Outside Publication

Doing Business in the United Arab Emirates: Fourth Edition

September 2021

Morgan Lewis recently assisted the U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council, of which Morgan Lewis is a founding member, to update its guide to doing business in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The release of the guide coincides with upcoming events in the UAE beginning on October 1, 2021 with Expo 2020, which will run until March 31, 2022; the golden jubilee on December 2, 2021, which marks the nation’s 50th anniversary; and the recently announced plans to institute 50 new economic initiatives, known as the “Projects of the 50,” to advance economic competitiveness and boost foreign direct investment.

The guide highlights reforms and their implications for US companies interested in launching or expanding operations in the UAE. In particular, it examines changes to the following:

  • Business establishment costs
  • Foreign ownership laws
  • Board of directors and national service agent requirements
  • Bounced checks
  • Intellectual property protections
  • Citizenship and visas
  • Alcohol consumption and cohabitation
  • Maternity and paternity leave
  • Economic substance notifications
  • Ultimate beneficial owner declarations

This guide also addresses some of the major political and strategic measures the UAE has taken in the last year that will support its business climate, such as the following: 

  • Signing the Abraham Accords
  • Cabinet reshuffles
  • Government initiatives to support strategic sectors
  • Data privacy
  • Senior officials’ or ministers’ accountability

Read the full report on doing business in the UAE >>