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

From purchasing alcohol to where to sit on the metro…

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 seven 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.

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 offences committed,” said Dubai Police chief, major general Abdullah Khalifa Al Marri in May.

Blocking emergency vehicles

As of July 1, 2019, motorists who do not give away or move for emergency vehicles now face an increased fine of Dhs3,000 plus six black points and 30 days car impoundment. Previously, the fine was Dhs1,000 plus six black points however the UAE’s Ministry of Interior announced the increase on Monday June 17. The ministry also released guidance on when and how vehicles should give away to clarify on the rules of the road. It said that it had ‘noticed that some vehicle drivers do not give way to official cars, emergency and civil defence vehicles and ambulances, even when they hear the sirens or see the cars’ flashing lights, thus endangering their lives and the lives of others.’

Metro cabins

Women and children’s ‘pink cabins’ on Dubai Metro are being relocated to offer increased comfort and privacy for passengers. The Roads & Transport Authority (RTA) is relocating its female cabins to one end of the train. The new cabins have already begun to move to the end opposite to the gold class, leaving the mixed cabins in the middle of the train. Signage has also been moved to make the new location clear to passengers. RTA plans to have this project complete by August 2019. Men who are found standing in the pink cabins are subject to a fine of Dhs100. The purpose of the women and children cabins is to provide space and comfort for female travellers and RTA has noticed their popularity, especially during summer holidays.

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