Our first edition of 2022 focuses on Healthcare and Life Sciences. It is a sector that will once again have the spotlight on it this year as we continue to tackle COVID-19 and its subsequent variants. While the pandemic continues to challenge the sector, governments across the region forge ahead with their plans to expand and upgrade healthcare systems and develop robust world-class healthcare infrastructure.
For the region, healthcare is a vital pillar in diversifying its economies, both locally and as medical tourism hubs. To underpin this, healthcare authorities across the region continue to implement frameworks and regulations that provide structure and accountability.
In this edition, you have unique access to great insights and expert commentary on a number of pertinent healthcare regulatory developments. You will find a topical mix of articles; for example, our lawyers discuss vaccines and returning to work during the pandemic. They take you through several other areas, including stem cell research in Bahrain, clinical research laws in Egypt, and Saudi medical device and pharmaceutical laws.Take a read of the edition
Over the past couple of years, there has been rapid development in the FinTech space. In response to such developments, the UAE Central Bank (“Central Bank”) has issued the Stored Value Facilities Regulation (“Regulation”), dated 30 September 2020 (released in November 2020). The Regulation was published in the Official Gazette on 15 October 2020 and comes into effect on 15 November 2020. The Regulation replaces and repeals the ‘Regulatory Framework for Stored Values and Electronic Payment Systems’ (the “Framework”) previously issued by the Central Bank in 2016. The transition period is one year from the effective date of the Regulation.
The scope of the Regulation includes licensing and the ongoing supervisory and oversight requirements and related enforcement action in relation to the provision of Stored Value Facilities (“SVF”) in the UAE. The Financial Free Zones continue to be outside the remit. However, if financial institutions in any Financial Free Zone intend to conduct SVF related business in the UAE onshore, such financial institutions would be required to obtain a license of the Central Bank.
The key highlights are essentially a more streamlined application process for licensing, inclusion of the regulation and licensing of activities in relation to crypto-assets and virtual assets, the ability to obtain a license without having to partner with commercial banks, regulation of cross border offerings of SVFs into the UAE and recognition of e-KYC processes for such business activity. Additionally, a requirement has been introduced for the provision of independent assessments in seven areas by qualified assessors (these areas are corporate governance and risk management; float management; technology risk management; payment security management; business continuity management; business conduct and Customer protection; and AML/CFT control systems).
The UAE is at the forefront of innovation and the issuance of the Regulation is timely to create a stimulus in the payments industry in the UAE in accordance with international standards. It will provide an easier access to international SVF providers to the UAE market.