The guidelines draw upon international best practices that have been adapted to reflect local needs. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Dubai: The Dubai Centre for Family Businesses has introduced a fresh set of governance guidelines designed to assist family-owned companies in establishing effective governance frameworks. These guidelines aim to facilitate a smooth succession process and ensure the continuity of family businesses.

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Incorporating best practices

The guidelines incorporate international best practices that have been tailored to suit local requirements. Their publication is part of a comprehensive project undertaken by the Centre in collaboration with the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and the Dubai Government.

The Governance Guidelines provide valuable advice on the importance of developing a Family Constitution, also known as a ‘Family Charter’ or ‘Family Protocols,’ along with practical tips, tools, and insights to aid business-owning families in implementing robust governance structures.

Family-owned businesses account for approximately 90 per cent of the UAE’s private sector and make a substantial contribution to Dubai’s non-oil GDP, employing a significant portion of the emirate’s workforce.

With many family businesses in Dubai set to undergo generational transitions in the next five to ten years, the issuance of these guidelines aims to ensure their smooth continuity.

Ensuring the sustainability of family businesses

“The issuance of the new family business Governance Guidelines represents another significant stride towards ensuring the sustainability, growth, and continuity of family businesses in Dubai,” said Abdul Aziz Abdulla Al Ghurair, Chairman of Dubai Chambers. “The outlined principles provide a comprehensive and integrated vision that will assist companies in developing effective strategies for seamless leadership transitions across successive generations and promoting the concept of sound governance.”

Building a Strong Foundation

The guidelines and accompanying tools assist families in mapping the intricate roles and relationships that define their businesses, facilitating open discussions on complex issues within an environment of trust and transparency.

The principles and recommendations outlined in the guidelines are also highly relevant for specialists who support family businesses in designing and adopting robust governance structures and practices.

Fostering sustainability and growth

Established under the Dubai Chambers in May 2023, the Dubai Centre for Family Businesses is entrusted with ensuring the sustainability and growth of family businesses in Dubai. The Centre aims to foster the development of this vital sector, enhance its economic contribution, and cultivate confidence in the emirate’s business environment to promote sustainable economic growth.