U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council and Morgan Lewis Spotlight Significant Regulatory Changes During Timely Launch of Updated Business Guide


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Morgan Lewis and the U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council discussed ​important regulatory changes in the U.A.E. in a jointly hosted webinar ​on May 12th launching the ​third edition of the Business Council’s “Doing Business in the United Arab Emirates” guidebook. The Business Council worked closely with Morgan Lewis lawyers in Abu Dhabi and Dubai to update its comprehensive guide to setting up and operating in the U.A.E. and navigating the relevant legal and regulatory requirements. This videoconference was part of the Business Council’s series titled “Looking Ahead: Conversations with U.S. and U.A.E. Business and Government Leaders”.

Mr. Danny Sebright, President of the U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council, welcomed attendees to the call and provided remarks about the updated business guide. Mr. Sebright said he hoped the publication would provide American companies interested in establishing or expanding their operations in the U.A.E. with the essential information they need to get started amid recent changes in business regulations and foreign ownership laws.

Mr. Bill Nash, Managing Partner at Morgan Lewis Abu Dhabi, and Mr.  Mark Gilligan, Partner at Morgan Lewis Abu Dhabi, provided an overview of recent legislative and regulatory updates in the U.A.E. as described in the new publication. They also discussed changes to the U.A.E.’s FDI laws, key considerations for businesses setting up in the country, and common issues and concerns for international businesses. After which, Mrs. Rebecca Kelly, Partner at Morgan Lewis Dubai, talked about legislative updates in the U.A.E. as well as the state of the market in light of the Covid-19 pandemic and the U.A.E.’s recent stimulus packages. Mr. Thomas Bruns, Regional Senior Commercial Officer for the Gulf and Commercial Counselor, U.S. Department of Commerce, based out of the U.S. Embassy in Abu Dhabi, also ​delivered remarks on the U.A.E.’s ​business environment and the U.S.-U.A.E. economic relationship.

Subsequently, the panelists engaged in a question & answer session with attendees. The conversation, moderated by Mr. Sebright, discussed what impact Covid-19 has had on the U.A.E.’s business environment as well as how companies can benefit from recent U.A.E. federal and Emirate-level stimulus packages. The speakers also described the types of services Morgan Lewis and the U.S. Commercial Service in Abu Dhabi provide to American SME’s looking to establish themselves in the U.A.E.

The video call was attended by over 250 senior executives from American multinationals and SME’s active in finance, healthcare, technology, defense, and hospitality as well as by U.S. state and local economic development officials.

Mr. Sebright concluded the call ​by thanking the speakers and attendees for their participation, and their shared commitment to supporting American businesses in the U.A.E.

To view the full report, please click here.