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Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the State President, issued Decree Law No. 36 of 2023.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the President of the State, issued Decree Law No. 36 of 2023.

Purposes of the Decree:

To provide a conducive environment for establishments to enhance efficiency, competitiveness, consumer interest, and achieve sustainable development in the state, while preserving a competitive market regulated by market mechanisms in line with economic freedom by prohibiting agreements and preventing interference with, or restrictions on, competition.

Scope of Application:

Applicable to all establishments, including economic activities conducted outside the state that impact competition within the state.

Abuse of Dominant Position and Abuse of Economic Dependence:

  • Any establishment is prohibited from abusing its position to disrupt, limit, prevent, or restrict competition, including but not limited to:

  • Imposing prices or resale conditions directly or indirectly.

  • Selling goods or services below their actual cost to the detriment of competing establishments in the market.

  • Discriminating between customers of similar contracts without justification in terms of prices or quality of goods and services.

  • Forcing a customer not to deal with a competing establishment, imposing prices.

  • Disseminating false information about products or their prices, knowingly leading to an artificial scarcity or surplus of the product.

  • Restricting or controlling production, markets, or technological developments.

  • Partial or complete refusal to deal according to customary commercial terms without any justification or objective reason.

  • Withholding or limiting the supply of goods and services leads to the imposition of an unrealistic price.

  • Restricting or controlling production, markets, or technological developments.

  • Furthermore, a dominant position is established when an establishment, on its own or in cooperation with others, exceeds a share as determined by the Council of Ministers.

Prohibition of Predatory Pricing:

Significantly reducing prices relative to production costs, which could lead to the exclusion of an establishment or its products from the relevant market, subject to reductions in prices beyond those specified in Federal Law No. (15) of 2020 regarding consumer protection.


  • Agreements or practices that establishments can prove are necessary to promote economic development or achieve specific benefits for the establishment and the consumer are exempted, provided they do not result in the complete exclusion of competition in the market.

  • Establishments must notify the ministry of such agreements and practices.

  • Additionally, the ministry should be informed of any proposed amendments to these agreements or practices.

Minister's Exemption Decision:

  • The decision is issued by the minister, or the person delegated by law within 90 days, extendable for an additional 45 days. The ministry issues a notification of formal requirements completion at the end of the review of data and documents. The minister may specify the duration of the exemption and make the following decisions:

  • Approval of agreements or practices or their rejection.

  • Approval or rejection of conditions and obligations specified by the minister, or the person delegated by law.

The minister or the person delegated by law issues a decision to revoke the approval regarding exemptions in case of the following:

The circumstances that led to the approval are no longer valid.

  • The relevant establishments fail to meet the conditions and requirements under which the approval was granted.

  • The information on which the approval was based is found to be incorrect.

Conditions for Completing the Economic Concentration Process:

Establishments must submit an application to the ministry at least 90 days before completing it, under the specified conditions.

Verification of the Economic Concentration Process:

  • The ministry verifies economic concentration processes, and the minister or the person delegated by law issues a decision within 90 days, extendable for an additional 45 days.

  • If no decision is issued within this timeframe, it is considered a rejection.

  • Any interested party has the right to submit data, documents, or objections to the ministry regarding the economic concentration process.

Suspension of the Review Period for the Economic Concentration Process:

  • ·hen the ministry requests expert opinions, additional information, or in the presence of objections submitted by interested parties.

A committee called the "Competition Regulation Committee" is established by the Council of Ministers based on the minister's proposal, responsible for:

  • Proposing the general policy for protecting competition in the state, studying matters related to the implementation of the decree, and referring them to the minister.

  • Any other matters related to competition protection are referred to the committee by the minister or federal authorities or state-appointed bodies.

Ministry's Authorities:

  • Collaboration with relevant entities in the state to implement the competition policy and address violations of the decree.

  • Preparation of a register of notifications and complaints.

  • Investigation of anti-competitive practices and reporting them to the minister.

  • Receiving grievances regarding decisions issued by the minister.

  • All employees of the ministry must ensure complete confidentiality regarding all information accessed by the ministry.

Coordination between Ministries and Relevant Authorities:

  • Regarding practices that violate competition and requests for exemptions related to them, as well as requests for approval of economic concentration operations.

  • Coordination between the ministry and sectoral regulatory agencies that lack specific laws or regulations for regulating their competition rules.

  • Administrative penalties are imposed on violators of the decree, with their values determined for each article of this decree.

The imposition of penalties in this decree does not cancel:

  1. Any penalty prescribed by another law.

  2. The right of the affected party to resort to the judiciary to claim compensation for damages.

  • Competition cases have an urgent nature, and any action is suspended until the final judgment is issued.

  • Any interested party has the right to file a complaint with the relevant authority regarding any violation of the provisions of this decree.

The minister or their delegate is responsible for:

  • Initiating criminal proceedings for the offenses stipulated in this decree.

  • Engaging in reconciliation regarding any of these actions before referring the criminal case to the court.

  • Any interested party has the right to file a complaint within (15) working days from the date of notification of the decision. The complaint must be resolved within (30) days from the date of submission, and the decision issued regarding it is final.

  • The complainant may appeal the decision to reject the complaint within (30) days from the date of notification of that decision.

  • An appeal to the court is only permissible after filing a complaint.

  • Employees have the authority of judicial enforcement officers regarding violations of the provisions of this decree.

  • The Council of Ministers issues a decision regarding the necessary fees to implement the provisions of this decree.

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