SLG Newsletter: April 2021

Dear Friends and Clients,

Dubai is creating exemplary innovations. Setting up its own court for space disputes is not only innovative, but truly forward-looking. If such a court really finds international recognition, Dubai is to be congratulated. We hope there will also be a class action against all those countries that pollute space with garbage and do not retrieve their burnt out satellites or even shoot garbage into space.

In contrast, Saudi Arabia seems to feel cornered as they decided, that all foreign companies that do not have their regional headquarters in KSA have to stop their activities and their licenses will not be renewed. This new measure seems to be primarily directed against the UAE. Whether this will accelerate the economic development of KSA remains to be seen.

The increasingly comprehensive freedom of movement of the UAE is also reflected in the almost monthly new visa types found. The UAE is also taking advantage of online working, offering workers from around the world to come to the UAE for a year and work online for a foreign employer. However, how the UAE authorities want to control the existence of an employment relationship and the actual performance of the service seems rather questionable. The door seems to be opened for one-year stays without the need to comply with the 90-day rule. The question is also whether this visa is tied to a minimum wage income, which will have to be transferred from abroad to the UAE. Does this also make it easier to open accounts with domestic banks?

The focus on e-commerce and all other electronic variants of making money, hoarding and moving is a smart and forward-looking business policy. It must be borne in mind that the new Silk Road will take the form of a rail link from Singapore via Beijing through China, Russia and Eastern Europe to Western Europe. In any case, the Arab region will lose importance in world trade due to the reduced importance of maritime trade, since in the future goods can be transported from China to Europe by rail in only twelve days. Arabia will have to compensate for this with other advantages in international business.

It must take steps to avoid being thrown out of the position of a hub between Asia and Europe.

The new incorporation rate through our firm rose to a 5 year high in the first quarter. This is not only connected with the economic opening and the removal of trade barriers and visa restrictions but probably also the confidence in the economic strength and future of this country.

In our first quarter webinar series, we discussed the bankruptcy consequences of the Covid-19 lockdowns and economic restrictions, as well as the possibility of tax savings and asset protection. In the following you will find the list of webinars already held including download links. In the second quarter we will focus primarily on the problems faced by Continental Europeans when relocating to and doing business in Arabia. The new webinar dates can also be found below. We will be pleased if you make use of this free information and remain.


Theodor Strohal


In the news section of our website you can download the power point presentations and view the webinars on YouTube.

We have recently held webinars on the following topics:

Beschränkte und unbeschränkte Steuerpflicht in Österreich für Expats
International Bankruptcy Law you? (English)
Compliance, Compliance: ESR, CRS, UBOR, MDR
Restructuring under UAE Insolvency and Bankruptcy Laws


The Advantages of a Second Residence
Asset Protection

Oncoming webinars:

Die Besteuerung von Arbeits-  und Dividendeneinkünfte im Lichte der Doppelbesteuerungsabkommen Sie sind ansässig in Deutschland, der Schweiz oder Österreich? Sie bekommen Gehälter im Ausland? Gewinne von aus ausländischen Unternehmen werden an Sie ausgeschüttet?

Wir wollen ihnen zeigen, welche Gefahren auf sie lauern bzw. welche Maßnahmen Sie setzen müssen,  um ihre ausländischen Einkünfte möglichst gering oder gar nicht in ihrem Heimatland zu versteuern.

Language: German

Date & Time: Tuesday, 27. April, 2021; 3:00 pm Dubai Time (GMT+ 4, CEST +2)

The UBO Issue


Almost all jurisdictions require disclosing the ultimate beneficial owner. What is a UBO? To whom to disclose? Who is responsible for the correctness of disclosure? How to install a UBO and still control the business? Who is entitled to receive information from the UBO register? Language: English

Speaker: Dr.Theodor Strohal and Jakob Kisser

Date & Time: Wednesday, 12. May 2021; 3:00 pm Dubai time (GMT+ 4, CEST +2)

Please register by providing the name of the webinar, full name, company and phone no. via e-mail to

UAE: Cabinet adopts visa options

The UAE cabinet launched 2 new visas: (1) a new remote work visa to enable employees from all over the world to live and work in the UAE for one year, and (2) a multiple-entry tourist visa for all nationalities.

