The UAE’s largest tranche of reforms in the Year of the 50th is all about the spirit of the law and is in step with the times that are changing rapidly, more so during the pandemic that is being called the Great Disruption of the modern era.
With these changes to the laws, the country hopes to make a great (and enduring) impact on the lives of people while opening its arms wide to new businesses and economic activity despite the challenges of the health crisis. Through these reforms approved by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the UAE has cemented its place as a global nation that is diverse, yet inclusive, resilient, dynamic and ready to take in the world.
The 40 amendments to the laws are vast in scope and follow a series of reforms in the labour, social, education and business sectors that have been rolled out over the years. Saturday’s legislative changes are in the grand scheme of things for the UAE that’s set to become a global powerhouse, with heft in the knowledge space that encompasses technology, health, the sciences and research.
The country is already a force to reckon with in the diplomatic and cultural arena. This is a country with a difference that seeks cooperation over conflict while promoting a culture of tolerance. This tolerance is written all over these laws which have a humane side to them. From decriminalising consensual relationships and providing protection to single parents, especially women, to protecting minor girls from abuse and exploitation, the law is being enhanced to serve and secure the rights of the individual.
The same applies to institutions and businesses who get the security they deserve in the digital space. Patents are protected, investors can open companies in all sectors independent of a local sponsor. Under the law, data protection gets more teeth and online security has been tightened for companies. What’s interesting about these reforms is that they have not been thrust upon the UAE.
The country embarked on this path of change on its terms, when the timing was right and at a time of its choosing. The diversification of the economy away from oil is progressing at a fast clip. These reforms are the legislative icing on the cake to make the country’s economic and social transformation swifter and meaningful to millions of residents and citizens. They are meant to guide and change the way people carry on with their lives, with dignity and comfort. Industry can benefit and make our lives wholesome and better while expanding their footprint from the UAE. The new normal is never boring in the UAE.
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