Al Nassar & Co. Advocates Blog

New FDI Ruling in UAE Encourages New Industry & Foreign Investment


The recently introduced Foreign Direct Investment Law (Federal Law 19 of 2018) is an epoch making event in UAE’s economic history. As per the new law, foreign shareholders can now have upto 100% ownership of companies in specified sectors.  The FDI law provides for a positive list and a negative list which is nothing but the sectors in which 100% FDI is allowed and sectors in which they are not. As per the law, the UAE cabinet is to form a FDI committee which will suggest the sectors to be included in the ‘positive list’.  The final decision on the sectors in the ‘positive list’ will be left to the UAE cabinet.  A broad outline or principles has been given for the Foreign Direct Investment committee to determine the sectors under positive list.

(i) To be in alignment with the overall plans of UAE;

(ii) Value addition to UAE economy;

(iii) Technology innovation and job opportunities and training for UAE Nationals;

(iv)The overall expertise, repute and competency of the FDI firm;

(v) Modern technology implementation and

(vi)Any other requirement and conditions as may be imposed by the UAE cabinet from time to time

The level of such ownership can be fixed at any level, either 100 percent or any lesser percentage.  Conditions may also be imposed on the minimum capital requirement, the form of entity and Emirati (employment on board) requirement etc.

Not-permitted sectors (The negative list)

Article 7 of the FDI law specifies the negative list in which higher levels of FDI is not permitted.  These are:

(i) Petroleum products exploration and production;

(ii) Fishing;

(iii) Security, Military, Arms and Weapons and uniformed services and equipments etc;

(iv) Post & Telecom;

(v) Banking and Financial services;

(vi) Transportation (Land & Air);

(vii) Insurance;

(vii) Hajj & Umrah services and services such as publishing, labour, recruitment, pharmaceutical, blood banks, quarantines, electricity and water supply etc.

The cabinet has the right to add or remove any sector from the above list.

Article 10 lists the procedure to apply for increased FDI ownership.  The application should be processed within 5 working days by the competent authority.  License shall be issued by the Economic Department of the Emirate concerned, while rejected applications have an appeal process defined.  Detailed procedures for registration, renewals etc. are being issued separately.

For sectors that are neither on the positive list nor on the negative list, applications can still be submitted for higher FDI.  A new FDI Unit will be created under the Ministry of Economy.  The FDI unit shall recommend the FDI policies to the Government and establish a comprehensive database of FDI projects in UAE and monitor their performance too.

The new FDI law is a path breaking event in the annals of UAE’s economy.  Though at present there is no clarity on the exact sectors under ‘positive list’, the UAE cabinet has been given the powers to issue directions on this.  The cabinet may accordingly permit a ownership of less than 100%, place restrictions on the type of entity, specify minimum capital investment, allow greater FDI ownership in specific Emirates and so on.  We, at Al Nassar, advocates in Dubai are constantly monitoring each and every development in the sector and undertake a careful review of every Act, Article and law made in this regard.  Whether you are a MNC looking to improve your UAE presence, or a local business wanting to know how the new law will affect the future of UAE’s economy, you can contact Al Nassar Advocates for more clarity and information on the issue.

The New Mortgage law in Dubai: What you need to know!


If you were to carefully review the new mortgage law in Dubai, one thing becomes crystal clear; it is aimed at strengthening the real estate field in UAE. The new law paves the way for more foreign investment in the city. The reforms don’t just end there as the new law supports “alternate funding methods.”

“By developing Dubai’s Mortgage Law, we will help real estate organizations to operate in perfect harmony and enhance their smart resources to provide the best possible services to the customers and create strong new investment tributaries.” Said  Sultan Butti Bin Mejren, Director-General of Land Department

Hence, we can derive three major motives that Dubai is trying to achieve

  1. Bring in more foreign investment into Dubai
  2. Strengthening foreign relationships with major international institutions
  3. Make it easier for public listed entities to own land in Dubai

With that said, the laws also serve the purpose of bringing more structure to Dubai’s Mortgage system. The key takeaways are:

  • The mortgage will be only issued by a registered financial system
  • The mortgage must be fully insured
  • The mortgage must be registered with the Land Department
  • The details concerning registration will include the details to whom the mortgage is issued, the value of the property, repayment period, & terms

Dubai has a curious case with its mortgage proceedings as the country faced an increased demand for land in recent years is what the professional real estate lawyers says. The real estate prices saw great gains, as much as 79% from 2007. Even though the high prices will bring in more overseas capital, the Dubai government realized the need for a most structured set of rules and regulations to maintain order and smooth progression of the economy. Therefore, without waiting for things to worsen, the Dubai government has made the necessary changes to keep the system running at full steam.

