National laws and policies continue to attract foreign investment to the UAE

4126UAE’s ease of doing business ranked among the best ten in the world

Dubai – 31 March 2014: The city’s judiciary convened at the Dubai Courts’ headquarters today for a conference aimed at strengthening the global competitiveness of the UAE. The conference forms part of a collaborative effort between the Courts and the Emirates Competitiveness Council (ECC).

With an agenda focused on the impact of global trends on the legal framework of the UAE, the event was attended by the country’s top lawyers, judges and advisors. Attendees were led by Head of the Court of First Instance, H.E. Judge Jassem Baqer and Secretary General of the ECC, H.E. Abdullah Nasser Lootah. The programme plays an important role in enabling the UAE to fare positively on a global basis.

One indicator of the efficacy of this drive is the World Bank’s annual report that evaluates countries based on the ease with which they conduct business. Thus, the conference was aimed at shedding light on the competitive nature of such reports and the measures that need to be taken in order to fare well within them.

The event was organised in line with the UAE Vision 2021 set out by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister, and Ruler of Dubai. His Highness himself launched the UAE’s National Agenda for the coming seven years leading to 2021, the calendar year which will mark the UAE’s Golden Jubilee.

The National Agenda stipulates objectives and projects in the sectors of education, healthcare, economy, police and security, housing, infrastructure and government services. The Agenda placed a particular emphasis on the UAE being ranked the world leader in transport infrastructure by land, sea and air, and enjoying similarly exalted status in the ease of doing business.

Given the importance of the judicial sector, its contribution to the stability of societies, and its ability to attract foreign investment, the Courts decided to engage the legal profession, their most important strategic partner, in enhancing the global competitiveness of the UAE. It was also considered logical, since the Dubai Courts represents the UAE in the Enforcing Contracts and Resolving Insolvency topics in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business index.

Conference discussions focused on the observations of three working papers presented at the event. The first paper, entitled ‘UAE’s competitive edge’, was presented by H.E. Abdullah Nasser Lootah, and revolved around an abstract from the Doing Business index.

With regard to this, Lootah stated: “We are mostly interested in the ease of doing business index, which demonstrates the strong performance of the UAE. Compared with other countries, our nation occupies high rankings in the thirteen reports the World Bank relies on to determine the countries’ rankings in the Global Competitiveness Report. The UAE works continuously to facilitate the establishment of businesses in the shortest time period possible, with simple steps and at a reasonable cost.”

Lootah continued: “Ranked first in the Arab world, the UAE continues to advance year after year, and is now approaching being ranked in the world’s ten best governments. The country will take advanced steps upon issuance of the Bankruptcy Law, which will deal with insolvency and restructuring cases.”

The second paper was on the achievements of Dubai Courts in elevating the global rank of the UAE in the index’ topics, and was presented by Hamad Thani Matar, Head of International Excellence at Dubai Courts.

He stated that the Dubai Courts has made great achievements during the past period which have enhanced the global competitiveness of the UAE. This has been achieved through comprehensive development in the commercial judiciary, the establishment of an International Excellence department, enhancement of the corresponding website, focusing on finalising procedures electronically, and the reduction of the duration of litigation.

Dubai Courts’ Legal Advisor, Kareem Al-Jbaili presented the third working paper, which focused on his positive experience in replying to questionnaires and meeting the requirements of the World Bank’s Doing Business index.

Al-Jbaili emphasised the importance of private sector engagement in strengthening the UAE’s competitiveness. He stated that the lawyers and legal advisors play a pivotal role in delivering information to the World Bank about procedures followed within the UAE to establish a business.

The conference was concluded with a wide-ranging discussion involving all attendees. They anticipated a promising future, particularly in light of the UAE’s transition towards smart government. It was concluded that this will assist in easing procedures and reducing time, efforts, and costs, potentially enhancing the country’s already lofty ranking in the Doing Business index, and thus achieving an advanced ranking for the UAE in the Global Competitiveness Report.

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