From buying alcohol to new items that are subject to excise duty …
While Dubai continues to strive to make life in the city even easier for expat residents, the city introduces a number of rules and laws every year.
And 2019 was no exception, so here are seven rules and laws that were introduced in 2019 that you should know, from obtaining your liquor license to terminating your phone contract.
If you wanted to cancel your mobile phone contract in the United Arab Emirates early, you had to pay high fees beforehand. However, this should change as the UAE Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) introduced a new change. In a statement on Wednesday, March 20, the TRA said that the change will result in users being charged only a one-month early termination fee. This replaces the current rule, according to which network operators can charge a monthly fee multiplied by the number of contract months remaining. The TRA noted that the change had already been applied to new mobile phone contracts, and the network regulator is working to apply these changes to existing contracts in the “upcoming period”. This is expected to be completed in 2019.
The new UAE permanent visa was announced in May 2018, and in a tweet in March 2019, Sheikh Mohammed confirmed that the cabinet had started examining long-term visa applications. At the time, Sheikh Mohammed said that the new visa system would ensure that the UAE remained “a global incubator for talent and a permanent destination for pioneers”. As part of the first round of applications, around 6,800 people were granted an unlimited residence permit and the status of a gold card. According to the Dubai Ruler, these 6,800 inhabitants have collectively agreed to invest around Dh 100 billion.
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Acquisition of a liquor driving license
The process for residents wishing to purchase a liquor license in Dubai has been significantly simplified, making the license process significantly easier. Previously, the requirements for obtaining a license included a NOC letter from your employer, father, or husband, a rental agreement, and a salary certificate that generated a monthly income of over 3000 Dhs. Now all you have to do is submit your Emirates ID, passport copy, visa copy and passport photo. Once you have the four required documents, you can complete the Dhs270 application and payment online at the MMI or African + Eastern official website. You must be over 21 years old and not Muslim. If your application is approved, you can pick up the license from your chosen MMI or African and Eastern business and even get vouchers that you can spend in return.
Tourists buying alcohol
Tourists in the United Arab Emirates who apply for a visa here can now obtain a free license to purchase alcohol during their stay. In order to obtain their license, tourists must visit an African + Eastern or MMI liquor store with their original passport, fill out a short form and sign an official statement stating that they are not resident in the UAE and abide by the UAE rules Regulations related to alcohol purchasing and consumption. The store then takes a copy of the passport and entry stamp and issues the customer with a responsible drinking policy in Dubai. The license is valid for 30 days and can be extended if the tourist extends his stay. The process is free and is open to all non-Muslim visitors to the UAE if they are over 21 years of age.
The Dubai police have relaxed the rules on the repayment of fines in line with their safety initiative, which gives drivers of exemplary standard higher discounts over time. The initiative, launched in the Year of Tolerance, aims to promote safer driving by waiving up to 100 percent of the fines if a driver does not commit violations for an entire calendar year. However, residents noted that it would be difficult to take advantage of this benefit, as all fines should be clarified beforehand prior to the annual renewal of vehicle registration. The Dubai Police have instructed the Road and Transport Authority (RTA) to allow drivers to renew their cars without paying the fine. It is currently unclear when residents will have to pay them back if they do not receive the full discount. “The driver’s license of the vehicle will be renewed regardless of the amount of the fines accumulated or any recovery periods, or the number of offenses committed,” Maj. Abdullah Khalifa Al Marri, chief of Dubai police, said in May.
Blocking emergency vehicles
From July 1, 2019, drivers who do not hand in or move for emergency vehicles will have to pay an increased fine of Dhs 3,000 plus six black dots and 30 days of car confiscation. Previously, the fine was 1,000 Dhs plus six black dots. However, the Interior Ministry of the United Arab Emirates announced the increase on Monday, June 17. The ministry also issued guidelines on when and how vehicles should be given away to clarify road rules. It has been noted that some drivers do not give in to company cars, emergency and civil defense vehicles and ambulances, even when they hear the sirens or see the flashing lights of the cars, which endangers their lives and the lives of others. ‘
From December 1st: excise duty
The United Arab Emirates cabinet has announced plans to introduce an excise duty on e-cigarettes, vapes, and certain soft drinks. As of December 1, 2019, electronic smoking devices and the liquids used therein will be taxed 100 percent, while non-alcoholic drinks with added sugar and sweeteners will be taxed 50 percent. A complete list of the affected products has not yet been submitted. These products are added to the products that were first subject to excise duties when they were introduced on October 1, 2017. With the introduction of excise duty in Dubai, an excise duty of 100 percent for tobacco and energy drinks and 50 percent for tobacco and energy drinks introduced carbonated beverages (excluding carbonated water).
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