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

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published on 23 August 2021 | reading time approx. 3 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.

 

 

UAE launches services to help doctors obtain golden visas

As a gesture towards the UAE’s gratitude towards the frontline workers during the first phase of the Corona pandemic, the UAE decided to streamline the application process for the so-called golden visa, which is a long-term residency initiative initiated by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, Ruler of Dubai, Prime Minister and Vice President of the United Arab Emirates. This initiative was launched in order to recognize the efforts where several experts played an essential role in supporting the UAE’s growth.
 
In July, doctors licensed with the UAE’s health regulatory bodies, scientists as well as doctorate holders were recognized in playing such an essential role and thus were encouraged to register and apply for the long-term residency visa.
  
Application can be done until September via smartservices.ica.gov.ae or for doctors registered to practice in Dubai can apply via smart.gdrfad.gov.ae.

Funding to Saudi Arabia’s start-ups rises to 65 per cent in first half of 2021

Saudi Arabia’s diversification of the kingdom’s economy keeps on developing.
 
In the first half of 2021, according to a Magnitt report (in collaboration with the Saudi Venture Capital Company) a fourth of the country’s funding deals were invested into the startup of FinTech companies. That equals a total of $168million – which has been invested as venture capital funding in startups, that amounts to 94 per cent of the total monetary amount that had been invested into start-ups in Saudi Arabia.
 
In comparison to such funding during the first half of 2020 this year’s amount was 65 per cent higher.
 
Globally such a trend can be witnessed as venture capital has hit a record high as a consequence of investors seeking a return to their investment activity after the slowdown of such funding during the beginning of the Corona pandemic.
 
Percentagewise, concerning total funding in $ in the Mena region the kingdom ranks second with 14 per cent of venture capital funding invested in startups behind the UAE (62 per cent) and surpassing Egypt (13 per cent). In the whole Mena Region there was a total funding of $1,2 bn in the first half of 2021.
 
The Saudi government’s attention on funding programs such as SVC and Jada (Fund of Funds by the Public Investment Fund) is strong as the kingdom diversifies its economy.
 

Dubai real estate market sales transactions grew by more than 40 per cent in H1 2021

After a slowdown of the economy during the Corona pandemic, the real estate market in the UAE is gaining momentum and has been growing by more than 40 per cent during the first six months in 2021.
 
Whereas 36.3 per cent of the sales transactions referred to the off-plan market, 63.7 per cent were in the already existing real estate market. The 17,434 sales transactions in this secondary/ready market are valued at Dh 46,88 billion. This is an increase of 44 per cent compared to the second half year of 2020.
 
At the same time off plan transactions are numbered at 9,939 sales transactions worth Dh 15,09 billion, which is an increase of 34.02 per cent of volume of transactions compared to the second half of 2020.
 
In the first half of 2021, according to demand data on Property Finder, villas and townhouses were sought after the most in Mohammed bin Rashid City, the Green Community, Nad al Sheba, Dubai Land, and Dubai Hills Estate.
 
The most popular areas for apartments during that time period were Jumeirah Village Circle, Jumeirah Lakes Towers, Downton Dubai, Business Bay and Dubai Marina.
 
There has been an increase in the average price per transaction in the first half of 2021 compared to the second half year of 2020. For ready properties the average transaction price rose from dh 2,48 million to Dh 2,69 million, whereas for off-plan properties the average transaction price rose from Dh 1,32 million to Dh 1,52 million.
 
According to official sources “54% more apartments were sold in H1 2021 compared to H2 2020 and 49% more villa/townhouses. The increase was in both segments, and the growth of the entire residential market by approximately 50%.”
 

Covid-19 in UAE: Events, exhibitions open only to vaccinated residents

At beginning of August the National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority (NCEMA) officially announced an increased capacity of 60 per cent for event attendees and of 80 per cent at restaurants, cinemas, malls and hotels provided that guests/attendees maintain the social distancing rules.
 
This increase of capacity of guest/attendees hosted resulted in a new regulation that had been put in place: only residents who have received both Covid-19 vaccine doses are able to attend events and exhibitions in the UAE, where the administration of the second dose shall not have been taking place more than 6 months ago; not more than 3 months shall have passed concerning the second dose taken by the vulnerable group such as elderly and residents with chronic diseases.
 
Furthermore, a negative Covid-19 PCR test not older than 48hrs to the start/attendance of the event mut be resented on the AL Hosn App.  
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