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Dubai Debt Collection Services | Payment Recovery Lawyers

Dubai Debt Collection Service | Debt Collection Lawyers

The debt system dates back to the barter system wherein goods were exchanged for goods till it was replaced by currency. Debt collection is the process of collecting overdue debts owed by the individuals as well as by the companies who have incurred debts. As per the UAE law limitation for filing a legal action for debt recovery is between 2-10 years.

What is the debt collection procedure in Dubai?

Extra-Judicial Process To Recover Debts

UAE debt collection lawyers assists in collecting the debts outside the court. This collection service collects all the information about the debtor and then contact the debtor on behalf of the lender in a very professional manner to remind the debtor about his unpaid debt. This is done mainly via telephone or email. This way they inform and educate the debtor about possible legal consequences of non-payment of debts.

If amicable settlement can’t be reached between the parties, a petition can be filed with Dubai Court. As a first step the Dubai Court will notify the debtor through a registered demand letter which requires him to pay the amount and the late fees within fifteen days. If the debtor does not pay the debt the lawyer will prepare the documents, court memos to be filed before the civil court along with the supportive documents, emails and correspondence that prove creditor is entitled for the outstanding amount. The lawyer will then pursue the hearings and will execute the judgement.

Court Procedure To Recover Debts

When the extra-judicial method to recover debts fails then the only option is to resort to court intervention. To protect the Emiratis and residents who are facing financial troubles to restructure their debt with the possibility of receiving “new concessional loans” Law No. 19 of 2019 was passed. This law gives two options to resolve financial bankruptcy:

Financial Obligations Settlement

The court shall appoint one or more specialists to help the debtor throughout the process and design a settlement plan for the financial obligations based on circumstances. Once this is done, creditor will vote and it will be implemented. The court has the authority to terminate it if:
The debtor abstains from or intentionally damages or conceals some of their possessions, or if the debtor makes false assertions, or if the debts are not paid for one or more than forty consecutive days after maturity. In such case the debtor may file for bankruptcy.

Insolvency and financial liquidation

The second method to recover debts is to liquidate assets and money to repay the debts. This is done when the debtor can’t pay the amount for more than fifty consecutive working days. When the debtor elect’s liquidation, the court appoints a trustee to assist and supervise the liquidation of the debtors’ finances and assets. This is done according to Article 8 of the new debt legislation. Creditors may also seek the liquidation of a debtor’s money in some situations provide liquidation sum does not exceed 200k. So, basically the law provides for two things—It provides a plan for the settlement of the debts and liquidation of the assets in case the debtor fails to pay the debt.

What is sale of debts?

Debt collection might involve sale of a specific share of debt to another company called as debt buyer. Such companies buy debts for a certain percentage of the debt value and pursue the debtor for full balance. In this case the creditor receives direct revenues but cannot recover full amount because of a percentage shared with the company for share of debt.

What is the procedure for bankruptcy of companies?

When a company no longer pays its debts, it can get a fresh start by liquidating its assets to pay their debts or by creating a repayment plan, bankruptcy laws protect those businesses which are troubled financially and fails pay its debts. The UAE Bankruptcy Law No. 9 of 2016 as amended by Law No 23 of 2019 governs bankruptcy on the federal and local level of UAE and is overseen by Ministry of Finance. It does not apply to DIFC and ADGM and individual merchants. Bankruptcy law provides various different options in order to avoid full bankruptcy. The Bankruptcy Law says following procedure must be adopted in case of bankruptcy o companies:

Preventive Composition

The first step in case of bankruptcy of companies is to give the breathing space to it to reach to any settlement with its creditors when it is in its early stage of financial distress. This option is available when the debtor has not defaulted for more than thirty working days with respect to debts owe to the creditor. Only a debtor can make an application to the court for preventive composition. If the application is accepted, a composition trustee will be appointed by the courts to reschedule the debtors debts and enter into a settlement plan with the debtor’s creditors known as the Preventive Composition Plan. The creditors must vote to approve this plan and this plan must not take more than three years from its implementation. And if this plan is approved by the court and the creditors the trustee will supervise the plan throughout its implementation.

Restructuring Process

When a bankruptcy application is given to the court by an insolvent debtor or by the creditor where the unpaid debt is more than 100,000 AED and has been overdue for thirty days despite a legal notice, process of restructuring starts. Court will appoint a bankruptcy trustee and while preparing the report about the debtors business, it will check if restructure of debtors business is possible. This restructure process will not take more than five years. Once restructure process is approved any civil/criminal proceeding against the debtor is suspended.

Bankruptcy

If the court nullifies the preventive composition or restructuring plan the court will go ahead with formal bankruptcy procedure of the debtor. The court can entitle the debtor to continue his business till formal bankruptcy is declared. In order to recover money, the trustee under the supervision of the courts will start selling the assets of the business to liquidate its assets.

What are the effects of bankruptcy?

When a debtor is declared bankrupt selling of his assets to recover the money shall be done and certain debts and expenses shall have priority. Merchant/ Owner of the business will be prevented from being directly involved in the managing of the business and from applying any further debts. All court proceedings will be suspended including execution proceedings except for those debts which are considered preferential debts. The transactions of the debtor prior to bankruptcy up to two years shall be nullified, set aside and reversed. The people involved in management of the debtor will not have any rights or power to be part of any managerial or board position for five years after the bankruptcy procedure is over.

Even after the procedure of bankruptcy is over and liquidation of debtor’s assets, every creditor whose debt was accepted but not repaid in full may execute against the debtors’ assets to recover the outstanding amount.

How much does the debt collection service charge?

Debt collection in Dubai vary greatly in how they charge for the services. Usually, they take percentage of the actual debt after collection. So, the average charges are:
Commission Fee: 25% to 50% of debt owed
Admission Fee: 5% to 10% of debt
Other (Risk, Litigation) Additional 15% to 20% of debt owed

How to proceed for debt collection in case of oral agreement?

In a situation no agreement exists between the debtor and the creditor, it is sufficient for the creditor to have invoice and their acknowledgement as a sufficient proof for debt collection.

In conclusion, the Emiratis and Expatriates who are unable to pay their credit card debts or outstanding debts cannot be imprisoned now, the new insolvency law says that they can work to pay off their debts with the help of UAE government. This is a big step considering most of the Expatriates live in Dubai on credit because of high cost of living.

 

 

 

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Dubai Family Lawyers | Sharia Law For Family | Marriage | Divorce

Family Law In The United Arab Emirates

Family Law in UAE is governed by Shariah Law which basically covers everything from marriage, divorce to succession. The commentary of these personal laws is based on the Imam Maliki school of thought. The relevant laws with respect to family law are Federal Law No 28 of 2005 also known as Personal Status Law, Federal Law No 5 of 1985 known as Civil Transaction Law and Federal Law No 11 of 1992 known as the Civil Procedure Code. The Sharia-based Personal Status Law applies to all including non-Emiratis, unless they choose their own home country’s law (Article 1, Personal Status Law). If a foreign national wishes to apply their country’s law they must provide the laws attested and translated into Arabic for use in the Courts. If a marriage is between two foreigners or between a foreigner or a national it will be valid if it was in accordance with the conditions of each State where it concluded. Law of the State of the husband upon the conclusion of the marriage shall govern personal and financial impacts set up by the contract of marriage. In matters of separation or divorce in the UAE it shall be governed by the law of the State of the husband. If marriage is between a national of the UAE and a foreigner, law of the UAE shall apply except for condition of capacity for marriage.

Is Co habitation legal in UAE?

Before 2021 co habitation was a crime in the UAE and would attract Penal code however after the recent amendment in Federal Decree No 31 of 2021 on the Issuance of Crime and Penalties Law it is not a crime anymore.

How is marriage under Shariah law solemnized?

