Dubai launches Centre for Family Businesses to enhance sustainability and growth prospects

Dubai launches Centre for Family Businesses to enhance sustainability and growth prospects

In line with the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to develop an integrated system to support the growth of family businesses, His Highness Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, First Deputy Ruler of Dubai, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of the UAE, has inaugurated the Dubai Centre for Family Businesses.

Operating under the umbrella of Dubai Chambers, the Centre will work to foster the development of the family business sector and enhance its economic contribution, which, in turn, will support the emirate’s strategic future plans. The new entity will also launch initiatives to enhance the sustainability and growth prospects of family businesses in Dubai.

The inauguration of the Centre is part of a comprehensive plan approved by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid at the Dubai Council’s fifth meeting in May 2022 to enhance systems and processes that ensure the sustainability of family businesses over the next 100 years.

His Highness Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum said:

“Ensuring the growth and sustainability of family businesses is a strategic priority and a core part of the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. Family businesses represent a key pillar of the sustainable development process and a cornerstone of the future economy.”
“The inauguration of the Dubai Centre for Family Businesses aims to strengthen the economic system that the emirate provides to support family businesses, develop the business community, establish confidence in the business environment, and enhance the sector’s ability to keep pace with global developments to ensure sustainable economic growth,”

HH Sheikh Maktoum further said.

His Highness underlined the historical role family businesses have played in shaping Dubai’s unique economic model, noting that they will play a major role in realising the goals of the Dubai Economic Agenda D33, which aims to increase private sector investment in development projects to AED1 trillion by 2033.

His Highness added:

“The family business sector reflects our vision for excellence and our commitment to pursue new opportunities to achieve success. Ensuring a smooth leadership transition, preserving the family legacy, and strengthening governance are key priorities in our plans to preserve the fabric of our family businesses and prepare them for the future.”
“Our vision is ambitious,”

HH Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed further noted.

“Family businesses are important partners in our economic growth. Their role is vital, their contribution is essential, and their sustainability and continuity are a priority. We are committed to implementing the directives of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum to provide an empowering environment that protects family businesses and helps them develop strategies to keep pace with the rapid changes taking place in the world of business. These efforts will help consolidate Dubai’s exceptional model for supporting the growth and sustainability of family businesses.”

The inauguration of the Dubai Centre for Family Businesses was announced during a meeting held at the Dubai Chambers headquarters.

Details of the programmes to be run by the Dubai Centre for Family Businesses were revealed during the meeting. These include the Dubai Family Businesses Leadership Programme, which was developed in partnership with the Mohammed bin Rashid Centre for Leadership Development to prepare a new generation of family business leaders and enhance their global presence; the Next Generation Training Programme, which aims to educate active and non-active family members about their future roles in family businesses; the Governance Series, a set of awareness sessions focused on topics including UAE laws and family business governance; and the Advisors’ Certification Programme, which aims to develop a pool of world-class certified and accredited advisors for family businesses.

The meeting was attended by His Excellency Abdul-Aziz Abdulla Al Ghurair, Chairman of Dubai Chambers; His Excellency Essa Kazim, Governor of Dubai International Financial Centre; Mohammad Ali Rashed Lootah, President & CEO of Dubai Chambers; and Arif Amiri, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai International Financial Centre, and members of the Board of Directors of Dubai Chambers.

Progressive step

His Excellency Abdul-Aziz Al Ghurair, Chairman of Dubai Chambers, said:

“The inauguration of the Dubai Centre for Family Businesses is a progressive step to achieve the vision of the leadership to establish a robust support system for family businesses that unifies efforts to strengthen their development and enables them to face the challenges of the business environment. This, in turn, provides flexibility, which helps ensure the continuity of these companies and enhances their valuable contributions to the national economy.”
“With an innovative vision and operational procedures, the Centre provides best-in-class services to all categories of family businesses including large companies and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), with support offered to the founders, the next generations, and senior executives,”

HE Al Ghurair explained.

“With that in mind, the Centre offers a knowledge platform that facilitates the development of family businesses and facilitates their smooth transition from generation to generation. This, in turn, allows these companies to adhere to the highest standards of sustainability in their performance and enhances their ability to face the future and its challenges, as well as to contribute more to promoting economic growth in the emirate.”

