ESTABLISHING A BUSINESS IN
THE UNITED ARAB EMIRATES


Published February, 2008
(EXECUTIVE SUMMARY PAGE)

Introduction to the UAE: Background, Business and Legal Climate


Strategically located between Europe and Asia, the United Arab Emirates has become the headquarters of choice for hundreds of multi-national public and private companies doing business in the Middle East, the Commonwealth of Independent States (“CIS”), Central Asia, India and Africa.

Abu Dhabi, the U.A.E. capital, plays the central role in the U.A.E.’s economy. The country is comprised of seven emirates (Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ras Al Khaimah, Fujairah, Umm Al Qaiwain, ), each having a certain degree of local autonomy similar to the relationship existing between a Canadian province and the Canadian federal government. Abu Dhabi and Dubai are the U.A.E.’s two business and economic powerhouses.

Commercial Agency & Commercial Company Laws

Commercial Agencies

The Agency Law makes no distinction between commercial agency agreements, distributorships, franchises, commission arrangements and other sales relationships. All may qualify as commercial agencies....

  • Governing Law
  • Marketing Goods & Services
  • Commercial Agency Requirements
  • Rights of a Registered Agent
  • Terminating Agreements
  • Unregistered Agency Agreements
  • Choice of Entity

    UAE law provides for different legal entities to do business in the UAE The common thread: one or more U.A.E. nationals must possess at least 51 percent of the company’s capital....

  • Limited Liability Corporation
  • Joint Ventures
  • Public Joint Stock Companies
  • Private Joint Stock Companies
  • Partnerships/Limited Partnerships
  • Representative and Branch Offices
  • Free Zone Companies


  • "UAE: the Place to Be"

    A Dynamic and Exciting Place for Business

    Companies doing business in or seeking to establish their brand in the UAE have the benefit of a wide array of legal structures to consider in developing the optimal market entry plan.

    Given the rapidly changing legal landscape, it is advisable to consult with local law offices in the UAE before selecting one business structure over another.


    The UAE is a dynamic and exciting place to do business. US, GCC, European, Asian and other companies have unique access to capital, industrial and emerging and developed markets as well as exceptional tax and business incentives for locating in or relocating to the UAE.

    If your company is going international, the UAE is the place to be.

    Let's Talk

    If you are interested in discussing in greater detail the legal and business issues impacting foreign investment and commercial opportunities in the U.A.E., please contact:

    James R. Hagerty
    Managing Partner
    Washington, DC Headquarters
    Washington, DC, USA

    Haig V. Kalbian
    Managing Partner
    Washington, DC Headquarters
    Washington, DC USA