General and Legal News from the UAE – September 2021 № 2


published on 24 September 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.



Saudi Arabia ends travel suspension from three countries

On 3 July 2021 Saudi Arabia has banned the entry to the kingdom for citizens and residents of the UAE in order to curb the spread of the Corona virus as well as the spread of the new mutated strain of the virus. Vice versa, citizens of the country were only allowed to visit the UAE after having obtained permission from the relevant authorities within Saudi Arabia.
The first ease of these restrictions came on 24 August when fully vaccinated expats reentering from the countries facing a travel ban, were granted re-entry permission to the kingdom. This however applies only to those expatriates holding a valid residency visa as well as to those who had left the kingdom on exit and reentry visa after having taken both does of the corona virus vaccine from Saudi Arabia. After having evaluated the situation of the current Covid-19 situation, the relevant Saudi Authorities have now lifted the travel ban from the UAE as well as from Argentina and South Africa being effective from 8 September onwards. Official representatives of the Ministry of Interior stated that the kingdom’s authorities after thorough evaluation have lifted the travel ban and thus lifted the suspension of entry to Saudi Arabia from these three countries
Consequently, citizens of the kingdom will no longer be restricted/banned from traveling to these countries. Sources stressed however that “all procedures and measures are subject to continuous evaluation by the competent health authorities in the kingdom in accordance with the development in the epidemiological situation across the world.” The list of countries facing a travel ban has now come down to ten countries: Afghanistan, Brazil, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Lebanon, Pakistan, Turkey and Vietnam.

UAE is a safe destination for global investments (during economic uncertainty)

The UAE government keeps following its ‘Projects of the 50’ initiative – as a tribute to celebrate 50 years of the Union – despite all Covid-19 circumstances as the government has allocated a total of Dh58 billion in the country’s 2021 budget. The Dh58 billion are being supportive of strengthening the nation’s economic stability.
Part of this initiative are the government’s efforts to diversify the economy, open up new business opportu­nities and make the business and set up environment in the UAE more attractive for investors – local as well as foreign. During Covid-19 the country remained strong against global challenges due to its solid economy as well as the country’s adaptability. As a matter of fact, the UAE had witnessed economic growth during the pandemic. As laws and regulations were adapted the FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) was amended in a way and consequently the investment from foreigners into the country totaled $19.88 billion at the end of 2020 – that represents an increase of 44,2 per cent in comparison to 2019. From a global perspective the UAE ranks 15th concerning its ability to attract FDI. Several facts are supportive of Dubai being a safe destination for investor such as:

  • Capital inflow: In 2020 the UAE ranked 13th on a global scale for Flow of Foreign Direct Investment and 16th for the ease of doing business and 25th globally in the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report.
  • Commodity Trade: From a global as well as regional perspective the UAE hold a leading position. For instance, the UAE ranks 3rd worldwide in re-exports and holds a position on the list of the 20 most important global exporting countries.
  • Sophisticated Infrastructure: The UAE’s infrastructure has been supported by a total of Dh 4,5 billion through the 2021 budget, which supports the country’s world- leading infrastructure further.
  • Free Zones: The UAE is a member of the World Trade Organization thus has a strong connection to global and international trade associations. There are more than 40 specialized free zones. Furthermore, the UAE signed trade agreements with the European Free Trade Association, Singapore and the European Union.
  • Competitive Costs: The UAE are characterized by competitive financing costs, a strong banking system, high levels of liquidity, a strong banking system, no (or low/VAT 5 per cent) tax and a low inflation rate.

Starting from 12 September UAE allows return of vaccinated holders of valid residence visa

As tourist visas for vaccinated travelers have been resumed last week, from 12th September the UAE also lifts restrictions on the entry ban for fully vaccinated UAE residents coming in from countries that had previously been on the list where entry to the UAE had been suspended. These countries are: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Democratic Republic of Congo, India, Liberia, Namibia, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Uganda, Vietnam, Zambia. The National Emergency Crisis Disasters Management Authority (NECMA) clarified that also those fully vaccinated (WHO approved jabs) residents who stayed outside the country for more than 6 months are welcome to return to the UAE. The following process in order to ensure a safe arrival back in the UAE is required:

  1. Application for the necessary return approval and presentation of the vaccination documents via the website of the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA)
  2. Presentation of a negative PCR test upon arrival. The test should not have been taken more than 48 hours prior to departure to the UAE by an approved laboratory including an QR code. Children under the age of 16 are exempted from this regulation.

The daily number of positive Corona-infected patients has dropped to below 1,000 since last week. This decision has also come as a preparation for Dubai opening its doors to welcome ‘the world to the EXPO 2020’ starting on 1 October 2021.

“Together we recover”: 90,17 per cent of UAE population received first dose of Covid-19 vaccine

By mid-September 2021, 78,98 per cent of the UAE population have been fully vaccinated against the Corona Virus and 90,17 per cent of the UAE population have received their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.

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