The new Mortgage laws will enable the flow of REITs (Real estate investment trusts) and alternate finances, which will greatly help the developers to build property without struggling to find capital. Since Dubai now stands as a prime location for investment opportunity to foreigners, the new laws certainly give them better visibility when it comes to investing in Dubai. These new reforms fall under the vision “Dubai plan 2021”.

The new set of laws is also aimed at helping the middle-class residents to buy their own property, freeing them from rentals. With the current real estate scenario, a user will have to pay at least 32% of the total value of the property upfront. With the new laws, this value is expected to decline, helping the mid-tier section to own property in Dubai.

The new Mortgage laws are indeed a welcome change in Dubai, and it will help many to realize their dream of owning property in Dubai.

Benefits You Can Get From the UAE’s New Federal Arbitration Law?


Before jumping into the new Arbitration law put forward in UAE, let’s have a look at what arbitration laws actually stands for;

Arbitration is the process by which two parties in dispute resolve the issues with the help of a third party like an individual or a group, without taking matters to court. The third party who provides the verdict are called arbitrators. Laws on arbitration governs the parameters in which arbitration takes place.

UAE issued a new law concerning arbitration which is known as Federal Arbitration Law of UAE. This Law was implemented on May 3, 2018. This new law, containing 61 articles, was issued as a replacement for the previous arbitration law of UAE, ergo; the new laws will replace the Articles 203 to 218 of the UAE Civil Procedure Code (CPC). The new law addresses the shortcomings of the previous rules, that led to many suspecting the efficacy of the previous law. It took the effect of one month after it was issued in May.

The Federal arbitration laws aims  to develop the  UAE as a towering presence in matters of international arbitration. For achieving this feat, the new arbitration laws in UAE is based on the UNCITRAL model law on Internal Commercial Arbitration. The new set of laws is a great way for UAE to be one of the countries who participate in resolving international matters.

Furthermore, if UAE gets its seat among the list of international arbitrators or the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), it will provide the following benefits to UAE;

  • It will greatly amplify the positive outlook of UAE internationally
  • To the countries of the world, UAE will be amongst the list of countries that respect laws and neutrality
  • It will open doors for increased trade and international business
  • It will strengthen the UAE companies and facilitate UAE as prospective place to hold international arbitration meetings

What are the major changes in the new Federal Arbitration Law, 2018

With the new law in place, UAE has made a giant leap towards unifying its arbitrary laws with international standards. Some of the welcome changes are;

  • The introduction of international arbitration laws, which are in line with the UNCITRAL Model Law.
  • The increased power granted to the courts to support the arbitration process with interim measures in place (Articles 18)
  • Overall confidentiality concerning arbitration process (Article 33(1))
  • The inclusion of modern communication methods such as video calling (Article 33 & Article 28)
  • Arbitrators outside UAE are not mandated to be present on the panel (Article 41(6))
  • Annulment, if any, must be made with a 30-day prior notification of the award pertaining to the parties. (Article 54 (2))
  • The Minister of Economy manages the arbitration institutions in order to charter to the professional code of conduct concerning the arbitrators (Article 58)
  • Simplifying the laws pertaining to enforceability of arbitration (Article 52)

The new arbitration law in UAE draws a clear distinction between arbitration conducted internationally and domestically. Therefore, the new laws are applicable to both international and domestic arbitrations.

In Conclusion

In essence, the new arbitration law is a welcoming change and most definitely a milestone for the UAE. With this new change, UAE will be able to position itself among the to-go places for international arbitration. It will also bring more structure to the domestic arbitration laws. One of the best reformations is the decreased downtime in getting things done. This new change will positively show UAE as an investor-friendly country and bring in more foreign business.  You can also consult with legal advocates in Dubai, UAE to have a clear idea about the benefits of UAE’s new Federal Arbitration Law.

How to Find the Best Real Estate Lawyer in Dubai, UAE?


Before venturing out to find the best real estate lawyer in Dubai, you must ask yourself if you know the qualities to look for in a real estate lawyer that puts them a cut over the rest. Since they handle very delicate matters that are usually of large financial significance, you need to carefully review their skills and reputation before going through with the appointment.

