Business consolidation based on a structure from the UAE in 2024

Definition of business consolidation and its relevance in 2024

Consolidation of businesses in the UAE in 2024 involves the amalgamation of individual enterprises to create a larger, efficiently managed organization. This process is of paramount significance in the contemporary commercial landscape, enabling entities to fortify their market positions, streamline operational costs, and enhance competitiveness.

The relevance of consolidation in the UAE in 2024 is due to several factors:
  • Globalization of markets: in the era of globalization, companies must expand their market positions and adapt to changing global economic conditions. Consolidation provides companies with the possibility to pool resources for effective competition on the international stage.
  • Technological transformations: the rapid advancement of technologies mandates significant contributions in innovation and digital transformation. Company merger in the United Arab Emirates enables joint contributions in the prosperity with implementation of innovative technologies.
  • Tax and monetary incentives: the UAE offers attractive tax conditions and financial incentives for consolidated companies, making the region appealing for international investments and business integration.
  • Optimization of management and operational processes: consolidation allows companies to optimize management structures, improve activity coordination, and enhance overall operational efficiency.
  • Expansion of customer base and market opportunities: business consolidation opens up fresh market niches and expands the customer base, contributing to increased revenue and entity growth.

Thus, the consolidation procedure in the UAE is a vital strategic tool for companies aiming to boost their operations, enhance efficiency, and strengthen their position in the worldwide commercial arena in 2024.

Key aspects of firm consolidation in the UAE

Legal requirements for company merger in the UAE

Consolidation of businesses in the UAE is supervised by updated legislation, including Federal Decree-Act No. 36/2023 on Competition Control, replacing Federal Act No. 4 of 2012 on Competition Oversight. These legislative changes have developed considerable adjustments to the realm of mergers and acquisitions control.

One key innovation is the commencement of a fresh consolidation management framework, that can be initiated based on the turnover of the sides involved in the transaction and can suspend operations for a period of up to 90 days pending accomplishment of the review. In case of non-compliance with the legislation, the breaching participants may face substantial fines ranging from 2% to 10% of the overall annual income earned from the pertinent product or service in the UAE for the previous financial year. If it is impossible to estimate the volume of the relevant income, the penalty is set at a fixed amount varying from AED 500,000 to AED 5,000,000 (about USD 136,000 - USD 1.3 million).

The UAE Competition Legislation is broadly applied, covering various business combinations known as "market consolidations" comprising full or partial, direct or indirect mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures, and estate or rights of possession. An important criterion for transcontinental enterprises deciding on the need to file a merger notice in the UAE is meeting the market concentration criterion, as stated in the legislative code. Transactions meeting this criterion include those in which the combined market share of the enterprises involved in the payment surpasses 40% of the overall activities in the apt market for commodities or services that are replaceable in terms of price, parameters, and use in a specific geographic area.

Additionally, the legislation includes several other significant changes related to antitrust issues, apart from consolidation control. For instance, the geographic definition of the "relevant market" was expanded to recognize that rivalry may arise in a "digital place where supply and demand for a good or service converge, and where competition requirements are alike or homogeneous."

These changes represent a crucial transformation in the regulation of business consolidation in the UAE, requiring companies considering merger or acquisition processes to adhere to strict legislative norms.

Impact of the UAE economic policy on business consolidation

The consolidation of companies in the UAE in 2024 is significantly influenced by the current economic policies of the country, encompassing several key elements fostering growth and development. Specifically, the UAE's economy demonstrates steady growth, expected to be around 3.4% in the next two years, driven by increased oil production, reforms, and new investments. This positions the UAE as a leader among the Gulf economies in terms of increasing rates in 2024 and 2025.

A crucial component of the economic strategy is the Emiratisation initiative, designed to boost the participation of UAE nationals in both public and private enterprises. Effective from 2024, businesses in the private sector with a workforce ranging from 20 to 49 employees must engage minimum one UAE citizen, and this quota will further rise to two in 2025. This broadens the Emiratisation framework, emphasizing the government's dedication to its execution and imposing substantial penalties for non-adherence.

The UAE's Central Bank has revised its economic growth forecast for 2024 to 5.7%, driven by the resurgence of oil production, with oil GDP expected to increase by 8.1%. The oil sector is anticipated to support overall economic growth, while the non-oil sector is also expected to contribute to growth. Collectively, these factors create a favorable environment for business consolidation.

Considering these factors, the consolidation of companies in the UAE in 2024 may receive an additional boost as the country's economic policies create favorable conditions for business growth, development, and inviting international investments. This, in turn, contributes to the strengthening and expansion of businesses through mergers and acquisitions, as well as the establishment of joint ventures and partnerships.

Practical steps for business consolidation in the UAE

Possible forms of consolidation of organizations in the UAE

Consolidating a company in the UAE can take various forms, each with its own characteristics and requirements.

