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The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) recently announced amendments to the DIFC Companies Law. Notable amendments include new approval requirements for the adoption of non-prescribed articles of association for all limited liability companies, changes to how shareholders and directors may participate in meetings and new filing requirements for foreign companies.

The federal government has issued a decree amending Article 227 of the Commercial Companies Law, with the effect of abolishing minimum share capital requirements for limited liability companies (LLCs) in the United Arab Emirates. According to the amendment, shareholders have the right to determine the share capital of their LLCs, provided that the LLC has sufficient capital to achieve its objects.

UAE federal laws require nearly all types of foreign-owned company to have at least 51% of their shares owned by a UAE national or a company wholly owned by UAE nationals. The World Bank has identified this statutory requirement for a UAE national partner as an impediment to higher levels of investment. Thus, the government is looking to amend the Companies Law to allow for greater foreign equity participation in UAE companies.

Family businesses are dominant in the Middle East and are the key to long-term economic development, job creation and prosperity. The new Family Office Initiative in the Dubai International Financial Centre will help families to overcome challenges, manage their wealth and plan the succession of their business.

The Special Purpose Company Regulations were recently enacted, allowing special purpose companies (SPCs) to be formed in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC). The apparent intention of the regulations is to provide for a company format which will enable the DIFC to compete with key offshore jurisdictions which allow the formation of SPCs.

The Dubai International Finance Centre (DIFC) has a set of laws which are based on common law. These laws are fairly comprehensive in nature and provide for certainty when applying contract law. This update highlights and briefly discusses the salient features of the DIFC Contract Law and the DIFC Implied Terms in Contracts and Unfair Terms Law.

The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) is one of the fastest-growing financial centres in the world. A unique aspect of company incorporation in the DIFC is that it is possible for foreign companies to migrate to the DIFC and for existing DIFC entities to migrate from the DIFC to another jurisdiction.

The Law on the Combating of Commercial Concealment aims to criminalize the practice of enabling a non-UAE entity to conduct an economic or professional activity which is prohibited by UAE law. Implementation of the law has been postponed to allow for sufficient changes in legislation to provide improved protection for both UAE businesses and foreign investors.

The recent amendments to the Federal Law on Commercial Agencies (18/1981) have initiated much debate. The amendments are part of a series of measures taken by the federal government to increase competition and reduce the statutory protection accorded to national entities and persons.

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