Dubai has taken a significant step in fostering the continuity and prosperity of family businesses by introducing a specialized committee aimed at expediting the resolution of disputes while safeguarding economic interests. This initiative aligns with Dubai’s swift measures to promote the sustainability of family businesses and emphasize their role as vital partners in the emirate’s economy.
Under the guidance of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, First Deputy Ruler of Dubai, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Finance, and Chairman of the Dubai Judicial Council, has issued a resolution to establish the ‘Family Business and Family Ownership Disputes Settlement Committee’ in Dubai. The primary objective of this committee is to ensure the uninterrupted operation and unblemished reputation of family businesses during the resolution of disputes.
This strategic decision is in accordance with the vision of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, which emphasizes the promotion of justice, the rule of law, and the development of a comprehensive legal framework that bolsters the sustainability of family businesses and their contributions to Dubai’s economy.
Sheikh Maktoum underscored the importance of creating an environment conducive to the growth and long-term success of family businesses, aligning with Dubai’s aspirations to become a global economic powerhouse and a hub for thriving investment opportunities. He emphasized the committee’s role in resolving family business disputes and maintaining effective justice.
The ‘Committee for Dispute Settlement of Family Businesses and Ownership’ will consist of financial experts collaborating with judicial professionals to provide specialized expertise. Its core mandate is to address and resolve disputes related to family businesses and ownership without hindering their operations, reputation, or financial standing during the dispute resolution process. Dubai remains committed to fostering a nurturing environment for family businesses and supporting their enduring growth, aligning with its goal of becoming one of the world’s leading urban economies and a rapidly expanding business hub.
Taresh Eid Al Mansouri, President of Dubai Courts, stressed that the committee’s formation reflects the wise leadership’s dedication to building a just and safe society. It aligns with their vision of achieving excellence in the judicial sector across all levels. The committee leverages the judicial and administrative capabilities of Dubai Courts, along with its diverse legal expertise and digital infrastructure.
Prof. Saif Ghanem Al Suwaidi, Secretary General of the Dubai Judicial Council, highlighted the committee’s role in activating pertinent legislation, such as Federal Decree-Law No. (37) of 2022 on family businesses and Law No. (9) of 2020 regarding family ownership in Dubai. The committee’s objective is to expedite dispute resolution while harmonizing prompt justice with the economic interests of these companies.
The committee will be led by a judge with the rank of an appellate judge, along with two members possessing expertise in legal, financial, and family business management fields. These members will be appointed based on the recommendation of the Director General of Dubai Chambers. The resolution specifies that the committee shall be established within Dubai Courts.
The committee’s responsibilities encompass addressing disputes arising from family ownership contracts, conflicts between family business partners, disputes between these partners and family members, and matters relating to the expiration of family ownership contracts. Additionally, it will handle the termination of family business status, removal from the family business register, determining the value of partners’ shares, settling redemption disputes, and addressing changes in share categories within family businesses.
To preserve family ties, the resolution mandates that disputes subject to amicable resolution through the Family Members Council must be referred to that Council for reconciliation before the committee addresses them. The resolution also underscores the role of the Centre for the Amicable Settlement of Disputes attached to Dubai Courts in resolving corporate and family ownership disputes through conciliation and reconciliation.
The committee is empowered to take necessary preventive and urgent measures to ensure the continuity of family ownership or the family business, preventing disruptions or harm to their reputation and financial position during dispute resolution. Parties dissatisfied with the committee’s decisions have the option to appeal them before the competent court in Dubai Courts, following procedures outlined in the Civil Procedure Law.
The committee will periodically report its activities to the Ministry of Economy, ensuring regular review and enhanced effectiveness of its operations. In this way, Dubai is dedicated to supporting the growth and stability of family businesses through innovative measures, maintaining its status as a thriving global business center. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum previously issued a decree that led to the establishment of the Family Business Centre in Dubai, further solidifying the commitment to sustaining and enhancing the success of Dubai’s family businesses by providing essential technical and administrative support for seamless generational transitions.