UAE Ministry of Economy considers new policies to help family businesses grow

Family businesses are a key part of the UAE's ongoing transition to a more 'resilient and sustainable economy', minister says

Dubai skyline seen from Deyaar properties on Business Bay.
(Photo: Reem Mohammed/The National)

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The UAE Ministry of Economy said on Monday it is keen to work alongside family businesses to develop a legislative structure that could help them grow.

A framework to better organise the operations of family businesses in the UAE is pivotal to ensure their continuity over successive generations, UAE economy minister Abdulla Bin Touq said.

“Family businesses are a main focus area in the ongoing transition to a more resilient and sustainable economy and we have a clear plan to enhance their leadership and competitiveness,” Mr Bin Touq said during a meeting between ministry officials and the Family Business Council-Gulf on Monday.

Joint work committees are already in place between the two sides working on strategy, research and legislation.

The teams are now working on a new phase that will see them develop policies to support the growth of family businesses, improve data collection on family companies and raise awareness among family firms about the importance of good governance.

A technical committee headed by the ministry is also being set up, with the help of the Family Business Council's Gulf chapter and advisers to the country's most important family companies, to follow up on plans and make sure they are implemented within agreed timelines.

The minister said his department is keen to work closely with federal and local government entities and the private sector in the UAE with the aim of developing specific initiatives to enhance the readiness of priority sectors – including family businesses – to keep pace with the nation’s transformation over the next 50 years.