Under the Federal Law No. 28 of 2005 on Personal Status, marriage is considered to be a legal contract between a man and woman which aims to protect and form a steady family. Under the Shariah Law with respect to marriage there are two contracting parties: the husband and the tutor. The Tutor shall proceed with the marriage after taking the consent from the woman. The majority age for the parties is fixed at eighteen years, however if the spouse’s age is twice the other, the judge’s approval is sought.

Marriage contract needs to be registered in a Sharia court. A premarital screening certificate is needed. Islamic marriages are conducted by UAE Judicial departments and Sharia courts or through the services of authorized marriage officers (Mazoons) in each Emirate.

Contract is invalid in absence of a tutor. The offer and the acceptance must clearly have the word marriage and must be fulfilled immediately and shall not refer to a future time. Due to kinship a person is prohibited to marry his ascendant to highest degree, descendant to the remotest degree, first category of the descendants of one of the grandparents, descendants of the two parents or one of them to the remotest degree.

A marriage contract shall be valid only if there were two male male witnesses present of sound mind and full capacity and must be Muslim.

The husband must offer dowry in money or property for the purpose of marriage. There is no minimum limit fixed for dowry however maximum limit is fixed under Federal Law No. 21 of 1997 on Fixing the Dowry which says that Islamic Dowry may not exceed AED 20,000 and deferred dowry may not exceed 30,000 AED. It is the property of the bride so she can dispose of it. It may be whole or in part. It is by virtue of a valid contract and becomes certain by consummation of marriage.

Rights Of Wife Towards Husband

The wife has the rights of Alimony, non-obstruction to complete education, non-interference with the personal matters, non-infliction of bodily or moral prejudice to her, non-opposition to visit her ascendants, equitable treatment between other wives.

Rights Of Husband Towards His Wife

The husband has a right towards his wife that she must supervise the house. preserve the assets and a right of suckling of his children.

What is Interfaith marriage?

Interfaith marriage is when people of different faiths are united in matrimony. A Muslim man is permitted to marry a non-Muslim woman as long as she is “Ahl-e-Kitab” or “Of the Book” and follows the Abrahamic religion that is Christianity and Judaism. If the woman is not “of the book” she must revert to Islam for marriage. However, a non-Muslim man can’t marry a Muslim woman unless he embraces Islam.

What is Civil Marriage under Abu Dhabi Law?

According to Federal Law No 14 of 2021 on Personal Status for Non-Muslims Foreigners, a family court has been established for non-Muslims in Abu Dhabi. As per the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department, “Civil marriage is the lawful union of a non-Muslim man and woman and it is solemnized as a civil contract without religious ceremony”. This law allows the foreigners, non-Muslims, visitors and nationals of Abu Dhabi to conduct marriage. This Civil marriage no longer requires a religious ceremony or the approval of the guardian. A judge or the Notary approves the marriage and issues a digital certificate. The conditions necessary for this is that no party should be less than eighteen years of age, both the parties shall explicitly give their consent and both shall sign the declaration form.

The documents required for this purpose are:

  • Complete and signed marriage form.
  • Copy of passport or Emirates I.D.
  • If previously married, proof that marriage has been dissolved.
  • In case of death of spouse, copy of death certificate.
  • If divorced, a copy of divorce certificate.
  • If previous marriage was declared null, a copy of the court order.

Usually if the application is approved it takes around five working days to get the certificate and the fees for this application is 500 AED.

For the purpose of divorce, it is sufficient that one spouse declares before the court his willingness for separation and ending the marital relationship without the need to justify this application or demonstrate any damage or to blame the other party. After the divorce, the wife may submit an application to the court requesting alimony from the former husband. The Judge will decide financial support keeping in mind the following: years of marriage, age of wife, the economic status, the extent to which the husband contributes, whether or not to take care of children.

The custody of the children is joint and equal right for both parents upon divorce. If any one of them gives in writing to the court to waive the right to custody, the court will check the circumstances and decide accordingly.

Foreign testator has the right to leave a will to whomever he deems adequate. In case of absence of will, half of the inheritance shall be entitled to husband or wife and the other half shall be equally distributed among the children with no difference between males and females. In case of absence of children, it will go to the parents.

What about marriage of non-Muslims in UAE?

Non-Muslim wedding in UAE is recognized if they occur at places of worship such as churches, Hindu temples, or Sikh Gurdwara. Furthermore, non-Muslim interfaith weddings are typically conducted in the embassy or consulate of the bridegroom or the groom. Personal Status Court of Dubai performs marriages between people who are Muslim by faith.

What is the divorce procedure?

Divorce is the dissolution of marriage contract in a prescribed form. It can be verbal as well as in writing. However, verbal divorce must be proven in court through witnesses or by oath or by a court judgement. In UAE there is no such thing as Judicial Separation, the only separation is by court. The process for divorce starts when one party asserts their decision to part ways. Article 98 of the Personal Status Law says a conciliatory procedure is mandatory in divorce proceeding since the Quran promotes reconciliation through negotiation settlements between spouses. Thus, the Quran treats divorce as something permitted but not laudable. If both the parties agree and a settlement agreement is drafted, divorce is concluded amicably but if parties fail to reach to an agreement before the conciliator, then court proceedings can initiate. Foreign Law can’t be applied if it is contrary to public order, its effects can’t be determined, if the applicant claims to have dual nationality or whose nationality is not known. ( Article 27 and 28 of Civil Procedure Code)

Grounds of divorce

Under Shariah law divorce can be claimed on the grounds of physical and mental issues like impotency, vaginal occlusion, failure to pay dowry promptly, prejudice and dissension, non-maintenance, absence and loss, detention (Jail Term)

Ila`a

Where the husband swears not have sexual intercourse with his wife for a period of four months or more unless he goes back to his oath before such period, in such case divorce is irrevocable.

Zihar

Where the husband compares his wife’s body to that of another woman who is forbidden to marry (example mother or sister)

Article 110 to 135 of Personal Status law talks about divorce. A woman can apply for divorce but she must demonstrate that she has been harmed. Harm in this context would mean husband’s failure to maintain his wife, home and children or if he is violent. The recent amendments gives the court right to reject such application for divorce which means the right of woman to seek divorce has been restricted.

As for a man the position is different. He need not any ground or consent of his wife to divorce but scholars say that there should be a reasonable ground for such a decision.

The court can nullify a marriage contract if it conflicts with the Shariah Law or public policy. It may be nullified in the following cases:

If marriage takes place in absence of wife’s guardian (Art 39 of Personal Status Law) or if a woman is provisionally or permanently prohibited to the man. In such cases if the Court nullifies the marriage contract, the parties return to their previous status. However, if the court so wishes it can correct the nullity at its own discretion.

What are the types of Divorce in Shariah Law?

Under Shariah Law divorce is known as Talaq -e- Hasan as mentioned under Surah Talaq of the Quran and approved by all schools of Muslim law. If a husband pronounces divorce to his wife and takes her back within three months (Iddat period) marriage remains intact. Also, resumption of sexual relations automatically retracts the divorce. If he pronounces divorce to his wife second time he can still revoke the divorce and take her back during the waiting period. However, if the husband pronounces the divorce third time, the divorce becomes final and irrevocable.

Maintenance (Nafaqa)

Before the divorce is finalized a judge orders maintenance on a temporary basis. Usually, the courts order minimal maintenance for wife and children. However, on the request of the wife, the judge can use his discretionary power and order greater amount. Generally the courts award up to 30% of the fathers income. Child support includes food, education, extra-curricular activities, medical expenses. The objective of this child care is to minimize the disruption in the child’s life. A father must support his children and provide a standard of living similar to what he experienced during the marriage.

Who gets the custody of children?