Al Ghurair stressed that the Centre will provide an integrated system of support and training programmes on strategic issues of interest to all family businesses, most notably regulating the transfer of knowledge and responsibilities between successive generations, as well as governance.

His Excellency reiterated Dubai Chambers’ commitment to boosting the competitiveness of family businesses, protecting their interests, raising the efficiency of their operations, and investing in their leaders to ensure a sustainable future. He also called on Dubai Chambers’ strategic partners to cooperate with the Centre to ensure the success of initiatives set to be launched by the new organisation to serve family businesses.

Innovative approach

Established by Decree No. (45) of 2022, the Dubai Centre for Family Businesses will be tasked with developing an integrated strategy to support and grow family businesses and ownership in the emirate. The Centre will also provide suggestions for policies and initiatives for enhancing the sustainability of family businesses, as well as a set of incentives.

The Centre will work to develop the managerial skills of partners in family businesses, as well as founders, members and their children, in an effort to achieve a smooth transition of leadership and management for these companies. It also aims to familiarise owners of family businesses with government services that are provided to them and the legislation applicable to them, in addition to encouraging them to adopt sound governance systems to ensure the sustainability and family ownership of their companies.

The Centre will develop templates for family business-related documents such as family charters and succession planning templates for these companies. It will also provide advice on procedures to launch family businesses, and propose solutions to challenges and obstacles they face with government and private entities as well as ways to deal with those challenges. The Centre offers approaches to coordinate with organisational units across Dubai Chambers to facilitate and organise their commercial operations for the benefit of both parties.

Furthermore, the Centre will organise and participate in events, exhibitions, and conferences in areas related to family businesses and family ownership, which contribute towards achieving the Chambers’ goals. The Centre will also prepare, study, and analyse the conditions of family businesses and family ownership in the emirate; and compile reports on them.

Unique programmes

The programmes of the Dubai Centre for Family Businesses include the Dubai Family Businesses Leadership Programme and the Next Generation Training Programme.

Developed in partnership with the Mohammed bin Rashid Centre for Leadership Development, the Dubai Family Businesses Leadership Programme is designed to prepare a new generation of family business leaders, develop their leadership skills, and enhance their global presence. The programme targets first and second-tier leaders in family businesses, as well as strategic partners, with the goal of enhancing corporate governance and sustainability systems, developing global trade strategies and investments, and promoting a culture of social responsibility in family businesses.

The Next Generation Training Programme aims to educate the next generation of active and non-active family members about their future roles as owners, directors and employees in family businesses, in addition to developing their skills and capabilities.

Governance series

The Centre’s programmes also include a series of educational sessions on UAE laws and top governance practices, which play an important role in succession planning in family businesses. The sessions will answer the question of how these companies can benefit from establishing governance and embedding its application throughout their activities.

The sessions will also spread awareness and educate the family business community about the need to establish a strong governance system and acquire more knowledge about the requirements for implementing governance. In addition, they will raise awareness about the services the Dubai Centre for Family Businesses offers, highlight the support it provides to these companies, and create opportunities for family business owners to interact with their counterparts. The series targets the family business community, including company owners and managers, as well as lawyers affiliated with or from outside these companies, and insurance and risk advisors.

The sessions will also focus on advocacy and awareness building and the sharing of global best practices through meetings with leading family companies. During each meeting, a case study highlighting a successful local, regional, or international family business will be showcased, with select families hosting to share their expertise and experiences. The meetings will seek to encourage successful families to participate in the initiatives of the Dubai Centre for Family Businesses, in addition to providing support to overcome challenges. The programme will also create opportunities for interactions between family-owned companies and enable them to share their success stories, which span several generations.

Advisors’ Certification Programme

The Centre will develop a certification and accreditation programme for family business advisors in collaboration with leading global institutions to develop and qualify advisors, who will become part of a pool that families can select from. This will ensure family businesses in Dubai are able to reach out to world-class certified and accredited advisors.

According to 2021 statistics, family businesses represent around 90% of all private companies in the UAE, and they have made investments in diverse fields. Emirati family businesses have also achieved leadership and high competitiveness at the regional level, accounting for 25% of the Forbes Middle East list of the 100 most powerful Arab family companies in 2021.

News Source: Dubai Media Office

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