Partnership Law in UAE: New Law Boosts Growth and Innovation Regulating the Partnership between Public and Private Sectors in UAE

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has taken a significant step towards accelerating its economic growth and development by introducing a new law that strengthens partnerships between the public and private sectors. Federal Law No. 12 of 2023, dubbed the “Partnership Law,” aims to unlock the combined potential of both spheres, fostering innovation, creating jobs, and attracting new investments.

Breaking Down Barriers:

Previously, collaborations between the government and businesses in the UAE often faced bureaucratic hurdles and lacked a clear legal framework. This hindered investment and project execution, limiting the potential for impactful initiatives.

The Partnership Law dismantles these barriers by establishing a comprehensive framework for such partnerships. It applies to a wide range of entities, including:

  • Commercial enterprises
  • Private-sector projects funded by the government
  • Pre-existing partnerships requiring legal grounding

The law’s reach extends beyond major infrastructure projects, encompassing ventures across various sectors such as:

  • Education
  • Healthcare
  • Environmental protection
  • Renewable energy
  • Smart cities
  • Digital transformation

Transparency and Accountability:

The law prioritizes transparency and accountability. It mandates a rigorous process for:

  • Project identification
  • Tendering
  • Contract management

This ensures that partnerships are driven by merit and public benefit, fostering confidence among private investors and preventing unfair competition.

Innovation and Job Creation:

The Partnership Law empowers public-private partnerships to drive innovation and unlock new economic opportunities. By leveraging private-sector expertise and agility, the UAE aims to tackle pressing challenges and create new jobs.

A Stepping Stone to the Future:

Federal Law No. 12 represents a major step forward in the UAE’s economic evolution. By forging closer ties with businesses, the nation unlocks a dynamic new chapter of growth and prosperity. This collaborative approach paves the way for a future where innovation thrives, challenges are overcome, and the UAE continues to shine as a beacon of progress on the world stage.

Expected Outcomes:

  • Increased private-sector investment
  • Creation of new jobs
  • The rapid development of crucial infrastructure
  • Enhanced global competitiveness
  • Attraction of new businesses and talent

The Partnership Law is a game-changer for the UAE’s economic landscape. By fostering closer collaboration between the public and private sectors, the nation is poised for a future of accelerated growth, innovation, and prosperity.


General Partnership:

  1. What is the partnership law in UAE? – The primary law governing partnerships in the UAE is the Commercial Companies Law. This law details the types of partnerships (general, limited, limited liability company), formation requirements, rights & obligations of partners, and dissolution procedures.
  2. What is general partnership in UAE? – A general partnership is a business formed by two or more individuals who share unlimited liability for the company’s debts and obligations. All partners actively participate in management and have equal voting rights.
  3. What are the advantages of a general partnership in UAE? – Easy and inexpensive to set up, no minimum capital requirement, shared profits & losses, flexible management structure.
  4. What are the disadvantages of a general partnership in UAE? – Unlimited liability for all partners, potential for disagreements and conflicts, dependence on individual partner’s skills & commitment.

Limited Partnerships and Public-Private Partnerships:

  1. What is limited partnership in UAE? 
    – A type of partnership where some partners have limited liability (capped at their investment) while others (general partners) have unlimited liability and manage the business.
  2. What are the requirements for a limited partnership in UAE? 
    – Minimum of two partners (one general and one limited), written partnership agreement specifying roles, contributions, and profit-sharing.
  3. What are the advantages of a limited partnership in the UAE? 
    – Limited liability for some partners, attracts investors with smaller contributions, and provides capital & expertise from general partners.
  4. What is the PPP law in the UAE? 
    – Federal Law No. 22 of 2015 governs Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) between government entities and private companies for infrastructure projects and public services.
  5. What are the types of PPP projects in the UAE? 
    – Construction & operation of hospitals, schools, roads, airports, renewable energy facilities, etc.
  6. What are the benefits of PPPs in the UAE? 
    – Access to private sector financing & expertise, faster project completion, improved service quality, job creation.

Partnership Agreements and Formation:

  1. What is a partnership agreement in UAE? 
    – A legal document outlining the rights, responsibilities, profit-sharing, and dispute-resolution mechanisms for partners in a business.
  2. What are the key elements of a partnership agreement? 
    – Ownership structure, capital contributions, management roles, profit & loss distribution, decision-making procedures, dissolution process.
  3. Do I need a lawyer to draft a partnership agreement in the UAE? 
    – It’s highly recommended to consult a lawyer to ensure your agreement protects all partners’ interests and complies with UAE regulations.
  4. How to register a partnership in UAE? 
    – The process varies depending on the type of partnership. Generally, it involves submitting documents, obtaining licenses, and registering with the Department of Economic Development.
  5. What are the fees associated with registering a partnership in UAE? 
    – Registration fees and license costs vary depending on the partnership type, location, and business activities.

Additional Considerations:

  1. Can foreigners be partners in a UAE business? 
    – Yes, foreigners can be partners in certain types of businesses, often requiring majority local ownership.
  2. What are the visa requirements for foreign partners in the UAE? 
    – Foreign partners may need specific visas depending on their role and investment amounts.
  3. What are the tax implications for partnerships in the UAE? 
    – Partnerships are subject to corporate income tax, and individual partners may have personal income tax liabilities on their share of profits.
  4. What resources are available for guidance on partnership law in the UAE? 
    – The Ministry of Economy, legal professionals, and business consultants can provide assistance.
  5. Is it advisable to seek professional advice before forming a partnership? 
    – Consulting a lawyer or business advisor can help you understand the legal framework, negotiate a fair agreement, and avoid potential conflicts in the future.

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