UAE Cabinet approves establishment of both UAE Council for Fatwa and Sharia Board for Banking and Finance

The Cabinet approved during it sessions the formation of the UAE Council for Fatwa to be the sole reference for fatwa across the UAE and to ensure the alignment of all issued fatwa. The term refers to the ruling issued by Islamic scholars about an aspect of Islamic law.

The Council will ensure that religious scholars advocate moderate Islam and eliminate any source of conflict among existing and future fatwa.

The UAE Council for Fatwa will issue Islamic ruling on various issues at the request of government entities, institutions, or the general public, resorting to a defined mechanism to issue, announce and archive rulings. In addition, it will regulate the right to exercise the issuance of fatwa and ensure compliance to required licensing and training with the aim of eradicating all extremism and ill-motivated practices.

The UAE Cabinet, chaired by Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum addressed goodwill messages to the leadership and people of the UAE to mark the holy month of Ramadan, praying for a blessed month for all and calling upon the community to live by the spirit of the holy month and spread giving, kindness, and compassion.

The Cabinet also approved the formation of the board members of the Higher Sharia Board for Banking and Finance to strengthen consistency of the Islamic finance industry across the UAE. The Board is responsible for setting rules, standards and general principles for banking and financial activities that comply with Islamic laws. As well as setting a general framework for Islamic governance and fatwa issuance on matters highlighted by the Central Bank or other financial institutions in the country.

On a different level, the Cabinet approved the establishment of a national policy to promote mental health through a national framework in order to raise awareness and improve services to the best international standards, in partnership with mental health providers.

The policy will have a positive impact on services provided for people who need psychiatric assistance by reducing the cost of treatment, increasing the quality of services provided, and providing comprehensive psychological services in a sustainable and healthy environment.

The Cabinet also approved a federal law on the protection of loaned foreign cultural artifacts of significance against seizure or confiscation. The impact of this law will positively reflect UAE's compliance to best international practices. The law sets an example in the region, which contributes to enhancing UAE’s position on regional and international levels.

The Cabinet adopted a Federal Law on Rules and Certificates of Origin, which targets exporting establishments and importers in order to facilitate the export of local products. It aims to develop economic policies and legislations to enhance the competitiveness of the national product in foreign markets and obtain market privileges. The Federal Law also outlines the relevant regulations thus gives investors a clear view on the criteria to obtain market privileges. The law includes the definitions of the "origin of the product", the process of certificate issuance, verification of validity, and the relevant official entities.

It adopted a federal law on product safety aimed at raising the quality of products to ensure optimal health and enhance the quality of life for the UAE community. The law includes the processes and measures required by producers, suppliers and retailers selling products in and outside of the UAE. The law also includes regulations to ensure products safety as well as procedures for recall or withdrawal measures from market shelves.

In international relations, the Cabinet adopted and ratified a number of international conventions, which included the ratification of a protocol between the UAE and the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan on amendments to the mutual visa exemption agreement for the holders of diplomatic passports. In addition, to the ratification of an agreement with the Kingdom of Sweden on Air Service Agreement, and another with the Government of the Republic of Costa Rica. The Cabinet ratified the statute of the Islamic Organisation for Food Security.

These agreements come within the framework of the UAE’s keenness to strengthen its ties with the international community.

The UAE Cabinet held its meeting on Wednesday evening at the Presidential Palace and was attended by attended by H.H. Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior, and HH. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs.