UAE: How to read your rental contract? Check these details before you sign

November 30, 2020

REDA HEGAZY shares with Gulf News what to look out for in your rental contract before you sign. You may read the full article here: UAE: How to read your rental contract? Check these details before you sign | Living-housing – Gulf News

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UAE Companies Law to Allow 100% Foreign Ownership in UAE

November 26, 2020

Foreign nationals can now own 100% of companies within the onshore jurisdiction of the UAE, which previously required 51% Emirati ownership to do business outside of UAE free zones. This remarkable development is expected to further enhance the UAE’s position as the Gulf’s premier business hub and a stronger magnet for foreign capital and investment. The move is expected to support the continued growth of the UAE as it becomes a more robust, vibrant and diverse economy and place to do business. On 23 November 2020, the President of the United Arab Emirates, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan issued a decree amending the restrictions on foreign ownership within the Companies Law in the United Arab Emirates. The newly issued decree amended the pertinent provisions of the UAE Federal Law No. 2 of 2015 and supersedes the UAE Federal Law No. 19 of 2018 on Foreign Direct Investment (FDI Law). Notable key changes include: The annulment of the requirement for commercial companies to have a majority Emirati shareholder or agent. Allowing full foreign ownership of onshore companies in certain commercial activities in accordance with the policies set by the UAE Cabinet. Granting related local authorities (such as without limiting Ministry of Economy and Economic Department of each Emirate) powers to determine the required capitalization, shareholding percentages and approval for establishment of onshore companies in accordance with the policies set by the UAE Cabinet. Increasing shares of joint stock companies from 30% to 70% that can be sold via IPO. Enabling shareholders to sue the company in civil court over any failure of duty that results in damages. Electronic voting available for general assembly meeting. The UAE Cabinet is authorized by this decree to establish a committee to classify the commercial activities and the required measures and arrangements for businesses onshore that can be fully foreign owned. Al Suwaidi & Company’s Corporate & Commercial practice is continuing to monitor further legal developments. We shall advise our clients as and when further information and details are released regarding foreign ownership and foreign direct investment into the UAE. Should you have any questions about this, or any other related matter, please do not hesitate to contact Vida Grace at Vida@alsuwaidi.ae. Vida is an Associate in the Corporate & Commercial practice.  

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UAE: I terminated my contract early – will I get my cheques back or have to pay a penalty?

November 24, 2020

REDA HEGAZY’s recent contribution to the Gulf News focuses on If you terminate your lease agreement in the UAE before it is completed, would you need to pay a penalty or the remaining rent for the months left on the contract? Here is all you need to know UAE: I terminated my contract early – will I get my cheques back or have to pay a penalty? | Living-housing – Gulf News 

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Knowing and understanding the UAE Court system: a comparison of the legal civil procedures between the DIFC and Dubai Courts’ systems

November 9, 2020

Introduction Over the past 14 years, Dubai has embraced both civil and common law legal systems within its borders. In order to understand the concepts involved I have set out below the fundamentals of each system ending with a comparative look at the two systems as they are currently in use at this time. Dubai Courts The UAE is a Federated State consisting of seven Emirates being Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah, Sharjah and Umm Al Quwain. The UAE came into being as an independent Federated State on 2 December 1971 following Britain’s withdrawal from the Trucial States which had been set up as an informal British Protectorate between 1820 and 1892.  Initially Ras Al Khaimah was not part of the UAE but joined as the seventh Emirate on 10 February 1972. Under the constitution of the UAE the emirates are entitled to have both local and federal Courts with the UAE Supreme Court being established in Abu Dhabi. However, it should be noted that the legal systems in the Emirates of Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) do not answer to the UAE Supreme Court as they maintain their own local judicial systems which are independent of the federal Court system. Accordingly, Abu Dhabi, Dubai and RAK have their own Courts of First Instance, Courts of Appeal and Courts of Cassation. There are however matters that can only be dealt with by the UAE Supreme Court and which the separate Court systems of Abu Dhabi, Dubai and RAK cannot consider. These are: disputes between member Emirates or between any one or more Emirate and the Federal Government; constitutionality of the federal laws and the constitutional legality of legislation enacted by local Emirates if they are challenged by the federal laws or the Constitution; examination of the constitutional legality of laws if such a request is referred by any state Court; constitutional interpretations if requested by a federal entity or any Emirate; interrogation of Ministers and senior federal officials on the basis of a request by the Federal Supreme Council; crimes directly affecting the interests of the federation; such as crimes relating to internal or external security, forgery of the official records or seals; conflict of jurisdiction between federal judicial authorities and the local judicial authorities; and conflict of jurisdiction between the judicial authority in one Emirate and the judicial authority in another Emirate and the classification of the principles relating to it in a federal law Dubai Court of First Instance  The Court of First Instance is itself divided into Minor and Major Circuits where if the value of a claim is AED 10,000,000 or less it may be decided by a single judge in the Minor Circuit. Claims over AED 10,000,000 are decided by three judges in the Major Circuit although the Major Circuit may hear claim for less than AED 10,000,000 if the Court considers that they are complex. However, it should be noted that a minor circuit may be mandated by decision of the Minister of Justice or head of the local competent judicial authority to hear and dispose of cases […]

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