If you do want to find the best real estate lawyers in Dubai, select a lawyer who possesses the following set of skills:

License to operate

Lawyers need to have the license of the respected jurisdiction license if they want to deal in a certain state. Lawyers often reject clients from states that they do not operate in. But if the details were to go unnoticed, you might be hiring a lawyer who is not authorized to practice in that specific area. This can lead to further legal complications. The remedy is pretty simple as you can ask for their license before hiring them and ask them about their jurisdiction rights.


When you are hiring a real estate lawyer, you have to be sure that he/she is giving you all the right info without any blinds on. When something goes wrong or if your business strategy needs immediate change, you must have to hear it no matter how negative it is. Leading the client on without giving out proper info will cause a breakdown if something bad were to happen.

Local knowledge

When you are in the process of buying or selling real estate, you must inquire about the area where you are trading. There might be some complication tied to a piece of land that might hinder its value over time and knowing everything about it from the get-go will be a major help. A real estate lawyer with appreciable local knowledge will have all the key skills to facilitate a smooth trade.

Record of accomplishment

If you are looking for a real estate lawyer for a specific purpose, make sure that the lawyer has enough grasp of the matter. This can be easily evaluated if you review their past cases. If they do not have enough expertise in the field that you need help in, choose another real estate lawyer who does have experience in that specific field.


You can spot the best real estate lawyers in Dubai by how much value they give to their client’s time. Like the saying that goes “Time is money,” every second matters when it comes to business. You will know that your real estate lawyer is serious about your matter when he/she shows up for meetings and other legalities punctually.

Skillful at negotiations and communication

The real estate lawyer that you select must be skillful enough to get you the best deal always. They must be able to convey the ideas better and have the proficiency to conduct deals that make the client happy. Negotiations are a critical part of real estate trade because the deal must be in such a way that both parties can leave happy. You need a skillful lawyer to find that sweet spot.


There is no real benefit in having a real estate lawyer who has all the above qualities but does not respond in time to your queries. Promptness or availability are two different attributes that achieve the same end result – better client satisfaction. Just think of a scenario where you need immediate legal assistance, but your real estate lawyer in Dubai is nowhere to be contacted! So be sure that the people you hire are available to you.

Tough to find people with these skills?

We know how hard it can be to get a real estate lawyer in Dubai who can check all the right boxes at all  times. We, Al Nassar & CO., found a solution to this by giving you access to a group of lawyers who have proven their mettle in their respective fields. This way, you will always have the best possible help by your side 24/7. Why wait, contact us now!

Will and Succession Planning: What You Need To Know!


While we talk about the different verticals of law, one of the major, yet overlooked part of it is Will and Succession Planning.

What is a Will?

To get you up to speed, a Will can be defined as a document carries the name of the person who is going to inherit your assets. The Will can also specify other things like a wish or a task that the guardian wants the inheritor to carry out.

How can it be executed later?

It is later executed using probate, and this ensures the authenticity of the will as well as ensure that the right person gets the right proportion of inheritance. The probate is processed through the court, and upon successful validation, the inheritance is distributed as per the requirements stated in the will.

What is the inheritance law of the U.A.E. ?

It is a matter of great concern when a large portion of UAE citizens are unaware of the UAE inheritance system, especially expatriates. In UAE, Inheritance is guided by Sharia Laws, and they apply to every Muslim national.

When the time comes, the Will is The probate is also offered the verdict of guardianship if there are minor children involved.

What about expatriates? How does UAE inheritance laws apply to them?

The nationals of the UAE can get their inheritance based on the rulings of the Sharia law, but many expatriates do not know how the system works with them in the equation. This is also one of the major reasons why expatriates shy away from buying land or other investments in UAE. It is best to meet with legal consultants in Dubai before you give up on it completely.

However, these concerns are there because they do not know how the rules in UAE are structured. Article 1(2) of Federal Law No. 28 of 2005 allows the expatriates, even non-Muslim personal, the freedom to make a will that is based on their home country’s personal law. However, care must be taken to ensure that the will is translated into Arabic and then duly notarized with the Notary public in UAE.

