No arrests until 24th May, cuts in bills ordered

By Eudore R. Chand

UAE 26 March 2020: The Abu Dhabi Judicial Department (ADJD), has suspended enforcement procedures of arrest orders and imprisonment of individuals, except in maintenance and labour enforcement cases.

Abu Dhabi Police Directorates, External Areas, Al Ain and Al Dhafra, have been instructed not to arrest anyone until 24th May, 2020, while maintaining circulars on the system to prevent those wanted from travelling outside the UAE.

Counsellor Yousef Saeed Al Ebri, Under-Secretary of the ADJD, explained that these procedures will support members of the society and alleviate the burdens and circumstances that result from the current situation, said Wam.

Rights of creditors will be preserved by preventing those who are wanted from leaving the country until their situation has been settled by the law [see below].

Al Ebri pointed to the role of the Enforcement Department of the ADJD, which took all the procedural steps not to issue any decisions of arrest or imprisonment in cases of civil and commercial execution and rents until the expiry of the two-month deadline, and to suspend the enforcement of any eviction in rental cases, in addition to stopping the registration of any enforcement case issued in this regard.

This is in addition to the issuance of any enforcement action in civil cases, such as arrest orders, imprisonment and seizures of bank accounts, cars, shares and properties, except for issues of alimony and labour enforcement.

Cuts in water, electricity bills ordered

The UAE cabinet approved a decision to reduce water and electricity bill of shopping malls, commercial shops, hotels, hotel apartments, and plants, by 20 percent for a period of 3 months starting from April 2020, worth a total amount of Dh86 million.

These commercial and industrial facilities will also benefit from 6 months payment deferral of water and electricity connection’s installments, and 3 months freeze of service reconnection fines, which varies from Dh3,000- Dh5,000, starting from April; in addition to waiver of the 20 percent electricity connection’s administrative fees for the period of 3 months effective from April.

Earlier this week, the cabinet approved Dh16 billion additional economic stimulus to support the local economy, in addition to the stimulus packages announced by Abu Dhabi, Dubai and the Central Bank, which amount to a total of Dh126.5 billion.

Dubai suspends rent imprisonment, evictions

Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Judicial Council H.H. Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, issued directives to suspend eviction judgments relating to residential and commercial facilities.

The suspension of eviction judgments is applicable to judgments issued in March and April and not applicable to abandoned homes.

Sheikh Maktoum also suspended imprisonment judgments on all rental related cases.

The gesture reflects the leadership’s humanitarian considerations at a time when people are facing challenges. Sheikh Maktoum affirmed that the leadership is keen to help all members of the community, adding that the UAE places the highest priority on human values and safeguarding the well-being of people and families.

UAE launches fund to unify anti-coronavirus efforts

The UAE launched a fund for unifying national efforts to combat the coronavirus, Covid-19, pandemic.

Titled “The Fund of the United Arab Emirates: Homeland of Humanity”, the fund has been launched in coordination with the National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority, NCEMA, the Emirates Red Crescent, ERC, and other humanitarian and charity organisations and societies in the country.

The fund will receive financial and in-kind donations by individuals and organisations in addition to other contributions, including facilities, essential utilities, vehicles, and different types of supply chain management tools through the offices of the ERC and other charities across the nation. A mechanism to regulate these donations has been established to unify all anti-Covid-19 efforts.

NCEMA recently hosted a meeting where the fund was first announced in the presence of representatives of ERC and other charities in the country.

Providing effective services a priority of leadership: Gergawi

Mohammad bin Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs and the Future, stated providing effective government services to the UAE community under all circumstances is a priority of the UAE’s leadership.

The main goal of all federal authorities is to ensure the readiness of government smart services and complete customer transactions while protecting the community’s safety and health and supporting the efforts to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus, Covid-19, he added.

Al Gergawi stated that the directive of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to form a ‘Federal Government Services Continuity Committee’ confirmed that the government is close to the community, responds to developments, and can handle all circumstances.

Mohammed Al Gergawi

During its last meeting, the UAE Cabinet approved the formation of the committee, to ensure the continuity of government services, supervise ministries and government authorities working to counter the spread of coronavirus, and respond to inquiries from authorities about preventive measures.

The committee is also in charge of assessing government services, drafting a plan to communicate with customers and raise their awareness of related developments, submitting recommendations at the national level, creating solutions to future scenarios, and coordinating with the relevant authorities.

Committee Members

The committee, which is chaired by Mohamed bin Taliah, Assistant Director-General for the Government Services Sector and the Prime Minister’s Office at the Ministry of Cabinet Affairs and the Future, includes Dr. Khalid Al Mazrouei, Advisor to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and Assistant Under-Secretary for Consular Affairs; Awad Al Ketbi, Assistant Under-Secretary for the Support Services Sector at the Ministry of Health and Prevention; Aisha Balharfiya, Assistant Under-Secretary for Domestic Labour Affairs at the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation; Nasser Ismail, Assistant Under-Secretary for Social Welfare Affairs at the Ministry of Community Development, and Abdullah Al Majid, Assistant Under-Secretary for Support Services at the Ministry of Justice.

