OPEC daily basket price stood at $61.14 a barrel Friday

VIENNA, The price of OPEC basket of thirteen crudes stood at US$61.14 a barrel on Friday, 9th April, compared with US$61.22 the previous day, according to OPEC Secretariat calculations.

The OPEC Reference Basket of Crudes is made up of the following: Saharan Blend (Algeria), Girassol (Angola), Djeno (Congo), Zafiro (Equatorial Guinea), Rabi Light (Gabon), Iran Heavy (Iran), Basra Light (Iraq), Kuwait Export (Kuwait), Es Sider (Libya), Bonny Light (Nigeria), Arab Light (Saudi Arabia), Murban (UAE) and Merey (Venezuela).


Source: Emirates News Agency

Central Bank appoints Head of UAE Financial Intelligence Unit

ABU DHABI, The Governor of the Central Bank of the UAE (CBUAE) has appointed Ali Faisal Ba’Alawi as Head of the UAE Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU).

This appointment represents the next step in the implementation of the UAE’s National AML/CFT Strategy and National Action Plan, the programme of reforms designed to strengthen the UAE’s anti-financial crime system following the establishment of the Executive Office to Combat Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing in February 2021.

Ba’Alawi has been acting head of the FIU since March 2018 and brings more than ten years specialist experience to the role.

Khaled Mohamed Balama, Governor of the Central Bank of the UAE, commented, “Over the last two years, Ali has drawn on his deep technical skills and front-line experience to set a clear mandate for the FIU’s structure, status, and all operational aspects of its administration. Each core aspect has been based on detailed, action-orientated priorities. He has also worked tirelessly to build effective relationships across both public and private entities based on mutual trust, fairness, and reciprocity. This includes broadening relationships with international partners, investing in developing the FIU’s skills and capabilities, and driving forward the adoption of technology to strengthen the UAE’s AML defences.”

Hamid Al Zaabi, Director-General of the Executive Office of the UAE, said, “The FIU plays a key role in the UAE’s efforts against financial crime. It receives reports of suspicious transactions, analyses them, and disseminates the resulting intelligence to local law enforcement agencies while also studying, tracking, and interpreting the evolution of existing and emerging typologies of financial crime in the jurisdiction across sectors. Establishing an effective FIU is an important step in combating financial crime and a cornerstone of the UAE’s National Action Plan. The UAE offers the FIU all political support necessary to ensure its enduring success.”

Ali Faisal Ba’Alawi, Head of the UAE FIU, added, “It is with great pride that I assume this important position. Investing in the ongoing development of our FIUs is a clear signal of our collective determination to intensify efforts to focus on research, analysis, and information exchange in order to combat money laundering, terrorist financing, and other financial crimes. The UAE takes its role in protecting the integrity of the global financial system extremely seriously and an effective FIU is a critical part of our efforts. I am committed to working across all actors in our economy and beyond to enable effective enforcement.”

Ba’Alawi currently serves as the main contact point for the UAE in a number of important regional and international fora, including the Egmont Group, which represents 166 FIUs globally and provides a platform for the secure exchange of expertise and financial intelligence to combat money laundering and terrorist financing.

The Executive Office, which launched on 24th February 2021, works as the primary national coordinating body on AML/CFT efforts within the UAE, holding a wide-ranging mandate to assist UAE AML/CFT related entities in enhancing efficiency to better address the country’s NAP. Its overarching objective is to enable and better equip the UAE in building a strong and sustainable AML/CFT structure in the country.


Source: Emirates News Agency

UAE announces 1,928 new COVID-19 cases, 1,719 recoveries, 2 deaths in last 24 hours

ABU DHABI, The Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) announced that it conducted 193,896 additional COVID-19 tests over the past 24 hours, using state-of-the-art medical testing equipment.

In a statement, the Ministry stressed its aim to continue expanding the scope of testing nationwide to facilitate the early detection of coronavirus cases and carry out the necessary treatment.

As part of its intensified testing campaign, MoHAP announced 1,928 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total number of recorded cases in the UAE to 485,675.

According to the Ministry, the infected individuals are from various nationalities, are in a stable condition, and receiving the necessary care.

MoHAP also announced 2 deaths due to COVID-19 complications, bringing the total number of deaths in the country to 1,533.

The Ministry expressed its sincere condolences to the family of the deceased and wished COVID-19 patients a speedy and full recovery. It called on all members of the society to cooperate with health authorities, adhere to the instructions and physical distance to ensure the health and safety of all.

MoHAP also noted that an additional 1,719 individuals had fully recovered from COVID-19, bringing the total number of recoveries to 470,175.


Source: Emirates News Agency

Dubai Chamber members’ exports up by nearly 24% in March 2021

DUBAI, The value of exports and re-exports carried out by members of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry increased by nearly 24 percent to reach AED22.1 billion in March 2021, compared to the same month last year, the organisation has revealed.

During the first quarter of 2021, the value of members’ exports and re-exports grew by 6.5 percent year-over-year (y-o-y) to reach AED54.8 billion, reflecting growing momentum and increased trade activity in Dubai, said a statement issued by Dubai Chamber on Sunday.

