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Business Reforms in United Arab Emirates

Positive= Doing Business reform making it easier to do business.Negative= Change making it more difficult to do business.

DB2017:

Starting a Business: The United Arab Emirates made it easier to start a business by streamlining name reservation and articles of association notarization and merging registration procedures with the Ministry of Human Resources and General Pensions and Social Security Authority.

Dealing with Construction Permits: The United Arab Emirates made dealing with construction permits easier by implementing risk-based inspections and merging the final inspection into the process of obtaining a completion certificate.

Getting Electricity: The United Arab Emirates reduced the time required to obtain a new electricity connection by implementing a new program with strict deadlines for reviewing applications, carrying out inspections and meter installations. The United Arab Emirates also introduced compensation for power outages.

Registering Property: The United Arab Emirates made registering property easier by increasing the transparency at its land registry.

Protecting Minority Investors: The United Arab Emirates strengthened minority investor protections by increasing shareholder rights and role in major corporate decisions, clarifying ownership and control structures, and requiring greater corporate transparency.

Labor Market Regulation: The United Arab Emirates reduced the duration of a single fixed-term contract from 48 to 24 month.

DB2016:

Dealing with Construction Permits: The United Arab Emirates made dealing with construction permits easier by streamlining the process for obtaining the civil defense approval.

Getting Electricity: The United Arab Emirates made getting electricity easier by reducing the time needed to provide a connection cost estimate.

Protecting Minority Investors: The United Arab Emirates strengthened minority investor protections by barring a subsidiary from acquiring shares in its parent company and by requiring that a potential acquirer, upon reaching 50% or more of the capital of a company, make a purchase offer to all shareholders.

Enforcing Contracts: The United Arab Emirates made enforcing contracts easier by implementing electronic service of process, by introducing a new case management office within the competent court and by further developing the “Smart Petitions” service allowing litigants to file and track motions online.

DB2015:

Registering Property: The United Arab Emirates made transferring property easier by introducing new service centers and a standard contract for property transactions.

Getting Credit: In the United Arab Emirates the credit bureau improved access to credit information by starting to exchange credit information with a utility.

Protecting Minority Investors: The United Arab Emirates strengthened minority investor protections by introducing additional approval requirements for related-party transactions and greater requirements for disclosure of such transactions to the stock exchange; by introducing a requirement that interested directors be held liable in a related-party transaction that is unfair or constitutes a conflict of interest; and by making it possible for shareholders to inspect the documents pertaining to a related-party transaction, appoint auditors to inspect the transaction and request a rescission of the transaction if it should prove to be unfair.

DB2014:

Getting Electricity: The United Arab Emirates made getting electricity easier by eliminating the requirement for site inspections and reducing the time required to provide new connections.

Registering Property: The United Arab Emirates made transferring property easier by increasing the operating hours of the land registry and reducing transfer fees.

Protecting Minority Investors: The United Arab Emirates strengthened investor protections by introducing greater disclosure requirements for related-party transactions in the annual report and to the stock exchange and by making it possible to sue directors when such transactions harm the company.

DB2013:

Starting a Business: The United Arab Emirates made starting a business easier by eliminating the requirement for a company to prepare a name board in English and Arabic after having received clearance on the use of office premises.

Getting Electricity: In the United Arab Emirates the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority made getting electricity easier by introducing an electronic “one window, one step” application process allowing customers to submit and track their applications online and reducing the time for processing the applications.

Paying Taxes: The United Arab Emirates made paying taxes easier for companies by establishing an online filing and payment system for social security contributions.

DB2012:

Starting a Business: The United Arab Emirates made starting a business easier by merging the requirements to file company documents with the Department for Economic Development, to obtain a trade license and to register with the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Getting Credit: The United Arab Emirates improved its credit information system through a new law allowing the establishment of a federal credit bureau under the supervision of the central bank.

DB2011:

Getting Credit: The United Arab Emirates enhanced access to credit by setting up a legal framework for the operation of the private credit bureau and requiring that financial institutions share credit information.

Trading across Borders: The United Arab Emirates streamlined document preparation and reduced the time to trade with the launch of Dubai Customs’ comprehensive new customs system, Mirsal 2.

DB2010:

Starting a Business: The United Arab Emirates made starting a business easier by abolishing the minimum capital requirement and simplifying documentation requirements for registration, including by eliminating the requirement to show proof of deposit of capital.

Dealing with Construction Permits: The United Arab Emirates made dealing with construction permits less time consuming by improving its online system for obtaining no-objection certificates, building permits and completion certificates.

Trading across Borders: The United Arab Emirates made trading across borders easier through greater capacity at the container terminal in Dubai, elimination of the requirement for a terminal handling receipt and improvements in the banking sector reducing the cost of trade finance products.

DB2009:

Getting Credit: The United Arab Emirates improved access to credit information by establishing a new private credit bureau that collects information on all loans and by guaranteeing borrowers’ right to inspect their own credit data in the new bureau.

Enforcing Contracts: The United Arab Emirates made enforcing contracts easier by introducing electronic filing for court documents.

DB2008:

Starting a Business: The United Arab Emirates made starting a business easier by allowing publication of the company records at the Department of Economic Development.

Labor Market Regulation: The United Arab Emirates abolished the requirement for severance payments.