5 new rules introduced in Dubai in 2019 you should know about

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From renewing your car to cancelling your phone contract…

As Dubai continues to strive to making life in the city even easier for its expat residents, the city introduces a number of rules and laws each year.

And 2019 has been no exception, so from getting your liquor license to cancelling your phone contract, here are five rules and laws introduced in 2019 you should know about.

Phone contracts

If you want to leave your mobile phone contract early in the UAE, you were previously met with hefty fees to do so. But, that’s set to change thanks to a new amendment being brought in by the UAE Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA). In a statement on Wednesday March 20, the TRA said that the amendment will mean that users will only be charged a one-month fee to exit their mobile phone contract early. This replaces the current rule, which allows network providers to charge a monthly fee multiplied by the number of remaining months of the contract. The TRA advised that the amendment has already been applied to new mobile contracts, with network regulator working to introduce these amendments to existing contracts, in the ‘coming period’. It’s anticipated that this will be complete in 2019.

Long-term visas

The UAE’s new permanent residency visa was announced in May 2018, and in a Tweet in March 2019, Sheikh Mohammed confirmed that the cabinet had begun reviewing applications for the long-term visas. At the time, Sheikh Mohammed said that the new visa system will ensure that the UAE remains “a global incubator for talents and a permanent destination for pioneers”. Under the first round of applications, around 6,800 people have been granted permanent residency and gold card status. Those 6,800 residents collectively pledged investments of approximately Dh100 billion, according to the Dubai Ruler.

ALSO READ: 15 things to know about living in Dubai in 2019

Obtaining a liquor license

The process for residents who are looking to purchase a liquor license in Dubai has been significantly relaxed, making it much easier to obtain the license. Previously the requirements for obtaining a license included an NOC letter from your employer, father or husband, tenancy contract and salary certificate showing earnings of over Dhs3000 per month. However now all you need to submit your application is your Emirates ID copy, passport copy, visa copy and passport photo. Once you have the four necessary documents, you can also complete the application and payment of Dhs270 online on the MMI or African + Eastern official site. You must be over 21 years of age and a non-muslim. If your application is approved, you can collect the license from your chosen MMI or African and Eastern store and will even be granted vouchers to spend in return.

Car renewal

Dubai Police has relaxed the rules on fine repayment in line with their safety initiative, which gives increased discounts over time to drivers of exemplary standard. The initiative, launched in the Year of Tolerance, aims to encourage safer driving by offering up to 100 per cent off fines if a driver does not commit any violations for a full calendar year. However, residents noticed that it would be difficult to make use of this perk, as previously all fines should be cleared before annual car registration renewal. But Dubai Police have instructed the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) to allow drivers to renew their car without clearing their fines. At the moment, it’s still unclear when residents will have to pay them back by if they don’t receive the full discount. “The vehicle’s licence will be renewed regardless of the amount of the accumulated fines or any periods of confiscation imposed on the cars, or the number of offenses committed,” said Dubai Police chief, major general Abdullah Khalifa Al Marri in May.

Calorie counts on restaurant menus (ongoing)

Dubai Municipality has announced that all restaurants in the emirate will have to display calorie content for all of its meals to customers. Restaurants and cafes with more than five outlets will need to abide by this legislation before November 2019, while all others have until January 2020 to action it. The rules applies to all cafes and restaurants in Dubai, and aims to encourage diners to think more carefully about what they’re putting into their bodies, and make smarter, healthier choices. Residents can expect to see more menus offering meal calorie content over the next six months, with all restaurants offering the information by January next year.

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Image: Getty