Business in Dubai

dubai expat life

Private Employers Cannot Sack Emiratis, Law Passed

The Ministry of Laboure has passed a regulation, virtually banning the termination of UAE nationals from private sector.

The sacking of Emiratis will be unlawful if:

– the worker has not violated the labour law.
– expatriates are doing the same job that the sacked Emirati used to do.

The company will have to notify the ministry 30 days in advance in case of terminating an Emirati.

After the notification, the ministry will enter into a discussion with the employer and employees and try to investigate the reasons behind the termination, and based on that the ministry will inform the company of the requirements within 15 days of the notification.

This regulation, more or less, put Emiratis above any accountability at the work place (as if they give a damn at this moment). It came in the wake of statement by Dubai Police chief, saying Dubai police will commercially boycott such companies.

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Law to ban private sector companies from sacking Emiratis

It has now been confirmed that what was quoted by Dubai Police Chief was not a mis-interpretation, as suggested by some media articles, but something that has been considered to be implemented as a Law in Dubai.

National Human Resource Development and Employment Authority (Tanmia) has submitted a draft proposal to the Ministry of Labour under which cases pertaining to the termination of Emiratis working in the private sector are to be evaluated.

The proposal suggests that the termination of Emiratis in private sector companies is to be considered arbitrary unless the employee has violated the labour law.

The Tanmia proposal also stipulates that any company in the private sector forced to terminate Emiratis as part of restructuring policies aimed at increasing competitiveness, review of production costs in tough times, or in cases involving mergers between companies should duly inform the ministry of labour about such a move before any decision.

Also, as per the proposal, no company will be allowed to sack an Emirati before it has exhausted all avenues to find a suitable solution.

The proposal outlines a number of steps that a company should mandatorily satisfy before terminating Emiratis such as implementing a part-time system, repackaging salaries on the condition that they don’t go below the minimum wage for Emiratis (which is between Dh3,000-Dh5,000 – depending on the qualifications), relocating them within the company or training them to handle other positions in the company.

Additionally, an employer in the private sector will also not be allowed to terminate an Emirati on the pretext that he/she does not have the required qualifications and skills, if the employee has completed her/his probation period.

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Cheating Expats in Dubai taking Rent-a-Car companies for Ride

expats cheating rent a car companies in dubai
As if expats dumping their cars and fleeing credit liabilities in Dubai was not enough, a recent report by Khaleej Times highlights how some cheating expats have taken rent-a-car companies for ride. Rental companies have shared their frustatio and despair over clients damaging cars, not paying violation fees, and sometimes not returning the vehicles at all, infact not coming back to collect their passports / identification documents.

In Sharjah, around 250 rented cars that were dumped by the renters were recovered by the police and handed back to the companies in 2008. Car rental agencies reported 386 cars as missing in the same year.

The General Department of Criminal Investigation of Dubai Police received 50 complaints in this regard in 2008. In some cases, the police forced the renters to pay the dues amicably instead of referring them to the court.

The police have suggested to the companies to enter the number of a valid credit card of anyone who wants to take a vehicle on rent.

“Although it is illegal to keep someone else’s passport, we are forced to keep them as deposits to protect our rights. But that has become ineffective as many renters have left their passports with us for years and never turned up to pay their dues and get the documents back,” said Badr Al Deen Abdull Raziq, manager of Al Tayseer Rent-A-Car in Sharjah. His company has suffered a loss of Dh300,000 due to such renters.

“At present, I have the labour card of a person named Ottuparakal Vasu Sanil from India who has not shown up for the past two years. He dumped the car somewhere. I had to lodge a complaint with the Sharjah Police whose patrol recovered it and handed it back to us. His dues had run into Dh30,000 and it’s very difficult to find him as he might have left the country somehow,” he said.

Abdull Razaq, owner of another company in Sharjah, said a renter, identified as Narayana, who came on visit visa, took a car on rent three years ago and didn’t come to take his passport and pay the dues which had gone up top Dh48,000. He left the car behind the company’s premises.

The owner of another company, who did not want to be named, said a visitor, Kuthirakode Abdulla Kunhi, took a car on rent three years ago and left his passport with the company.

“I wonder how this man has managed to leave the country if he has done it,” he said.

Bu Khatir, manager of a car rental company in Dubai, said that some of the customers take vehicles on rent and rent them out to others. Some such people do not pay the dues or even sell the vehicles.

“I had to face a case of a renter, Husham Abdullah, who rented out a car taken from us two years ago to an Iraqi man who stole the car and disappeared. Husham’s uncle had to ultimately pay the total price of the Land Cruiser,” he said.

Colonel Saif Muhair Al Mazroui, Deputy Director of the General Department of Traffic in Dubai, said once they get such a complaint, a circular with descriptions and registration number of the car as well as the number of the passport is sent to all exit and entrance points and the police departments in the country.

The police patrols also have the information and they search for the vehicle within the emirate.

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British Consultancy Firm Mace Group Moving Staff From Dubai To Saudi Arabia

Another news that speaks of incoming recession in Dubai. According to the report, a British consultancy and construction firm has relocated a number of staff from its Dubai office to work on projects in Saudi Arabia, due to the construction slowdown in the emirate.

Mace, a global firm with offices across the GCC, is using its existing staff from Dubai to staff its offices in Saudi Arabia and France, however no total figures are available.

Mace is working on a number of projects in Dubai which have been affected by the credit crunch including the Asia Asia hotel at Bawadi.

Khaliji: Common Gulf Currency to launch in 2010

Khaliji

Khaliji: Common Gulf Currency to be launched in 2010.

The Gulf common currency is just 12 months away. Economists at the Dubai International Financial Centre have tentatively named the new common currency the “Khaliji”. Although the baptism is not yet officially approved, DIFC economists are hopeful that the proposed name will find favour with the decision makers.

“While the name does not associate or sound like any of the existing currencies of the Gulf States, it does reflect the attribute of the region to which all the states belong,” said Dr Nasser Al Saidi, chief economist of the Dubai International Financial Centre.

dubai expat life

Property and Real Estate Companies Cutting Jobs in Dubai

nakheelDubai has felt the heat of global recession and at least property and real estate sectors are already in downsizing mode.

Nakheel, Dubai’s real estate master developer, made 500 people (or 15 per cent of its global workforce) redundant while scaling back projects.

This is the second biggest confirmed job cut in the UAE so far, and comes after two developers, Damac and Omniyat confirmed a total of 269 – 200 by Damac and 69 by Omniyat.

All other major developers have earlier said they are revising headcount downwards, as business activities in Dubai’s real estate has come close to a near halt.

Tamweel and Amlak to merge into a Realty Bank

Amlak Finance PJSC and Tamweel PJSC, the two leading UAE real estate finance providers, will be merged into a new entity under the umbrella of the Real Estate Bank (a government owned entity).

– The Real Estate Bank (REB) was founded in 1990 to support the building sector and provide appropriate housing for UAE citizens by supporting the Shaikh Zayed Housing Programme. It has more than 7,000 customers.

– Amlak is the UAE’s leading Sharia-compliant finance provider with assets worth Dh14.2 billion in the first half of 2008. Tamweel is a leading property finance provider whose assets in the same period were worth more than Dh10.8 billion.

With smoke of global recession reaching Dubai’s shores, there will be more mergers in days to come.