  1. Formation of a parent company: in the UAE, establishing a parent company that manages other companies is possible, both on the mainland and in Free Trade Zones (FTZs). Creating a parent company requires registration with the relevant authorities and acquiring the necessary permits.
  2. Cross-ownership: this method involves common ownership of shares between 2 or more entities, where one entity functions as a shareholder in another. This approach can be used to fortify business ties and establish synergy between companies.
  3. Mergers and acquisitions: mergers and acquisitions are often employed to expand business, increase the value of the group's estate, and enhance the quality and efficiency of management. Mergers and acquisitions of enterprises in the UAE are regulated by commercial legislation and may involve the transfer of ownership rights to assets or shares.

Stages of company consolidation in the UAE

The consolidation of a firm in the United Arab Emirates involves a multi-stage and complex process.

Stage 1
At the initial stage, a detailed analysis of the consolidation's goals and objectives is conducted, including an assessment of the activities of the merging companies, the consolidation objectives, the expected synergistic effect, and an analysis of legal and tax risks.
Stage 2
The next step involves developing a business structuring strategy, where mechanisms for completing transactions are determined, and a restructuring architecture is created that aligns with both legitimate and commercial goals.
Stage 3
Choosing the right legitimate form and enrolling the new company are also crucial. It is necessary to choose the formation of legal company that best aligns with the consolidation goals, evaluating the various options available in the UAE.
Stage 4
The administrative management stage is also essential, involving the establishing of bank accounts, document legalization, and other administrative procedures.
Stage 5
Legal assistance throughout the consolidation stage is of paramount importance. Corporate counselors elaborate the necessary documents regulating relationships inside the group of companies, the transfer of assets, and cash flows.
Stage 6
The strategizing of consolidated monetary statements in the UAE is a key stage, including the creation of a consolidated financial report and conducting audit checks for its approval, ensuring transparency and strengthening trust among investors and other stakeholders.

For the successful execution of the consolidation procedure in the UAE, thorough preparing and a deep understanding of domestic legislation and the economic environment are required. Seeking professional assistance and consultations are also crucial to achieving business goals in accordance with UAE legislation.

Capital and asset management within a consolidated structure

Capital and asset governance within a consolidated structure in the United Arab Emirates constitute a complex process that takes into account the specifications of the regional market and legal regulations.

  • Choosing the right jurisdiction for investments: in the UAE, there are various jurisdictions for registering and managing entities, including the mainland and free economic zones (FEZ). Each has its peculiarities influencing asset management. For instance, the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), operating under English common law, provides a familiar legal and regulatory environment for international investors. ADGM offers 100% foreign ownership and imposes no corporate or personal income tax, making it an attractive option for asset and capital management.
  • Development of the asset management market: the UAE's asset management market exhibits steady growth. Estimates project assets under management in the UAE to grow at an annual rate of approximately 10.59% from 2023 to 2027, reaching a market size of $358.10 billion by 2027. This growth is driven by stable oil prices and capital inflows.
  • Interaction with regulators: the Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA) and the UAE Banks Federation actively collaborate to strengthen the asset management sector in the UAE. They provide guidance on legislative developments and current trends in the asset management sector and the UAE's financial industry. These efforts aim to stimulate the development of the domestic asset management industry and create an attractive environment for investment executives and investment fund service providers.
  • Promoting responsible investing: companies like Emirates NBD Asset Management, a leading asset management firm in the UAE, demonstrate an adherence to responsible investment principles. They became signatories to the United Nations-supported Principles for Responsible Investment in 2021, indicating their dedication to considering ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) aspects in investment decisions.

Consolidating an organization in the UAE in the context of capital and asset management requires careful consideration of these aspects to achieve effective management and asset growth.

Risks and challenges

Legitimate and regulatory dangers

The consolidation of enterprises in the United Arab Emirates in 2024 constitutes a process accompanied by a series of legal and regulatory risks that require careful consideration and management. The key aspects of these risks involve adapting to changes in tax and corporate legislation, as well as global regulatory trends.

The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), in its 2023-2024 operational plan, emphasizes attention to prudential risks and indirect financial risks, indicating the need for thorough risk management during enterprise consolidation in the UAE.

Global regulatory changes, such as data protection and cybersecurity, also impact the business environment in the UAE. For instance, the European Union has enacted the General Data Protection Regulation, exerting pressure on companies in the UAE dealing with European clients or data to comply with these standards.

Thus, legitimate and regulatory risks in the consolidation of enterprises in the United Arab Emirates encompass adapting to changes in corporate legislation, managing prudential risks, and complying with international standards and regulations.

Minimizing risks during business consolidation in the UAE

When analyzing risk minimization strategies in business consolidation in the UAE, it is crucial to consider the complexities of this process in the specific emirate context. Business consolidation here refers to the merging of enterprises with the aim of strengthening efficiency, minimizing costs, and strengthening market positions in the UAE.

