Samer Qudah - Partner, Head of Corporate Structuring - Corporate Structuring

Welcome to our August issue of Law Update, I hope you and your families are keeping well.

This month we focus on the Education sector – a timely subject, with students returning to school after a long period of online learning and summer vacation. With COVID-19 posing significant challenges for many industries, Ivor McGettigan, Head of our Education Sector, and the regional team, take a 360 look at the impact of COVID-19 on one of the most affected areas of the economy. In his Opening Statement, Ivor provides an overview of his team’s thoughts on the consequences of COVID-19 for education in the region and investigates a number of fields including, amongst others, digitalisation, the pros and cons of relying on technology as an educational tool, and the increasing appeal of PPP in the region’s education sector. Also, keep an eye out for all the wonderful works of art included in this edition – there’s a special meaning behind them which Ivor also explains in his Opening Statement.

Ivor and the team also report back on their recent EdWeb 2020 webinar series, which saw our team, joined by experts from around the world, sharing their views on the future of the education sector; a brief overview follows with summaries of the ideas, thoughts and suggestions emerging from this webinar series. We look forward to the next edition of the EdWeb 2020 series, which will start in November.

Turning to our General section, our teams across the region cover a number of current topics which I’m sure will be of interest.

In the UAE, our experts take a look at the new form of crypto assets, now known as virtual assets, and reflect on how the amended regime now streamlines regulated activities.

Our Commercial Advisory lawyers reflect on the amendments to the UAE’s Commercial Agencies Law, the enactment of which has been described as the most significant change to the UAE Commercial Agency Law in the past ten years.

In our article on the Ministry of Housing’s 2020 Regulation on Jointly Owned Property (‘JOP’), which came into force on 9 September, our Real Estate lawyers cover the key ‘need to know’ points. The new rules represent the first significant overhaul of the JOP regulations in over 17 years. This change is particularly significant for real estate developers, since failure to comply with the new disclosure requirements could provide a purchaser with the right to terminate a sale and purchase agreement.

Also in this edition, our Real Estate team explores the new restrictions on GCC nationals’ rights to own properties in Bahrain and Oman.

Comparing local law with free zone law, our UAE Litigation team examines remedies for shareholders under the company laws of the UAE and the Dubai International Financial Centre (‘DIFC’) and confirms that a prejudiced shareholder is not entitled to sue on behalf of the company.

Finally, a landmark judgment on ship arrests under UAE Law provokes some interesting considerations, including whether it could be argued that the ship arrest procedures, set out in Maritime Law, should prevail over those laid out in the Civil Procedures Law.

I hope you find this issue informative. Should you have any queries about any of our topics, please do not hesitate to reach out.