A total of 166,759 certificates of origin were issued by the Chamber during the first quarter of this year and March saw a high of 62,235 certificates, reflecting signs of a recovery of the trade sector and enhanced economic competitiveness.

Over 6,000 new member companies joined Dubai Chamber in the first three months of 2021, marking a growth rate of 38.6 percent y-o-y. Membership growth comes after several new initiatives and measures were unveiled over the last year, which enhanced Dubai’s value proposition to foreign investors and companies.

In addition, 174,000 electronic transactions were processed by the Chamber in the first quarter 2021, while the number of ATA Carnets (an international customs document that permits duty-free and tax-free temporary importation of goods for up to one year) that were issued and received by the Chamber reached 965 over the same period, amounting to AED1.4 billion.

Hamad Buamim, President & CEO of Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said the statistics reflect improving business conditions in Dubai and the positive impact of various stimulus packages and business-friendly measures, as well as an advanced logistics infrastructure and increased efforts to boost and diversify the emirate’s foreign trade.

Buamim noted that Dubai Chamber’s 11 international offices play a crucial role in expanding Dubai’s trade links with promising markets around the world, by identifying bilateral business opportunities, promoting the emirate as a global business hub, and assisting foreign investors who are keen to enter the market.


Source: Emirates News Agency

Ministry of Economy extends deadline for registration of designated non-financial businesses & professions in anti-money laundering regulations until 30 April

ABU DHABI, The Ministry of Economy (MoE) announced the extension of the deadline granted to Designated Non-Financial Businesses and Professions (DNFBPs) to register in the systems approved for countering money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism, until the end of April 2021. The extension has been granted due to a large number of companies in the sector coming forward to register in the last days of the previous deadline, which expired on March 31, 2021. Furthermore, the unusual circumstances faced by companies and the business sector in the wake of Covid-19 pandemic has also been taken into consideration.

The Ministry explained that it is mandatory for the targeted companies, which include brokers and real estate agents, auditors, dealers of precious metals and gemstones, and corporate service providers, to register in the goAML system and the Automatic Reporting System for Sanctions Lists before the end of the new deadline. The registration in these systems can be done free of cost. After the registration, they should also take the specified measures to ensure full compliance with the requirements of Federal Law No. 20 of 2018 on anti-money laundering, combating the financing of terrorism and illegal organizations, and their implementing regulations and relevant decisions.

The Ministry called on the concerned companies to take advantage of the new extended period for registration to avoid the penalties and fines stipulated in the law, which will be imposed starting from May 1, 2021. Fines start from AED 50,000 and go up to AED 5 million, while the penalties for companies that fail to register could even lead to the revocation of the license or closure of the facility itself.

Abdullah Sultan Al Fan Al Shamsi, Assistant Undersecretary for the Monitoring and Following-up Sector at the Ministry of Economy, explained that due to an increased levels of response from the DNFBPs identified for compulsory registration, the Ministry of Economy, in coordination with its partners from the relevant government entities, decided to extend the grace period granted to the target companies and give them more time until the end of the current month to complete the registration process. Once the registration process is complete, they should start taking the necessary legal measures to ensure full compliance with the requirements of the law and its implementing regulations.

Al Shamsi continued: “The goal is not to impose violations, but to ensure compliance, and the decision was taken considering the conditions that various companies and business sectors are going through as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and its repercussions on a global scale.” He affirmed that the Ministry is keen to build a solid and positive relationship with the private sector based on the principle of partnership, cooperation and oversight, and is committed to its efforts to communicate and raise awareness. These efforts will form the foundations for enhancing the commitment of the concerned companies to the requirements of the law, and DNFBPs are major partners in the UAE’s efforts to counter money laundering, he noted. Therefore, they have a pivotal role in supporting government efforts to build a safe and stable economic environment free from money laundering and terrorism financing crimes.

Al Shamsi pointed out that many of the companies that belong to the sector’s four categories, which are agents, real estate brokers, auditors, dealers of precious metals and gemstones, and corporate service providers, showed a high level of awareness and commitment towards registration in the two systems. However, there is still a percentage of companies that have not registered in the two systems. The extension of the grace period is intended to give an additional opportunity for these companies to quickly register, avoid violations, and protect their business and investments from money laundering risks by complying with the requirements of government control.

