Dubai urged to relax bankruptcy, bounced cheque rules

Deloitte report identifies regulatory changes required to enable Dubai to reach next level as financial hub
Dubai urged to relax bankruptcy, bounced cheque rules
Safi Qurashi, who paid $60m for the Great Britain island on Nakheel’s World Island development, was released from jail in 2012 after spending two and half years in jail for bouncing cheques.
By Staff writer
Thu 29 Jan 2015 01:52 PM

Authorities in Dubai are being urged to relax the criminal implications of bankruptcy and bounced cheques as part of a strategy to enable the emirate, as a financial and trading hub, to reach the next level in terms of sustainability and competitiveness.

Deloitte has made several recommendations regarding regulatory changes which, it says, will help to attract more investment and promote export-oriented growth.

"Whilst much has been achieved by the emirate, there is still room for improvement in terms of enhancing economic performance and achieving sustainable growth, improving overall economic competiveness and attracting foreign investment," said Humphry Hatton, CEO, Deloitte Corporate Finance Limited, in the report.

As well as easing rules on bankruptcy and bounced cheques, which can result in jail sentences, Deloitte also recommends that Dubai relaxes foreign ownership restrictions in selected industries of non-national strategic importance.

It also urges that Dubai ease restrictions on freelance and part time employment which could further attract high skilled human capital, and relax the residency rights process and ease of travel within the GCC.

The report, supported by the Dubai Economic Council, said the recent Expo 2020 win and the MSCI announcement to upgrade UAE exchanges to emerging market status in Dubai have boosted investor confidence and improved market activity in the emirate.

Hatton added: "It is well established that a successful financial services sector is critically important to be able to develop efficient capital markets and also to encourage and grow the SME sector.

"Supporting the growth of start-ups and SME's by improving access to finance, combined with government initiatives promoting innovation, improving education levels and the use of latest technologies, are all important areas of attention to ensure that Dubai continues to build a sustainable and high-performance economy."

In addition to financial sector development issues, the report also analyses other related areas of public policies, such as, promoting capital markets, developing the business trading system and increasing the competitiveness of SMEs.

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