Law on Aircraft Mortgages: Aviation Lawyers in Dubai – STA Law Firm

For bespoke legal advice covering domestic and international laws, treaties, and guides. Get in touch with our Lawyers in Dubai, Lawyers in Abu Dhabi and lawyers in UAE.

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Aircraft Mortgages

Consult with our top aviation lawyers to understand the technical aspects surrounding aircraft mortgages, financing, the governing law and the court precedents under global context. Continue reading


Re-Media-Ble – STA Law Firm

STA Law Firm offers strategic & relevant advice as experienced  lawyers in the UAE & Dubai. Call us to discuss your  legal concerns with an experienced team of attorneys

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Commercial Agency Law

The most commonly used agreements in the industry are the sponsorship agreement, stadium or venue leasing contract, shareholders agreement, agreement concerning broadcasting rights, event support services and licensing agreement. Continue reading this article written by our top lawyers to find out more

Where To Start In Finding A Quality Dubai Lawyer

In Dubai, as well as in many areas of the Middle East, lawyers were not always required to be licensed. In fact, it wasn’t until 2011 in the Dubai Executive Council Decision No 22 that this licensing requirement was brought into law.

The regulations for practicing the law in the Emirate now requires that all legal practitioners, including legal consultants and UAE-licensed attorneys, must now follow the same regulations. This has made it easier for people visiting or working in Dubai as well as residents of the area to be able to determine the qualifications of the professionals they are hiring as legal representatives.

It is important to realize that this is specifically related to licensing in Dubai. Most of the international law firms that practice in the city and within the UAE have attorneys on staff with law licenses from other countries, often their country of citizenship or past residence as well as in other areas of the world where they may have previously practiced the law. These licenses are important, but they are not recognized to allow a lawyer to practice law in a Dubai court.

For foreign individuals looking for legal advice, consultancy or legal representation, it is important to understand that lawyers have to be approved to appear before the UAE courts. These are professionals who are legal consultants as well as trial lawyers, and they have to be formally approved by the Ministry of Justice for federal court representation of clients.

The Courts

Within the Dubai court system, the attorneys have to be approved by the Dubai Rulers Court Legal Department in order to address the court on behalf of a client. There are independent courts and judges in Dubai working in the three court systems.

There is a Court of First Instance, a Court of Appeal and finally the Court of Cassation. To make things a bit more challenging to understand, each of these courts will hear civil cases, criminal cases as well as Shari’a law. The Shari’a law division in the courts is not just reserved for Muslims and can apply to visitors to the country who violate Shari’a law. Within Dubai, there is also a Labour Court as well as a Property Court, which are primarily used for businesses and commercial enterprises.

The court proceedings are heard by one judge or several judges on a panel but not by juries. Additionally, precedent, or what has happened in past cases, is not used to set the bar for current cases before the court, which is very different than the litigation process in many countries. Courts may publish their judgments, but these are typically only from the higher courts and used to assist the lower courts.

Experience is Critical

With the complexity of the court system as well as the various approvals required to appear before the courts, it is no wonder that many of the legal issues in Dubai are handled without the need for litigation.

Attorneys are often used as consultants during a wide variety of business and commercial activities, very similar to how they are used in other areas of the world. By choosing an attorney with corporate experience in your industry as well as in the specifics to your legal needs you will find a professional with the training, knowledge, and expertise to be able to advise you and draft legal documents and contracts that are fully compliant with all local requirements.

Of course, lawyers in Dubai can also represent those facing criminal charges. Often when foreigners are charged, it will be essential for the attorney to not only provide legal representation to the client but also to explain the process and procedure through the court system as well as the possible outcomes as the case progresses.

In Dubai, as everywhere else, most lawyers will specialize in a relatively small number of practice areas. The more experience the attorney has in a particular specialization, the more expertise, he or she will have to provide legal counsel and representation for their client.

International or Local Firms

There is two distinct type of firms operating in Dubai when it comes to the practice of the law. There are local law firms owned and operated by Emirati lawyers, and there are international firms that may have multiple offices both inside and outside of the UAE.

In a decision in 2011, international attorneys, also called Non-Emirati lawyers, were granted the legal right to appear in front of the courts up to the Court of Cassation. While these attorneys are still not able to practice in federal courts, the ruling provided greater opportunities for international law firms to provide highly specialized attorneys with the ability to go before the courts.

Size of the Firm

The size of the firm is also largely determined by the international or local distinction. Most international firms tend to offer a significant number of practice areas from the corporate and commercial law through to criminal defense, employment, real estate, alternative dispute resolution as well as intellectual property and business setup.

