Major Positive update from the UAE government overnight.

Major Positive update from the UAE government overnight:

Mohammed bin Rashid: The Cabinet will follow up on the package of stimulus and economic, legislative and procedural facilities in the country to reach the best business environment globally.

The Council of Ministers announces the abolition of mandatory bank guarantee for the recruitment of workers and replacing them with a low-cost insurance system and the return of 14 billion dirhams bank guarantees for the business sector

The Council of Ministers approves a system for the insurance of wages and entitlements for the employment of enterprises and auxiliary workers as an alternative to the current bank guarantee.

Key Points:

  1. Cancellation of 3000 AED bank guarantees on visas – around 14 billion of refunds of bank guarantee will go back to companies
  2. Replaced by a 60 AED per visa as bank guarantee and insurance for up to 20,000 AED
  3. Possibility for Jobseekers to stay in the UAE for up to 6 months to look for work
  4. People on transit through a UAE airport can enter UAE for 48 hrs for no charge
  5. Students after graduation will get a two year visa to search for a job
  6. Anyone in the UAE on an expired visit visa can change status without fines
  7. Anyone overstayed or invalid can leave the UAE and are welcome back on visit visa without applying a permanent ban

UAE cabinet decisions

UAE cabinet updates 2018


No charge for transit tourists

No charge for transit tourists


New system for workers guarantees in the UAE

New system for workers guarantees in the uae


Adjusting visa status in the uae without having to leave and re-enter the country

Adjusting visa status in the uae without having to leave

Setting up a company in Abu Dhabi

Setting up a company in Abu Dhabi

Establishing a business in Abu Dhabi typically follows the same key stages, however, there are nuances to be applied to individual business sectors.

  • Step 1: Determine the legal form and activities of the business
  • Step 2: Register the trade name and obtain the initial approval
  • Step 3: Arrange an office lease
  • Step 4: Apply for a trade license and regulatory approvals
  • Step 5: Obtain the DED Trade Licence
  • Step 6: Register the Company with Labour and Immigration
  • Step 7: Open a business bank account
  • Step 8: Apply for employee visas

There are various legal forms that a company in Abu Dhabi can take to include; Limited Liability Company, Branch Office, Representative Trade Office, Professional Service License, Free Zones and Commercial Agent (Exclusive Distributor).
A Limited Liability Company (LLC) is the most commonly used vehicle for setting up in the UAE as a foreign investor and is often the only choice for many business activities. A LLC can be formed by a maximum of fifty shareholders whose liability is limited to their shares in the company’s capital. At least 51% of the shares in the company should be owned by UAE National(s) or a 100% owned UAE Company (The Sponsor).

Top 10 Questions to consider when setting up a business in the UAE. Find more:

PRO Partner Group facilitates all the procedures and legalities involved in establishing and maintaining a commercial entity in the UAE, from Commercial Registration to Professional Corporate Nominee Services and visas. Having assisted in the formation of over 300 companies in the Middle East, PRO Partner Group enable more businesses to capitalise on the regions prosperous economy.

For more information about how to set up a company in Abu Dhabi, please contact PRO Partner Group on +971 (0)2 448 5120 or email


Working Part-Time in the UAE

Working Part Time in the UAE

In effort to improve worker mobility in the UAE, the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) has introduced the Part-Time Employment Contract system, allowing Emiratis and expatriates to legally work for two or more employers at the same time, after obtaining the relevant work permit.

Employees will be allowed to work in first and second level skilled jobs for more than one employer, without approval from the original employer. The part-time working contracts will be available for Emiratis, other GCC nationals and expatriate employees who are living in the UAE on a work visa. The worker must hold a permit from MoHRE, which is valid for one year.

The conditions of the part-time contract state that part-time work permit holders can work for another company on a part-time basis for less than eight hours a day or 48 hours a week. They must also receive at least one day of rest a week. The original employer must provide the employee’s annual leave, end of service benefits and any other financial obligations in line with their number of working hours.

The fee for part-time work permit is AED 100 for the application as well as an approval fee of AED 500. Those who can apply must be over 18 years of age, hold a valid labour card and meet specific requirements to include holding a university degree.

It is reported that the new system will “improve flexibility in the labour market, cut costs and reduce dependencies on expatriate workers”.

Applying for a part time work permit

Applications must be submitted to the service centre “Tas’heel” or via the Ministry’s e-forms (e-channel) program. To apply, there are several mandatory documents that must be submitted as per the below. Please note that there may be additional terms and conditions and therefore, if you are interested in applying, please contact PRO Partner Group for further information.

  • A copy of both establishments’ trade licenses
  • A colour photograph with a white background of the employee
  • A copy of the employee’s passport
  • If academic qualification is required (post-secondary diploma, university degree or equivalent), an authenticated attested copy must be attached
  • A letter of approval (if required)
  • A copy of the contract
  • A no objection certificate from the previous sponsor
  • A copy of the employee’s visa that includes the sponsor or establishment name that is valid for more than 6 months

Further information from the Ministry of Human Resources & Emiratisation can be found here:إصدار-تصريح-عمل-مؤقت-لبعض-الوقت.aspx

Opening Hours of Service centres “Tas’heel”

  • From Saturday till Thursday
  • From 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.


