September 2023 in review: News highlights

September 2023 in review: News highlights

UAE considers visa-free travel for GCC residents. 

The UAE is considering a new visa system to simplify travel for Gulf Cooperation Council residents, including Saudi Arabia. UAE Economy Minister Abdulla bin Touq Al Marri revealed the plan at a conference, stating it could be introduced soon. Currently, GCC citizens enjoy visa-free travel across borders, but foreign residents face visa requirements. This proposal could boost regional tourism and benefit expats and foreign workers in the Gulf nations.

Online updates for UAE residency permit and Emirates ID.

In the UAE, the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs, and Ports Security has introduced a new process for Emirates ID holders. Any changes made to residency details now trigger a request for an Emirates ID replacement. Residents can update their residency permit details online by following specific steps, which vary depending on where the visa was issued (Dubai or other Emirates). The process involves registering on the respective government website, attaching necessary documents, paying fees, and submitting the application.

UAE fines companies for missing Emiratization targets.

The UAE Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization (MoHRE) has reminded private sector companies with 50 or more employees about their semi-annual targets for achieving a 1 percent Emiratization rate in skilled jobs. This deadline is set for December 31, 2023. Failure to meet these Emiratization targets will result in fines, starting at AED42,000 per unemployed Emirati national, with annual increases of AED1,000 until 2026. The UAE government is committed to increasing the number of Emiratis in the private sector workforce as part of its economic development strategy. Emiratization aims to provide Emiratis with opportunities for participation in the country's economic growth and is not intended to discriminate against expatriate workers.

UAE Government issues corporate tax warning and deadline reminder.

The UAE government warns residents to rely on official announcements for accurate corporate tax information and to register by December 31, 2023, to avoid a AED5,000 penalty. They've established a dedicated website and call center for tax-related queries, emphasizing the importance of obtaining reliable tax information from official sources rather than social media or unofficial channels.