For those wishing to do business in the UAE, Gabriel Ibiem Advocates & Legal Consultants Advocates and Legal Consultants as one of the renowned and long established law firms is well placed to provide advice and guidance.


For those not having a presence in the UAE doing business in the UAE can be done either by

1) Direct sale to importers and traders already established here; or
2) of an agent/distributor referred to as a 'Commercial Agent.'

Appointment of a Commercial Agent may be thought desirable where the volume of trade requires greater representation i.e. after-sales support and control over such things as ownership of brand name, advertising etc.

In the UAE, the appointment and regulation of commercial agencies is provided for by Federal legislation which adopts a very protectionist stance and specifies that only UAE nationals or UAE wholly owned companies may act as commercial agents. The appointment of a Commercial Agent will take place by written agreement and the name of the Commercial Agent entered in the Register maintained at the Ministry of Economy. Depending upon the exporter's need for localised market knowledge, it is possible to appoint a single Commercial Agent for the whole of the UAE market or a number of Commercial Agents, one for each Emirate.


Once appointed, the Commercial Agent will be exclusively entitled to operate within his defined territory and is normally remunerated by a percentage of turnover.

Great care must, however, be exercised when appointing a Commercial Agent and preparing the Commercial Agency Agreement, otherwise it may not be possible to terminate the relationship without the commercial agent's agreement or, failing that, reasons which the Commercial Agencies Committee consider justify that termination. In such circumstances the Commercial Agent will be entitled to compensation.

Nevertheless, by carrying out sufficient enquiries and drafting the agreement appointing the Commercial Agent to include, among other things, compensation provisions where termination takes place, it is possible to avoid or reduce the risks inherent in the appointment of a commercial agent.


Our services to clients include advising on the following areas:


  • Agency contracts
  • Business sale and purchase transactions
  • Commercial agency arrangements
  • Consultancy contracts
  • Engineering contracts
  • Procurement contracts
  • Distribution agreements
  • Foreign direct investment
  • Franchising
  • Licensing transactions
  • Management Agreements
  • Mergers and acquisitions
  • Joint ventures and consortium arrangements
  • Off take and distribution agreements
  • Operating and maintenance agreements
  • Processing and Production Agreements
  • Project finance
  • Project structuring
  • Technology licenses


  • Employment contracts
  • Confidentiality
  • Non-competition
  • Severance
  • Termination
  • Visa procedures
  • Disputes


  • Limited liability companies
  • Public Joint Stock companies
  • Branch office registration
  • Trade licensing
  • Shareholders' agreements
  • Restructuring
  • Share sale and purchase
  • Free zone companies
  • Offshore companies
  • Regulatory approvals
  • Representative offices

Real Estate

  • Sale and purchase
  • Mixed use developments
  • Industrial developments
  • Residential towers
  • Commercial property
  • Development agreements
  • Development rights and licences
  • Construction and engineering contracts
  • Land and site acquisitions
  • Property management agreements
  • Agency