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Home : Public Advisory: The Current Legal And Operational Landscape Of The MENA Region
Mar 25

Public Advisory: The Current Legal And Operational Landscape Of The MENA Region

It is our duty at Dr. Buti Al Muhairi Advocates to support our clients. This guide will help you grasp the current legal and operational situation of the UAE.
Dubai, UAE - The current pandemic, COVID19, has caused a massive impact on the socio-economic landscape on a global scale. As observed recently, the gravity of the outbreak has seen a drastic effect across North America, Europe, Central Africa, South Asia, and especially the MENA region.

In light of the current situation, our region has started to employ protective measures and enact public health policies to flatten the curve of infection throughout the population. This also serves to minimize its impact on the global economy.

We at Dr. Buti Al Muhairi Advocates are compelled by our duty to support our clients during this period of uncertainty. The guidelines we have enumerated should be enough to help you achieve a clear understanding of the current legal and operational landscape of the UAE.

Border Entry
The UAE has temporarily suspended entry into the country for valid UAE residents who are looking to re-enter the country. The same applies to all foreign nationals as well. This was announced on March 19, 2020.

In KSA, Bahrain, Iran, Jordan, Qatar, Kuwait, Iraq, and India, total shutdown of border entry has been implemented as well as the acceptance of non-citizen passengers. Meanwhile, talks of absolute border restrictions are expected in Kenya, Morocco, Pakistan, Tanzania as well as other central african countries.

Public Sector and Private Sector
Since the 15th of March 2020, government institutions and public sector offices have not been operational in most countries within the MENA region. This is expected to continue for the next 2 to 4 weeks.

This means all court hearings, judicial proceedings, and other related government functions are temporarily postponed. Essential government functions that include the healthcare sector and police authorities still continue to operate.

As of March 23, 2020 KSA has been imposed with a three-week curfew starting from 7 p.m. local time until 6 a.m. (1600-0300 GMT). In the UAE, private sectors are taking the initiative to practice remote-working while the government is expected to release guidelines in the next few days.

Enforcement And Legal Work
To ensure the vigilant and diligent monitoring of goods, and to monitor human trafficking, the Customs Enforcement and Ports Authorities are fully operational in most MENA countries.

In the Emirates of Dubai, UAE, a temporary suspension of hearings before the Courts of First Instance, Appeal and Cassation will be observed for 25 days starting from the 22nd of March until the 16th of April this year. Remote access will be utilized for scheduled judicial judgements, orders, and hearings for urgent matters such as criminal cases and appeals of detainees.

Enforcement actions are still ongoing by the police for urgent as well as sensitive cases in the UAE and other countries within the MENA region. It should be noted that there may be delay in court hearings, which have been momentarily postponed.

Custom detention seizures and enforcement actions still continue in Central Africa, particularly in Kenya and Tanzania. Meanwhile, enforcement actions have been suspended temporarily in Pakistan and Egypt for a period of 15 days.

Counterfeit Personal Hygiene Products And Disinfectants

During these trying times, it is alarming to see the escalation of the number of counterfeit pharmaceutical and medical products and devices, especially the spread of fake personal hygiene products and disinfectants. Authorities in the MENA region continue to track down these entities that take advantage and capitalize on the ongoing public health crisis.

We are in close partnership with local authorities to ensure that these products are confiscated, taken off the shelves, and the responsible individuals persecuted in accordance with the law.

The current infrastructure of our firm is currently adapting to the changes in the region and will continue to do so in the coming days. To enable us to respond swiftly to our clients, we will be diligently monitoring the developments in the MENA region.

To ensure that our clients meet their timelines accordingly, we will be employing a risk mitigation strategy in place. This is part of our efforts to fortify ourselves all the while staying safe, attentive, and prepared.

We trust that these measures will safeguard our clients’ interests and ensure that operations run smoothly and the situation will be normalized in the coming months.

In the meantime, we wish you, your family, and loved ones’ safety and good health.

About Dr. Buti Al Muhairi Advocates
With over 35 years of experience, Dr. Buti Al Muhairi advocates and legal consultancy works in many legal fields in the country and abroad. They rely on a specialized team with a variety of legal expertise and provide different types of services to help individuals and companies protect their rights at the level of litigation or resorting to other dispute resolution solutions such as mediation and arbitration.
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