Al-Mirsal

Insights and commentary on legal developments in the Middle East

United Arab Emirates (UAE) free zones are attractive jurisdictions for early and growth-stage companies. Free zones are designed to encourage startups and foreign investors through simpler processes and procedures, permiting 100% foreign ownership. However, the more than 45 free zones in the UAE each have their own  rules and regulations, so choosing the right free zone can be a complicated decision. Latham & Watkins, in partnership with VentureSouq, has developed the UAE Free Zone Navigator,…
International and local health providers in the UAE are increasingly looking to provide telemedicine services in the region. While the regulation of telemedicine remains inconsistent across the country, Dubai seems to be leading the way with significant regulatory developments in 2017. Federal Regulatory Landscape To market healthcare services in the UAE, a healthcare provider must establish a legal presence, hold a commercial licence to do business in the UAE (or in a free zone in…
Four of Latham & Watkins’ leading emerging company partners in Silicon Valley, Luke Bergstrom, Tad Freese, Jim Morrone and JD Marple, recently hosted a webinar titled “Achieving Successful Outcomes as a Non-US Company Investing in or Acquiring Technology Companies in Silicon Valley”. The webinar can be viewed here. In this blog we have sought to draw out some of the key observations in the webinar that are relevant to Middle East entities considering investing…
The compliance world will change dramatically for a number of GCC organizations on 25 May 2018. In just over one year’s time GCC organizations that: have a branch, subsidiary or single representative in the European Union (“EU”); do not have a physical presence in the EU, but offer goods or services to data subjects in the EU; or neither have a physical presence in the EU nor offer goods or services to people in the…
The use of “unmanned aerial systems” or “drones” for commercial, government and consumer purposes has significantly increased in recent years across the globe. In the UAE, the office of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, introduced the Drones for Good Award at the Government Summit held in Dubai in February 2014 to promote the development of drone technology in the consumer market in the UAE. This post explores…
This is the first in a series of articles considering legal issues relating to bitcoin, cryptocurrencies and blockchain in the UAE. In this article we focus on the legal status of bitcoin and address the question of whether bitcoin is banned in the UAE. In part two we will consider the case for regulating bitcoin and cryptocurrencies and in part three we will consider legal issues relating to the adoption of blockchain technology by public…
New Regulations balance innovation in the payments sector with safety, security and maintaining the public’s trust in the UAE payment ecosystem. After a long period of consultation, on 1 January 2017 the Central Bank in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) issued the Regulatory Framework for Stored Values and Electronic Payment Systems (Electronic Payment Regulation). The Electronic Payment Regulation’s key message is that all eligible participating institutions (whether they are banks, payment networks, telecommunications companies, government…
By Jennifer C. Archie, Gail Crawford, Andrew Moyle, Serrin A. Turner, and Brian Meenagh Given the potential reputational, legal and financial fallout from a cybersecurity incident, thoughtful preparation and communication throughout an organization can deliver substantial and valuable benefits and minimize legal and reputation risk. While no one can predict when or how a cybersecurity breach will occur, organizations should take active steps to prepare. The following five actions can help…
The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) is home to 14 of the 33 most water scarce countries globally, with six times less water availability than the worldwide average and less than 2 percent of the world’s renewable water supply. The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states – Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Oman – all rank in the top 10 most water scarce countries. The water crisis in the…