Opportunities for British Businesses in Dubai - Jonathan Lea Network

Opportunities for British Businesses in Dubai

Having lived in Dubai for six months in 2006 when I trained with Clyde & Co I have always thought of returning for a longer stay, so yesterday I attended the ‘Access Middle East – Opportunities for British Business’ event at the Institute of Directors on Pall Mall, sponsored by the Links Group of Companies, DIFC Courts, Definitely Dubai (the official tourism portal of the City of Dubai) and Dubai FDI. Also in attendance was the nephew of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, currently working at the UAE Embassy in London.

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Fahad Al Gergawi from Dubai FDI began by outlining how Dubai has transformed itself from a local trading community to one of the most successful cities in the world in less than 40 years. Dubai has become the perfect gateway between East and West and a very lucrative imports and exports hub, while Dubai’s expatriate residents now stands at 2 million thanks to the lifestyle appeal and investment incentives. The tax free policies and penalty-free repatriation of earnings create great personal and business opportunities.

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According to FDI Intelligence, in 2011 while many economies were struggling with ongoing economic problems from the global financial crisis, Dubai attracted overseas investment for a total of 273 projects worth USD 6.3 billion.

Fayha Sultan from Definitely Dubai highlighted some of the main lifestyle benefits of living in Dubai (although warned about the summer heat), before Mark Beer OBE outlined how the DIFC Courts work and explained how businesses have benefited from a fair and efficient judicial system based on a unique English language common law system independent of, but complementary to, the UAE’s Arabic language civil law system.

Finally, company formation specialists The Links Group gave some information about one of their main services which ensures 100% of the beneficial ownership of a business remains with the foreign party when a company is required to be set up ‘onshore’ in Dubai (as opposed to one of the many free zones which in practice restrict how you can trade) and is legally required to have a 51% local partner.

The following tweets are some of the main points that resonated with the audience:

About Jonathan Lea

Jonathan is a specialist business law solicitor who has been practising for over 18 years, starting at the top international City firms before then spending some time at a couple of smaller practices. In 2013 he started working on a self-employed basis as a consultant solicitor, while in 2019 The Jonathan Lea Network became a SRA regulated law firm itself after Jonathan got tired of spending all day referring clients and work to other law firms.

The Jonathan Lea Network is now a full service firm of solicitors that employs senior and junior solicitors, trainee solicitors, paralegals and administration staff who all work from a modern open plan office in Haywards Heath. This close-knit retained team is enhanced by a trusted network of specialist consultant solicitors who work remotely and, where relevant, combine seamlessly with the central team.

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