Child Custody under the Islamic Law indicates that parents do not share equal parental responsibility for their children but provides for different role of father and the mother. The mother has a role of a custodian (Hadana) who takes care of the child, responsible for day to day needs as well as physical aspect of the child. The father on the other side has a role of the guardian or the wilaya. Guardians are considered providers of the financial and substantial needs of the child. Incase of termination of marriage, when deciding on custody the concern of the judge is the best interests of the child. This is as per Article 144-145 of the Personal Status Law. Article 155 says that the judge should choose the most suitable custodian for the child. And custody awarded to a woman ends when a male child reaches 11 years of age and female child 13 years of age and goes to the father since he is financially responsible for his children. If a father does not request custody of the child within six months after the child has reached legal age (11 for boy and 13 for girl) he waives his right.

What are the Visitation rights?

According to Article 154 of the Personal Status Law, only parents have visitation rights. However in case a parent is deceased or absent, visitation rights will be given to first line relatives. Also access to the children for the non-custodian parent is guaranteed under the Personal States Law. The mother cannot relocate the child if it causes hardships to the father for visiting the child, hence the visitation rights of the father are protected.

To conclude UAE has emerged as the most tolerant State in the past few years welcoming people of different faiths and nationalities without any bias and gives many options to the expatriates for marriage based on their religion and nationality.

For further questions and in-depth discussion about your legal needs, please feel free to Contact Us at your most convenient time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Artificial Intelligence (AI) | Financial Technology (FinTech) – An Advantage In Business

FinTech in the United Arab Emirates

Technology has made tremendous strides in recent years, particularly with the advent of “artificial intelligence” (AI), which enabled machines to mimic and outperform human abilities. As a result, there has been a notable rise in the use of technology in the services that companies offer to their clients. Any and all technologies that automate financial trading for the advantage of companies and customers are referred to as “Fintech” or “financial technology” and aim to displace more conventional forms of finance. It encompasses everything, from a straightforward smartphone app used for online payments to anything complicated, like blockchain technology, where all transactions are completely protected. This technology makes judgments automatically using robotic process automation (RPA) and algorithms. artificial intelligence and other scientific technology such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), which use iterative processing and allow the software to learn from repeated patterns in the data, is used to arrive at a decision. This would include online trading platforms, robo-advisers, crowdfunding platforms, online banking of any kind, cryptocurrency, and insurance advice using technology.

What Does FinTech Offer In The UAE?

With the launch of “Fin Tech Strategy 2021” in 2016 and the UAE Vision 2022, which aims to transform the country into a leader in fintech, more than 134 fintech companies are offering their services in the UAE right now.

BNPL (Buy Now, Pay Later)

Founded by Tariq Sheikh and Dani Molina, BNPL, or buy now and pay later, has become the latest retail trend amongst the millennial and Gen Z generations. Customers can use this service to buy items online and pay for them in equal installments later. In some cases, the website allows the customers to simply checkout and pay later, and in other cases, the customer has to pay a certain amount before checking out. This makes payment easy, as it allows the customers to split their bills and pay in installments with zero interest. As of now, there are no clear guidelines for the regulation of BNPL in Dubai. But since it is a sort of credit, it can be assumed that it is covered under the existing credit laws.

Digital Wallets (E-Wallets)

It is a contactless mobile payment, representing a shift from the traditional use of credit cards and debit cards at the time of payment. The details of the customer are stored in the e-wallet, so one does not need to physically carry any cards with them. This is also a safe option since it cannot be lost or stolen by chance. Since COVID 19 acted as a catalyst for contactless payment, more than half of Dubai residents now use e-wallets.

Crowdfunding

It is an alternative finance method that allows a person to fund a project and raise small amounts of capital from a large group of people through an online licensed platform. This is the best option for small and medium businesses, which are in dire need of funds in order to support their ideas and innovations and help them grow into businesses. This is legal now in the UAE, as the UAE Cabinet, in March 2022, approved private and public funding to finance new projects. DubaiNEXT, for example, is a government-backed digital crowdfunding platform that provides innovators with a platform to raise money, and the campaigner in this case will get full ownership of his project.

Cryptocurrency

Crypto is a digital currency in encrypted form created using encryption algorithms that is monitored and organized by a peer-to-peer network called the blockchain, which acts like a ledger of transactions. Unlike the normal currency, which is controlled by a central bank, cryptographic trading usually remains anonymous and is not regulated by any monetary authority. Bitcoin remains one of the most popular cryptocurrencies, for which the blockchain technology was basically created. The UAE Central Bank does not recognize cryptocurrency as legal tender, but it is not illegal in the UAE. For the purpose of regulation and licensing in the Emirate, Law No. 4 on Regulation of Virtual Assets (VAL), also known as the Virtual Assets Law, was passed.

Blockchain Technology

Blockchain is a shared real-time ledger for recording the history of transactions, contracts, and physical assets. It is not one person but a chain, and everyone in the chain can see the details of each record, known as the block. And every block is encrypted and stamped; only the person who owns it can edit it. Owners gain access to their block through a private key that only they possess. If changes are made in one block, everyone’s blockchain is updated and synced in real time. Transactions processed over the blockchain can be done within seconds. It can also protect copyrights and royalties and people’s digital identities. The government of the UAE has adopted blockchain technology for conducting its transactions. Up to 50% of the government transactions so far are done by this method. For this purpose, the UAE Blockchain Strategy 2021 has been adopted by the government.

Metaverse

Metaverse became a household name after Facebook changed its name to “Meta” in October 2021. It is a virtual reality space where users can interact with a computer-based environment from the comfort of their homes in the physical world. People in the metaverse use avatars to represent themselves and communicate. It is often said that the metaverse has made human life immortal. The Dubai Metaverse Strategy aims to turn Dubai into one of the top metaverse economies in the world. For this purpose, it seeks to enhance the metaverse’s economic contributions, promote advanced ecosystems, and provide support for metaverse education. The main focus of the Dubai metaverse is on four sectors: tourism, education, government services, a virtual reality space where users can interact with a computer-based environment from the comfort of their homes in the physical world. People in the metaverse use avatars to represent themselves and communicate. It is often said that the metaverse has made human life immortal. The Dubai Metaverse Strategy aims to turn Dubai into one of the top metaverse economies in the world. For this purpose, it seeks to enhance the metaverse’s economic contributions, promote advanced ecosystems, and provide support for metaverse education. The main focus of the Dubai metaverse is on four sectors: tourism, education, government services, retail, and real estate. One of the recent examples is the Etisalat store in the Dubai Mall, where the customers would be able to access the services while sitting at home and wouldn’t need to beat the traffic to get there. A virtual space that cannot be physically accessed yet attracts people to invest in it needs proper regulations. For this purpose, the Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA) has become the first regulator aiming to provide a framework for the financial entities operating within the metaverse.

Robo Advisers

Robo Advisers is an artificial intelligence-driven financial advisor who, by analyzing the profile of the client, delivers solutions and suggests changes and amendments to the existing profile. Robo advisers make investments simple yet affordable for clients. CBD Investr, a robo-advisor, has been set up by the Commercial Bank of Dubai. They enable investors to create globally diverse portfolios. This is certainly the future of wealth management.

Sandboxes

To encourage innovation, especially in the financial sector, the “sandbox” concept allows innovators to have pilot licenses to test their products under lenient regulatory requirements. The ADGM Reg Lab introduced by FSRA provides a controlled environment for fintech participation. The Central Bank of the UAE has deployed its regulatory sandbox as one of its initiatives in the insurance sector.

FinTech Hive at DIFC

The DIFC has provided FinTech companies with a platform to bring financial and technology firms together. Firms all over the world can test, develop, and adapt their products and solutions to meet the financial and technological needs of their respective regions. It conducted its first inaugural accelerator program in 2017, and ever since then, two more successful events have taken place.

How is this fintech regulated in the UAE?