Larger law firms tend to use a team approach to provide support for their clients. This a very different experience for the client than a small firm with one or two attorneys. With attorneys from a variety of different specializations and with international legal experience, more effective and creative options for resolving disputes or even litigating cases is a natural outcome.

For individuals in Dubai in need of an attorney, working with a larger international firm may be the best option. This is particularly true for a foreign individual who may not understand the process, the options and the differences between their countries handling of specific legal issues and what is practiced in the UAE.

Look for a company that is established in the UAE and not a law firm that has just recently started practicing in Dubai. This allows you to choose an attorney that is already known and respected in the legal community as well as through the courts. In any legal matter, even if litigation is not a possibility, the more experienced the attorney is in that particular area of the law the better it will for the client.


Use an online search engine or talk to colleagues and friends to find references for quality lawyers in Dubai. With this list of firms and attorney recommendations, it is easy to review the information provided by the law firm and the areas of practice through the website.

Verify on the website that the law firm has experience and expertise in the type of matter where you need assistance. Reading blogs and finding out more about the practice focus and the philosophy of the legal firm will always be a critical step. A company that works to resolve issues through dispute resolution practices rather than litigation will help to speed up the process. However, the firm should also be fully prepared to go to court should the dispute resolution fail.

Develop a list of no more than three law firms in the area that meet your requirements. Give each of the firms a call and schedule an initial consultation. This will allow you to assess the services, professionalism, and expertise of the legal team at the firm before making your final decision. Browse the website for more information.

Private Secondary Buyouts – STA Law Firm

STA Law Firm offers strategic & relevant advice as experienced  lawyers in the UAE & Dubai. Call us to discuss your  legal concerns with an experienced team of attorneys

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Private Secondary Buyouts

The lower interest rates have enabled private equity firms and companies to leverage transaction in lower transactional cost as well. Continue reading this article by our top lawyers in Dubai and UAE to find out more

Law Surrounding Counterfeits in Dubai & UAE – STA Law Firm

STA Law Firm is home to top criminal and IP lawyers in Dubai & the UAE. Our legal skill & expertise encompass a broad range of legal issues

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Law surrounding Counterfeits in Dubai and UAE

Contact our top criminal lawyers and Intellectual Property lawyers and know the laws on counterfeits and trademark infringement in Dubai and the UAE. Continue reading

Trademark Infringements in India – STA Law Firm

For bespoke legal advice covering domestic and international laws, treaties and guides. Get in touch with our Lawyers in Dubai, Lawyers in Abu Dhabi and lawyers in UAE.

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Trademark Infringements in India

Consult with our top IP lawyers and find out more on how to protect your trademarks. Continue reading

Joint Ventures in Singapore – STA Law Firm

STA Law Firm offers strategic & relevant advice as experienced  lawyers in the UAE & Dubai. Call us to discuss your  legal concerns with an experienced team of attorneys

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Joint Ventures in Singapore

Singapore is a thriving business space, particularly encouraging of new JVs and alternate business structures to promote trade and commerce. A few notable JV transactions that gained much attention from regulatory point of view are discussed below. Continue Reading this and future articles on Singapore Laws from our Lawyers in Singapore.

Be Aware, else Beware | Lexology

 Continue reading this interesting article and other articles on Banking and Finance Laws written by our Expert Banking Lawyers in Dubai and overseas- STA Law Firm

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Fair Share – An Overview of Insurance Web Aggregators – STA Law Firm


From driverless cars to high-tech drones, mankind reveals an inclination to innovate first and plan later. The internet, for instance, has developed so fast making one wonder whether laws could ever keep pace with the speed with which the internet, online businesses, and new ideas formulate. Technology today clearly has grown beyond the highways built to support them. One such challenge, for example, is with the newly found distribution system of insurance-the web aggregators. The words fair share today has a completely different meaning than what it was prior to the existence of web aggregators. Continue reading…


Best Criminal Lawyers Dubai, UAE | Litigation & Dispute Resolution Abu Dhabi, UAE – STA Law Firm

STA Law Firm | Lawyers in Dubai | Law Firms in Abu Dhabi |


مكتب محاماة يقدم خدمات التقاضي ولدينا محامين لتمثيل أمام المحاكم  STA Law Firm

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Understanding the Dubai LLC Business Setup Process

In Dubai, as in the rest of the United Arab Emirates, foreign business owners have the option to setup and register a business as an LLC (limited liability company) as a mainland/onshore company or in a free zone.

Not all Dubai free zones allow for LLCs, which are designated as FZ LLC. Instead, they may only accept businesses identified as Free Zone Companies (FZ Co) or Free Zone Establishments (FZE). There are differences in the structures of these companies and particularly with the number of shareholders and their citizenship.

