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

  • Dubai launches 'talent pass' to attract professionals from around the world -

    Dubai Airport Free Zone (DAFZ) has launched a "talent pass" freelance licence category to attract global media, education, technology, art, marketing and consultancy professionals to the emirate.

    This initiative will further boost the free zone's business environment and strengthen Dubai’s position as a global destination for innovators and talent, DAFZ said in a statement on Sunday.

    The talent pass will enable freelancers to obtain a three-year residence visa and allow them to rent commercial office space in the free zone that offers flexible costs and remote services.

    License holders will have access to the free zone’s customers, who range from international companies to small and medium enterprises as well as entrepreneurs. They will also have access to the free zone’s digital platform that allows them to contact customers for easier access to work, contracts and services.

    The free zone is home to more than 1,800 companies in over 20 economic sectors, with multinationals making up more than 30 per cent of those businesses.

    The free zone has already signed a preliminary agreement with Dubai Culture and the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs to launch the new licence category.

    For the full article click here

  • UAE-based company NPCC confirms $2.23 billion contract award from Saudi Aramco -

    United Arab Emirates-based offshore engineering and fabrication giant National Petroleum Construction Company (NPCC) has confirmed the award of two sizeable offshore contracts from Saudi Aramco for work on its Zuluf expansion project.

    National Marine Dredging Company (NMDC), the parent company of NPCC, told the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange in a statement on Monday that “it has been awarded an 8.2 billion emirati dirhams ($2.23 billion) contract by Saudi Aramco.”

    NMDC said the contract award involves “two packages of the Zuluf marine field,” without further elaborating on the details.

    “The project is expected to be executed over three years,” it added.

    NPCC is a key member of Aramco’s coveted long-term agreement (LTA) with a group of international offshore contractors.

    For the full article click here

  • UAE's Alpha Dhabi increases stake in Aldar to 30% -

    UAE-based conglomerate Alpha Dhabi (ALPHADHABI.AD) said on Monday it has increased its stake in Abu Dhabi developer Aldar Properties (ALDAR.AD) to 29.8% after acquiring an additional 17%.

    The increase in ownership came after Alpha Dhabi acquired the entire share capital from three companies: Sublime 2, Sogno 2 and Sogno 3, the company said, without providing any details on the deal value.

    Alpha Dhabi also increased its stake in National Marine Dredging Co (NMDC.AD) by 3.38% and acquired 25.24% of Al Qudra Holding as part of the acquisition.

    For the full article click here

  • Amendments to UAE Commercial Transactions Law - UAE cheque rules to bring more clarity and flexibility in cheque transactions -

    The UAE’s new law on decriminalisation of bounced cheques that became effective on Sunday has come as a great leap forward in updating the banking laws in the country in sync with the global best practices.

    While the amended law consolidates the principles of justice by striking a balance between the interests of the cheque beneficiary and the drawer, the focus is clearly on operational flexibility of cheques in financial transactions.

    The provision for partial payment of the cheque in the event of insufficient funds has come as a flexible alternative for payments and reducing criminalisation of cheque bounces.

    In essence, in letter and spirit, the changes to the law has come as a flexible alternative, streamlining procedures for collecting an issued cheque’s value in favour of the beneficiary while minimising criminal procedures.

    Going forward, criminal procedures and hefty fines on non-compliance will be exceptions rather than a rule and should act as a deterrent to those likely to violate the new rules.

    For the full article click here

  • UAE's Commercial Agencies Law could be next to see a major overhaul -

    Change continues to sweep through the UAE business landscape, and the latest one could be brought on by changes to Commercial Agencies Law.

    On Sunday 26th December 2021, the Financial, Economic and Industrial Affairs Committee of the Federal National Council issued a statement saying that a draft federal law on regulating ‘commercial agencies’ was part of its agenda.

    The stated intention is to update the current provisions of the Law – which came into effect in 1981 – to regulate the activity of commercial agencies in the country and “enhance the role of this vital activity in sustainably supporting the national economy and keeping pace with the economic trends adopted by the state”.

    The UAE has also recently effected far-reaching change to the Commercial Companies Law (CCL), which allowed foreign nationals to have 100 per cent ownership of the their business in the country.

    “This is the right time to end monopolies,” said Mohammed Al Asoomi, an economist specialising in GCC issues. “Only the Gulf markets were retaining the ‘local agent’ requirement, while the rest of the world had moved on to multiple dealerships and who could offer the best service and price for consumers.

