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In brief Our Middle East Tax Newsletter aims to provide you with regular updates, insights and practical guidance on the tax implications of doing business in the region. In this issue, we provide a roundup of the current status of Value Added Tax (VAT) and the most recent tax related developments across the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), as well as their implications on the financial position of businesses. Oman VAT On 12 October 2020, it…

In brief Recent developments in the labour laws of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia and Bahrain have been issued to bridge the gender- pay gap between men and women. The updates have been in relation to: (i) prohibiting discrimination, whether in pay or otherwise, between male and female employees who carry out the same job in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain; (ii) introducing paternity leave in the UAE; and (iii) granting female…

In brief Following a public consultation period which commenced in December 2019, on 25 August 2020, the Capital Markets Authority (CMA) of Saudi Arabia announced that it had issued amendments to the Securities Business Regulations (SBRs) and the Authorised Persons Regulations (APRs). The ‘new APRs’ are now known as the ‘Capital Market Institutions Regulations’ (CMIRs), following the terminology change from ‘Authorised Persons’ (APs) to ‘Capital Market Institutions’ (CMIs). These amendments represent the first comprehensive revision…

Baker McKenzie launches a new and expanded edition of the Cross-Border Enforcement Center, a high-level comparative analysis of the enforcement of court judgments and arbitration awards across 44 jurisdictions, including the United Arab Emirates (UAE). At the height of a pandemic, companies around the world are bracing themselves for an increase in disputes, the first signs of which are already starting to emerge. These include disputes over contracts, property and payment defaults, amongst others. As…

Against the backdrop of continued business and societal disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, M&A activity in the Middle East still showcased some stability in the first quarter of 2020, increasing in value by over USD 5 billion and in volume by 6 additional deals in comparison to Q4 2019, according to the latest report by global law firm Baker McKenzie*. “It is evident that the current global situation has caused a slow down…