UAE - 20/03/2020
As the corona virus continues to spread around the globe, every nation has implemented certain measures on its citizens with great effort and dedication to combat the spread of the virus, and minimize both health and economic damages as much as possible.
The UAE has proven to have adopted one of the strictest yet effective strategies in taking precautionary measures in fighting the virus, sheltering to a certain extent the country from COVID-19’s severe negative impacts which are getting in the way of many businesses, their operations and day to day activities; affecting both organizations and individuals. The state has demonstrated complete readiness through its various apparatus capable of curbing the spread of the disease and reducing its spread. Great efforts have been made through coordination with the relevant authorities who are continuously ensuring that daily lives activities are proceeding naturally in all sectors. The UAE has also been categorized as the most transparent State in documenting the number of coronavirus cases in its jurisdiction.
This article will give the reader an overview regarding new decisions and regulations that have been adopted by the UAE authorities amid the coronavirus, in which every business in the UAE shall be urged to implement.
All judicial sessions of the Court of Cassation, the Court of Appeal and the Courts of First Instance shall be postponed. Certificates and personal status documentation shall be suspended from the period of 22/03/2020 until 16/04/2020. However, the courts shall still take into considerations temporary and urgent matters as well as applications submitted electronically. Criminal claims and appeals that are linked to prisoners and detained persons shall also be taken into deliberation. All judges shall file their judgments at their scheduled meetings during the deferral period. Additionally, all court activities, filing and applications shall be stopped, particularly the ones that can be dealt with and monitored online and through smart courts.
As for the enforcement of the remote working system, the following should be taken into account:
Not more than 30 percent of employees should attend the office at one time. This system is to be implemented throughout the week following a rotational schedule, either sporadically or consecutively. The percentage shall then be raised the second week to the maximum employee ratio which shall be subject to upper management’s discretion taking into account the specificity of the services provided.
The enforcement of the remote working system shall be prioritized to pregnant women, the elderly, and workers who suffer from chronic diseases associated with the respiratory system or any disease that could cause a deficiency in the immune system.
The remote working system implemented ensures that employees from different disciplines and job grades are included in the working remotely experience, with the possibility for employees to switch to remote work on a regular basis in order to ensure business continuity in organizational units. Additionally, the remote working system will ensure that work in various sectors is normal no services are being stopped.
Consequently, working from home guarantees that all employees are adhering to the standards and regulations set forth by the information security system in the Emirate of Dubai, which have been approved by the Dubai Electronic Security Center to develop and implement information security practices for remote access.
As of the 28th of March 2020, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation announced that all UAE citizens shall be temporarily banned to travel abroad until further notice, in efforts to contain the spread of the virus. The ministry has specifically declared in its statement that this decision is strictly implemented for the safety of its citizens.
All travelers coming into the UAE will have to go through the preventative measures enforced on everyone at the airport. Those measures include medical checks at the airport, followed by home quarantine for a period of 14 days until the traveler’s safety has been confirmed. Rapid laboratory testing and control procedures were also activated at the border, and more than 30, 000 checks were conducted since the virus has appeared.
The General Director of the General Authority of Civil Aviation of the state has declared that thermal cameras that measure the temperature of each passenger have been installed, in addition to the presence of specialized medical teams are always on sight to immediately detect suspected cases. The health sector has also been isolating all suspected cases immediately for monitoring and using the method of epidemiological monitoring and investigation. The health sector has made sure that isolation rooms are offered in all state hospitals, and has placed thermal detectors on all air, land, and sea ports.
However, further measures have been taken in this regard where the UAE has banned flights form the Emirates to Iran and Thailand.
The Ministry of Education announced the suspension of all school students and all governmental and private higher education institutions at the state level for a period of four weeks also as preventative measures. This decision was declared as a proactive step that is in line with developments related to facing crisis and natural disasters, to provide the highest standards of public safety in school and institutional communities. The Ministry has guaranteed the continuity of all educational processes at home and without prejudice to the number of school days, through the distance education initiative which has already been implemented as a pilot manner in all schools. The education field in the UAE has been prepared, including students, teachers, administrators and parents for this process that has proven to be both efficient and effective.
All businesses have been affected around the globe. With travel restrictions and operation being destructed, the coronavirus pandemic has made it hard for businesses to meet their contractual obligations. As the UAE does not have an exact list of what constitutes a force majeure event, the concept is imposed under the condition that the event was an unforeseen circumstance and have eventually led to the impossibility of enforcing any agreed upon obligations. The authorities in the UAE has not yet made it official whether the pandemic will be regarded as a force majeure event or an unforeseen exceptional circumstance. However, as it has been agreed that the coronavirus have emerged on the 31st of December from China, all contracts enforced after that date will most likely thrive a force majeure claim.
The Ministry of Health has established a virtual doctor as a tool to guide everyone through the coronavirus assessment, which can be found on their website: https://www.mohap.gov.ae/en/aboutus/Pages/COVID-19.aspx
The World Health Organization praised the efforts done by the Ministry of Health in the UAE, Community protection and local health authorities, which have only shown great readiness and high response to epidemiological surveillance at its airports and ports to detect the new Corona virus. Moreover, Natalie Goulet, a member of the French Senate has also admired the precautionary and preventative measures taken by the UAE to confront the virus. She congratulated the Emirati authorities for approaching the virus using outstanding technologies and resourced to combat the virus.
The world is adapting on the fly to this new changing situation, the UAE has once more proven its capacity to address change, protect its citizens and ensure that the impact of this virus been as less damaging as possible to its citizen and to those working in the UAE.
 Dubai Courts, Decision N.30, 2020
 Dubai Courts, Decision N.30, 2020
 Dubai Courts, Decision N.30, 2020