When you have a technology tsunami all over the place, it is pertinent to have checks in place to regulate and provide a proper framework within which the system must offer services to its potential customers and make it safer for the customers who are otherwise going to be the victims of such fraud and scams if it remains unregulated.

UAE Onshore

Fintech and its services are regulated by the Central Bank of the UAE with respect to banking, finance, and payment services. The Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA) regulates markets, listed companies, and securities brokers, while the Insurance Authority regulates insurance activities.

Large Value Payment System Regulation

In order to check high-priority funds transfers on behalf of the customers, the Central Bank Circular No. 9/2020 on the Large Value Payment System Regulation provides for a financial structure that supports the financial and wholesale activities. It covers the licensing requirement in relation to the LVPs. Also, it applies to those that operate in the UAE and LVPs that accept the settlement in AED both inside and outside the UAE. LVPs require a license from the Central Bank of the UAE and must comply with the Principles of Financial Market Infrastructure (PFMI).

Stored Value Facilities Regulation

Stored-Value Facilities are those where the customer pays in advance so that he can later use that payment method for any goods or services.The Stored Value Facilities Regulation was issued in September 2020, which replaced the regulatory framework for stored value and electronic payment systems and made the law more stringent.

Regulation of Security Tokens

The regulation provides for a regulatory framework for tokenization, listing, and trading of fund interests issued by a fund from the DIFC.

Regulation of cryptocurrency

For the purpose of regulating crypto currency, SCA Decision No. 23 of 2020 provides for Crypto Assets Activities Regulation (CAAR) to regulate and license key aspects of dealing in crypto assets. Two requirements have been provided for providing cryptographic services: First, the service provider must be incorporated onshore within the UAE or any of the UAE’s financial free zones. Second, he must be licensed by the SCA.

Electronic Payment Regulation 2017

This is issued by the Central Bank of the UAE and mandates that entities seeking to provide electronic payments obtain a license before dealing with payments. Two categories of payment service providers that must obtain the requisite license are those providing payment service providers (PSP) and payment system operators (PSO).

DIFC

The Dubai Financial Service Authority has not come up with any laws or regulations around crypto assets. However, the Financial Service Authority has come up with the Regulation of Digital Security Offerings and Crypto Assets 2019 to regulate cryptocurrencies.

Finally, FinTech services are making financial services more transparent, invisible, and extremely affordable. Fintech companies, however, must have a license and local presence so as to reach customers. So, this poses a serious challenge for those companies that wish to target UAE residents from outside of the UAE. Also, upgrades and evolution in the law are taking place at such a pace that companies will have to watch out for any developments and change their rules as per the new legislation.

Contact us to for more in-depth discussion about your legal concerns with Cryptocurrency.

 

 

 

 

 

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UAE Green Residence Visa – 5-Year UAE Residence Program Launched

5-Year Residence Program Has Been Launched for UAE Green Residence Visas

An Overview – UAE Green Residence Visa

To encourage talents, skilled workers, freelancers, investors, and entrepreneurs, the UAE has introduced a new 5-year residence program. Once a residence permit is canceled or expires, the system offers extended flexible grace periods of up to six months to remain in the country.

The United Arab Emirates has formalized a policy meant to give expatriates a bigger economic role in the nation by implementing legislation on foreign entrance and residence. The new entrance and residence system aims to strengthen the competitiveness and flexibility of the labor market, attract and keep qualified workers from all over the world, and foster a strong sense of stability among UAE nationals and their families.

The change is expected to draw a lot of new entrepreneurs and more employees with a variety of skill sets. It would increase the UAE’s talent pool and support the growth of several companies, in line with the Great Rulers’ objective of making the UAE a well-liked tourism destination across the world.

Capable employees can take advantage of this scheme to get a five-year residency without the involvement of a sponsor or employer. The permit is also called a “Green Residence Visa.” Our general practice lawyers will be glad to assist if you have questions.

How Does the Green Residence Visa Operate?

For those who cannot apply for residency through the typical employer or sponsor procedure, the five-year UAE Green Residence Visa is an exciting new option, as it was developed to bring competent professionals, entrepreneurs, investors, and freelancers.

Income and expertise will determine eligibility, but skilled independent contractors and entrepreneurs are likely to find this to be an interesting visa option.

Holders of these green visas will be able to extend their permissions to family members for a period of five years and maintain their residency status for a period of six months following the cancellation or expiration of their visa.

What Is The Difference Between A Work Permit And A Green Card?

Most of the time, employees who want to work in the UAE need to obtain a visa that is tied to their employer. This is known as an employment visa. Despite being the most popular, it poses issues for employees because it takes longer for them to find long-term accommodation.

Under the Green Visa scheme, foreign nationals will be able to remain in the country and find employment without a sponsoring company.

What Advantages Are There To Obtaining A Green Visa From The UAE?

Thanks to this new documentation, people from all walks of life may now live and work in the UAE. However, it also offers a few additional advantages, such as the following:

  • People will be self-sufficient without needing a sponsor
  • Up to the age of 25, holders may sponsor their parents and minor children.
  • There is a 180-day grace period provided, so workers have more chances of getting a new job in case their present contract is terminated. They are able to remain in the country and hunt for other employment opportunities without the need for a sponsor.

For What Reason Did The UAE Government Issue This Green Visa?

The new visa program was implemented for the reasons listed below, among others:

  • Bring in brilliant graduates and professional students as well as highly capable professionals.
  • Restore tourism to the UAE and lessen the country’s reliance on oil.
  • Expand the nation’s growth and the economy in a number of ways.

Freelancers are Eligible for a Green Card

  • Under this strategy, workers are encouraged to work in a variety of ways. A sponsor or employer is not necessary for the five-year residence for independent contractors and persons who work for themselves.
  • The applicant would require an approval from the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization to work independently.
  • A bachelor’s degree or professional certification should be used as proof. At least AED360,000 was earned through self-employment during the past two years.
  • As an alternative, the applicant might provide evidence of their financial security while living abroad.

Entrepreneurs And Investors Will Receive A Five-Year Residence Permit

  • This residence scheme was built to draw in revenue. Investors who are establishing or operating an enterprise are granted a five-year residence. This  takes the place of the earlier residence, which was only good for two years.
  • Investment authorisation and investment paperwork (evidence) are the two prerequisites.
  • If the investor (partner) has many licenses, the overall investment amount is calculated.
  • It is necessary to have the appropriate local authorities’ approval.

Skilled Workers

  • Through this scheme, qualified workers can get a 5-year residency without a sponsor or employer.
  • Candidates must be classified at the minimum level and have a current job contract, according to the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization.
  • Skilled Employee Level 1, 2
  • It is necessary to have a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent, and the pay should be at least Dh15,000 a month.
Family Members Will Now Enjoy More Benefits Permits to remain in the country for a longer duration.

Unmarried sons could have previously been sponsored for up to 18 years, but under the new rule, they can now be given residence permits for up to 25 years. Sponsorship for single women is not time-limited, though.

Children who show perseverance, regardless of their age, are awarded a residence visa.

The residency of family members has the same validity as the primary resident visa holder in all circumstances. Green Residence holders are allowed to provide residence permits to their first-degree relatives.

If you have any questions concerning this visa program for expats in the UAE, don’t be hesitant to speak to expert Dubai lawyers.

 

 

 

 

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Tenancy And Rent Disputes In The UAE

Since foreign residents began buying homes in the UAE, the rental market’s economics has also expanded. As property owner you would need to optimize your rental income while also making sure that your rights were safeguarded. Tenancy and rent disputes have consequently emerged as one of the most typical legal issues in the United Arab Emirates.

The UAE government responded by passing the Tenancy Law, which lays out the fundamental guidelines for the conclusion and registration of rental and leasing agreements. The rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants are also governed by the tenancy legislation. A contract that must be recorded with the Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA) governs this. This agreement cannot be terminated early without the other party’s consent, and in that case, previous (at least three-month) notice would be necessary.

