International franchisors expanding in the UAE: DOS AND DON'TS

by Vanessa Delnaud, Principal Associate, Gowling WLG (UK) LLP

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The Middle East’s buzzing commercial platform is attracting more and more international businesses in a wide variety of sectors. The business-friendly environment and the international consumer base make the franchise model especially attractive in the region. The franchising model is very popular in the UAE, in particular in the retail, food and beverage, hospitality, and beauty/personal care sectors. "Franchise Middle East", the biggest international franchise trade fair in the Middle East, is held each year in Dubai.

As there are no specific franchise laws in force in the UAE, and more generally in any of the GCC States, there are a number of potential pitfalls that franchisors looking to the UAE need to be aware of before entering in to a franchise agreement. This article highlights some of the key information to be considered for this purpose and for which insight from local counsel will be required.

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