October 3, 2016

MENA Corporate News

Welcome to the October edition of Clyde & Co’s MENA Corporate newsletter. In this issue we cover:

UAE Competition Law

The UAE Cabinet has issued resolutions setting out the relevant percentage thresholds applicable under the Competition Law. In particular, the threshold for dominant position and for notifiable economic concentrations has been set at 40% of the relevant market. All relevant legislation required to understand the Law has now been issued.

New Companies Laws: GCC Comparisons

During the last 12 months, we have seen each of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), Qatar and the UAE adopt new commercial companies laws. In this article, we compare and contrast these new laws and look at some of the key themes emerging across the three jurisdictions.

What does it mean to be a General Manager (GM) in the UAE?

The GM under UAE law is a corporate officer, charged with a number of legal duties. As the company’s representative "on the ground" in the UAE, it is important for the GM to understand the full extent of his or her responsibilities and potential liabilities.

Other key legal updates since our last newsletter include:

  • The recent announcement that the UAE Cabinet has approved the final draft of the much-anticipated new Federal Insolvency Law. The draft will now be submitted to the Federal National Council for approval and is expected to be finalised in a matter of months. Press reports indicate that the proposed draft includes flexible new strategies to bail out businesses in financial distress. Significantly, the new law is also reported to contain provisions regarding the decriminalisation of bounced cheques - a move aimed at encouraging business owners to stay and work to restructure their debts rather than fleeing the country. We will publish future updates as and when more information becomes available.
  • The recent announcement that 100% foreign ownership in KSA will now be permitted in the retail sector, subject to the foreign investor fulfilling certain conditions. (see our Update for further information and analysis - click here).
  • The clarification by the UAE Ministry of Economy as to which provisions relating to Public Joint Stock Companies are carried over to LLCs by virtue of Article 104 of the Law (see our Update for further information and analysis - click here). The UAE Cabinet has also recently approved a proposal by H.E. Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy, to extend the period for existing companies in the UAE to comply with the provisions of the UAE Companies Law, by one year.

We hope that you find this newsletter a useful and informative read. If you have any feedback or comments, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Phil O’Riordan, Regional Head of Corporate