Monday, 16 Jul 2012
Businessmen at computer
Overseas Business Risk – United Arab Emirates
Information on key security and political risks which UK businesses may face when operating in UAE.
Political and Economic
More information on political risk, including political demonstrations, is available in the FCO Travel Advice.
Bribery and Corruption
Bribery is illegal. It is an offence for British nationals or someone who is ordinarily resident in the UK, a body incorporated in the UK or a Scottish partnership, to bribe anywhere in the world.
In addition, a commercial organisation carrying on a business in the UK can be liable for the conduct of a person who is neither a UK national or resident in the UK or a body incorporated or formed in the UK. In this case it does not matter whether the acts or omissions which form part of the offence take place in the UK or elsewhere.
In 2012, the UAE was ranked 27 out of 174 countries in Transparency International’s corruption perception index (CPI).
Visit the Business Anti-Corruption portal page providing advice and guidance about corruption in the United Arab Emirates.
Read the information provided on our Bribery and corruption page.
Read the information provided on our Terrorism threat page.
Protective Security Advice
The Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure also provides protective security advice to businesses
The geographical location of the UAE in the Persian Gulf and Arabian Peninsular region, and the threat of al-Qa’ida (or other allied groups) looking to target Western interests in the Gulf (specifically in the UAE) both serve to raise the threat. Al-Qa’ida continues to release statements calling for the removal of western interests from the Gulf, and we judge that the UAE is viewed as a viable target for an attack. The association with Western commercial interests, the use of the UAE as a regional transit hub between east and west, and the large expatriate population all contribute to the potential threat.
Read the latest Travel Advice for the United Arab Emirates from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office.
Read the information provided on our Protective security advice page.
IP rights are territorial, that is they only give protection in the countries where they are granted or registered. If you are thinking about trading internationally, they you should consider registering your IP rights in your export markets.
Federal intellectual property (IP) laws have been in place in the United Arab Emirates since 1992 for the protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights. Further, in 2002, a major legislative overhaul resulted in amending/repealing 1992 laws to meet international standards for intellectual property protection.
The United Arab Emirates is a party to the following main intellectual property protection Treaties:
The Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property covering patents and trademarks;
Berne Convention (for Literary and Artistic Works);
Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT);
Rome Convention (for Performers, Producers of Phonograms and Broadcasting Organizations);
WIPO Copyright Treaty (WCT)
WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty (WPPT); and
The Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS Agreement), which forms one of the main Agreements of the World Trade Organization (WTO).
Below are brief highlights of the basic elements of the intellectual property laws of the United Arab Emirates:
Businessman reading newspaper
Applicable Legislation: Federal Law No. 37 for the year 1992 (as amended by the Federal Law No. 8 for the year 2002).
Duration of the Right: A trademark registration is valid for 10 years as of the date of filing the application renewable for similar periods.
Sanctions Against Infringement: A trademark can be infringed by manufacturing, sale and possession of counterfeit goods, as well as imitation, misleading practices, and fraudulent use of registered trademarks. Minimum fines of GBP 935 can be levied and/or prison sentences can be imposed on the infringers. The court has authority to order seizure, confiscation and destruction infringing goods and the equipment/machinery used to commit infringement. The court further has authority to publish the judgment in local Newspapers or the Federal Gazette.
Applicable Legislation: Federal Law No. 7 for the year 2002.
Duration of the Right: The duration of protection is for the lifetime of the author plus 50 years after his death or 50 years from the date of publication in cases of cinematographic works, works of corporate bodies and works published for the first time after the death of the author.
Sanctions Against Infringement: Copyrights infringement attracts a jail term and/or a fine of not less than GBP 1,870. The court has authority to order seizure, confiscation and destruction infringing goods and the equipment/machinery used to commit infringement. The court further has authority to publish the judgment in local Newspapers or the Federal Gazette.
Applicable Legislation: Federal Law No. 17 for the year 2002.
Duration of the Right: A patent is valid for 20 years only with annuities payable during that time.
Sanctions Against Infringement: The penalties stated in the Law for violators of patent rights are fines of not less than GBP 935 and/or imprisonment. The court has authority to order confiscation and destruction of the seizures, tools, or machines and removal of the violating material. The court further has authority to publish the judgment in local Newspapers or the Federal Gazette.
Applicable Legislation: Federal Law No. 17 for the year 2002.
Duration of the Right: Registration of a Design is valid for 10 years only with annuities payable during that time.
Sanctions Against Infringement: The infringement of design right attracts the punishment of a fine of not less than GBP 935 and/or imprisonment. The court has authority to order confiscation and destruction of the seizures, tools, or machines and removal of the violating material. The court further has authority to publish the judgement in local Newspapers or the Federal Gazette.
Read the information provided on our Intellectual Property page.
Read the information provided on our Organised crime
More information is available on overseas business risk in a range of markets.