Jane AshfordJane Ashford is CEO of PRO Partner Group. For further information on part-time visa please contact Jane on or call a member of the team on

T: +971 (0)4 456 1761 (Dubai)
T: +971 (0)2 448 5120 (Abu Dhabi)



Business during Ramadan in the UAE

Business during Ramadan in the UAE

It is important to understand that Ramadan will have an impact on both business owners and expatriates living and working within the UAE. It is therefore imperative for companies and employers to be well informed on etiquette as well as potential opportunities and challenges during the month ahead.

For some businesses, Ramadan is anticipated to be a much busier month with retail sales peaking across most categories and in turn, some advertising spends reaching annual peak. For others, the month may be slightly slower for business with reduced working hours, particularly across the public sector.

Key considerations for the month of Ramadan

Business Working Hours
The Federal Authority for Government Human Resource has announced that public sector employees will have their working hours reduced to five hours during Ramadan. Government workers at Ministries and Federal bodies will work between 9am and 2pm during the holy month, according to Article 116 of the Executive Regulations of the Human Resources Law. Private sector working hours are yet to be formally announced.

The Working Day and Considerations for Employers
It is advisable for employers to adopt a Ramadan policy to consider consuming food and drinks in communal areas in offices as well as to schedule meetings in the morning to ensure fasting colleagues can attend. It should be ensured that all employees are dressed conservatively throughout Ramadan.

UAE Market Sales
During Ramadan, friends and family connect and celebrate, going out to eat and shop during the evenings. Therefore, this month is peak for retailers with sales increasing across many categories including food and drink, clothing and apparel as well as gifts and homeware. Almost all shops will have extended opening hours in the evenings and restaurants are expected to be busy. There is a trend for new retail companies to open ahead of Ramadan so that they can benefit from the height of consumerism in the region.

Company CSR Campaigns
Giving and charity is particularly important during Ramadan and therefore, many companies will launch specific CSR campaigns to support a variety of causes. This is a great opportunity to get involved and give back to the community.

Media Landscape
Facebook research shows every day during Ramadan in MENA, people spend 1.92M incremental hours on Facebook with 86% of people in the Middle East celebrating Ramadan on the platform. This is a particularly important for companies to note for gifting and online shopping opportunities.

Mobile shopping significantly increases throughout the night with the usage of Facebook rising by 200% between 2am – 5am with 4.84% more conversions on mobile at 4am compared to non-Ramadan months.

Research shows social conversation around TV programs throughout the evenings, which offers marketing opportunities to tap into relevant cultural moments. Other areas of interest across social media channels are food, travel and fashion. It is therefore key for relevant businesses to plan their social media strategies to increase consideration and purchase intent.

This surge in media consumption online also opens doors for PR agencies as well as media agencies to win new business and further drive sales for clients across the month of Ramadan.

Further information – What is Ramadan and Eid Al Fitr?

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic year and it is observed for one lunar month. Ramadan begins when a new moon is sighted by Islamic scholars, and therefore, cannot be precisely dated in advance. Ramadan marks a period of fasting from sunrise to sunset and religious focus for millions of Muslims across the globe. Generosity and giving to good causes or neighbours is encouraged and the period is a time for reflection, self-restraint and generosity. The end of Ramadan is followed by Eid Al Fitr, a two-day celebration which denotes the beginning of a new month, marked as a national holiday in the UAE and all other Islamic countries.


James Swallow - PRO Partner GroupPRO Partner Group specialises in the formation of companies in the UAE. For further information on conducting business during Ramadan in the UAE, setting up a company in the UAE or any other querie, please contact James on or call a member of the team on:

+971 (0)4 456 1761 (Dubai)
+971 (0)2 448 5120 (Abu Dhabi)


The Dubai Blockchain Strategy

Dubai Blockchain

This month, the UAE Government announced that over 50 per cent of federal transactions would be powered by blockchain technology by 2021 (Khaleej Times 2018), making Dubai the world’s first blockchain powered government. Dubai is heavily investing in its future and dedicating resources to blockchain technology, which will in turn help the country save billions of dollars spent annually on transactions.

The Dubai Blockchain strategy will bring economic opportunity across all major sectors in the city and further drive forward Dubai’s credentials as a global technology leader. Dubai will be pioneering the application of new technology and will aim to build a smart city, with the vision to enhance people’s lives via innovation in technology.

Within the new strategy for Dubai blockchain, there are three key pillars; ‘Government Efficiency’, ‘Industry Creation’ and ‘International Leadership’. This will allow a paperless digital city whereby all documentation (visa applications, bills and licenses) will be transacted online. Further, there will be new business opportunities as well as more seamless travel opportunities, driving forward International Leadership capabilities.

As part of the ‘International Creation’ initiative, the Smart Dubai Office are organising the second round of the Global Blockchain Challenge, in partnership with global innovation network Union. The challenge seeks to source strong and innovative Blockchain start-ups from around the globe to contribute to the implementation of the Dubai Blockchain Strategy.