If a landlord and tenant have a dispute, it is likely that legal counsel will be needed to resolve the matter in the best possible way. The renter and the owner may be represented by rental dispute lawyers in this situation, assisting both parties in handling the case in the Dubai Rental Disputes Centre and coming to a mutually agreeable conclusion.

Legal Assistance With Tenancy Disputes

Rental disagreements between landlords and tenants frequently stem from rental pricing. Most of the time, it makes perfect sense for both parties to carefully analyze the rights and responsibilities mentioned in the rental agreement in order to prevent disputes. Given these factors, it is preferable to work with a rent dispute lawyer in the UAE who focuses on matters involving rental properties because they have a lot of expertise managing these types of disputes. The following are the services this attorney can provide in tenancy disputes:

 

Legal Analysis – A specific tenant and landlord law situation might prompt Expert Rental Dispute Lawyers to search for pertinent laws. They have access to legal databases, which can make researching cases quicker and easier. The legal studies will help your case by acquainting you with your rights, obligations, and responsibilities as a citizen as well as a landlord or tenant.

 

Examining Relevant Documentation and Providing Advice: You can get help from a professional rental dispute lawyer to find any holes in your rental agreement. It is important for tenants to know that some landlords include an attorney’s fee clause in a rental or lease agreement in order to avoid needless legal disputes. If this clause is in your rental or lease agreement, you’ll be eligible for repayment of your legal fees and other related costs if you prevail in your case against the landlord.

 

According to the tenancy legislation, a contract must be signed and registered with the Real Estate Regulatory Authority before relocating into a house, an apartment, or any other type of property in the United Arab Emirates. The following are some of the elements listed in the contract law’s tenancy agreement:

  • The landlord’s duty and rights
  • Tenant rights and responsibilities
  • The duration, amount, and frequency of payments under the contract, as well as the location of the rental property
  • Other arrangements between owner and renters that are essential

Landlord’s obligations to tenants include:

  • Maintain the unit for the duration of the lease and rent it out in livable shape. Make any necessary repairs as per the contract
  • provide you with the necessary service
  • not raise the rent unless it complies with Dubai’s statute prohibiting rent increases
  • Unless you committed a mistake, give your security deposit back

As an owner, you have a right to expect your tenant to:

  • undertake to use your residential property lawfully
  • pay rent in full and on time, and not engage in any conduct that is forbidden by the agreement
  • not cause damage to the property
  • not offer lodging to those not covered by the leasing agreement
  • respect and adhere to the contract

A dispute may be started by either the landlord or the renter if any of these are broken.

 

What Are Dubai’s Most Common Rental Conflicts?

The common rental conflicts that may occur between a landlord and a tenant include:

  • Rent increases
  • Late, unpaid rent
  • Inadequate upkeep
  • Landlord trespassing on a tenant’s property without authorization
  • Requesting a security deposit for rent without warning
  • Landlord disregarding a tenant’s complaint about the property
  • Tenant making changes to the property without the landlord’s approval
  • Failure of tenant to pay their bills

 

How Is Eviction Enforced In The UAE?

The legislation governs the manner in which an eviction shall be conducted, which actually is in the tenant’s best interests. All real estate-related matters are under the control of the Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA). One of the regulating branches of the Dubai Land Department (DLD) is RERA and tenant-landlord interactions are governed by RERA laws, which outline each party’s obligations and the steps that should be taken in the case of a disagreement.

 

According to Law (33) of 2008’s Article (4), the landlord and tenant are responsible for ensuring that a valid lease agreement and all supporting papers are registered with RERA through Ejari.

When a tenant may be removed while the tenancy agreement is still in force, as well as the conditions for evicting a tenant after the contract has ended, are specified in Article 25.

According to Article (6) of the Law, if the tenant does not leave the property after receiving a formal statement from the landlord and the tenancy agreement has expired, it is believed that the tenant wants to renew the tenancy for the same period of time or one year.

The circumstances under which a landlord may attempt to remove a tenant before the contract’s expiration are outlined in Clause 1.

According to Article (25)’s Clause (1), the landlord has the legal authority to evict a tenant who doesn’t follow any rules within 30 days of being informed that the lease is about to end.

Clause (2) of Article (25) of Law No. (33) of 2008, indicates that if the landlord wants to remove the tenant after the contracts have expired, he must provide the tenant a notice of eviction for a minimum of 12 months.

According to Article (31) of Law (26) of 2007, the tenant is obligated to pay the rent up until the final decision is issued once an eviction action has been launched.

The tenancy agreement will be continued upon the death of either the tenant or the landlord, in accordance with Article (27) of Law (26) of 2007. The lease can only be ended by the lessor with a 30-day notice.

The transfer of property ownership to a new owner will not have an impact on the tenancy, according to Article (28) of Law (26) of 2007. The present Tenant shall have unlimited access to the Property until the termination of the Lease.

In conclusion, while resolving a rental disagreement may be a drawn-out process, it is possible if both parties are prepared to deal with the legal processes and rules governing the tenancy agreement. If either one thinks otherwise, it is best to consult an expert rental dispute lawyer to help sort it out.

 

 

child with parents photo

Child Custody In UAE

What Not to Do In A Child Custody Dispute

The physical custody and legal placement of children will be decided by local Sharia courts if you are currently requesting a divorce in the United Arab Emirates and you have children. There are two main crucial legal choices that must be made in child custody disputes in the UAE. While physical placement will define how parents divide time with their children, legal custody will decide who makes the majority of decisions for the kids. Children of UAE citizens who are present in the nation may spend some time with you as their parent.

In a divorce case, a court will consider a number of factors for UAE nationals and residents alike. In addition to making sure Sharia law is followed when suitable, a judge will make decisions based on what is best for the children. Here are the main things to stay away from in order to convince a judge that you deserve physical placement and child custody in the UAE:

Avoid Any Physical Altercation

When it comes to the kids and your soon-to-be ex-spouse, this is especially true. In addition to losing the kids’ placement and custody in the UAE, physical altercations can lead to criminal accusations for child abuse or physical assault. This would most certainly lead to an injunction. As much as you can, try to stay out of verbal fights with both of your families. You won’t be able to share custody and raise kids together if a judge has issued you a restraining order.

Never misuse your spouse’s belongings

What you want to do is prevent hurting any of your spouse’s property as you lose your temper, just like when you fight or argue. This includes his or her residence, vehicle, and other property. Additionally, even if you have previously paid in full for joint property, take care not to harm it. Your ex-spouse or soon-to-be ex-partner will be regarded as a co-owner of anything you bought while you were married. This means that until legal proceedings are over, you shouldn’t harm, sell, or destroy anything.

Don’t be critical of your spouse

Anything you say when discussing your case with your divorce lawyer in Dubai, UAE, as well as with your family and friends, could be used against you in court. There is always a possibility for something to leak out, even when the other person did not intend to repeat what you said. It’s also likely that the people you’ve spoken to—like family members, friends, and other close associates—will be asked to provide an oath-recorded testimony or deposition. While engaged in a child custody dispute, it is preferable to keep your own negative sentiments to yourself. Never publish criticism online either. Always anticipate that anything you say, do, or post online or on social media will be seen by everyone. Without a doubt, the information could be used against you.

Avoid separating children from their normal routine

The effects of divorce are extremely damaging to children. They were forced to abruptly change their routine after becoming accustomed to doing so. Even when you don’t feel like it, try your best to maintain their routine as normal. Do your best to keep them informed about their schoolwork and any extracurricular activities or sports they may love. Although there is a chance that this won’t work, you should still give it a shot. Additionally, if the other parent does not provide approval, it is crucial that you refrain from scheduling anything while the children are with them. While maintaining as much normalcy as you can, be careful to avoid creating problems or taking actions that will hinder your ability to co-parent successfully.

