The final Law Update of 2022 is here, and it’s packed full of articles. The double edition features two focus areas, first is a spotlight on Energy and Resources and second we feature a collection of articles on Transport and Logistics. The developments occurring in these sectors in the MENA region are unprecedented and our lawyers cover vast themes for you.
The Energy and Resources focus features topics such as diversifying energy resources, solar PV, mining in the Middle East, renewable energy and green hydrogen. From a transport perspective, we draw attention to the Bahrain metro project, discuss the challenges and remedies associated with the repossession of an aircraft, and there is advice on what to consider should a party vary the terms of a shipping contract.
This edition navigates you through updates from across jurisdictions such as, Oman, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Iraq, Qatar, and the UAE. Each article is timely and provides insights into legal issues and cases that are affecting these sectors across the region.Read the full edition
The Qatar Central Bank (the “QCB”) has issued a general warning published on its website regarding trading of, or dealing in, virtual assets and currencies or tools that control them. The warning has been issued in response to news published on social media regarding offering of unlicensed financial services in Qatar by unlicensed financial institutions, in particular in respect of virtual assets trading platform. The QCB has previously issued two circulars (discussed below) setting out its stance relating to virtual assets and services in Qatar
The warning issued by the QCB is in line with, and reiterates, its decisions issued under Circular No. 6 of 2018 relating to trading in bitcoins (“QCB 2018 Circular”) and Circular No. 46 of 2019 relating to Virtual Assets and Virtual Assets Service Providers (“QCB 2019 Circular”). Under the QCB 2018 Circular and QCB 2019 Circular, the QCB declared that:
The QCB considers these are not issued against liability from a central bank or a government for exchange of its value in return of issued currency, or clearing liability, or global commodity, or gold and involves high risks such as major value fluctuation (volatility), risk of being used in financial crimes or cybercrimes.
According to the QCB 2019 Circular, a “Virtual Asset” includes anything of value that acts as a substitute for currency, that can be digitally traded or transferred and can be used for payment or investment purposes, excluding fiat currencies and other monetary instruments. Additionally, “Virtual Asset Services” includes one or more of the following activities or operations:
In its warning, the QCB has stated that it will take legal acting against any provider of virtual assets and services without obtaining a license.
The Banking & Finance team at Al Tamimi & Company, Qatar is well placed to advise clients on the QCB laws and regulations and the offering of financial services and activities in Qatar.
If you require further information or advice, please feel free to contact us.