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PRO Partner Group Regional News and Updates - Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Wider UAE, Oman & Qatar

  • Emiratisation requirements for smaller businesses in the UAE - Free ZonesHuman ResourcesDubaiAbu DhabiUAEBusiness Set UpIndustry NewsCompliance

    Published: 18/07/2023

    On 11 July 2023, The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) announced the inclusion of Emiratisation requirements for smaller business with a workforce of 20-49 employees in the UAE to meet new Emiratisation targets.

    Initially, MoHRE issued Ministerial Decision 279 of 2022, on 6th June 2022, introducing new measures for increasing the population of Emiratis working within the private sector, whereby companies with over 50 employees were required to maintain specified Emiratisation rates, outlines as a percentage of the skilled workforce. Companies were expected to have achieved a rate of 2% Emiratisation by end of 2022, with a further 2% through 2023, to reach a total 4% overall. Increasing by 2% year-on-year, by the end of 2026, companies are expected to have achieved a minimum of 10% of UAE citizens operating in skilled positions.

    What has changed?

    MoHRE announced a new Emiratisation bracket, extending the scope of Emiratisation and introducing the need for companies with 20-49 employees to take on one Emirati hire by end of next year (2024). Each business falling within this employee range must then hire one additional Emirati into a skilled role by the end of each year.

    The sectors that are required by the MoHRE to account for the new regulation includes: Financial and insurance activities; Real estate; Information and communications; Education; Healthcare and social work; Construction; Transportation and warehousing; Hospitality and residency services; Wholesale and retail; Administrative and support services; Professional and technical activities; Arts and entertainment; Mining and quarrying; Transformative industries.

    What does that mean for employers?

    Companies that fall within the employee range of 20-49 employees, are now included in the Emiratisation initiative and are required to meet specific Emiratisation quotas. Each business employing within this range are expected to hire at least one Emirati by the end of 2024, with one additional Emirati hire each year.

    It is strongly urged that companies falling within this Emiratisation bracket are actively seeking to meet their hiring quota as soon as possible. To achieve this, it is recommended that companies that are yet to apply, register and engage with the UAE government’s partnership programme ‘Nafis’ or other similar recruitment agencies. The UAE government has created the Nafis platform, which can specifically aid companies with recruiting and discovering Emiratis candidates for hiring and achieving their Emiratisation quotas.

    For companies who fail to comply with hiring one Emirati into a skilled role before the required deadline, they risk incurring penalties and fines. Should a company of 20-49 employees fail to hire one Emirati in 2024, they will be subject to a AED96,000 penalty fine. This fine will further increase to AED108,000 should the company fail to employ an Emirati in 2025.

    How can PRO Partner Group assist?

    PRO Partner Group can advise you on your company’s Emiratisation requirements and help you determine which tier your company is currently in and what steps need to be taken to ensure that you are fully compliant with the latest legislation.

    If you need assistance with the new Emiratisation rules or any other related onshore or offshore company setup, restructuring, local partner or PRO support matter in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, the wider UAE, Oman, Qatar or KSA, then please do get in touch with us on +971 (0)4 456 1761 for Dubai or +971 (0)2 448 5120 for Abu Dhabi, email us at or fill in the inline form and we would be delighted to assist you.

  • Guidance on Counter Proliferation Financing for FIs, DNFBPs, and VASPs -

    The Executive Office for Control & Non-Proliferation is pleased to announce the publication of an updated Guidance on Counter Proliferation Financing for FIs, DNFBPs, and VASPs

    Published Date: 01 November 2022

    PRO Partner Group can guide you through the process of regulatory compliance for your business, licensing, visa acquisition and liaising directly with government departments on your behalf.

    If you need assistance with setting up a regulatory compliant company, onshore or offshore setup, restructuring, local partner or PRO support matter in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, the wider UAE, Oman, Qatar or KSA, then please do get in touch with us on +971 (0)4 456 1761 for Dubai or +971 (0)2 448 5120 for Abu Dhabi, email us at or complete the contact form below and we will be delighted to assist you.

  • How to start a tech business in Dubai - Gitex Global 2022 -

    Gitex Global has helped to place technology among Dubai's top priorities and the event, which runs from Monday to Friday at Dubai World Trade Centre, made the emirate a key technology centre, says Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid.

    “This year, my office has partnered with Gitex to ensure that we’re not just showcasing technology, but actually inventing and developing technology,” said Omar Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy and Remote Working System.

    North Star Dubai, one of the region's largest start-up events, also takes place alongside Gitex. 

