UAE companies required to keep beneficial ownership register
The UAE issued Cabinet Resolution No. 58 of 2020 on the Regulation of the Procedures of the Real Beneficiary, which came into force on 28 August 2020, to introduce a requirement for a beneficial ownership register in the UAE mainland and to unify the minimum disclosure requirements for corporate entities incorporated on the UAE mainland and in the non-financial free zones.
Dubai issues law to regulate Family Ownership
The Ruler of Dubai issued Law No (9) of 2020 Regulating Family Ownership on 13 August, which provides a governance framework that is appropriate for family-owned property and businesses. The intention is to ensure the continuity, development and smooth transition of family property from one generation to another.
UAE makes changes to Economic Substance Regulations
10 August 2020, the UAE Cabinet of Ministers issued Cabinet Resolution No. 57 of 2020, which repeals and replaces Cabinet Resolution No.31 of 2019 and introduces significant changes to the scope and application of the UAE’s Economic Substance Regulations (ESR).
The amended ESR apply as of 1 January 2019 and require entities to reassess their position and resubmit their 2019 financial year notifications by the end of 2020. The UAE Minister of Finance also issued an updated guidance on 19 August.
Export Bahrain launches national e-commerce initiative
Export Bahrain, a lead initiative of the national SME Development Board, launched a national e-commerce initiative on 23 September, which is designed to promote a borderless marketplace for products and services made in Bahrain.
To support the objectives of this new initiative, Export Bahrain has established exclusive partnership agreements with a growing list of prominent e-commerce platforms that are designed to provide highly competitive cost savings and incentives to businesses listing their products and services.
UAE proposes granting citizenship to expats meeting certain criteria
The United Arab Emirates is set to amend its laws governing citizenship to make it possible for foreign investors, entrepreneurs, professionals and people with special talents to receive Emirati nationality provided they meet certain criteria.
Dubai announces launch of ‘Retire in Dubai’ programme
The Dubai Government announced, on 2 September, the launch of a global retirement programme – ‘Retire in Dubai’ – to provide foreign retirees with the opportunity to retire in Dubai. Previously expatriates who lived and worked in Dubai were obliged to retire abroad once they ceased working and their work visa expired.
Time to address any non-compliant business structures in Saudi Arabia
Some businesses in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) may have been structured to circumvent the Kingdom’s foreign ownership restrictions in order to benefit from the more favourable tax treatment that is available under the Zakat tax regime rather than the Corporate Income Tax (CIT) levied on profit.