Experts at Emirates Institute for Banking and Financial Studies discuss impact of VAT on UAE businesses

Emirates Institute for Banking and Financial Studies (EIBFS), a regional leader in banking and finance education and training, hosted a high-level conference to discuss the implications of value-added tax (VAT) on businesses in the UAE. The tax will kick in on January 1, 2018.

The event convened more than 200 senior bankers, management consultants and experts from finance. Attendees included representatives of prominent local and global establishments such as Deloitte, Grant Thornton, Thomson Reuters, Algorithm Research and Stuart & Hamlyn Chartered Accountants.

The one-day conference addressed a variety of topics including the economic impact of VAT, learning experiences from other countries that have implemented the tax, and new regulations affecting the financial sector and businesses in general. Across six lectures, the speakers explained the intricacies of the new taxation law with a focus on how it will influence the day-to-day operations of financial and business entities.

Since the VAT law is not yet out in the public domain, companies find it difficult to ascertain the impact of the new tax on their business and prepare for it accordingly. In addition, the limited time between passing the final law and the implementation date may also pose a challenge.

Explaining the background of the event, Jamal Al Jassmi, General Manager of EIBFS, said: “The upcoming implementation of VAT in the countries of the GCC region represents a landmark tax reform, ushering in a new era in the world of public finances and providing a stable revenue base for the future. With the UAE economy maturing and diversifying away from oil dependency, this is the right time for such a step. However, businesses, especially small and medium-sized enterprises, have to adopt certain measures to prepare for the new tax so that January 2018 does not bring any unpleasant surprises.”

He added: “EIBFS works relentlessly to address one of the major challenges anticipated during the early stages of implementation – raising awareness on various laws and issues that impact the financial and business community.”

Providing a strategic overview of the tax, Hisham Farouk, CEO of Grant Thornton UAE, said: “The adoption of VAT across the GCC region will be both exciting and challenging for our regional markets. Not only will it generate new revenue streams for public sector spending, but also align our markets globally and instil greater transparency in our economy. For a successful implementation, it is critical that a significant level of investment is made in awareness and education of all industries, specifically financial institutions. EIBFS is taking some very proactive and necessary steps in providing this awareness to the financial community, and it is fundamental that this is continued by all.”

For his part, Pierre Arman, Market Development Lead for Tax and Accounting at Thomson Reuters, said: “Time is running out for companies to ensure preparedness for the introduction of VAT in the GCC region in 2018. From assessing the impact of VAT on their organizations through to the readiness of their IT landscape, there is a lot to be done in a very limited timeframe. VAT awareness events, such as the one held by EIBFS, are crucial for the business community to understand what considerations different industries need to take into account in a post-VAT world, especially a notoriously challenging industry such as financial services that is typically more complex to manage under VAT due to its special status.”

Speaking on the topic of ‘VAT Demystified’, Justin Whitehouse, Managing Director and Indirect Tax and VAT Leader at Deloitte Middle East, said: “Events such as the EIBFS conference on VAT serve as a great platform for the business community to learn about VAT and support its successful implementation in the UAE. This is an important event for the government and the private sector, and businesses need to take it seriously and use forums such as EIBFS to ensure they understand what they need to do, especially within such an important sector to the UAE economy.”

In the past few years, the UAE has taken visionary steps towards a non-oil-reliant economy with a focus on economic diversification and boosting non-oil revenues. Introducing VAT is another key initiative to enhance the resilience of the national economy. An International Monetary Fund (IMF) analysis has shown that implementing VAT at the nominal rate of five percent will contribute 2.7 percent to the country’s non-oil GDP.

The new point system for Emiratization in the insurance sector creates outstanding leaders

Jamal Al Jasmi, General Manager of the Emirates Institute for Banking and Financial Studies, announced that the Institute is ready to send distinguished citizens to specialized international scientific institutions for complementary courses in insurance business to improve their skills and qualify them to work in more specialized fields in the insurance sector.

