Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, has launched a new centre in the Emirate to support and help family businesses grow. Its function is to provide technical and administrative support to these companies, thus ensuring their sustainability and a smooth generational handover.
Family businesses play a key role in the global economy, as many of them have a long and successful history. These companies are created by people who are part of the same family bond and are relevant because they favour viability worldwide.
In January, the UAE's new family law came into force, which aims to enable family businesses to contribute to the national economy and attract international companies to establish operations in the country.
The decree includes providing technical and administrative support to family businesses, ensuring their sustainability and encouraging the development of a comprehensive strategy to support them, with the aim of achieving creative ways to increase their income.
The law regulates the ownership rights of the enterprises, defining the capital of the family business, the way in which the partners obtain their shares, as well as providing for the right of redemption and appreciation of the shares.
The law also contains other provisions concerning the resolution of disputes between family members, the distribution of annual profit, bankruptcy and the number of partners in a company.
In addition, new laws have been passed, regulating divorce, inheritance and child custody. One of these is composed of 20 articles and provides for the idea of civil marriage to address paternity issues, thus allowing for custody of children with their parents.All these laws serve to improve legislation and investment in the country.
The aim of the family businesses is to develop a strategy to support and encourage all these creative measures in the Emirate, as well as to increase their growth opportunities. Family businesses play an important role in the development of the Emirati economy.
These companies span multiple sectors such as retail, hospitality, property and construction, travel, industry and manufacturing, technology and shipping.
Their plan is to transform 200 family business projects into large companies with a market capitalisation of more than AED 150 million.
Up to 90% of private companies in the country are family-owned, employing more than 70% of the industry's workforce. These companies account for about 40% of the UAE's GDP, according to figures from the Minister of Economy.