    Read the full article

  • The Department of Economic Development (DED) Abu Dhabi and Dubai announce manpower and recruitment activities can be 100% foreign owned -

    The Department of Economic Development (DED) Abu Dhabi and Dubai have newly reported the release of two activities to enable 100% foreign ownership.

    The two activities:

    1. Manpower or On Demand Labour Supply (temporary employment) - which includes specialised firms engaged in supplying various professionals on a temporary basis to other companies.

    1. Recruitment - includes third-party recruiters specialised in listing employment vacancies and referring or placing applicates for employment.

    These two activities previously had to be 100% UAE owned companies but have now been added to the list of activities that are allowed to be 100% foreign owned in the UAE mainland jurisdictions.

    For any company engaging or operating in these activities that want to convert to 100% foreign ownership can now do so. New companies can now also set up in Mainland UAE with these activities under 100% foreign ownership. Approvals and thresholds set by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE) are still required.

    PRO Partner Group can assist with fully with the conversion of existing (or creation of new) manpower and recruitment companies to operate in the mainland with 100% foreign ownership. For further information please contact our team on +971 (0)4 456 1761 for Dubai or +971 (0)2 448 5120 for Abu Dhabi. Alternatively, email us at

  • Qatar announces temporary boarder closure to any non Hayya card holders during FIFA World Cup 2022 Qatar -

    Qatar is to shut its borders to anyone not attending the World Cup, between November 1 and December 23.

    All land, sea and air borders will effectively to be shut to anyone not holding the Hayya Card – the fan ID issued by the government to anyone attending matches during the World Cup.

    The event begins on November 20 and ends of December 18, and Hayya Card holders can stay in the country until January 23.

    Read the full article

  • How to obtain a Hayya Card for Qatar FIFA World Cup -

    How to obtain a Hayya Card for Qatar FIFA World Cup 

    The Hayya Card will be used as a means of identification for all ticket-holders of the Tournament and provide its holders with a number of services aimed at enhancing their experience while in Qatar.

    Application Process

    1. Once you have submitted your Application on the Hayya Portal you will receive confirmation of your Application number via email, and you will receive a response on whether your Application is successful
    2. You will be able to track the progress of your Application on the Hayya Portal.
    3. If your Application is successful, you will receive a notification indicating that your Hayya Card application is approved
    4. If your Application is rejected, you will be able to make two further applications by providing the Application Data and any other additional information communicated to you. If you have inserted incorrect Application Data you will need to wait until you receive a response on your initial Application before you can submit any further Application with correct Application Data. You will need to ensure you make an Application in sufficient time in order to attend a Match.
    5. You may supplement or amend your Application via the Hayya Portal. However, you cannot amend an Application which is in progress.

    Read the full article

  • Sovereign Group acquires PRO Partner Group to bring global market access to Middle East -

    16 May 2022, Dubai, UAE - Sovereign Group, the leading independent global provider of corporate, private client and retirement planning services, is delighted to announce the acquisition of PRO Partner Group (PPG), one of the foremost company formation and corporate services providers in the Middle East.

    This strategic acquisition combines the regional strength of PPG in the UAE, Qatar, Oman and Saudi Arabia with the global reach of Sovereign Group to deliver tangible benefits and opportunities to the clients and staff of both parties.

    PPG provides security, efficiency and local knowledge to international corporations and investors looking to set up within the GCC, while the Sovereign Group offers integrated advice, products and services to internationally mobile businesses and people with complex needs.

    Following the acquisition, PPG’s staff will remain in their existing offices and will continue to operate under the PPG brand, except in Saudi Arabia where PPG and Sovereign will partner together and co-brand.

    Commenting on the deal, Sovereign Group CEO, Gerry Kelly said: “We have been looking to expand our presence in the Middle East and Africa region and to increase our capacity in the corporate client market and I believe we have found a great fit in PPG. As we explored this deal and got to know Jane and the PPG team, it soon became apparent that we were very aligned in our outlooks.”

    “In staffing terms, this partnership brings our headcount in the Middle East and Africa to almost 200, making us one of the best resourced corporate service providers in the region. It also gives our client base a platform in Oman and Qatar for the first time. We are very excited by this acquisition and are delighted to welcome PPG staff and clients to the Sovereign Group.”

    Commenting, Jane Ashford, Founder and Chair of PRO Partner Group said: “For nearly eight years, the dedicated team at PPG has focused on growing the company in the region and serving clients from around the world. When I initiated discussion with Gerry and his team, it became clear that they value our work and share our fundamental ethics and company culture.”

    “I look forward to remaining on the board of PPG, supporting the company to achieve its goals. This new chapter will further help us protect our clients and provide opportunities for the team to flourish within a global operation.”

    Foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows in the GCC increased by 12.4% to US$27.7 billion in 2020, led by strong increases in inflows into Saudi Arabia, Oman and the UAE, according to the UN’s annual World Investment Report (WIR), released in June 2021.

    The upward regional trend is expected to continue as new laws bed in – notably, the UAE’s FDI Decree, permitting 100% foreign ownership of onshore companies, and Saudi Arabia’s Private Sector Participation Law, setting out a clear framework for privatisation as Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) – and as global investment picks up.

    About PRO Partner Group:
    PRO Partner Group is the leading company setup, local partnership, corporate services, company formation, Freezone formation etc. provider in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, the wider UAE, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Launched in 2011, its key services include outsourced PRO support to LLC companies, foreign branch and rep offices as well as freezone and companies with dual licenses. PRO Partner Group is on a mission to provide security, transparency, speed, efficiency and local knowledge to international corporations and investors wishing to set up within the GCC.

    If you need any assistance with any company related set up restructuring, local partner or PRO support matter in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, the wider UAE, Oman, Qatar or Saudi Arabia then please do get in touch with us on +971 (0)4 456 1761 for Dubai or +971 (0)2 448 5120 for Abu Dhabi, email us at or complete the contact form below and we will be delighted to assist you.

  • UAE’s first space economic zone in Masdar City will boost spacetech start-ups -

    The UAE Space Agency and Masdar have partnered to establish the nation’s first space economic zone in Masdar City, which is set to create an integrated business ecosystem that will help propel start-ups and SMEs in the space sector.

    The new zone will act as a hub for research and development, offering world-class infrastructure, and fostering an enabling environment to encourage the development of the national space industry.

    “Space is the next frontier of business growth set to propel the national economy for the next 50 years. The space economic zone in Masdar City is an exciting milestone in our strategy to create a competitive private sector, build national capabilities, promote public-private partnerships, boost R&D and encourage the spirit of entrepreneurship,” said Sarah bint Yousif Al Amiri, UAE minister of state for advanced technology and chairwoman of the UAE Space Agency.

    “This programme is a game-changer that will take our flourishing space industry to the next level while simultaneously building on the UAE’s established position as a global hub for talent, investment and innovation,” she added.

    The programme will create a sustainable and effective framework to facilitate public-private partnerships, build an integrated business environment for local and global companies, stimulate innovation, as well as support the growth of national space technologies and services.

    Under the agreement, which was signed at Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2022, Masdar City Free Zone will tailor-make business licenses for space-related companies across the launch sector, satellite communication, logistics, data analysis, science, technology, engineering, and much more.

    “Our aim is not only to drive entrepreneurship and economic development within the fast-growing space sector, but to attract and foster the most talented professionals from across the region and beyond,” said Mohamed Al Ramahi, CEO of Masdar.

    For the full article click here

  • Masdar City and Mohammed bin Rashid Innovation Fund team up to support UAE start-ups -

    Abu Dhabi's Masdar City and the Mohammed bin Rashid Innovation Fund (MBRIF) are teaming up to support local start-ups and boost entrepreneurship in the UAE as the country seeks to be a centre for small and medium businesses.

    The agreement will allow the entities to extend development to start-ups from the post-conception stage and assist them in scaling up their operations, Masdar City and MBRIF said on Monday.

    As part of the initiative, the MBRIF Guarantee Scheme and Innovation Accelerator will support Masdar City’s SME development efforts while both organisations will also be able to use each other’s human expertise, infrastructure and technology where necessary.

    “It is our aim to not only cultivate entrepreneurship and economic development in the UAE and further afield but drive it and further it through the immense talent emerging from the region," said Abdulla Balalaa, executive director of Masdar City.

    The UAE aims to become home to 20 start-ups valued at more than $1 billion by 2031 in its push to become a regional centre for innovation and entrepreneurship.

    Furthermore, the UAE will set up a Dh1bn ($272 million) private equity fund for lending to SMEs based in the country and operating in strategic sectors. The money will be released from the first quarter of this year and over the next five years, said Minister of State for Entrepreneurship and SMEs, Ahmad Al Falasi.

    MBRIF, an initiative set up by the UAE Ministry of Finance, unveiled the Guarantee Scheme in 2016 to finance entrepreneurs. It provides a government guarantee as a security to commercial banks and financial institutions to encourage the issuance of loans.

    "With this new collaboration, we jointly seek to help local, regional and global businesses by giving them greater access to resources, funding and mentorship in order to succeed in the UAE through our unique platform," said MBRIF head Shaker Zainal.

    For the full article click here


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