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German Legal Expertise in the Middle East since 1981

Vol. XXI – Issue 1, Jan. 2017-Articles

Review of
Legal News of the Gulf

PDF Version

VAT in the UAE – Outlook

Guiding Principles
The UAE and the other member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) are planning to introduce Value Added Taxes (VAT) by 2018. An Outlook.

New Bankruptcy Law in the UAE

Guiding Principles
After several years of scrutiny by a series of committees, the UAE’s Cabinet approved the new law on September 4, 2016. Upon receiving the President’s signature, the law will be published in the UAE’s official legal gazette, coming into effect three months later. Therefore, it may come into effect as early as the first quarter of 2017.

DIFC Wills and Judgments Enforceable by Courts in Ras Al Khaimah

Guiding Principles
The Ras Al Khaimah Courts and other RAK government entities have signed a series of agreements on December 12, 2016 with the Dispute Resolution Authority of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) that will allow court judgments and orders (including Probate Orders) to be directly enforced by the Ras Al Khaimah Courts. This development is the latest step in a series of measures introduced in RAK to promote economic growth and to continue its efforts to boost investor confidence and its standing as an investment destination and encourage companies to setup operations.

Recent Developments in Saudi Arabian REITs

Guiding Principles
Investment in real estate frequently offers a number of positive aspects with regard to security, profitability and sometimes tax. On the downside, real estate investments require a high amount of capital for starters, thus limiting its benefits in many cases to exclusive circles. From the sixties onwards democratization of this kind of investment in the form of Real Estate Investment Trusts or REITs was fostered in many parts of the globe and has frequently proven to be a history of success. In the Middle East, this kind of investment opportunity has only become a topic after the turn of the Millennium. It still develops actively and shows a particular dynamic these days in Saudi Arabia.

Egypt Liberalize its Currency’s Exchange Rate

Guiding Principle
In a press release dated November 3rd, 2016, the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) announced its decision to move, with immediate effect, to a liberalized exchange rate regime in order to quell any distortions in the domestic Forex market.As per the decision, banks and other market participants are at liberty to quote and trade at any exchange rate. Bid and ask exchange rates will be determined by demand and supply. The banks were obliged to deal with the rates set by the CBE prior to this decision. The CBE will use the prevailing market rate for any transactions it undertakes as per the new decision.

Tax and Customs Duties on Export from Iran

Guiding Principle
In order to support local producers and manufactures, Iran’s tax regime has placed incentive tariffs or even full exemption on export of non-oil products out of Iranian territory. This being an important issue for foreign traders, who purchase goods and products from Iranian suppliers and plan to export these purchased goods out of Iran.

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