This Update is produced on a monthly basis. It provides an update on new legislation in certain Middle East countries (Egypt, Jordan, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, the Sultanate of Oman and the United Arab Emirates) where Dentons has offices. We also include Lebanon updates from our associate firm in Beirut.

This Update is not an exhaustive list of all new legislation, but a summary of new legislation that we feel may be significant for clients. Should you require further detail on any of the laws referred to in this Update, please contact the relevant managing partner. Please note that, in some jurisdictions, new laws may come into effect which have not been officially published in the publications we have reviewed as mentioned below. Also, some of the official publications in these jurisdictions are not published on a regular basis.

Egypt

New legislation is published weekly in the Official Gazette.

Ministry of Trade and Industry Decree No. 469 of the year 2013

Amending certain provisions of Ministerial Decree No. 770 of the year 2005 on issuing the statute of rules enforcing the provisions of Law No. 118 of the year 1975 regarding import and export.

Al-Wakaye Al-Mesreya / Government Bulletin, issued on 30 July 2013, published on 1 August 2013 and enforced as of the day following its date of publication.

Presidential Decree-Law No. 78 of the year 2013

Granting a special raise to State Civil Servants.

Official Journal, published and issued on 7 August 2013 and enforced as of 1 July 2013.

Presidential Decree-law No. 79 of the year 2013

Cancelling Law No. 135 of the year 2010 promulgating the Social Insurance and Pensions Law, and amending certain provisions of Social Insurance law promulgated by Law No.79 of the year 1975.

Official Journal, published on 14 July 2013, issued on 13 August 2013 and enforced as of 1 July 2013.

Ministry of finance Decree No. 422 of the year 2013

Concerning the rules governing the payment of the monthly special raise determined according to Law No. 78 of the year 2013.

Al-Wakaye Al-Mesreya / Government Bulletin, published and issued on 20 August 2013.

Jordan

Regulation on Compulsory Insurance against the Dangers of Fire and Earthquakes No. 65 of 2013

Renders insurance against fire and earthquakes compulsory for the purposes of granting or renewing vocational licences.

Lebanon

Electronic Banking: new circular from the Lebanese Central Bank (Intermediate Decision No.11445/2013)

The Lebanese Central Bank (the BdL) recently amended its Basic Decision No. 7548/2000 relating to electronic banking. Intermediate Decision No. 11445/2013 (the Circular) mainly focuses on money transfers and does not considerably amend the existing regulations relating to electronic banking. Moreover, Lebanon still lacks a general statute governing electronic transactions; the provisions of the Code of Civil Procedure relating to evidence must notably be revised in order to allow for the development of e-banking/m-banking to the fullest extent. Nevertheless, for the time being, the BdL has issued a number of regulations allowing banks and other regulated institutions to use electronic/photo-electronic means. The main features of this regulatory framework are set out below.

The definition of “electronic banking and financial transactions” has not significantly been altered1 by the Circular and the regime governing the undertaking of these transactions has not been amended either: institutions that are registered with the BdL (with the exception of money changers) must still formally notify the BdL prior to engaging in any such transactions2. In addition, a licence is required for any other entity intending to undertake electronic banking or financial transactions via electronic/photo-electronic means.

The Circular sets out a number of clear prohibitions, which are however likely to be lifted once the required legal and regulatory framework is put in place. It notably limits the use of mobile devices. As the Circular specifically confines the use of mobile phones to bank-customer relationships, payments and transfers made using these devices should therefore not witness a significant development in the immediate future. Moreover, the use of electronic money is explicitly forbidden.

With respect to the regulation of money transfers, the Circular lists the conditions for obtaining a licence in relation to the same3. It defines the reporting requirements in order to monitor compliance with the applicable laws and regulations4 and determines the requirements that non-banking or foreign entities targeting the Lebanese market must meet to operate in Lebanon5.

In an effort to fight money laundering6 , the Circular also requires that the identity of the transferor and transferee as well as the sources of the funds concerned and the purpose of the relevant transfer be determined.

Finally, the Circular reiterates the general principles that govern e-banking - honesty, integrity and transparency - but it does not provide any guidelines as to the processes and methods that are required to implement these general principles. Also, it does not further regulate the use of the electronic signature. The situation remains that, until a general statute is enacted, the BdL’s regulations constitute the sole reliable framework for e-banking in Lebanon. 

Sultanate of Oman

New legislation is published in the Official Gazette.

Official Gazette 1022

Ministry of Tourism, Decision No. 101/2013


Amends some of the provisions of Ministerial Decision 91/2003 being the Implementing Regulations of the Tourism Law promulgated by Sultani Decree 33/2002.

Promulgated on 14 July 2013     Effective from 1 August 2013

Official Gazette 1024

Ministry of Health, Decision No. 125/2013

Amends some of the provisions of the Regulations for Private Hospitals and Clinics promulgated by Ministerial Decision No 53/98.

Promulgated on 28 July 2013     Effective on day following publication

Official Gazette 1024
Telecommunications Regulatory Authority, Decision No. 70/2013


Regulates the rules pertaining to the market (Anti-Competitive Behaviour).

Promulgated on 1 August 2013     Effective on day following publication

Turkey

New legislation is published daily in the Official Gazette.

Communique of Internet Domain Names (Official Gazette dated 21 August 2013 and numbered 28742)

Sets out the procedures and principles on determination and operation of registry agencies and application of internet domain names including the extension “.tr”.

Promulgated on 21 August 2013. Some articles are effective from 21 August 2013 and some from the date when TRABİS will be effective

Statute on the Principles regarding Investment Funds (Official Gazette dated 29 August 2013 and numbered 28750)

Sets out the principles and procedures regarding the incorporation, founders, public offerings, share transfers, shareholder and manager qualifications, management and operation of investment funds.

Promulgated on 29 August 2013     Effective from 29 August 2013

Statute on the Principles regarding Workplace Safety in Temporary or Definite Term Labour (Official Gazette dated 23 August 2013 and numbered 28744)

Sets out the terms of procurement of protection to employees who are employed pursuant to temporary or definite term based employment contracts, equal to that afforded to permanent employees. The Statute complies with the European Union Directive numbered 91/383/EEC and dated 25/6/1991. The obligation regarding employers’ liability to hire workplace safety experts is also stipulated under this Statute. However the effective date of the Article with respect to this matter has been postponed.

Promulgated on 23 August 2013     Effective from 23 August 2013

Law No. 6495 on the Amendment of Some Laws and Statutory Decrees (Official Gazette dated 2 August 2013 and numbered 28276)

Amends the provisions of some laws including Turkish Commercial Code No. 6102, Capital Markets Law No. 6362 and Electricity Market Law No. 6446. The major amendments in the foregoing are as follows:

  • a new provision increasing the quorum requirement for a general assembly decision on articles of association amendment with regard to grounds for removal of shareholders from a limited liability company has been added to the Turkish Commercial Code No. 6102;
  • a new provision regarding the appointment of independent board members in place of members who have left or been removed and the election procedures has been added to Capital Markets Law No. 6362; and
  • a provisional article regarding the acceptance of wind energy licence applications as pre-licences in cases where such applications have been accepted by a licence approval decision and subsequently cancelled because the applicant cannot fulfil its obligations under the licence approval decision has been added to Electricity Market Law No. 6446.