UAE to introduce new Federal corporate profits tax from June 2023
The UAE is to introduce a federal corporate tax on business profits that will be effective for financial years starting on or after 1June 2023, according to a statement issued by the Ministry of Finance on 31 January. The standard statutory tax rate will be set at 9% of taxable profits, with a zero-rate applying to profits up to AED375,000 (approx. USD100,000) to support small businesses and start-ups.
Saudi issues new guidance for Regional Headquarters Programme
The Ministry of Investment Saudi Arabia (MISA) has issued new guidance in respect of its Regional Headquarter (RHQ) Programme, which incentivises companies to set up their regional headquarters in Saudi Arabia by obtaining an RHQ business licence. The licenses are now available.
Health intelligence start-up wins inaugural ‘Future Falcons’ event
P4ML, a data-driven health intelligence start-up, was announced as the winner of the inaugural AB Start-up Forum’s Future Falcons event as part of the Arabian Business Awards ceremony at Dubai’s Etihad Museum on 26 January. It secured a prize of AED250,000 in value of funding, mentoring, network and media support.
How Saudi’s Vision 2030 is accelerating investments across its growing economy
Saudi Arabia’s significant progress towards Vision 2030 is accelerating growth in the Kingdom, despite ongoing Omicron concerns, according to foreign direct investment advisory Sovereign.
Bahrain issues transitional provisions guide to VAT rate change
The National Bureau for Revenue (NBR) published, on 24 December 2021, the VAT Rate Change Transitional Provisions Guide under Law No. 33 of 2021, which amended Decree-Law No. 48 of 2018 regarding Value Added Tax to increase the standard VAT rate from 5% to 10% as from 1 January 2022.
Saudi Arabia’s push to attract regional headquarters will boost commercial property sector
Saudi Arabia’s move to encourage multinational companies to set up their regional headquarters in the Kingdom will benefit the office sector in the Arab world’s largest economy, according to a report published in January by the Kuwait Financial Centre (Markaz).
UAE brings new Labour Law into force
The Federal Decree-Law No. 33 of 2021 regarding the regulation of labour relations in the UAE was brought into force on 2 February 2022, for all businesses, employers and workers in the private sector. The previous Federal Law No. 8 of 1980 for the regulation of labour relations was repealed.
Saudi Central Bank extends deferred payment programme for MSMEs
The Saudi Central Bank (SAMA) announced, on 30 December 2021, that it was to extend the Deferred Payment financing support programme for a further three more months from 1 January to 31 March 2022, for the benefit of micro and small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) that continue to be affected by the COVID-19 precautionary measures. The move was based on the assessment of the financing entities.
Saudi’s ‘unprecedented growth’ set to catalyse M&A activity in 2022
Saudi Arabia has become one of the most attractive markets for international companies seeking new mergers and acquisitions, and it is set to maintain its position in 2022.
Bahrain’s economy grows 10.19% in third quarter of 2021
Bahrain’s nominal economic growth in the third quarter of 2021 reached 10.2% while the real growth was 2.1%, with the expansion led by 5.9% nominal and 3.8% real YoY growth in the non-oil sector. By contrast, the oil sector expanded by 39.9% in nominal terms because of higher oil prices, but the sector contracted by 4.6% YoY in real terms.
Commerce Minister aims to put Saudi in top 10 global competitive economies by 2030
An ambitious plan of reforms for the Saudi economy aims to make it among the ten most competitive countries globally by 2030, said Commerce Minister Majid Al-Qasabi, head of the Executive Committee for Improving the Performance of Private Sector Business, also known as ‘Tayseer’.
Bahrain real estate transactions reach US$2.8 billion in 2021
Bahrain’s real estate transactions value rose by 46% in 2021 to USD2.8 billion, compared to USD1.9 billion in 2020, according to figures released by Bahrain’s Survey and Land Registration Board. The total number of real estate transactions in 2021 was 26,136, an increase of 35% over the 19,405 transactions completed in 2020.
UAE private sector pledges to put more women in leadership roles by 2025
A group of 18 leading local and multinational private sector companies from diverse sectors in the UAE signed a pledge on 18 January to achieve gender equality and empower women in work. The pledge aims to increase gender balance in the workplace, with an emphasis on increasing the representation of women in leadership positions to 30% by 2025.
Bahrain launches Telecommunications, ICT and Digital Economy Sector Strategy
Bahrain launched, on 12 January, a new four-year strategy to push ahead with digitalising the economy, including the telecoms and information technology (IT) sectors. The 2022-2026 Telecommunications, Information Technology and Digital Economy Strategy is in line with the objectives of the Economic Recovery Plan.