Keep your new partner away from the children

You could believe you should start dating again after you’ve acquired a divorce in the UAE with the guidance of a qualified divorce lawyer in Dubai. Another reason why your marriage may have ended is because you or your ex-spouse found someone else. Keep the kids away from the person you are dating while your divorce is underway and even after it has been finalized. The kids will find it to be very perplexing. When your ex or your children don’t like your new partner, it can also lead to additional tension. Additionally, keep in mind that adultery is a serious crime in the UAE and can significantly harm your hopes of obtaining custody of your children.

Please feel free Contact Us if you need assistance regarding this legal matter.

 

 

 

 

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New UAE Labor Law 2022

Changes In The UAE Labor Law | The New Labour Law In The UAE 2022 As Stated By The Ministry Of Human Resources & Emiratisation

Federal Decree-Law No. 33 of 2021 governing the regulation of labor relations that took effect on Wednesday, February 2, 2022, on all establishments, employers, and workers in the private sector across the country has replaced Federal Law No. 8 of 1980. This new Law aims to improve employment practices in the UAE so that it meets worldwide standards for employees.
According to Dr. Abdul Rahman Al Awar, Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation, the new law helps establish the UAE labor market’s position as one of the vital global labor markets in the region. The new law would provide versatility, and attract more skilled individuals while ensuring the rights of both employers and employees are well understood and protected.

The following are some of the most significant changes that the new Law will bring about.

Flexible Working Arrangements

Introduced with the new Law are alternative flexible employment arrangements.

  • Temporary work is suitable when the length of the employment duration is limited by time or a project goal. This appears to be a comparable situation to what fixed-term contracts give under current law.
  • Flexible work is stated as work hours and/or days that vary based on the workload and other operational factors.
  • Part-time employment is clearly established as when an individual works for one or more employers for a specific number of hours or days, and part-time employees will be entitled to pro-rated vacation leave.
  • A rather new work arrangement is Remote work, where all or part of the work is done outside the workplace rather than being physically present, whether part-time or full-time
  • And finally, Job-sharing work, where tasks are divided among several workers to complete previously agreed responsibilities. Equal distribution of salary is payable to each of them. Part-time workers are treated according to part-time job standards.

Furthermore, while there are no explicit requirements for remote / home-based working arrangements, it permits an employee to work remotely (from inside or outside the country) with the employer’s consent.  This is a positive step that responds to the working environment in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Changes In Employment Contracts

Unlimited employment contracts must now be transformed into fixed-term employment contracts within one year of the Decree’s effective date, with a three-year maximum time. By mutual agreement, the contract may be extended or renewed for additional shorter or longer periods after the initial term has expired. When determining the employee’s continuous service period, the new period or periods are regarded as extensions of the previous period and would be added to the employee’s continuous service duration – for end of service gratuity purposes or otherwise.

The New Law automatically applies to employees who are currently on unlimited contracts. Employers must transition existing unlimited-term contracts to fixed-term contracts within one year of the Effective Date, which is February 2023.

Under an unlimited contract, either party may end the contract for valid reason and should provide notice.

If the employee has been with the company for:

  • Less than 5 years – 30 days notice
  • More than 5 years – 60 days notice
  • More than 10 years – 90 days notice

The New Law mandates that the employment contract include the employer’s name and address, as well as the employee’s name, nationality, date of birth, and any other information essential to establish the employee’s identification and credentials. The contract should also include the employee’s job title, start date, location, hours of work, days off, and, if appropriate, the probationary period. The contract should also include the duration, agreed compensation, including allowances, and other compensation in case of injury, duration of yearly leave to which the employee is entitled, period of warning, contract termination process, and any other data defined by the MOHRE as necessary to manage the parties’ relations.

Work Permits

The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation approved 12 categories of work permits as of February 2022, allowing companies registered with the ministry to employ workers who fulfilled the requirements of the permits. Among these permits is a permit to bring in a worker from outside the country, a permit to relocate a non-national worker to and from a business that is duly registered with the ministry, and a permit for individuals staying with family,

A temporary work permit, which is granted to a registered business intending to recruit a worker from abroad to complete a temporary work or a specific project within a fixed period, and a project work permit, which is granted to a registered business intending to recruit a worker from abroad to complete a temporary work or a specific project with a fixed period, are also included.

The part-time work permit authorizes registered businesses to hire a worker on a part-time basis, with reduced working hours or days than full-time employees. The individual can work for other employers as well once a part-time work permit has been issued. The work permit for minors also enables an individual who has reached the ages of 15 – 18 to work in a registered business under the guidance of the regulations and its executive directives.

A student work permit covering training and employment has also been confirmed. This type of permit allows registered businesses to train or employ a student in the country who has reached the age of 15, subject to certain requirements that ensure appropriate training and working conditions. A work permit for citizens/children from Gulf Cooperation Council countries allows Emirati and GCC individuals to work in registered businesses in the country.

For golden residency visa holders, a work permit will be issued upon the request of a registered business. Companies can also get a national work permit for trainees if they intend to train a citizen according to a known technical or scientific qualification.

Persons who seek to operate based on their own residency, most usually in the case of foreign individuals, will be granted a self-employment permit. This permit does not need sponsorship from a specific company or employer in the UAE, nor does it require the individual to have an employment contract under which he or she will receive an income directly from providing services for a certain period of time. This permit allows the individual to execute tasks or services to an individual or a company, in which case the individual is not employed by that person or business. Consult employment lawyers in UAE to find out more details.

Employee’s Entitled Leave

Under the new legislation, bereavement leave is specified as five (5) days in the case of the husband or wife’s death, and three (3) days in the case of the mother, father, child, brother, sister, grandchildren, grandpa, or grandmother’s death.
Employees (parents) who have a child to care for are entitled to five (5) working days of parental leave.

According to the legislation, an employee who is associated with or regularly studies at a state-approved educational institution is entitled to study leave for a period of ten (10) working days each year to take tests, provided that the person has worked for the company for at least two years.

In addition, the national employee will be allowed full-time leave to undertake national duty with pay in conformity with the country’s regulations. Proof of service from the appropriate authorities is necessary in order to be eligible for the leave mentioned in this Article.

The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization established conditions, controls, and procedures for the issuance, renewal, and cancellation of work permits, as well as the transfer of workers from one establishment to another, so that employers can meet their labor needs and reap the benefits of their capacity and productivity at the lowest possible cost, particularly in the case of new work models.  Feel free to consult employment lawyers for more information about this if you feel there is a violation against this policy.

End Of Service Gratuity

Because no agreements have been formed for workers who have turned in their resignation notice, resigning employees who have served for at least one year are entitled to a full end-of-service gratuity calculation payout.

Also, there are no particular laws covering alternative pension plans, and it’s uncertain if MOHRE will recognize them, especially if a contract already exists.

After the contract expires, all end-of-service benefits must be paid within 14 days. Businesses who fail to comply might face fines ranging from AED 5,000 to AED 1,000,000, with the amount increasing depending on the number of employees affected. However, if this time limit has elapsed, employee(s) are not entitled for compensation.

Onshore and inside the free zones, all UAE businesses (excluding DIFC and ADGM) are to revise their employee contracts. After a review to ensure conformity with the New Law, new employment contracts and other rules would be necessary.

If you require assistance in implementing these guidelines in accordance with the new Law, please do not hesitate to contact us. Our labor and employment lawyers in Dubai are glad to help you.

Contact Us to learn more

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Debt Collection - Al Reyami Advocates Legal Services

Debt Collection In Dubai UAE 2021

Debt Recovery And Collection In The UAE (No Win, No Fee – Out Of Court)

The United Arab Emirates is a country of amazing opportunities, which consists of approximately of 90% of expats who came to work, live and study in this country, raise and educate their children here, and who are very pleased with their choice thanks to the state policy aimed at harmonious, sustainable development and ensuring security of all who came to the UAE.