If an expatriate dies without a will in place, then the UAE government will process the inheritance based on the Sharia law. The task of processing your inheritance will be dealt with by the local courts. The processing takes places with the following procedure in place;

  • All joint/personal bank accounts will be frozen
  • All the dependent visas will undergo cancellation
  • Your assets will be processed using the Sharia Law
  • The court will assign the guardian for the minors children
  • The inheritance distribution may not be as per your home country’s rules
  • Divorced spouses will be one among the benefactors to the wealth
  • Investments with the inheritance capital will be delayed till the end of processing

Since such complexities are involved, we can’t stress enough on the matter of making a will for your assets. Having a will set in place will help the inheritors from a great deal of malevolence, not to mention that the legal proceedings will cause the bank accounts to freeze and pauses any ongoing or upcoming investments till it’s over.

Real estate division is another matter of complexity, and its best get professional help from real estate lawyers in Dubai when it comes to sorting out the inheritance system applied on real estate. We are a team of professionals, comprising of the best advocates in Dubai, who have helped numerous clients with their wills and inheritance models. Get in touch with us, and we will help you sort things out the way you want it.

IP Protection Law in UAE: An Overview


Intellectual property can be summed up as the property that is created with the human mind. Every invention, piece of literary or artistic work, brand names and even symbols can be called as intellectual property. Since it is a product of sheer imagination and commitment, it should be regarded as every other asset that needs protection. This is where intellectual property laws come in.  They protect intellectual property from theft and corruption using trademarks, patents, copyrights, and trade secrets.

The IP Protection laws varies from place to place. Intellectual property protection or IP protection in UAE is governed by the Federal laws of UAE. In essence, they all serve the same purpose – to protect the intellectual properties of their inventors.

What is the need of IP Protection in UAE?

A brand speaks about a unique entity. Similarly, every single invention ever made is a mark in the world made by its inventor. So when others make a blatant copy of an invention, the investment of the maker goes to waste. Think about a scenario where anybody could start a business with the name of any A-list brands. This spells disaster as it completely destroys uniqueness and makes people lose trust in brands. Alternatively, imagine where a painting or an image that you have created being copied and circulated without your permission. This is the importance of getting intellectual property protection.

Different IP Protection Methods

If you have unique ideas that you need to be protected from prying eyes, you should make yourself acquainted with the following terms.

  1. Patent: patents are given out for inventions and prohibit others from using the same technology without the owner’s consent. In UAE, the inventor can file for a patent at the GCC patent office situated in Dubai. It was established in 1998 and since been the go-to place for getting patent on valuable inventions. Of course, to patent an invention, the creation must be unique and must be of some use to the public.
  2. Trademarks: trademarks are unique words, symbols or signs that separate your brand from others. It is crucial that you must trademark your business properties so that no one else can use your banner to sell their products. Before you trademark, your product, make sure that the same does not already exist or else it may lead to unnecessary complications.
  3. Trade secrets: trade secrets are formulas, processes or even devices that are unknown to the competition. It gives the company a competitive advantage. The best example for this is the soda formula used by Coca-Cola. The companies must also make sure to take necessary precautions so that the information is not leaked in any way. UAE already has a set of laws that oversee disclosure of business secrets and trade secrets.
  4. Copyrights: copyrights mainly focus on protecting artistic works like songs, music, graphical works, etc. software rights also comes under copyright laws. The trademarks and copyright filing in UAE is streamlined and has to be done through the UAE Ministry of Economy.

How Does the IP Protection Work In UAE

Since intellectual properties are very valuable and can even help in the progress of the whole country, UAE has passed several rules on the same. The following are the major IP protection Laws that are laid down by the UAE legislature.

  1. Federal Law No. 37 of 1992 on Trademarks (as amended by Law No. 19 of 2000 and Law No. 8 of 2002)(1992) : This law mainly deals with Enforcement of IP and related laws, trade names, geographical indications, and
  2. Federal Law No. 7 of 2002 Concerning Copyrights and Neighbouring Rights(2002): this law passes in 2002 deals with copyright and related rights, IP Regulatory Body, Traditional Cultural Expressions, Enforcement of IP and Related Laws.
  3. Federal Law No. 31 of 2006 Pertaining to the Industrial Regulation and Protection of Patents, Industrial Drawings, and Designs(2002):  This is yet another law passed in 2002 with deals in Enforcement of IP and Related Laws, Competition, Industrial Property, Industrial Designs, Patents (Inventions) and others.
  4. Federal Law No. 17 of 2009 on the Protection of New Plant Varieties(2010): the law passed in 2010 is particularly aimed at protecting plant varieties. The complete list includes IP Regulatory Body, Enforcement of IP and Related Laws, Plant Variety Protection, Trademarks and Trade names.

These are only the list of main laws that deal with IP protection in UAE; there are also several other complimentary laws that come as the subgroups of the main laws.

