General and Legal News from the UAE – February 2022 №2


published on 17 February 2022 | reading time approx. 4 minutes


The following provides a brief overview about the latest business, economic and legal news from all around the United Arab Emirates and GCC region.




AlHosn App: no PCR test needed to change status from red to green

For people who had tested positive with Covid-19, there are now two options available to turn their status on AlHosn app from red to green. A PCR test is no longer required as a red AlHosn App stands for a recent positive PCR test.


One option is to quarantine (mandatory) for 10 days and wait that the app turns green automatically on day 11. In this case it is mandatory to take a PCR test after day 30 to keep the green status and after day 30 a PCr test must be taken every 14 odf the following 60 days. The second option to turn the red status into a green status after a Covid-19 diagnosis is to take two negative PCR test after 10days and get a green code for 30 days. In this case the two PCR test have to be taken 24hrs apart from each other.


Dubai offers Covid-19 vaccine to children aged 5 and above

On the Dubai Health Authority App Covid-19 vaccination bookings can be taken for children aged 5 and above from 1st February 2022. In May 2021 the Covid-19 vaccination was made available to children aged 12 to 15 in the UAE after the BioNTech-Pfizer vaccination had initially been available to UAE residents and citizens in December 2020.


This decision had mostly been taken on the fact that the virus has spread more widely in children after most adult residents and citizens had been immunized via prior infection or having taken the vaccination. Furthermore, the Omicron variant was increasingly causing hospitalization of younger aged children. Data from the United States saw that a third of children diagnosed and admitted to hospitals required intensive care. As expert data found that the vaccine to prevent Covid-19 in children was to be 90,7% effective, in October 2021 the US FDA (Food and Drug Administration) issued the authorization for the usage of the Pfizer vaccination for immunization to prevent the virus in children aged five and over.


Saudi Arabia announces $6,4 billion investments in future tec

As Saudi Arabia is diversifying its economy from the oil business to a more diversified economy the kingdom has announce a total of $6,4 billion investments in future technologies as announced by the Saudi Minister of Communications and information Technologies Abdullah Alswaha. The GCC have independently as well as jointly launched several initiatives and implemented laws and regulations to emphasize and boost the non-oil sector and lessen the dependance on crude oil.


The so-called Saudi Vision 2030, brought into life by Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, is the biggest initiative in restructuring the countries governance and poured hundreds of billions of Dollars into economic transformation. The most recent investment included amongst others a $2 billion joint venture between eWTP Arabia Capital, the Public Investment Fund, China's Alibaba and J&T Express Group, funds worth $1 billion by Saudi Arabia's giant oil company Aramco aimed at helping entrepreneurs around the globe to build transformative start-ups as well as $1 billion investment by Saudi Telecom Co STC to enhance the infrastructure of submarine cables and data centers. The kingdom's investments in future technologies include also a $1 billion investment in a metaverse to serve NEOM's residents and visitors. The kingdoms investments are also focusing on green technologies such as for example Aramco's Prosperity7s' initiative.


Sustainability: Tourism must be part of the solution to the climate crisis

Sustainable development got defined as "development that meets the needs of the present without compro­mising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs" by the World Commission on Environment and Development Commission. According to the Minister of Tourism of Saudi Arabia, Ahmed al Khateeb, when considering sustainable tourism, we should ensure that there is a "balance between the needs of the present against the needs of future generations." According to him it is important and crucial that the tourism industry will achieve this balance. In 2021 a survey taken by for example found that 83% of global travelers want to make sustainable travelling a priority.


It is thus important to making sustainability the norm. Travelers will have to (willingly) consider their footprints and enhance their social impact when travelling for sustainability to become the status quo. This might range from making sustainable decisions such as which merchandizing products to offer and use and the reusage of towels and bedsheets to air fuel efficiency. "This upends the classical approach that starts with education, assuming that increased awareness will ultimately lead to behavioral change and thus reduce negative impacts."


The task of the government is to support this transformation on both sides- educate the population as well as educate and support the businesses. In Saudi Arabia, the Sustainable Tourism Global Center (STGC) for instance supports tourism operators especially SMEs who make up most of the tourism sector however lack financial resources, to reach net zero, support their communities and protect nature. Furthermore, Saudi Arabia is protecting nature while developing its tourism industry; the Red Sea Project for instance will leave 75% of the island archipelago untouched, meaning a 30% net conversation benefit will be achieved over the next two decades. Neom, Saudi Arabia's futuristic mega project will be solely powered by renewable energy and building will have a net zero carbon footprint.


UAE: New digital portal to allow residents to apply for permits, register vehicles

The UAE's digitalization policy advances further to the other Emirates as at the beginning of February the Ajman Public Transport Authority (APTA) has updated its digital portal for services. The update to the digital portal of APTA allows customers to access their company data and accordingly manage their companies, register vehicles, and apply for permits.


The Director General of the Ajman Transport Authority, Rasha Khalaf Al Shamsi, was quoted "APTA is keen to facilitate the provision of services and reduce the time taken to complete the requested services by keeping digital transformation up to date and thus reducing human errors and consequently speeding up the services process." Part of the digital transformation process and updating of the digital portal is including customers in taking into consideration customers' feedback by regular questionnaires and brainstorming sessions. The Director of the Institutional Support Department Abdul Rahman Saif Al Nuaimi ensured that the portal will be developed permanently in accordance with the standards of digital transformation. This is a further sign for the digital transformation efforts of the UAE for the benefits of its citizens to facilitate customer experiences.

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