However, due to natural circumstances, such as Covid-19 for example, or deliberate illegal actions, organizations and individuals have to face a situation where they cannot receive the money promised to them under the contract or due to them.

Inevitably, they have to face an unpleasant and difficult situation of debt collection, look for ways to get the funds that they owe, as well as compensation and losses that they have suffered because of the delay of promised payments.  This is where our team of legal consultants in Dubai can definitely assist.

Clients of our law firm Hassan Al Reyami & Muhyealdeen International Legal Consultants often turn to us for help in debt collection and over many years of successful work in this area, our team of debt recovery lawyers and experts have been able to accumulate a lot of positive experience in resolving these issues.

Debt Recovery Process

Let’s take a look at the basic stages of debt collection that you have to go through to get a debt, sometimes you have to go through all of them, sometimes we manage to solve the issue at the first stage of collection, depending on the documents provided and the debtor’s ability to pay. They are pretty clear and strong:

  1. Drafting Legal Notice
  2. Mediation
  3. Litigation
  4. Enforcement

In addition, a final stage is – Settlement agreement, which can take place at each stage of debt collection.

Why do I need debt collection lawyers?

In our law practice, we faced with a variety of cases of non-repayment of debt due to different reasons and circumstances, and often the malicious intent of the debtor. The most common situations of non-repayment of debt includes the following:

  • Unpaid Cheques
  • Bounced Cheques
  • Unpaid Invoices
  • Unpaid Salaries
  • Unpaid Loans
  • Unpaid Service Benefits
  • Bad Debts
  • Delinquent Account Receivables
  • Commercial Debts
  • Insurance claims
  • And a lot more

At the first stage, we try to resolve the issue through mediation with the debtor, through negotiations, submission of documents justifying the debt, explaining to the debtor the consequences that non-payment of the debt can lead to, but we also do not forget that our collection case may end up in court, and therefore, we must issue a legal notice to the debtor with an indication of the amount, legal basis and the timing of debt repayment. We also have to take into consideration limitation of time to have a chance to claim the debt.

Quite often in our legal practice, but unfortunately not always, the mediation process leads to resolving the issue of collection in favor of our client.

The best outcome of mediation and negotiations with the debtor on debt collection is the signing of a settlement agreement with him on the repayment of the debt and the release of the relevant documents and the failure to proceed with the process in court proceedings, in which our law firm has accumulated extensive experience, having signed many amicable and settlement agreements and collected debts out of court to deep satisfaction of our customers.

If it is impossible to resolve the issue by an amicable agreement, the client is forced to go to court to resolve the issue of debt collection. Over the years of its more than twenty years of legal practice, Hassan Al Reyami & Muhyealdeen International Legal Consultants has accumulated vast experience in debt collection in the courts and arbitration of the United Arab Emirates.

Our Dubai lawyers had litigated in over 160 international and over 200 local arbitrations and court cases with an outstanding client satisfaction rating of 98% and completed over 5000 court case and arbitrations in total with high success rate. We have accreditation in all the courts in the United Arab Emirates and have local advocates in our team, which can present our clients before local courts.

A debt collection case won in the court is not a guarantee that you will receive your debt. A very important and difficult stage is the collection process, which includes investigating the property, accounts and assets of the debtor. Therefore, in the process of debt collection, it is necessary to legally competently provide that the debtor could not withdraw or hide his assets, thereby depriving you of the possibility of collection.

Why we recommend contacting debt collection specialists

The main reason for the failure of the collection of the tax is that the client is often not familiar with the laws of the UAE or does not understand them well, cannot properly draw up his claim, is in a stressful state, has chosen the wrong strategy for collecting a debt, and sometimes he simply cannot agree or talk in the same language as the debtor or his lawyers. For the creditors is also very important to come into contact with debtors as soon as possible, because he can have another creditors and because of that, there could be a lag behind other creditors demanding payments.

Regardless of the complexity of your debt collection case, Hassan Al Reyami & Muhyealdeen International Legal Consultants can assist you in debt collection in United Arab Emirates, and our legal practice covers all seven Emirates in United Arab Emirates. No win – no fee (out of court settlement), this is the guarantee of our work for you.

 

 

 

dubai skyline sunset

New UAE Commercial Companies Law: 100% Foreign Ownership in LLC Mainland Companies

New UAE Commercial Companies Law: Which companies can claim 100% foreign ownership?

On 1st June 2021, amendments to Federal Law No. (2) of 2015 on Commercial Companies came into effect to allow 100% foreign ownership in LLC mainland companies in the UAE. Until recently, foreign investors could own a maximum of 49% of shares in such companies leaving 51% shareholding for an UAE national. Or, if speaking of a branch of a foreign company, it was prerequisite to have a local service agent to be named in the license.

The amendments were initially introduced by Federal Law by Decree No. (19) of 2018 on Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). This is in line with the UAE Cabinet initiative to loosen restrictions in certain economic sectors thus making it more attractive for foreign investors to run their business in the UAE mainland market, including global startups, and enhancing the positions of the UAE as a leading Middle East economy.

No requirement for nationality is now in place for establishing a company with the 100% foreign ownership. The Law states that “a foreign investor is considered a natural or corporate person who does not hold the nationality of the State (the UAE) and who invests in the State in accordance with the provisions of this Law by Decree”. Such persons will then be eligible for a renewable three years investor or partner visa.

The aim of these changes is to promote and develop the investment environment and promote attracting foreign direct investment in line with the developmental policies of the UAE. In particular:

  • Asserting the position of the State as a major attraction hub for foreign direct investment both regionally and globally.
  • Attracting and encouraging foreign direct investment.
  • Expanding the production base, diversifying it, and transferring and attracting advanced technology, knowledge and training.
  • Increasing the flow of foreign direct investment in the priority sectors to achieve balanced and sustainable development and create job opportunities in various fields.
  • Achieving the best return with the available resources and securing high added values for the State’s economy.

The new regulations are to relax restrictions for companies engaged in one of the 122 business activities which are on the Positive list fixed in Cabinet Resolution No. 16 of 2020 on the Determination of the Positive List of Economic Sectors and Activities Eligible for Foreign Direct Investment and Percentage of their Ownership (enclosed at the end of this article). Activities on the Positive list fall under the following sectors:

  • agricultural sector;
  • manufacturing sector;
  • services sector;

and include such activities as administrative and support services, agriculture, art and entertainment, construction, educational activities, healthcare, hospitality and food services, information and communication, manufacturing, professional, scientific and technical activities, renewable energy, space, transport and storage, etc.

In addition to establishing a comprehensive Positive list, the Resolution sets forth the licensing criteria for commercial companies falling under the FDI law, including the amount of minimum share capital for each activity – varies from AED 2 to 100 mln, minimum percentage of Nationals employed by such a company, the use of modern technology, contribution to R&D, bringing high added-value, and some other conditions for specific business activities.

There are certain exemptions to the 100% foreign ownership rule. Companies carrying out activities of a “strategic impact” will continue to be subject to foreign ownership restrictions. The following activities have already been listed in the Federal Law on Foreign Direct Investment and are on the Negative list:

  • Exploration and production of petroleum materials.
  • Investigations, security, military sectors, manufacturing of arms, explosives and military equipment, devices and clothing.
  • Banking and financing activities, payment systems and dealing with cash.
  • Insurance services.
  • Hajj (pilgrimage) and Umrah services, providing employment and recruitment services for staff and servants.
  • Water and electricity services.
  • Services related to fisheries.
  • Postal services, telecommunications services and audio and video services.
  • Land and air transport services.
  • Printing and publishing services.
  • Commercial agents’ services.
  • Medical retail such as private pharmacies.
  • Blood banks, venom and quarantine centres.

