Dubai increases assistance for family business expansion and succession

The Dubai Centre for Family Businesses was established by Dubai Chambers to provide businesses with training on leadership transition, planning, and growth.

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DUBAI - A new family business organisation in Dubai, a significant contributor to the emirate's economy, announced on Tuesday that it will assist the expansion of family businesses and aid in their ability to endure generational changes.

The Dubai Centre for Family Businesses was established to provide businesses with training on leadership transition, planning, and growth, according to Dubai Chambers, which promotes the interests of the emirate's business community.

According to Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair, chairman of Dubai Chambers, Dubai, a regional commerce and tourism hub, also intends to launch a family business dispute centre to settle disputes outside of the legal system.

According to a research released by the consulting firm KPMG last year, family-owned firms employ 80% of the workforce and produce 60% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the United Arab Emirates.

The importance of ensuring a smooth, trouble-free transition from the founding generation to the next generation has increased, according to Ghurair, as family firms have grown from tiny to multi-billion dollar enterprises over the past 50 years.

A special judicial committee was established to provide guidance on any legal conflicts with heirs following the passing of Majid Al Futtaim, who was ranked third among Arab businessmen in terms of wealth by Forbes Magazine in 2021. His company, Majid Al Futtaim (MAF), owns assets worth over $16 billion, including a ski resort with indoor terrain in Dubai.

Ghurair stressed the significance of involving and educating the following generation in family companies before the founder passes away.

He stated, "Sisters and mothers need to be educated as well because someday they will own this company and someday they will be asked to vote."

A new UAE Family Companies Law that took effect in January sought to streamline the transfer of ownership to future generations.

We have enough legislation to support us for the next two to three years, Ghurair said, adding that further legislation might be required after that.

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