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Dubai Centre for Family Businesses Unveils Key Initiatives to Support Growth and Continuity

In a bid to fortify the growth and sustainability of family-owned businesses in Dubai, the Dubai Centre for Family Businesses, operating under the Dubai Chambers, has introduced a 'Sample Article of Association for Family Businesses.' This strategic move aims to provide a foundational framework for effective management, governance procedures, and corporate best practices, fostering growth and continuity within this vital sector.

His Excellency Mohammad Ali Rashed Lootah, President and CEO of Dubai Chambers, underscored the center's commitment to enhancing services and achieving strategic goals. The Sample Article of Association serves as a valuable resource for families seeking to draft or update their Articles of Association, aligning them with their family business vision and integrating elements of the family constitution.

Highlighting the pivotal role of family businesses, Lootah emphasized their significant contribution to Dubai's non-oil GDP, constituting around 90% of private companies in the UAE. With many of these businesses poised for generational transitions in the next five to 10 years, the center aims to provide essential support through robust governance frameworks.

In addition to the Sample Article of Association, the Dubai Centre for Family Businesses introduced the Governance Guide for Family Businesses in July 2023. This comprehensive guide incorporates international best practices tailored to local requirements, emphasizing the importance of a Family Constitution or Family Charter.

Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair, Chairman of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce, praised the Guidelines, stating that they offer a vision to assist companies in developing effective strategies for seamless leadership transitions across successive generations. With family businesses facing substantial intergenerational transitions, an estimated USD 1 trillion in assets across the GCC is expected to transfer to the next generation in the coming decade.

The Governance Series, initiated by the Dubai Centre for Family Businesses, has successfully concluded two sessions, attracting 40 family business representatives. These sessions focused on best practices in governance, leadership transition, and strategies for multi-generational business continuity, contributing to sustainable economic growth.

H.E. Mohammad Ali Rashed Lootah highlighted the importance of governance in securing the growth and continuity of family businesses, noting the Governance Series as a valuable platform for knowledge sharing. The sessions featured international family business experts, providing insights into assembling dedicated teams, managing family offices, establishing governance protocols, and mastering wealth management for a thriving legacy.

Launched in May 2023, the Dubai Centre for Family Businesses continues to play a pivotal role in supporting the growth and long-term sustainability of family businesses in Dubai, aligning with the emirate's future development plans. The center's initiatives aim to provide crucial support as family businesses navigate challenges and ensure a seamless transition to the next generation.

This article was written by corporate lawyer Hashem Al Ahdal and focuses on family owned businesses in Dubai. 

BSA is a regional Law Firm in the Middle East with offices in the UAE, Oman and Saudi Arabia. As a full-service law firm our practice areas include litigation, arbitration and corporate services, including M&A, banking & finance, Intellectual Property, TMT, Fintech, employment and insurance.

Published on 12 January, 2024.

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