New measures implemented by the UAE authorities in response to COVID-19
  • By Charles Laubach, 8 April 2020

     
    Corporate and Commercial / COVID-19

     

    Below is a summary of key new measures and initiatives that have been implemented and announced by various UAE authorities since 6 April 2020 and the time of this inBrief, 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, 8 April 2020.
    Commercial and Government Activities
    Dubai extends closure of commercial activities
    On Tuesday, 7 April 2020, the Department of Economic Development (DED) announced in a statement on Twitter that Dubai has extended the closure of commercial activities until 18 April 2020 in line with the National Disinfection Programme and Stay Home initiatives to curb the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). During this period, vital and exempted support sectors will continue to operate as described in our previous inBriefs. 
    The DED announces the extension of Circular on closure of Government Transactions Centres 
    The DED announced today in a statement on Twitter that the Circular issued on 25 March 2020 on the closure of Government Transactions Centres is extended until 18 April 2020 in line with the National Disinfection Programme and Stay Home initiatives. During this time, government services will continue to be accessible through Smart channels.
    Free Zones
    Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) announces relief measures
    On Tuesday, 7 April 2020, the DFSA announced a number of relief measures to support their clients during this time of stress and uncertainty. These measures are aimed at both new firms setting up in the DIFC as well as existing authorised firms. 
    Regulatory relief measures for new firms setting up in the DIFC include:
    More time to complete the application and authorisation processes 
    A 50 per cent reduction in application fees for the remainder of 2020 and flexibility in requirements for permanent premises
    A waiver of registration fees for domestic funds for the remainder of 2020  
    Regulatory relief measures for existing authorised firms include:
    An extension of time for filing a number of returns and reports 
    Additional time, where reasonable, for submitting annual accounts and financial statement auditors report (with the exception of reporting entities)
    Flexibility in meeting authorised individual obligations 
    A waiver of fees for applications relating to authorised individuals 
    Temporary relief from capital requirements 
    A waiver of fees for applications for waivers and modifications and all automated late return fees for the remainder of 2020 
    A waiver of the listing fees for new SME issuers in the DIFC for the remainder of 2020
    Click here to access a copy of this announcement on the DFSA website. 
    Health and Safety
    Guidelines for construction workers and transportation permit 
    On Tuesday, 7 April 2020, the Dubai Municipality has issued a guidance document covering the precautionary measures to be followed in residences, buses and construction sites, as well as a document including a permit to transport construction workers in Dubai. The guidelines which were drafted by the Health & Safety Department and Building Control Department and include such measures as increased frequency of disinfection and cleaning, limited gatherings, and social and physical distancing of two  metres, have been structured to assist the owners or operators of labour accommodations to take preventive steps and counter the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak. 
    * * * *
    Please visit our COVID-19 Resource Centre for copies of all of our COVID-19 inBriefs and Legal Alerts. ■

    Below is a summary of key new measures and initiatives that have been implemented and announced by various UAE authorities since 6 April 2020 and the time of this inBrief, 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, 8 April 2020.

     

    Commercial and Government Activities

    Dubai extends closure of commercial activities

    On Tuesday, 7 April 2020, the Department of Economic Development (DED) announced in a statement on Twitter that Dubai has extended the closure of commercial activities until 18 April 2020 in line with the National Disinfection Programme and Stay Home initiatives to curb the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). During this period, vital and exempted support sectors will continue to operate as described in our previous inBriefs. 

    The DED announces the extension of Circular on closure of Government Transactions Centres 

    The DED announced today in a statement on Twitter that the Circular issued on 25 March 2020 on the closure of Government Transactions Centres is extended until 18 April 2020 in line with the National Disinfection Programme and Stay Home initiatives. During this time, government services will continue to be accessible through Smart channels.

     

    Free Zones

    Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) announces relief measures

    On Tuesday, 7 April 2020, the DFSA announced a number of relief measures to support their clients during this time of stress and uncertainty. These measures are aimed at both new firms setting up in the DIFC as well as existing authorised firms. 

    Regulatory relief measures for new firms setting up in the DIFC include:

    More time to complete the application and authorisation processes 

    A 50 per cent reduction in application fees for the remainder of 2020 and flexibility in requirements for permanent premises

    A waiver of registration fees for domestic funds for the remainder of 2020  

    Regulatory relief measures for existing authorised firms include:

    An extension of time for filing a number of returns and reports 

    Additional time, where reasonable, for submitting annual accounts and financial statement auditors report (with the exception of reporting entities)

    Flexibility in meeting authorised individual obligations 

    A waiver of fees for applications relating to authorised individuals 

    Temporary relief from capital requirements 

    A waiver of fees for applications for waivers and modifications and all automated late return fees for the remainder of 2020 

    A waiver of the listing fees for new SME issuers in the DIFC for the remainder of 2020

    Click here to access a copy of this announcement on the DFSA website. 

     

    Health and Safety

    Guidelines for construction workers and transportation permit 

    On Tuesday, 7 April 2020, the Dubai Municipality has issued a guidance document covering the precautionary measures to be followed in residences, buses and construction sites, as well as a document including a permit to transport construction workers in Dubai. The guidelines which were drafted by the Health & Safety Department and Building Control Department and include such measures as increased frequency of disinfection and cleaning, limited gatherings, and social and physical distancing of two  metres, have been structured to assist the owners or operators of labour accommodations to take preventive steps and counter the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak. 

     

    * * * *

     

    Please visit our COVID-19 Resource Centre for copies of all of our COVID-19 inBriefs and Legal Alerts. ■

     

     

     
    Download Update as PDF
     
    Back to Articles