For purposes of this discussion, the focus will be on an LLC business setup as a mainland/onshore company. This allows the business to be located anywhere in Dubai and for any commercial purposes without the restriction of staying within the Free Zone. This also allows the business to sell products or provide services domestically and to hold government contracts, something not possible for free zone businesses.


For a mainland LLC, those not in the free zones, the foreign business owner can retain 49% of the shares of the business. The other 51% of the shares will be owned by a national, typically a business professional who agrees to become a sponsor or a partner in the company.

This agreement will need to be formalized in a Memorandum of Association, which sets out the roles of the sponsor as well as the fees that will be paid by the company for these services. These fees may be a flat rate, or they can be an annual percentage of revenue from the business.

Except in very specific situations, the sponsor is not the same as a partner in the Western business sense. The sponsor is more of a shareholder in that they are not responsible for any debts of the company and are typically not involved in the day to day operations, business management or in business decisions. The sponsor is also not a financial partner in the company and will not contribute money to the company start-up or ongoing operation.

Instead, the sponsor will work for and on behalf of the foreign company owner in working directly with the government agencies to register the business as well as in obtaining the necessary approvals for the business, including work visas and immigration verifications and approvals.

It will be important for the foreign business owner to find a sponsor or a service agent that is knowledgeable and has the experience and expertise to provide the support and advisory role necessary.

Basic Requirements

To setup an LLC in Dubai, there are several basic requirements that have to be met by the company prior to approval. With the LLC designation, the company must have a minimum of two shareholders. However, the company cannot have more than 50 shareholders to be approved.


The company must also have one and five managers named to the company. This is an important consideration as there may be the need for visas for these individuals if they are from another company. The advantage of an LLC as an onshore company means that space issues for these individuals are not as challenging as it can be in the free zones. In these areas, specifically named individuals in a company must have office space, which can create problems with large numbers of managers and limited free zone office space at a reasonable rate for a startup business.

Capital Requirements

The capital required to start up an LLC is also based on a different formula than other business entities in Dubai. In the case of the LLC, the shareholders will determine the required amount of working capital or minimum share capital. However, once this has been established the Department of Economic Development will complete what is known as a sufficient capital test. This is not a flat rate but rather a look at the cost of doing business for the LLC.

As long as the capital on hand meets or exceeds this sufficient capital amount it will be approved by the Department of Economic Development (DED).

Trade Name

You will also need to find a trade name for the company. This is not always an easy process in the UAE as there are specific requirements for naming a company of any type. The name of the company has to be directly related to the service provided or the nature of the business and also to the license type. It also cannot include specific terms that include religious words or images or anything deemed as offensive, indecent or obscene. This is subjective in nature, and different cultural issues can easily cause a trade name to be rejected. It is also important to understand that in Dubai a trade name can only include a personal name if he or she is a partner or owner in the business and it must include the first name and family name.

There are significant numbers of regulations regarding trade names in the UAE. It will be important to review the guidelines and to follow them completely when choosing a trade name for the LLC.

Preliminary Approval

With all documentation in place, the owners can then apply for an initial approval certificate. This is granted through the DED and is often processed through your legal representative. While a formality and not yet final approval to start operations, it is an important step as this will ensure that the company name and format has been accepted and approved.

This process is typically very quick. Working with a legal firm that has experience in helping set up LLCs in Dubai will be essential. They will make sure all documentation and information required are available, and all forms are complete and accurate. As with all information provided to the government agencies in the country, this will be in Arabic.

Formalizing Agreements

At this point, if not completed prior, the Memorandum and Articles of Association will need to be drafted as well as notarized. This is an important document for your business and should be completed by an experienced attorney in LLC setups for mainland businesses.

These documents will need to include several specific elements as discussed earlier. Failing to include these issues in the agreement can lead to complications at a later point in time and if there is ever a problem or disagreement between the sponsor and the foreign business owner. Think of it as a silent partnership agreement with the importance of having a clear understanding of the roles, fees, and responsibilities.

Business Location

With the pre-approval from the DED and the trade license, you will then be able to find a business location. This will need to be formalized with a tenancy contract that you will sign with the landlord of the commercial property.

This tenancy contract, the initial approval certificate and the correct application to the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA). It is important to note that there is a minimum space of 200 square feet required for each business license using the same physical address.

Final Application Step

Once this is completed, all forms that are related to the process are once again provided to the DED. This will include the business license application form. This application is reviewed and approved; then you will be provided with the payment voucher.

The payment for the trade license has to be complete within 30 days or receiving the voucher. Even before the payment is complete, the LLC can begin doing business as per the license stipulations. Contact STA Law Firm for more information.