Doing legal business in Dubai

Everything you need to know about practising in Dubai as an English or Welsh solicitor, or setting up a law firm branch in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Dubai is a city and emirate in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The UAE hosts the largest pool of English and Welsh qualified solicitors outside of the UK, and around 30 UK law firms. It is a priority for the Law Society to support members practising in the UAE.

The legal services market

Dubai offers an open legal regulatory system for non-UAE lawyers and law firms. It's home to many international law firms and lawyers, including many from the UK. It also boasts many well- established and reputable local law firms who practise local and international law and employ non-UAE lawyers.

Many international law firms based in Dubai operate in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), an economic free-trade zone. The establishment of the DIFC has helped to position Dubai as a key hub for service industries in the Middle East, including legal services.

In January 2023, Dubai unveiled its Dubai Economic Agenda (D33) which aims to double Dubai’s economy over the next 10 years and position it as one of the top global financial centres.

The plan includes over 100 projects and forging new trade corridors with over 400 cities around the world, with a focus on Africa and South America. This should create many opportunities for lawyers and law firms practising in Dubai across a variety of sectors.

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