arbitration will not be permitted on matters that are non-conciliatory. Thus, issues concerning public policy cannot be submitted for arbitration. For example, employment issues and criminal matters are not arbitrable. The arbitration agreement should be entered into by a natural person only who enjoys the capacity to dispose of rights or the representative of a juristic person authorized to agree on arbitration. [what is a non-natural person? Perhaps clarify this] There are two aspects of capacity contemplated in this requirement of the law. First, the person signing must have the capacity to contract based on the law governing such person’s capacity. For example, in the UAE, the capacity to contract without need of guardian or court order for locals is when they reached the age of 21 (lunar years). Hence, an Emirati below the age of 21, by himself, does not have the capacity to sign an arbitration agreement. If the party entering into the arbitration agreement is from the United Kingdom, UK laws will determine whether […]

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Chambers Litigation 2019 Second Edition Guide.

January 12, 2020

Chambers and Partners Litigation Chapter 2019

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Economic Substance Regulation of UAE

January 8, 2020

INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai has promulgated the Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers No. (31) for 2019 concerning Economic Substance Regulations (ESR/Regulations) on 30 April 2019. Pursuant to the Regulations,  a Ministerial Decision no. 215  of 2019 on the Issuance of Directives for the Implementation on the Provisions of Cabinet Decision no. 31 of 2019 Concerning Economic Substance Requirements was issued on 11 September 2019 as a guidance ( Guidance) on how the Economic Substance can be applied and how the Economic Substance Test may be met for the purpose of complying with the ESR . The Economic Substance Regulations shall apply to UAE onshore, Free Zone and offshore companies that operate and generate income from the “Relevant Activities”. WHAT IS ECONOMIC SUBSTANCE REGULATION (ESR)? Background of the ESR: On 1 December 1997, the European Union (EU) adopted a resolution on a code of conduct for business taxation with the objective to curb harmful tax competition.  Shortly thereafter, the Code of Conduct Group on Business Taxation (COCG) was set up to assess tax measures and regimes that may fall within the scope of the Code of Conduct on Business Taxation. On 5 December 2017, the COCG published the (first) EU list of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes, in cooperation with the Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN). Recently, the world economy has been characterized by a shift from country-specific businesses to global enterprises operating both over the internet and at locations remote from where their physical customers are buying goods and services on online. This has presented opportunities for complex profit repatriation structures – reducing the tax burden in other words – and has fuelled concerns of unfair and unethical practice. As such, EU formalize and applies three listing criteria, which are aligned with international standards and reflect the good governance standards that the Member States comply with themselves: Transparency: Jurisdictions should comply with the international standards on exchange of information, automatic and on request. In addition, jurisdictions should sign the OECD’s (The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) multilateral convention or signed bilateral agreements with all EU Member States to facilitate such exchange. Fair Tax Competition: Jurisdictions should not have harmful tax regimes nor facilitate offshore structures which attract profits without real economic activity. BEPS Implementation: Jurisdictions should commit to implementing the OECD’s Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) minimum standards, starting with Country-by-Country Reporting The common denominator for the Economic Substance systems is The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Forum on Harmful Tax Practices (FHTP), which sets the global standard that requires companies to have substantial activities in a jurisdiction (known as “Economic Substance”). OECD is a unique forum where the governments of 36 member states with market economies work with each other, as well as with more than 70 non-member economies to promote economic growth, prosperity, and sustainable development.  Over 125 jurisdictions around the world are members of the OECD BEPS Inclusive Framework. The FHTP is a sub-body of the Inclusive Framework and is responsible for assessing […]

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IP News, “POLO” vs “Car-pollo”

January 6, 2020

Japan Patent Office (JPO) decided that VW’s famous car model “Polo” is dissimilar to, and unlikely to cause confusion with, the word mark “Car-pollo” when used for car navigation. Volkswagen AG filed an opposition against registration the word mark “Car-pollo” written in standard character filed by Baidu Online Network Technology Beijing Company Limited on the grounds that Opposed mark shall be objectionable based on senior trademark registration for the word mark “POLO”. The opposed mark is designated for; Navigation system (GPS) for vehicles; car video recorders; batteries for vehicles; battery charging devices for motor vehicles; electric locks for vehicles in class 9. Wheelbarrows; airplanes; vessels; bicycles; electric bicycles in class 12. Automatic driving cars design in class 42. Article 4(1)(xi) is a provision to prohibit from registering a junior mark that is deemed identical with, or similar to, any senior registered mark. Article 4(1)(xv) provides that a mark shall not be registered where it is likely to cause confusion with other business entity’s well-known goods or services, to the benefit of brand owner and users’ benefits. According to the above articles, the Opposition Board decided that “POLO” and “Car-pollo” are totally dissimilar from visual, sound and conceptual points of view. Regarding the opponent’s allegation, the Board stated the term “Car” isn’t a usual word to indicate ‘wheelbarrows; airplanes; vessels; bicycles; electric bicycles’ of class 12. From the produced evidence, there does not exist any circumstance to admit the term “pollo” shall be conceived as a dominant portion of the opposed mark in fact. If so, it looks rather appropriate to consider relevant consumers would grasp opposed mark in its entirety. Board also negated a likelihood of confusion between “POLO” and “Car-pollo” even if an opposed mark is used for car video recorders; batteries for vehicles; battery charging devices for motor vehicles; electric locks for vehicles, and car-related services. Based on the foregoing, the Board dismissed opposition and accepted “Car-pollo” registration. In our opinion, the two trademarks as similar and we believe that the customers will mentally make a connection between the trademark and Volkswagen AG.

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