The Council of Ministers is eligible to add or remove activities from this list.

Also, a resolution is to be issued to specify the procedures for registering and renewing the registration of foreign investment companies in a special register at the Investment Unit called “Register of Foreign Direct Investment”.

The introduction of the law on 100% foreign ownership can affect already existing LLC companies with local shareholding which may desire to reconsider their ownership structure. To do so such companies can sell the shares belonging to an UAE national to a foreign national and thus become a 100% owner of the company. Certain charter documents will need to be amended (Memorandums of Association) accordingly. Companies planning to make respective rearrangements can do so by 2 January 2022.

Among other notable changes are:

  • introduction of mandatory corporate governance rules for all companies in the UAE (expected in the near future);
  • general shareholders meetings can now be held with the use of modern technology and be presided by foreign nationals as well as Emirati;
  • a general meeting can be called upon the request of one or more shareholders holding a minimum of 10% of the share capital;
  • the notice period for holding a general meeting has been increased to 21 days;
  • the amount of shares allowed to be sold via IPO has been increased to 70% (as opposed to 30%);
  • the shareholders have been given the right to sue a company in civil court in the event of any failure of duty by its directors that resulted in loss of money or damage;
  • expatriates can now be on the board of directors of joint stock companies;
  • and the authority to recognize required capitalization, shareholding percentages, approve the establishment of an onshore company is now with the local government institutions.

All the novelties introduced both by Foreign Direct Investment Law and the Cabinet Resolution introducing the Positive list are likely to even further open both the UAE mainland market and stock market to foreign investors and international companies, at the same time making UAE business more transparent and attractive for listing by means of introducing proper unified corporate governance standards.

You can view or download the Foreign Ownership Activities (FOA) PDF List by clicking this link: Foreign Ownership Activities (FOA)

 

Inheritance Law in UAE for Expats

Inheritance Law in UAE for Expats | Dubai Inheritance Lawyer UAE

United Arab Emirates is a desirable country of dreams, for residence for many citizens of other countries, a country that is distinguished by hospitality to all nations in the world.  It is a country that has managed to create an atmosphere of goodwill and mutual respect among different nationalities, a country that has managed to attract investors and workers from many countries around the world. Due to this, about 90% of the population of the UAE are expats, many of whom have been successfully living, working and having business in the Emirates for many years.  Others have invested in the local real estate market in order to obtain a stable income from renting out real estate, and as such, inheritance law in UAE exists.

Sooner or later, expats are like to face the issue of inheriting property. It is good if the owners of various types of property have taken care of these issues in advance, and it is better to take care of this issue in advance, why, we will discuss in this article.

Despite the incredible progress of the Emirates in the implementation of Western institutions of law, the prevailing rules of law are Sharia laws, which underlie all the legislation of the UAE, which many expats forget or simply do not think about, feeling so comfortable in the UAE like in their home countries or even better.

Therefore, it is very important to understand the cultural and social differences that effects the legislation of the UAE.

The principal source of law of inheritance in UAE is Sharia and on this basis, Federal Laws bases. Main laws governing succession are Federal Law Number 5 of 1985 concerning the Civil Transactions Code and Federal Law Number 28 of 2005 regarding the Personal Status Law.

Article 1(2) of the Personal Law states that the law will be applicable on all the citizens of UAE unless a non-Muslim foreign national have special provisions according to their community, which empowers the foreigner to have a choice of the law and avoid application of Sharia. Simultaneously, Article 17 of the Civil Law states that the inheritance will be governed by the law of the testator at the time of his death.

The Personal Law in UAE permits the non-Muslim to draft a will and divide the property according to their will. However, if a foreign national dies without a will, the Civil Law and the Personal Law will allow the courts to distribute the assets of the deceased according to the principles of Sharia.

According to Article 17(1) of the Civil Law, the inheritance will be regulated by the law of the deceased during the time of his death, whereas, Article 17(5) of the Civil Law states that the UAE law will be applicable on non-Muslim expatriate wills regarding the property located in the country. In addition to this, Article 1(2) of the Personal Law states that the law will be applicable to non-Muslim unless he elects otherwise. Thus, if a non-Muslim foreign national die in the state are leaving the real property or other assets in the country, his home country law can be applicable, and his heirs can request the court accordingly. However, there is a restriction on dealing with the assets for property located in UAE.

On November 2020 President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan approved a number of Presidential Decrees amending the Personal Status Law, Federal Penal Code and the Federal Penal Procedural Law with immediate effect.

These amendments illustrate a shift from UAE based Sharia law towards a more secular system. Changes include the decriminalization of suicide, cohabitation of unmarried couples and reforms to the inheritance and divorce laws.

The innovations approved by the UAE President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, were enthusiastically received by expats, as they create even more comfortable and familiar conditions for them to live, study and work in UAE. It was a positive and bold step by the Government of UAE.

Expatriates can now use the laws of their own country or nationality to deal with their personal estate and their assets would no longer be automatically divided under Islamic law. Previously, unless official legal measures were taken, the Sharia Law of Inheritance was applied to the estates of expats who passed away. This meant that assets were distributed according to Sharia law and even the custodianship of children was subject to the same laws.

Now, if a person dies in the UAE without a will in place, their estate will be divided as per the applicable law according to their citizenship – regardless of their religion.

The only exception here applies to the properties which are owned by the person within the UAE. These properties will be managed and divided according to UAE laws.

It is important to have a solid estate plan in place to ensure that your loved ones receive your assets. A will in the UAE is the simplest way for an expat to ensure their assets will be transferred as per their wishes.

Before the new changes to the inheritance law, if a person dies without a will, this can cause issues. Sharia law will be applied to any assets that are held in the UAE and this causes most complications in the event of a person’s death. Anyway, the assets will be frozen and will only be released upon the advice of the local courts. Any UAE bank accounts in the person`s name will also be frozen, even those in joint names, and vehicles in his name will be impounded. This happens very quickly and you should be prepared to it in advance. All women should have access to a bank account in their sole name, either here or in their home country, so as not to be left without a livelihood.

At this moment, the law enforcement practice of new changes in laws is in the stage of formation and it would be reasonable to consider how a non-Muslim can draw up a will before the adoption of new laws.

In the UAE, non-Muslims can draw up and register wills for their UAE assets that follow common law. In Dubai, wills can be notarized and registered in the Dubai Courts or at the DIFC Wills Service Centre and the Non-Muslim Wills & Probates Office at the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department. Will registered with the Dubai Courts apply to all Emirates, the will registered with the DIFC Wills Service Centre apply only to Dubai and Ras Al Khaim. However, in reality sometimes happens, that validity of the wills notarized and registered in the Dubai Courts decides by the court during probate.

Eligible individuals have the option to register different types of wills at the DIFC Courts Wills Registry for non-Muslims depending on the assets they wish to cover and whether or not the will is to encompass guardianship arrangements. There are currently five types of ‘DIFC Courts Will’ that can be registered, referred to as the ‘Guardianship Will’, ‘Property Will’, ‘Business Owners Will’, the ‘Financial Assets Will’ and the ‘Full Will’.

To register a DIFC Courts Will you must satisfy listed criteria:

  • You are not a Muslim, and have never been a Muslim.
  • You are over 21 years of age.
  • You own assets within the UAE.
  • Any children for which you wish to appoint guardians for must be habitually resident in the UAE.

Many expats may wonder, do I need a lawyer to prepare a will, and that is the right question. Given the diversity of assets that may be owned by a person who wishes to draw up a will, real estate, an operating business, financial liabilities, intangible assets, bank accounts, etc., we recommend to have a consultation with a lawyer before drawing up the will in order to avoid mistakes that will become irreparable in the future.