The committee also includes Yousef Al Khaja, Executive Director of the Retail Sector at the Emirates Post Group; Adnan Naseeb Saleh, Executive Director of Shared Services at the Federal Electricity and Water Authority; Brigadier Nasser Khadim Al Kaabi, Director of the Happiness Department of the Ministry of Interior; Nasser Al Abdouly, Director of Customer Happiness Centres Support at the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship; Mohammed Al Zarouni, Director of the Policies and Programmes Department of the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority, and Dr. Saif Juma Al Dhaheri, Director of the Safety and Prevention Department at the National Authority for Emergency, Crisis and Disaster Management.

MoJ, Supreme Judicial Council to control courts

The UAE Cabinet directed the Ministry of Justice and the Supreme Judicial Council to adopt temporary controls to regulate the work of courts and assess hearings and executive cases for a period of one month, which can be extended to meet emergency conditions.

This step is part of the preventive measures to preserve the health of society and the safety of its members in the face of the novel coronavirus, Covid-19, as well as to enable UAE citizens and residents to complete their judicial transactions in light of current conditions.

The UAE Cabinet’s directive also aims to preserve the health and safety of those working for judicial authorities by postponing cases and appeals that cannot be settled within a period of one month, as well as by assessing expenditures, temporary and urgent matters, smart requests, criminal lawsuits and appeals, including from detainees and prisoners.

Exceptions will be made in cases where the law does not require the parties to appear before the Federal Supreme Court, along with cases of expenditures, temporary and urgent matters, smart requests, criminal cases and appeals, and implementation issues related to expense and labour cases.

The cabinet also instructed relevant parties to register claims, appeals, grievances and petitions, considering the fact that after the deadline, their registration will not be accepted and their rights will be deemed annulled.

The guidance includes making judgements when considering applications, postponing decisions related to debtors and stopping procedures for the executive seizure of movables, real estate, bank accounts, cars, stocks, bonds and commercial licences.

The directive also includes:

  • Postponing evictions in rental cases
  • Preventing debtors from travelling instead of imprisonment
  • Freeing detainees held for civil debts, and all other precautionary measures stipulated by laws such as cases with debts not exceeding Dh1 million, with the debtor being given a minimum of three months to pay or settle.

If the value exceeds Dh1 million and the imprisoned debtor has spent a period of six months in prison, the debtor will be released and the sentence commuted to a travel ban, in addition to all other precautionary measures stipulated by law, with the debtor being given payment or a settlement period of under three months.

UAE underscores commitment to global Covid-19 fight

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ABU DHABI, 25th March, 2020 (WAM) — Ahmed Ali Al Sayegh, Minister of State and UAE Sherpa, today participated in an Extraordinary Virtual Group of 20 (G-20) Sherpa Meeting convened to discuss a global coordinated response to COVID-19 and preparations for the Extraordinary Virtual G-20 Leaders’ Summit set to take place on March 26.

The UAE, the current Chair of the Gulf Cooperation Council, participated in its capacity as a guest invitee for this year’s G-20 Summit, which will occur in November 2020 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

The meeting addressed efforts by G-20 countries to curb the spread of COVID-19 and mitigate its impact on public health, economic growth, international trade, and international cooperation.

On the sidelines of the meeting, Ahmed Al Sayegh underscored the UAE’s readiness to continue its political, economic, logistical, and humanitarian contributions to the global response.

In this regard, the minister affirmed the UAE’s commitment to highlighting the serious risks posed to developing and least developed countries during the COVID-19 pandemic, and urged the G-20 to ramp up efforts to support those countries with weaker health systems.

“The need to strengthen multilateral cooperation in efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19 has become increasingly evident as states confront unprecedented challenges to the wellbeing of their peoples and communities,” Al Sayegh noted.

“The G-20 platform provides an opportunity for all concerned states to join forces in mitigating the global impact of the coronavirus outbreak and implement strategic, coordinated action in pursuit of long-term economic recovery,” he concluded.

The virtual meeting followed the second G-20 Sherpa Meeting held in Khobar, Saudi Arabia on March 12, wherein country representatives discussed the ongoing G-20 process and developments around COVID-19, health, trade and investment, and energy and climate change.

Established in 1999, the G-20 Summit is an annual gathering of representatives of the world’s largest economies that works to strengthen international economic cooperation.

Following Saudi Arabia’s assumption of the G-20 presidency, this year’s theme was announced as “Realizing Opportunities of the 21st Century for All.”

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