    “No one is saying that the current agent should not be included. He can still rely on the infrastructure he built for the brand over the years – but others must be given the opportunity. The Commercial Agencies Law requires a major update to be in tune with the times."

    It is expected that the changes to the law will begin to allow agents and principals to negotiate their own contractual arrangements directly, including timelines, termination and renewal provisions that each could enforce with the local courts in accordance with the individual terms of each agreement. It will be very interesting to see how these changes are implemented in the coming months.

    For the full article click here

  • The first Civil Marriage was finalised at Abu Dhabi's new non-Muslim court -

    A Canadian couple have helped break new legal ground by registering Abu Dhabi's first civil wedding.

    The pair registered their union at the capital's new Non-Muslim Family Court on Monday, according to state news agency Wam.

    The court opened earlier this month and will hear all cases related to marriage, custody, divorce, paternity, inheritance and personal status.

    Sessions will be held in Arabic and English to ensure foreigners understand them and to improve judicial transparency.

    Youssef Al Abri, undersecretary of the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department said the completion of the civil marriage contract was an unprecedented step forward for the region.

    The court is part of new legislation introduced last month to better support foreign residents of the emirate. The new family law, issued by President Sheikh Khalifa, includes equal legal rights for men and women, joint custody and the expediting of divorce procedures.

    “The establishment of the first specialised court for non-Muslim family matters is part of the continuous efforts being made to further develop the judicial system of the emirate of Abu Dhabi,” Mr Al Abri said following its establishment.

    “The personal status law for non-Muslims, which is applied by the court, is the first of its kind in the world to apply civil principles in the regulation of family matters, as it addresses the smallest details regarding non-Muslim family issues, and provides a modern judicial umbrella for foreigners to resolve disputes in a flexible manner in accordance with international best practices."

    The civil marriage registration service is available on the department's website for residents and tourists and the registration is completed remotely through video technology.

    For the full article click here

  • UAE Labour Law - New three-year employment contracts -

    As the new labour law comes into effect from February 2, 2022, governing the private sector in the UAE, one major change that will affect many companies and staff is the removal of the unlimited contract.

    Previously contracts were either signed for a limited or unlimited period, with the rights and responsibilities changing slightly between the two contract types. However, the new Labour Law - Federal Decree-Law No 33 of 2021 on the Regulation of Labour Relations – will require new contracts to be drafted by February 1, 2023.

    All private sector employers must replace the current employment contracts with the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE) with new employment contracts that are in line with the changes as stated in Law No. 33 of 2021, within a maximum period of one year from the date of the law’s implementation so that the date February 01, 2023 becomes the deadline for making these changes.

    Article 8 of the new law looks at the requirements that an employment contract needs to fulfil and how it would only be applicable for a maximum duration of three years. The details of the contract will vary depending on the model of work that the worker has been contracted for – full-time, part-time, temporary or flexible.

    For the full article click here

  • Mubadala teams up with G42 to set up a biopharma manufacturing campus in Abu Dhabi -

    Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Investment Company has joined forces with Group 42, the artificial intelligence and cloud computing company, to set up a biopharmaceutical manufacturing campus (Biopharma Campus) in the UAE capital.

    The new facility will tap into global vaccine and therapeutic products to strengthen regional supply chains and drive forward the country's diversification and economic growth agenda, the organisations said in a joint statement on Wednesday.

    “Through the establishment of this campus in partnership with G42 and our group companies, we are investing in innovation and reinforcing Abu Dhabi’s rapidly developing life sciences ecosystem,” said Musabbeh Al Kaabi, chief executive of UAE Investments at Mubadala.

    Bringing cutting-edge manufacturing technologies to the UAE will not only strengthen the Emirates’ biopharma supply chain and pandemic response, but also provide opportunities for local talent development and long-term, sustainable economic growth, he added.

    For the full article click here

  • Abu Dhabi's Etihad Airways spins off new company for support services -

    Many of Etihad Airways support services will be branched off into a new ADQ aviation company, it was announced on Thursday.

    Once the transaction is complete, Etihad Engineering, Etihad Airport Services Cargo, Etihad Airport Services Ground, Etihad Aviation Training, Etihad Secure Logistics and Etihad Technical Training will become part of the new entity.

    ADQ, one of the region’s largest holding companies, also has Abu Dhabi Airports and AD Ports Group in its portfolio.

    Additionally, two Etihad businesses will join Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Company (ADNEC). Etihad Airport Services Catering will combine with ADNEC’s catering business Capital Hospitality, and Etihad Holidays will join ADNEC’s tourism promotion business, Tourism 365.

    For the full article click here


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