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New Rules and Laws introduced in Dubai in 2019

27 July 2019

Dubai introduces several new rules and laws every year, in order to make the life of expat residents easier, and the year 2019 has been no exception. From getting your liquor license to cancelling your phone contract, here are some laws introduced in 2019 that you should know about while in Dubai.

Visa Amendments

Long-term Visas

The new permanent residency visa was announced in May 2018 in the UAE. Meanwhile, a tweet in March 2019 said that the cabinet has begun reviewing applications for long-term visas. The new visa system is aimed at ensuring that UAE remains a global incubator for talents and a permanent destination for pioneers.  In the first round of applications, 6800 residents have so far been granted permanent residency and gold card status. These residents collectively pledged investments of nearly Dh.100bn, the Dubai Ruler said.

Family Visa Rules

Starting this year, educational background or profession will no longer be considered for issuing family visas. Instead, the income of the sponsor would be the only criteria to be considered. So, irrespective of whether you are a manager or a degree holder, you will be allowed to sponsor family members. Now, any male resident employed in UAE can sponsor his family, provided his minimum salary is Dh.4000 or Dh.3000 plus accommodation.

Two-year Residency Permit for 18 yr olds

According to a new decision by the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship, UAE residents can now renew residency visas of their 18-year old dependents for up to two consecutive years, irrespective of whether they are secondary school or university graduates. This implies that the Residence Permit would now be valid for a one year period, and can be renewed every additional year. The dependents would be eligible for this benefit from the date of completion of their secondary education, or after just having graduated from the university, or on reaching the age of 18 years.

The authority announced that it is not necessary for guardians to apply under humanitarian appeals, which otherwise requires a deposit of Dh.5000. The applicants can apply through any of the Residency and Naturalization offices, or other government-approved outlets for a fee of Dh.100 for residency permits, or their renewal for a year.

New rules in Dubai in 2019

Mobile contracts

According to a new amendment announced in March this year, by the UAE Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA), if you exit your mobile contract early, you will only be charged a one-month fee. Earlier users had to shell out hefty fees to exit their contract, which involves payment of a monthly fee multiplied by the remaining months of the contract.  The amendment has already been effective in case of fresh mobile contracts, and the TRA is already working to introduce these rules to existing contracts soon. This is expected to be ready this year.

Purchase of alcohol and liquor license rules

Liquour Licence Rules

Liquor Expat residents planning to purchase a liquor license in Dubai can now heave a sigh of relief, as it is now much easier to obtain a license. Earlier, the requirements to obtain a license included an NOC letter from employer, husband, or father, tenancy contract and salary certificate with an earning of at least more than Dh.3000 per month. But now, you just have to submit your application with copy of Emirates ID, copy of passport, copy of visa and a passport photo. Once you have all these documents, you can complete the application and pay Dh.270 online on the MMI (https://mmiliquorlicence.com) or African + Eastern official site (http://www.alcoholicencedubai.com). However, you need to be over 21 years of age and should be a non-Muslim. Once your application is approved, you can collect the license from your chosen MMI or African and Eastern store.

For purchasing alcohol

Tourists on visit visa are now eligible to legally purchase alcohol during their stay. To obtain this, tourists will have to visit an MMI or African + Eastern liquor store with their original passport, fill in a short form and sign an official declaration stating that they are not an UAE resident, and will abide by the UAE’s regulations with regards to purchase of alcohol, and consumption. You should handover a copy of both of your passport and entry stamp and you would be issued a guideline from the store, with all details asked. The licence, so-obtained would be valid for 30 days, and can be renewed if the tourist chooses to overstay.  The process is free of charge and is applicable only to non-Muslims over the age of 21.

Relaxed Car Renewal rule

The Dubai Police has relaxed the rules on fine repayment in-line with safety initiative wherein increased discounts are given over time to drivers of exemplary standards.

Launched in the Year of Tolerance, this initiative aims to improve safe driving, by offering 100 percent off fines if a driver does not commit any violation for a full calendar year. But, it was difficult to use this perk, as all previous fines should be cleared before annual car registration and renewal

Now, the Dubai Police has instructed the RTA to allow drivers to renew their car license without clearing their fines. The licence of the vehicle will be renewed regardless of the amount or accumulated fines or any periods of confiscation imposed on the cars, or the number of offences committed, the Dubai Police Chief, Maj. Gen. Abdullah Al Marri said in May.

Making way for emergency Vehicles

Motorists who do not give away or move for emergency vehicles will now face an increased fine of Dh.3000, six black points and 30 days of car impoundment. This is effective 1st July 2019. Earlier the fine was Dh.1000 and six black points. But, the UAE’s Ministry of Interior has now announced the increase on 17th June.

The Ministry has also released guidance on when and how vehicles should give way to official cars, emergency vehicles, civil defence vehicles and ambulances, and pointed out that some vehicle drivers are not doing so even when they hear the sirens or see the cars’ flashing lights, thereby endangering their lives and also the lives of others.

Relocation of 'pink' Metro Cabins

The ‘pink cabins’ on Dubai Metro, meant for women and children, is now being relocated to offer better comfort and privacy to passengers. The RTA is relocating its female cabins to one end of the train, with the new cabins being moved to the end opposite of the gold class, and the mixed cabins would remain in the central region. The signage has also been moved accordingly to make the new location clear to passengers. RTA plans to complete the project by August 2019. Furthermore, men found standing in the pink cabins would be subject to a fine of Dh.100, as the purpose of women and children cabins are to provide space and comfort for female travellers.

Robin Vinod

Writer/blogger who writes on topics such as travel, real estate, employment and everyday life on GCC countries.

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