January 2021 / United Arab Emirates

January 31 2021

Dubai Economy issues 33,769 e-MOA and e-MOA addendums in 2020, a growth of 16.2% from 2019

The Business Registration & Licensing (BRL) sector of Dubai Economy has issued 33,769 electronic Memorandum of Association (MOA) and e-MOA addendums in 2020, an increase of 16.2% from 29,067 issued in 2019. This is in line with the Federal Decree-Law No. 7 of 2018 by President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan amending articles within Federal Law No. 02 of 2015 on Commercial Companies.

The report showed that the electronic MOAs issued in 2020 varied with 60% being professional, followed by 39% commercial and the rest were distributed among tourism and industrial activities, while e-MOA addendums issued in 2020 varied with 73% commercial, followed by 23% professional and the rest distributed among tourism and industrial activities.

These figures underscore Dubai Economy’s strategy to further strengthen ease of doing business in Dubai, as well as enhance the emirate’s competitiveness and ability to attract businesses and support their sustainable growth, as well as to expand the number of businesses in various economic sectors in Dubai.

Business owners in Dubai can get the e-MOAs and all its addendums through Dubai Economy service centres or through approval to the text message from 6969 without the need to visit Dubai Economy.

The BRL sector has added new procedures for e-MOAs that include: Selling shares contract for a Limited Liability Company and for a One-Person Limited Liability Company; and Issuing a Civil Company contract if UAE or GCC nationals are parties. Approval of a service agent contract ratification for a Sole Proprietorship and a Civil Company have also been added.

E-signatures for MOAs are available whereas the representative of the company (a Legal Person) can electronically sign on behalf of the company provided that a valid legal agency is available by the company or by a decision from the board of directors or through the powers of the manager mentioned in the articles of MOAs.

The new procedures included adding administrative powers that give the manager rights such as: Establish, manage and cancel subsidiaries of the main company; Register value-added tax and submit returns with the Federal Tax Authority; Transfer the salaries of workers and employees to banks in the UAE; Represent the company before all courts and quasi-judicial bodies in the UAE; and finally Appoint an arbitrator in case of any disputes.

Dubai Economy strives to deliver solutions that contribute to facilitating ease of doing business in Dubai and expanding growth, in addition to maintaining a sustainable economy that reflects Dubai’s position as a global economic destination.

The continuous partnership between the governmental and private sectors will raise the level of efficiency and provide a seamless service environment for the business community as per the highest international standards. The Business Registration and Licensing sector in Dubai Economy focuses on making the process of registering new companies and issuing commercial licenses easy and fast, which reflects positively on Dubai's global competitiveness.

January 6 2021

Federal Tax Authority Provides Exceptions Regarding the Supporting Evidence for Excise Goods Exports

The UAE Federal Tax Authority (FTA) has clarified administrative exceptions with regard to the Excise Tax Guide (the guide). The guide provides that a registrant for excise tax purposes (the registrant) may request permission to retain alternative evidence that goods have been exported from the UAE other than the commercial and official evidences.

The exception is granted if the registrant can prove to the FTA that he is unable to provide any of the requested evidence due to circumstances beyond his control. The registrant should complete a request form and file it electronically along with the following information:

  • a detailed description of the request; and
  • any documentary proof to support the factual and legal grounds on which the request is based (e.g. sample invoices, contracts, payment slips).

The FTA has up to 40 business days to respond to the request. Any questions on specific fields in the Excise Tax Administrative Exception Form, are to be addressed to: info@tax.gov.ae.

According to Article 14(5) of the cabinet decision No. (37) of 2017 on the executive regulation of the federal decree-law no (7) of 2017 on excise tax, the FTA may specify alternative forms of evidence for exports other than commercial and official evidence according to the nature of the exports as well the nature of the goods being exported.

The guide was published on 31 December 2020 on the FTA's official website.

January 30 2021

UAE grants citizenship and passport to investors, professionals, special talents

DUBAI, 30th January, 2021 (WAM) -- The United Arab Emirates has approved amendments to the Executive Regulation of the Federal Law concerning Nationality and Passports allowing investors, professionals, special talents and their families to acquire the Emirati nationality and passport under certain conditions.

The step aims at appreciating the talents and competencies present in the UAE and attracting more bright minds to the Emirati community in a way that contributes to the development and prosperity of the country.

Categories that can qualify to acquire the Emirati nationality include: investors, doctors, specialists, inventors, scientists, talents, intellectuals, artists and their families (spouse and children), meanwhile the amendments allow retaining the current nationality.

Acquiring the Emirati citizenship will be done through nominations from Rulers and Crown Princes Courts, Executive Councils, and the Cabinet based on federal entities nominations.

Conditions for granting citizenship Under the directive of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Cabinet chaired by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, approved the amendments of the Executive Regulation of the Federal Law concerning Nationality and Passports.

The amendments specified the conditions that must be met in each category such as: Investors are required to own a property in the UAE.

Doctors and specialists must be specialised in a unique scientific discipline or any other scientific principles that are highly required in the UAE, the applicant must have acknowledged scientific contributions, studies and research of scientific value and a practical experience of not less than 10 years, in addition to obtaining membership in a reputable organisation in his field of specialisation.

Scientists are required to be an active researcher in a university or research centre or in the private sector, with a practical experience of not less than 10 years in the same field. They also should have contributions in the scientific field such as winning a prestigious scientific award, or securing substantial funding for their research during the past ten years, it is also mandatory to obtain a recommendation letter from recognised scientific institutions in the UAE.

Inventors who are willing to acquire Emirati citizenship are required to obtain one or more patents that are approved by the UAE Ministry of Economy or any other reputable international body, in addition to a recommendation letter from the Economy Ministry.

Individuals with creative talents such as intellectuals and artists should be pioneers in the culture and art fields and winners of one or more international award. A recommendation letter from related government entities is mandatory as well.

In case of qualifying, and before acquiring the citizenship, other requirements include swearing the oath of allegiance, committing to abide by the Emirati laws and officially informing the respective government agency in case of acquiring or losing any other citizenship are mandated.

The UAE citizenship offers a wide range of benefits includes the right to establish or own commercial entities and properties, in addition to any other benefits granted by federal authorities after the approval of the Cabinet or local authorities.

As per the amendments, the citizenship can be withdrawn upon breach of the conditions.

Acquiring the Emirati citizenship will be done through Rulers and Crown Princes Courts, Executive Councils, and the Cabinet based on federal entities nominations.