Safeya Al Safi, Director of the Anti-Money Laundering Department at the Ministry of Economy, said that the extension of the grace period without penalizing for any violations before April 30, 2021, allows companies in the DNFBP sector subject to the Ministry’s control to fulfill their obligations and initiate registration in the goAML and the Automatic Reporting System for Sanctions Lists. In addition, it gives them enough time to initiate the adoption of the necessary measures, according to the Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism and Financing of Illegal Organizations Law and its implementing regulations. She confirmed that the previous deadline witnessed wide interaction from the targeted companies, as the Ministry of Economy received more than 6,000 calls and inquiries during the month of March. She noted that the Ministry has provided, through its official website, all information and instructions for registration, through the following links: Link to the registration steps in the Automatic Reporting System for Sanctions Lists:

Link to the measures required of companies according to the executive regulations:
https://www.economy.gov.ae/English/aml/pages/default.aspx Link to the guides provided by the Ministry on the requirements for combating money laundering:

Al Safi further explained that the Ministry of Economy is uploading all the workshops on anti-money laundering and combating terrorism financing onto its official YouTube channel to enable all DNFBP companies, stakeholders and interested parties to view their content, on the link:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChqcRa_X-2nIOSzrZ8rNZVw The Ministry of Economy called on all targeted establishments to contact it through the Ministry’s call center at 8001222 or via other official channels in case there are any inquiries related to registering in the two systems and fulfilling the required measures.


Source: Emirates News Agency

Dubai Health Authority announces Ramadan timings

DUBAI, The Dubai Health Authority (DHA) today announced the Ramadan timings for all DHA hospitals, DHA COVID-19 screening and vaccination centres, DHA administration, primary health centres and medical fitness centres.

The working hours for the DHA administration will be from 9:00 to 14:00 from Sunday to Thursday.

Hospitals and health centres will work as per shift timings and medical practitioners will be on call to ensure work continues as usual. Emergency departments at all DHA hospitals will operate around the clock.

Latifa Hospital’s specialist outpatient clinics will be open from Sunday to Thursday from 9:00 to 14:00, while the Dubai Hospital outpatient clinic will work in two shifts: 8:00 to 13:00 and 13:00 to 18:00 on weekdays. At Rashid Hospital, the outpatient clinic will be open from 8:00 to 13:00 on weekdays.

Hatta Hospital outpatient clinics will work from 8:00 to 18:00, and will resume work from 20:00 to 22:00. The Hatta Hospital administration will operate from 8:00 to 13:00.

COVID-19 Vaccination Centres will provide vaccinations from 9:00 to 16:00 and from 21:00 to midnight from Sunday to Thursday, while on Friday and Saturday, vaccinations will be available from 9:00 to 16:00. The centres will only be open during the morning slot (9:00 to 16:00) during the last ten days of Ramadan, and will be closed on the 7th and 8th of May.

The COVID-19 screening centre at Al-Nasr Club from 8:00 to 13:00. Meanwhile, COVID-19 screening centres at Al Rashidiya Majlis; and Jumeirah Port Council, District 1 will be open from 20:00 to 1:00, and those at Mall of the Emirates and Deira City Centre will be open from 9:00 to 15:00.

As for COVID-19 assessment centres, Al Badaa; Al Khawaneej; and the Dubai Municipality health centres will operate 24/7.

In terms of primary healthcare centres (PHCs), the Nadd Al Hamar, Al Barsha and Airport Medical Centre will function 24/7. All other DHA primary healthcare centres will be open from 9:00 to 15:00 and from 20:00 to 23:00.

The Al Mamzhar Health Centre, which is a dedicated child and maternity care centre, will function from 9:00 to 18:00 on all weekdays.

The Al Muhaisnah Centre will be open from 5:00 to 17:00 and will resume work after Iftar from 21:00 to 3:00 on weekdays. The centre will be open until 17:00 on Thursday, and on Friday, the centre will be closed.

Rashidiya Medical Fitness Centre will be functional from 8:00 to 16:00 on weekdays.

The Emirates Airlines Medical Fitness Centre will be operational from 7:30 to 12:30, while Dubai Land Medical Fitness Centres will be open on Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday from 8:00 to 12:00.

The medical fitness centres at Knowledge Village, JAFZA, Emirates Medical Fitness Centre and AXS will be open from 8:00 to 13:00, while those at DIFC, Al Lusaily and DAFZA will be open from 9:00 to 14:00. The Al Lusialy Medical Fitness Centre will also be open on Friday and Saturday but only during the evening slot, from 20:00 to 23:00.

The following will only work on weekdays; the Zabeel Medical Fitness Centre from 9:00 to 17:00; the Al Yalaiys Medical fitness centre from 7:00 to 16:00; the Al Quoz Medical Fitness Centre from 7:00 to 17:00; and the Smart Salem centre from 8:00 to 17:00.

The Emirates Airlines Medical Fitness Centre will be open from 7:30 to 12:30; the Al Nahda Occupational Centre from 7:30 to 16:00, and Al Garhoud centre from 7:30 to 16:30.

Timings of specialty centres: -The Dubai Physiotherapy & Rehabilitation Centre, Seniors’ Happiness Centre, Dubai Fertility Centre and Dubai Cord Blood & Research Centre will work from 9:00 to 14:00.

-The Thalassemia Centre and the Dubai Diabetes Centre will work from 8:00 to 14:00; and the Dubai Complementary Medicine Centre from 8:30 to 13:30.

-The Dubai Physiotherapy & Rehabilitation Centre will work from 9:00 to 16:00 and 21:00 to midnight.


Source: Emirates News Agency