As a firm we have a strong commitment to our corporate sustainability principles, and this year we joined the United Nations Global Compact, an initiative dedicated to promoting responsible business practices and advancing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Our goals include Education, gender equality, climate action, justice for all, and sustainable partnerships. You can learn about our actions plans and targets, here.
In this edition, we feature an entire section dedicated to COP28 where we share insights and intelligence through conversations we have had with leading experts from across the region. This includes articles and podcasts that delve into the most pertinent topics, such as COP28’s call to action for corporates, ESG reporting, and the UAE’s Net Zero vision.
Beyond the focus on Energy and Climate we feature articles covering important updates that look into a variety of areas, such as UAE consumer protection law, an overview of the Federal Civil Family Law for Non-Muslim Foreigners in the UAE, and from Kuwait we discuss the management of companies. As always, in our final section we continue to share with you real life judgements that provide context to the legal landscape in the region.Read the full edition
The new Federal Law No. 15 of 2020 on Consumer Protection (the “new Consumer Protection Law”) issued on 10 November 2020 repeals the previous Federal Law No. 24 of 2006.
The new Consumer Protection Law covers all goods and services within the UAE, including in free zones, and all related operations carried out by suppliers, advertisers or trade agents, including electronic commerce transactions if the supplier is so registered in the UAE.
The key provisions are summarised here:
The introduction of privacy and data security for consumers and the unauthorised use of consumers’ data (Article 4(5)). Suppliers and businesses now have an obligation to safeguard their consumers’ data, avoid using consumer data and information for marketing and promotion, and protect consumers’ religious values, customs and traditions when providing a commodity or receiving any service.
All e-commerce providers registered within the UAE shall be required to provide the consumers and competent authorities with their names, legal status, address, licensing authorities and sufficient information in Arabic on the services they provide, specifications, terms of contracting, payment and warranty terms (Article 25). These obligations do not apply to e-commerce providers based outside the UAE. Information made available to consumers, data, advertisements, contracts and invoices must be in Arabic, and other languages may also be used alongside Arabic at the supplier’s discretion (Article 8).
The new Consumer Protection Law stipulates more robust penalties for suppliers. Suppliers who falsely advertise products or services can face imprisonment of up to two years and a fine not exceeding AED 2 Million. This penalty will also apply to suppliers who do not remedy a defective product by repairing or replacing the products or services without charge. Penalties will be doubled in the event of recurrence.
It is intended that stricter penalties will offer further protection to consumers and ensure suppliers compliance with these new obligations.
Companies have a one year transition period to comply the provisions of new law (Article 33) from the date it came into force. Such a period may be extended by a resolution from the Cabinet.
The Cabinet will issue the Executive Regulation of this law upon a proposal from the Minister within six months from the date the new law was published in the Gazette, on 15th November 2020. The Executive Regulation, therefore, is expected to come into force by 15th May 2021.
We will, of course, provide a further update upon the issuance of the Executive Regulation.