Al-Jassimi said on the sidelines of the first batch of the program at the Abu Dhabi Institute yesterday that the new point system for the Emiratization of the insurance sector will help prepare UAE leaders in the insurance sector, and hoped to achieve a gradual increase in the proportion of the Emiratisation sector

He pointed out that there is close cooperation between the Emirates Institute for Banking and Financial Studies, the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization, the Central Bank, the Insurance Authority and the Federation of UAE Banks to provide job opportunities for citizens looking for work in banks, exchange companies, insurance companies and investment houses and qualify them to reach the highest grades in these sectors. His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates, has promoted the participation of national cadres in the private sector.

In accordance with the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, a team was formed in partnership with the financial sector and government agencies under the supervision of the Ministry of Human Resources and Resettlement.

He predicted that the new Emiratisation system with points will lead to qualitative, quantitative and structural change in the numbers, proportions and functions of citizens working in banks and insurance companies operating in the country, especially as it was launched in conjunction with the successful initiative which was implemented through the employment of more than 1000 citizens in 75 days Banking and Financial Sector. Emiratization in the sector is very important and contributes to accelerating the rate of increase in Emiratization rates in banks. Ahmed Idris said that the Emirates program comes within the framework of Abu Dhabi National Insurance Company to raise the competencies of the employees of the company and attract new national talent to increase the Emiratisation rate in the company. He pointed out that the proportion of Emiratisation in the company growth and that there are senior positions of the company in which citizens and citizens work Of outstanding competencies.

He pointed out that during the UAE program, 10 UAE nationals were trained under a cooperation agreement with the Emirates Institute for Banking and Financial Studies to train a group of UAE male and female nationals who wish to work with insurance companies. The program aims to rehabilitate citizens and work and develop their skills to become qualified to work in the insurance field.

The General Assembly of the Emirates Institute for Banking and Financial Studies elects a new Board of Directors

The General Assembly of the Emirates Institute for Banking and Financial Studies met on Wednesday, 25th April, 2017 in the presence of representatives of banks and finance companies operating in the country.

The annual administrative report, which included the most prominent activities and programs carried out by the Institute during 2016, included the implementation of (879) programs, the total number of participants (23899) participants and participation, the percentage of citizens reached 27%.

The meeting addressed the election of a new Board of Directors for the new session for a period of three years (2017-2019)

The members of the board of directors included H.E. Hesham Al Qassim of Emirates NBD, H.E. Khalaf Al Dhaheri of NBAD, H.E. Hussain Al Qemzi of Noor Bank, H.E. Abdullah Al Hathboor of Dubai Commercial Bank, H.E. Shahab Al Zaabi of the United Arab Emirates Central Bank, H.E. Eman Abdul Razzak of HSBC Bank Middle East and H.E. Shada El Borno of Standard Chartered Bank.

Training Program on Islamic Banking- Concept and Practices Delivered at Bank Credit Europe Amsterdam – The Netherlands

During April 7 and 8, 2017 EIBFS facilitated a training program on Islamic Banking concepts and practices to selected staff of the Credit Europe Bank at its headquarters in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. With 133 branches in 10 countries the Credit Europe Bank offers a wide range of banking products, including international trade and commodity finance, project finance and working capital loans. The two day training program was conducted by Dr. Sabahuddin Azmi, Academic Coordinator of Islamic Banking Program at EIBFS. The training mainly focused on Islamic finance structures and solutions in the areas of trade finance, working capital financing and syndication based on Murabahah and commodity murabahah concepts. The issues related to secondary market activities in Islamic Banking Products were also addressed

MOU signing ceremony in collaboration with Bradfield Group, UK

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) is the world’s largest Chartered HR development professional body.

Emirates Institute of Banking & Financial Studies (EIBFS) in collaboration with Bradfield Group, UK who is specialized in HR certificates is offering level 3 & Level 5 certificates in UAE.

This certifications are internationally recognized and prestigious professional HR Qualification, it is becoming the benchmark selection criteria for organizations around the world and the Gulf region

  • CIPD Level 3: Diploma in Human Resource Practice (DHRP)
  • CIPD Level 3: Diploma in Learning & Development (FDLD)
  • CIPD Level 5: Diploma in Human Resource Management (DHRM)