Maktoum bin Mohammed presides over Dubai Supreme Legislation Committee’s first meeting of 2024

04 Mar 2024

His Highness Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, First Deputy Ruler of Dubai, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Finance, and Chairman of the Supreme Legislation Committee (SLC) of Dubai, presided over the SLC’s first meeting of 2024. During the meeting, he was briefed on the SLC’s 2023 accomplishments, as well as its upcoming five-year strategy (2024- 2029). 

HH Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid said: “The Supreme Legislation Committee’s new five-year strategy reflects the vision and directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, aimed at establishing a proactive, stable and innovative legislative environment that ensures expedited administration of justice and upholds the principles of transparency and equality. This legislative environment operates within an advanced and effective legislative framework, empowering vital sectors contributing to the achievement of Dubai’s sustainable development goals, and bolstering its global ranking in the field of legislation.”  

“We continue to develop a proactive legislative environment that keeps pace with the present, forecasts the future and ensures sustainable economic and social growth. Through these efforts, we ensure that Dubai’s legislative system is aligned with the UAE’s ambitious development strategies, and at the same time contributes to Dubai’s development drive that is primarily grounded in justice and the rule of law, among other principles,” he added. 

HH Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed commended the efforts of the SLC over the past year, which resulted in the issuance of several legislative instruments that have supported Dubai’s development process by adopting international legislative best practices. The SLC’s efforts to develop the legislative system has enhanced the capacity of various sectors to efficiently and effectively work towards achieving their strategic goals.

HH Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed directed the SLC General Secretariat to continue developing robust legislation that contributes to creating a safe environment, keeps pace with current rapid changes, forecasts future trends, and is consistent with the UAE’s prevailing legislation. His Highness stressed the need for legislation to be aligned with and complement the UAE’s constitution and the local legislation in force, while establishing the rule of law, protecting Dubai’s myriad accomplishments, and ensuring that members of the community fulfil their obligations within a clear, transparent and robust legal framework. 

Ongoing improvements
During the meeting, HH Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed received a detailed briefing from His Excellency Ahmad bin Meshar, SLC Secretary General, on the SLC’s 2023 efforts and achievements. These efforts culminated in a set of quality legislation that supports Dubai’s continuous development process, aligned with the vision of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and implemented under the consistent directives and keen supervision of HH Sheikh Maktoum, the SLC Chairman. By developing and monitoring the implementation of supportive legislation, adopting international legislative best practices, and collaborating with local and federal entities in the UAE, the SLC’s efforts continued to support Dubai’s comprehensive development drive.

A milestone year in the SLC’s journey, 2023 saw a range of accomplishments that contributed to the development of Dubai’s legislative and legal system in line with the SLC’s ambitious vision for the period spanning from 2018 to 2023, and its mission of ‘creating an outstanding legal environment through developing pioneering legislation and providing sound, effective legal opinions’.

During 2023, the Supreme Legislation Committee of Dubai finalised all processes related to drafting and issuing a total of 190 pieces of local legislation for the Dubai Government, covering key sectors in Dubai, compared to 145 pieces of local legislation issued in 2022. 

In 2023, the SLC completed a total of 110 registered local legislation applications, including primary and secondary legislation. This marks an increase from the 86 completed cases in 2022. The overall count of completed local legislation cases, whether published in the Official Gazette or pending publication, reached 386, comprising both primary and secondary legislation. 

Federal legislation 
The Supreme Legislation Committee contributed to the issuance of 114 pieces of federal legislation in 2023, compared to 59 pieces of federal legislation in 2022, representing the Government of Dubai in discussions regarding their drafting, thus fulfilling the mandate outlined in its establishing decree. Moreover, the SLC collaborated with the UAE Federal Government in finalising 35 international treaties and agreements in the past year, compared to 21 treaties and agreements in 2022. General applications received and completed by the SLC in 2023, including legislative needs applications and general legal applications, amounted to 57. 

Between 2015 and 2023, the SLC finalized 548 applications for drafting reviews of agreements and memoranda of understanding and contributed to drafting 397 pieces of federal legislation. The SLC issued a total of 1,671 pieces of legislation between 2015 and 2023. 

As part of enhancing synergy with its partners through effective communication, the SLC concluded several memoranda of understanding and cooperation agreements with various local entities concerned with legislation, with a view to improving the legislative process and fostering community engagement in the legislative sector.  The SLC also organised panel discussions, forums, and conferences to raise awareness of legislative work and promote a legal culture.  

