December 8, 2022

On March 14 2022, H. H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, ruler of Dubai, ratified Legislation No. 9 of 2022 regulating the provision of digital services in Dubai (the Law). The Regulation has been published in the Dubai Official Gazette and is effective as of March 24 2022.

Digital transformation history

The particular Law comes as part associated with the UAE’s digital transformation strategy initiated in 1982 with the particular formation of the General Information Authority, which was followed by:

  • The launch associated with the first e-government in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region in 2000;

  • The adoption of the e-payment service (e-Dirham) in 2001;

  • The particular launch of the Smart Government initiative in 2013;

  • The launch of the particular Digital Vault on Blockchain in 2019;

  • The issuance of the Electronic Transactions plus Trust Services Law (Federal Law No. 46 associated with 2021).

These initiatives qualified the UAE to be ranked among the world’s best countries in digital transformation according to the World Bank’s GovTech Maturity Index 2021.

Scope of Application

The Law aims to promote Dubai’s strategy to maintain a 100% digital government and boost reliance on technology within governmental sectors; It is also applicable to all electronic services provided by private service providers (i. e., non-government players).

As a non-federal law, it applies only within the Emirate of Dubai. Article 4 extends the particular application to special development zones and free zones throughout Dubai, including the Dubai Worldwide Financial Centre (DIFC).

Law Simply no. 9 of 2022 regulates the provision of digital services in Dubai

According to Article 5, all government entities, judicial authorities (i. electronic., Dubai courts and the Public Prosecution), non-government entities plus customers (i. e., anyone who uses the electronic channels associated with government, judicial and personal services) are mandated to provide their customers with currently available and ‘future’ digital solutions.

The Law entitles the particular chairman of the Executive Council from the Emirate associated with Dubai in order to expand the Law’s scope of application by including additional categories of services offered upon a recommendation by the Dubai Electronic Authority (DDA).

Software Agenda

The Legislation reflects the gradual change plan. Post 5 states that the software shall come in phases to be prescribed pursuant to a resolution issued by the chairman of the particular Executive Council upon the DDA’s recommendation. The said resolution would determine:

  1. The particular commencement date for each phase;

  2. The Digital Services and the organizations to become included in each phase; plus

  3. The implementation rules and procedures for each stage.

To give a clear timeline, Article 12 mandates almost all digital providers to comply with the particular provisions thereof “within a period not exceeding one year from the date of commencement associated with the phase in which this Regulation becomes relevant, ” which usually allows time for digital service companies to plan and organize their resources to cope with the particular digital modification in Dubai.

Electronic service provider regulations

Content 6 sets out rules and standards for electronic service suppliers to adopt while rendering digital services, which includes, but not limited to, the following:

  • To adopt the use of electronic identity with regard to accessing the digital services that require electronic registration.

  • To follow the particular electronic security requirements plus standards adopted by the Dubai Digital Security Center.

  • To adopt the particular financial systems and e-payment methods used from the Department of Finance for Government Entities and Judicial Authorities.

  • To classify the data related to the provision of digital solutions and exchanging such data with other entities, within accordance with the provisions of Law No . 26 of 2015 Regulating Data Dissemination plus Exchange in the Emirate of Dubai.

  • To record and archive all information and documents related in order to the digital services governed with the Legislation, in accordance with the particular procedures and periods prescribed within the legislation in force.

  • In order to provide electronic services within Arabic plus English and in any some other language determined by the entity providing these providers, considering the particular available language preferred simply by target clients.

Cutting the red tape

The Regulation stipulates the safeguard against any potential manipulation by customers (for example, denial of requesting or completing a digital service), where Write-up 8 says:

“All processes performed simply by Customers through Digital Channels to avail Digital Solutions under this Law will be deemed as have been made in person, including those associated to the penal and civil applications, claims, plus appeals required to be made in person pursuant to the laws in effect within the Emirate” [emphasis added].

Additionally, Article 9 gives all correspondence, documents, records, electronic files and digital signatures related to the digital services supplied through electronic channels under the Law equivalent weight associated with evidence regarding documents recommended under Federal Law Number 10 of 1992 (the Law associated with Evidence) and Federal Law No. 46 of 2021 (concerning electronic transactions plus trust services).

Outsourcing the supply of digital services

Article 10 entitles authorities entities to “outsource to any public or private entity the provision of the Digital Providers or the supply, management, or even operation of the techniques, electronic programs, and Digital Channels required for providing these Digital Services, pursuant to an agreement concluded with the particular public or private organization for this purpose” allowing federal government organs in Dubai in order to opt for high-quality and technically advanced support providers.

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