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This article looks back on recent developments and attempts to predict what else may be enacted during 2017.
Centre for Amicable Settlement of Disputes
The Director General Office of Dubai Courts has issued an Administrative Decision no. 33 of 2017 (“Decision”) concerning the jurisdiction of the Centre for Amicable Settlement of Disputes (“Centre”). The Decision excludes the following disputes from the Centre’s jurisdiction:
The Decision is an important change to the current practice in Dubai, which required banks to file their cases before the Centre prior to filing it with the Court of First Instance, which impacted the cost and timelines.
The Decision was effective on 12 March 2017.
Dubai has also issued Penal Order Law No. 1 of 2017 to establish a misdemeanour court to fast track certain offences.
Of particular interest to financial institutions will be the inclusion of two offences related to cheques, being:
UAE Central Bank Regulation of Electronic Payment Systems
The Regulatory Framework for Stored Values and Electronic Payment Systems Regulation (the “EPS Regulation”) was issued by the UAE Central Bank pursuant to the Cabinet Decision No.6/6 of 2016 and was effective as of 1 January 2017. The EPS Regulation has been long awaited by the banking industry and marks the formal issuance of regulations by the UAE Central Bank that recognises, governs and licenses the fast growing business of digital payment services. The EPS Regulation enables the issuance of Digital Money and Payment Instruments involving the United Arab Emirates Dirham.
The UAE Securities and Commodities Authority Promotion and Introduction regulations
The SCA issued a new regulation, Board Decision No. (3/R.M) of 2017 regarding the Promotion and Introduction Regulations (the ‘Promotion Regulations’). The Promotion Regulations were published in the Federal Gazette No. 611 on 31 January 2017 and came into force on 1 February 2017. Although the Promotion Regulations are currently in force, implementation is uncertain and clarifications from SCA are awaited.
UAE Federal Law No. (20) of 2016 on Mortgage over Movables
The Mortgage of Movables Law became effective in March 2017. The Law changes the regime for security over moveable assets and creates a public security register for such security. The Cabinet Resolution contemplated by the law is yet to be issued.
UAE Federal Law No 9 of 2016 concerning Bankruptcy
The new Bankruptcy Law came into force on 29 December 2016, placing greater emphasis on restructuring and work out solutions.
UAE Central Bank Regulation of Capital Adequacy
The UAE Central Bank has issued new regulations to ensure capital adequacy of all banks operating in the UAE in accordance with Basel III. The Regulatory Framework for Capital Adequacy was effective as of 1 February 2017.
Dubai Financial Market launches of a trading platform for exchange-traded funds (ETFs)
Dubai Financial Market has launched a trading platform which provides ongoing support to rapidly growing the EFT industry.
Other Securities and Commodities Authority regulations and updates
SCA has recently issued various new regulations which include:
What is likely for the remainder of 2017?
It is not always possible to predict with any certainty legislative developments in the UAE, especially the timing of enactment. However laws and regulations which could be on the horizon include:
For further information on any of the laws and regulations mentioned in this article, please contact the Banking and Finance team at Al Tamimi.
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