Legal advice and opinions
The SLC Legal Advice and Opinion Directorate, tasked with providing explanatory notes and legal opinion memoranda to Dubai Government entities and their affiliates, registered 72 applications submitted by 33 government entities in 2023. Of these, 51 applications, equivalent to 71%, were successfully completed. 

The total number of legislative audit reports issued to Dubai Government entities by the SLC Legislative Audit Directorate amounted to 59 in 2023, compared to 27 in 2022. These reports identify gaps in government entities’ compliance with local legislation in force in the emirate, including their respective administrative resolutions. The Legislative Audit Directorate audited 104 pieces of government legislation to ensure their proper implementation. The SLC Legislative Audit Directorate’s collaboration with the audited government entities resulted in the issuance of 59 pieces of implementing legislation.  

The SLC Dubai Legislation Portal offers a comprehensive legislative knowledge platform aimed at raising awareness of legal rights and duties among community members. Another service offered by the SLC is the Official Gazette; 44 issues were published last year, containing 307 pieces of legislation. The SLC has distributed 3,608 Official Gazette issues to government entities and 3,960 to non-government entities. Additionally, 836 accessible issues were provided for visually impaired People of Determination. 

Moreover, 2023 saw the SLC organising specialised panel discussions, legislative training courses, and workshops on various legislative matters. The SLC also supported legal research and specialised legal publications to build the capacity of legal professionals in government entities and keep them updated with the latest legislative developments. 

In 2023, the SLC successfully completed a number of projects including the Development of the Innovation Plan aimed at achieving leadership in legislative work. Additionally, the SLC rolled out the Dubai Digital Legislation Platform, designed to streamline legislation-making processes and render the SLC legislative services more accessible to stakeholders. 

Innovative environment 
HH Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed was also briefed on the SLC’s upcoming five-year strategy (2024 - 2029), aimed at creating an innovative, proactive legislative environment that reflects positively on Dubai’s economic, social, and cultural life, and solidifies Dubai’s leadership in the international legislative landscape. 

The updated mission of the SLC focuses on improving the quality of legislation to ensure compatibility with global changes and future trends, and creating a stable, innovative legislative environment that ensures justice and transparency through fruitful collaboration with the concerned entities, while striving to contribute to Dubai’s vision and ambitions for a prosperous future. 

The new strategy outlines a number of goals aimed at developing empowering legislation that embraces a fast-paced present, and supports Dubai’s sustainable development drive by applying international legislative best practices. Confident in its critical role in achieving future preparedness and building a strong foundation that keeps pace with the accelerated changes of the current century, the SLC considers legislative agility one of its key strategic priorities. This attribute helps enhance the national economy’s competitiveness and ability to attract investments, while supporting the growth of existing and new sectors, and driving innovation, sustainability and technology. 

Optimal implementation of legislation
The SLC’s new strategy is aimed at ensuring the optimal implementation of legislation to achieve its intended objectives. It also focuses on promoting legislative awareness among those affected by the legislation, educating them on the scope of legislation and implementation of best practices. This aligns with the UAE’s strategic goal of establishing a proactive, excellence-driven, and pioneering government that is capable of accommodating future needs.

The new strategy is also set to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of legislative consultancy, as the SLC firmly believes that promoting a rich legislative culture among government entities is key to revamping the legislative system. 

Key priorities of SLC’s new strategy include upskilling human resources, enhancing digital empowerment, and building future capacities to create an institutional environment conducive to creativity, innovation and system efficiency. 

Economic and social integration
The SLC’s new strategy is perfectly aligned with the objectives of the Dubai Economic Agenda D33 by developing proactive, quality, and flexible legislation that forecasts future trends and creates a conducive business environment. This contributes to accelerating the Dubai Economic Agenda D33’s goals of establishing Dubai as the leading global hub for investment and multinational corporations and a global leader in the digital and sustainable economy. The strategy also aligns with the objectives of the Dubai Social Agenda 33 to create the most effective and proactive social system in terms of protection by developing proactive legislation that lays the foundation for sustainable social development and regulates provision of services that directly impact the lives of members of the community, including healthcare, housing, education, culture, sports, and community development. All these efforts are aimed at fulfilling the aspirations of the Dubai community.