Therefore, UAE has a very robust system for protecting IP properties. If you or your entity needs IP protection, a good Law Firm specialised in the practise of Intellectual Property Laws in UAE, could help you with necessary registration and legal actions in the event of infringement or apprehended infringement.

A Guide to Securing and Recovery of Debt


Lending money is crucial in modern business setups. Big business projects or personal projects are backed by huge debts with a promise of complete repayment. Financial setups throughout the world have a working model for the solicitation, disbursement and the recovery of debt. Debt is available in several forms and the most common form is that of the secured debt. The financial institutions provide a certain amount that is backed by some collateral that can help the recovery of the amount in case the debt is not settled in time.

How is debt secured?

A debt is secured when backed by any asset equal or greater than the amount given. In case of secured debt, a credit check is carried on just to confirm whether the loanee can be considered capable to handle the debt and repay it, whenever required. The collateral offered to secure a debt depends upon the type of the loan. Financial institutions usually work with properties including house, vehicles, certificate of deposit, savings or jewellery. Collaterals vary in case of commercial loans. Commercial loans offer natural reserves, securities, assets or real estate to the financial institution for securing the debt.

These secured debts are usually available at fewer interest rates. Since the loan is secured with a backup collateral, institutions consider minimal risk and provide loans at low rates. This security also makes large loan amounts a possibility. The repayment of such debts come with a much longer period, in most cases for a period of years, because the value of collateral matures over time as well. Credit unions, banks, lenders, act as sources for this kind of debt. The terms of each source might be different but the vetting period usually depends upon how big the debt is. The analysis for debt securing is thorough. The financial institutions make sure whether the transaction is worth it in the first place.

How to recover the debt?

In modern scenario, the most crucial problem of businesses is the outstanding debt. Amount tends to get stuck, in case the loanee acts irresponsibly or fails to pay back at the time. The recovery process becomes difficult and gobbles a lot of energy, resources and time. An escalation process is initiated in order to clear the outstanding payment.

  • Start with a reminder:
    In case, the payment is overdue, the first step is a courtesy reminder. The customer can be reminded with a phone call, a letter or an email. In many cases, the first contact is heeded by the customer and a prompt payment is made just after the reminder.
  •  Send an overdue payment reminder:
    If the initial contact stays unheeded, the institution proceeds further with another call or email to remind about the overdue payment and request for it. It is mandatory to let the customer know about the steps that might follow due to the sheer negligence for the debt settlement.
  • Send a final notice:
    A final notice clearly mentions the repercussions of missed payment deadlines. This contact is considered to be the first step to the legal procedure for recovering the debt. The final notice is the final stage of soft communication and a start to the formal recovery process.
  • Make personal contact:
    When there is no response to continuous letters and reminders, the next step is paying a personal visit. An officer from the financial institution visits the loanee and demands the settlement for debt. This step is usually one of the last resorts to debt recovery
  • Send a letter of demand:
    This is considered the final and last resort of communication on part of the financial institution. This letter warns about the proceedings that may follow. In case of secured loans, the loanee gets a fair warning about the collateral. This letter is issued with a stated time frame to make sure that the rest if proceedings are notified in advance.
  • Action:
    The financial institution hereby initiates required action to recover the loan. Secured debts are processed for the collateral auction in a bid to settle the loan amount.

Types of recoveries

On-time recovery of debts adds to the fiscal health of a company. Delinquent debtors can add to expenses and are exhaustive. Recoveries are initiated according to the nature of the debt. Consumer debt recovery is initiated against personal debts such as credit card debt, cell phone bills, medical debts, overdraft charges and much more. Commercial debt recovery is initiated against a debt taken for a product or service. The bad debt recovery is initiated against a written off uncollectible.

The ultimate solution- Debt Recovery Litigation

The recovery is the toughest and most time-consuming part of the debt management and it requires appropriate strategy based on the Creditor’s commercial, strategic, reputational and legal needs. Engaging a good Law firm which specialises in all aspects of debt recovery, from early issue of Legal Notice and payment negotiations through to debt recovery litigation before the appropriate court is the best solution to the problem. Such a Law firm makes sure that your time is saved and the efforts on your part are initiated/taken over by them with streamlined procedures and focus on early resolution/recovery. In such good Law firms the work is performed by qualified, experienced lawyers with extensive experience in both debt recovery and litigation so that you can simply focus on accelerated revenue instead of consuming energy chasing debts.

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