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Dubai: Dubai Prime Minister issues new digital services law

The Government of Dubai announced, on 4 April 2022, that the Ruler of Dubai, his highness sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, had issued Law No. 9 of 2022 regulating the provision of digital services in Dubai ('the Digital Services Law'). In particular, the Government stated that the Digital Services Law seeks to accelerate the emirate's digital transformation, enhance the provision of digital services, and promote the digitisation of services in both the public and private sectors. Furthermore, the Government specified that pursuant to the Digital Services Law, government entities, judicial authorities, as well as non-government entities in Dubai will be required to provide digital services to their customers, including the provision of services in Arabic, English, and other languages.

More specifically, the Government emphasised that the Law outlines the conditions for providing digital services, adopting digital identities for obtaining subscribed services, and cybersecurity requirements. Moreover, the Government noted that the Digital Services Law provides that entities can outsource its digital services to a public or private company, subject to the approval of relevant authorities and the Department of Finance, noting that an outsourcing contract clearly outlining the responsibilities of each party will be required, including clauses on contract duration and confidentiality requirements. Additionally, the Digital Services Law states that federal and local legislation on digital transactions and digital signatures will continue to apply to digital services in Dubai; however, provisions that contradict those of the Digital Services Law should be repealed.

In this regard, the Government specified that the Director General of the Digital Dubai Authority ('DDA'), in coordination with the General Secretariat of the Executive Council of Dubai, will issue the decisions and technical requirements necessary to implement the Digital Services Law; the former to be published in the Official Gazette, while the latter will be published on the DDA's official website.

Notably, the Government further specified that the Digital Services Law will be effective from the date of its publication in the Official Gazette, and that all digital service providers in Dubai must abide by the provisions of the Digital Services Law within a year of its implementation.

You can read the press release here.