General and Legal News from the UAE – August 2021 № 1


published on 11 August 2021 | 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.



New rules in UAE government department enforced on 1st August

From 1 August 2021 UAE residents who have not yet received the Covid-19 vaccine, despite availability will not be allowed to enter federal departments without showing proof of a negative PCR test. The test must have been taken not less than 48 hours prior to the visit of the respective federal government department and must be shown on the AL Hosn App according to the Federal Authority for Government Human Resources (FAHR).
Furthermore, unvaccinated government employees must undergo mandatory PCR testing on a weekly basis for which they have to carry the costs themselves. An exempt from self-payment is only granted in case the government employee shows proof of a medical report stating that they are medically unfit to take the vaccine.
As clarified by the UAE’s human resources authority entrance to ministries, federal departments and customer service centers will only be granted to those residents who have received two doses of the Covid-19 vaccination. Those under the age of 16 are excluded from these necessities.
By the end of July, according to Bloomberg’s Vaccine Tracker, a total of 15.5 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine have been administered by the UAE, which means that 72.1 per cent of the UAE’s population have been vaccinated with two-doses. Other recent global statistics rank the UAE first globally with 158.24 doses per 100 people given.

Dubai DED-Trader License

In 2017, the Business Registration & Licensing (BRL) sector of Dubai Economy launched the DED Trader license which enables startups and freelancers to efficiently conduct business activities online and across social networking accounts. 
From 2017 until end of June 2021 a total of 13,430 DED Trader Licenses have been issued. These numbers are proof that Dubai Economy puts focus on promoting e-commerce and digital transformation as well as on promoting e-platforms that facilitate commercial activities.
The main activities on licenses issued during the first half of 2021 were: Information Technology, Commercial Brokerage, Exhibitions, Gents Tailoring & Design, Handicraft workshops, Ladies Tailoring & Design, Preparation of Food, Readymade Garments, and other Professional Services.
The DED Trader license can straightforwardly be applied for online via By following the easy steps, the ease of doing business electronically will be improved. In case the ownership is 100 per cent Emirati as legal liability also falls on the license holder, three visas can be availed. However, a shop or store cannot be opened by holding this license.
Upon obtaining a DED Trader license, Dubai Chamber membership for commercial activities, bank facilities, temporary employment services, providing workspace, participation in exhibitions & conferences and training workshops, facilitated import and export via as well as further benefits are included.

Covid-19: Vaccination mandatory to enter all places and events in Saudi from 26 July

Like the recent developments concerning entrance to government departments in the UAE, Saudi Arabia is taking it yet a step further.
According to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA), the implementation of mandatory immunization has started as approved by the Ministry of Health for Covid-19 prevention.
As of 26 July, residents of the kingdom wishing to enter venues of entertainment or sport activities, public transport or educational facilities will have to be vaccinated. Proof of vaccination will have to be shown in the Tawakkalna App.
Entrance to the following venues will only be permitted when proof of vaccination has been presented:

  • Economic, commercial, cultural, entertainment or sport activities
  • Cultural, educational, social or entertainment events
  • Governmental or private establishments, whether as an employee or a visitor
  • Governmental or private educational facilities
  • Public transport


No commercial flights between Dubai and Manila until 31 August

As announced by airline officials, Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific regular commercial flights between Manila and Dubai will remain suspended until 31st August.
The announcement of the suspension follows the decision by the Philippine government “to extend the ban on travelers from 10 countries, including the UAE, until 15 August  to curb the transmission of the Covid-19 Delta variant.”
It has yet to be announced when commercial flights will resume.
In the meantime, an official from Philippine Airlines clarified that there is an arrangement for so-called special flights that are subject to official approval from Philippian authorities.
Passengers as well as airlines must ensure that a 14-day hotel quarantine is guaranteed prior to heading to the airport to board one of the special flights. Additionally, a PCR test with a negative test result must be provided, where the test must have been taken no more than 48 hours prior to flight departure.
The travel ban applies to travelers from the following countries: Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nepal, Oman, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and the UAE.

Covid-19: UAE off UK red list

As the UK finally put the UAE off the UK’s red list, a much-appreciated ease on travels to the UK was widely welcomed by UAE travelers.
After 188 long days, the UAE will finally, amongst others – namely Bahrain, India and Qatar be removed from the Red List to the Amber List.
The UK’s Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps announced that all changes come into effect on 8 August 2021 at 4am.
The move off the UK’s red list with classifying the UAE into the ‘amber’ category means that travelers from the UAE do no longer have to enter the costly, mandatory, and managed 10-day hotel quarantine. Under the new regulations travelers arriving from an Amber-List country such as the UAE (from 4am of 8 August onward) must self-isolate for 10 days. This period can be shortened with a proof of a negative PCR test result after day five upon arrival to the UK.
Initially, these changes do only apply to England, however other UK regions are expected to follow the same regulations.
According to Dr. Farida Al Hosani, who is an official spokesperson of the UAE Health Sector and Director of the Communicable Diseases Department of the Abu Dhabi Public Health Centre (ADPHC), the UAE had recently witnessed a decrease in the number of Covid-19 infections. This is proof of the UAE Health Sector’s ability to curb and control the spread of the virus.
Further announcements have been made by the UK’s Secretary of State for Transport:

  • Austria, Germany, and Norway have been added to the Green List
  • Quarantine requirements for fully vaccinated travelers from France have been removed  
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