Remote Work Visa:

• Aims to attract talents and expertise from all over the world.

• It provides the opportunity for entrepreneurs and talents to innovate in the UAE’s safe and attractive business environment, with access to all the necessary services including world-class utilities and telecoms.

• It also aims to support the public and private sector, enhance the work-life balance, boost productivity and improve the business environment.

• It also enables employees to expand their digital skills and adapt to the emerging gig economy.

Multiple Entry Tourist Visa:

• The five-year visa enables tourists to enter multiple times on self-sponsorship and remain in the country for 90 days on each visit, which can be extended for another 90 days.

• Can be issued for all nationalities.

Dubai: Courts of Space launches

The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and the Dubai Future Foundation (DFF) will launch the Courts of the Future initiative activating Courts of Space. The project aims to reinforce its position by enhancing its standing as a global business center for trade, logistics, finance, innovation and technology. In this initiative, an international working group of public and private sector bodies and experts are tasked with exploring space-related legal innovations, creation of a Space Dispute Guide encompassing a set of proposals to support global space-related disputes, and judges will be trained to become space-related dispute experts.

Ras Al Khaimah: Business packages for e-gaming entrepreneurs

RAKEZ announced the launch of a special business package for e-gaming entrepreneurs. This will support investors such as software and hardware developers, publishers, streaming and support services providers. The package price starts from AED 7,725. It offers the same renewal rate for life and a free three-year residency visa.

Saudi Arabia: Stop of contracts for firms with regional headquarters outside the Kingdom

Saudi Arabia has announced that it will cease signing contracts with firms with hubs in other countries from January 1, 2024 in accordance to the Kingdom’s 2030 strategy goals. This puts pressure on foreign companies with headquarters not located in the country and adds competition for business and foreign capital with other Gulf States especially the UAE. The decision aims to create more jobs, limit economic leakage, increase spending efficiency and guarantee that the main goods and services purchased by the different government agencies are made in the kingdom.

Far East:

Cambodia: Trade between Cambodia and the EAEU

Formal initiation of Free Trade Agreement between Cambodia and the Eurasian Economic Union is seeing a possibility. This is due to the increase of bilateral trade between the two parties. The Kingdom is also looking into FTAs with other countries namely, US, UK, Mongolia, India and Japan. An FTA with South Korea has already been concluded last February wherein ministers of both parties signed the agreed minutes on the conclusion of negotiations.

Cambodia: Eighth round of relief measures

The General Department of Taxation in Cambodia has launched the Tax on Income (ToI) E-filing system and is scheduled to go online this March. The new system aims to provide a better service for taxpayers as well as to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of revenue collection, and ensure transparency, convenience, punctuality, expeditiousness and confidence.

Thailand: Digital asset fund managers need a licence

In Thailand, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced all operating digital asset fund managers and investment advisers are required to apply for licenses by Feb 24 to continue their businesses. Digital Asset Fund Managers refer to companies which manage investment in cryptocurrency of digital tokens. Digital asset investment advisers refer to anyone who gives advice pertaining to cryptocurrency or digital token trading to customers and receive remuneration for their services. Those who fail to secure a license will no longer be allowed to operate.

Thailand: Travel Reliefs

From April on, the hotel quarantine period will be halved to seven days for fully vaccinated visitors to Phuket, Pattaya, Koh Samui, Chiang Mai, Phang Nga and Krabi, Tourism Authority of Thailand Governor Yuthasak Supasorn told at a news conference. By the fourth quarter, the quarantine waiver is expected to be implemented in five holiday destinations, he said.

The central bank expects to see 3 million foreign tourists this year, compared to nearly 40 million in 2019 before the virus struck.

Thailand: Personal Data Protection Act

As June 2021 approaches, many companies in Thailand are focusing on and racing towards the implementation of compliance mechanisms in advance of the adoption of the PDPA, Thailand’s new and all-encompassing data protection legislation.

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