What is blockchain technology?

“The blockchain is an incorruptible digital leader of economic transactions that can be programmed to record not just financial transactions but virtually everything of value.” Don & Alex Tapscott, authors Blockchain Revolution, 2016.

“All online activities are organised into chunks of data, named blocks, which are linked to one another forming a blockchain. Through the use of miners that monitor, verify and record the transactions, every party involved in that business network can witness and access their log of transactions” Forbes, 2017.

Benefits of blockchain technology

The blockchain network has a self-auditing ecosystem of digital value which results in two important properties, the first being that it cannot be corrupted and the second being true transparency. Therefore, the blockchain technology offers a wealth of benefits to both individuals and companies, particularly within the finance sector.

UAE-based Cryptocurrency Exchange

ArabianChain, a Dubai-based start-up, has launched a digital asset exchange designed to make it possible for investors to buy, sell and trade various cryptocurrencies online. The new platform, Palmex, enables users to trade cryptocurrencies such as global currency Bitcoin as well as local cryptocurrencies like DubaiCoin.

Cyrpocurrencies are powered by blockchain technology and therefore, benefit from; fraud protection, immediate settlement, lower fees, decentralisation and recognition at a universal level.

More about Dubai Blockchain Strategy

The Dubai Blockchain Strategy is developed and executed in partnership with the Dubai Future Foundation, the leading independent research organisation that will play a pivotal role in shaping the future of Dubai considering the Dubai Future Agenda adopted by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

It is imperative to first seek professional advice and guidance if you are considering establishing a company in the UAE, appointing a company formation specialist such as PRO Partner Group will remove the complexity of setting up your business, ensuring that the process is handled correctly to save time and resources

Patricia TanPatricia Tan is the Client Relationship Executive – Free Zone specialist at PRO Partner Group. For further information about setting up a business in the UAE please contact Patricia on or call a member of the team on:

+971 (0)4 456 1761 (Dubai)
+971 (0)2 448 4810 (Abu Dhabi)


Setting up a Fitness Club in Abu Dhabi

Setting up a Fitness Club in Abu Dhabi

With a growing population and a high percentage of expats, the UAE market has encouraged national as well as international fitness companies to invest in the market. In 2016, the fitness industry in the UAE was estimated to be worth $380m in 2016, according to research firm, Statista.

Some of the world’s most prominent fitness brands have set up business in the UAE, including American chain Gold’s Gym and UK brand Fitness First. In recent years, there has also been innovation in this sector with a move towards more down to earth functional training. There are significant opportunities in the UAE and an appetite for both private sessions as well as group training amongst residents.

To set up a fitness club as a limited liability company in Abu Dhabi, numerous mandatory requirements, outlined by the Department of Economic Development, must be met.

The fitness club must also obtain authorisation from

To obtain a new license to set up a Fitness Club, the owner must be 21 years old or above and gain approval of the General Directorate of Residence and Foreigners Affairs, provide a copy of a registered tenancy contract as well as a memorandum of association.

The property for the new Fitness Centre must also meet a considerably extensive list of criteria which includes, but is not limited to, the below;

  • Must be on the ground floor of the establishment and the premises cannot be used for any other activities than those stated on the license
  • Lighting and ventilation must meet the correct standard to include fan/air exhaust must be installed and be able to service the whole premises
  • It is prohibited to use the area around the establishment for storage or to accumulate the goods
  • There must be a fully furnished administrative office to conduct and manage activity with 30m²
  • First-aid equipment must be available
  • General cleanliness of the premises where the activity is carried out
  • Anti-bacterial soap, tissue paper and disinfectant must be supplied for use by customers
  • Sinks and drains must be provided (must meet instructions of the appropriate authority)
  • Electric insect kills must be installed, and Pest Control is compulsory by contracting with approved pest control companies
  • Fine metal mesh must be put on all windows and ventilation openings to prevent entry of insects
  • Pedal rubbish bins with a lid must be provided
  • Provision of employee uniform with the establishment logo or name appearing on it
  • Sketch showing the location and address of the establishment to be provided
  • Smoking is not permitted and there should be a signage informing the same to both employees and customers

Fitness trainers will also need to obtain valid visas by declaring competence, meeting the correct qualifications, experience in the industry and having a correct trade license.

For more information about establishing a Limited Liability Company in Abu Dhabi and setting up a Fitness Centre, please visit or call the PRO Partner Group Abu Dhabi office.

When setting up an LLC, PRO Partner Group will become the Emirati 51% corporate partner. This allows us to ensure you can run your business unhindered and takes away any pressure on you to independently find and maintain a trustworthy local sponsor relationship.

Audrey HautionAudrey Haution is the Business Development at PRO Partner Group. For further information on PRO Partner Group’s comprehensive range of market entry services or questions relating to company set up in the UAE, contact Audrey on or call a member of the team on:

T: +971 (0)4 456 1761 (Dubai)
T : +971 (0)2 448 5120 (Abu Dhabi)