One key strategy involves a meticulous risk analysis associated with consolidation. This includes assessing the financial stability and reputation of potential partners and preemptively identifying potential issues that may arise during the business integration process.

Active engagement with stakeholders, including employees, investors, partners, and clients, is also important, emphasizing transparency and open communication.

Legal protection plays a significant role in risk minimization. Clear contracts and agreements outlining the rights and responsibilities of parties, along with conflict resolution procedures, provide a reliable legal foundation.

An effective tax strategy will help reduce tax liabilities during business consolidation, considering the peculiarities of taxation in the UAE and opportunities for tax incentives.

Systematic monitoring and adaptation of the strategy in response to changing situations are crucial. Regular audits and assessments will identify and address issues at early periods.

Company consolidation in the UAE is a complex and multifaceted process requiring careful analysis, legal protection, and a strategic approach. Attention to detail, conformity with laws, and effective risk management contribute to the successful completion of this task.

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Analysis of successful consolidation cases

Creation of Emirates NBD

Business consolidation in the UAE is a significant and relevant process that contributes to strengthening companies' positions and enhancing their operational efficiency. One notable and successful example of such consolidation in the UAE is the formation of Emirates NBD in 2007 through the merger of Emirates International Bank and National Bank of Dubai, creating one of the leading banking institutions in the region. This merger deserves detailed examination and analysis as it marked a substantial step in the development of the UAE banking sector, showcasing the effective amalgamation of resources and competencies from different banking institutions.

Business consolidation in the UAE always has a strategic nature, and the merger of Emirates International Bank and National Bank of Dubai was no exception. This event played a crucial role in fortifying the UAE banking system and maintaining financial stability in the region. Key aspects of this process include:

  • Strategic objective: one of the primary strategic objectives of merging Emirates International Bank and National Bank of Dubai was to create a bank with broader capabilities and resources to serve clients both domestically and internationally. This allowed the bank to become more competitive and expand its market presence.
  • Preparation and analysis: preparation for the merger involved a thorough analysis of the financial status of both banks, an assessment of assets and liabilities, and identification of possible risks and issues that could arise during the merger. This stage entailed a detailed examination of each party involved in the transaction.
  • Legal and tax aspects: integral to the merger were legal and tax considerations. Specialists and lawyers were involved in developing the necessary documents and agreements that defined the rights and obligations of the parties, as well as conflict resolution procedures.
  • Communication: another aspect of successful business consolidation is communication with stakeholders. In the case of Emirates NBD, active engagement with employees, clients, and partners helped reduce uncertainty and maintain trust throughout the merger.

The merger of Emirates International Bank and National Bank of Dubai was a considerable milestone in the history of the UAE banking system and a successful example of business coalescence in the region. It underscores importance of strategic planning, detailed scrutiny, and adherence to legitimate and tax considerations in conducting such mergers, which are key factors in minimizing risks and ensuring the successful development of the merged entity.

Majid Al Futtaim Retail

The case of Majid Al Futtaim Retail, the operator of Carrefour in the UAE, serves as a significant illustration of successful business consolidation in the UAE and its adaptation to changing market trends and needs through digital transformation.

Company consolidation in the UAE, as exemplified by Majid Al Futtaim Retail, involves several key stages and strategic decisions:

  • Digital transformation: a major factor contributing to the success of Majid Al Futtaim Retail was its ability to undergo digital transformation. The rapid growth of e-commerce and evolving consumer preferences prompted the company to launch an online food business, expanding its customer base and maintaining competitiveness.
  • Market analysis and data utilization: understanding market requirements and analyzing data played a crucial role in successful consolidation. Majid Al Futtaim Retail actively researched the market and gathered information about customer preferences, allowing for precise adaptation of its services and products.
  • Enhanced customer interaction: leveraging digital technologies, the company significantly improved its interaction with customers. Personalized offerings, online orders, and convenient product delivery methods increased customer satisfaction and strengthened loyalty.
  • Efficient data utilization: Majid Al Futtaim Retail also actively utilized data to optimize operations. Data analysis assisted in inventory management, demand forecasting, and efficient supply chain management.
  • Development of new sales channels: launching the online business was one of the ways to expand the market and diversify the company's revenue streams. This allowed Majid Al Futtaim Retail to achieve greater flexibility and resilience in the evolving business environment.

In conclusion, the example of Majid Al Futtaim Retail demonstrates that company consolidation in the UAE can be successful through adaptation to the digital era. Successful companies carefully analyze the market, use data and digital technologies to enhance customer interactions, and expand their operations. This underscores the importance of innovation and readiness for change.


Consolidating corporations in the UAE remains a pertinent tactic for entrepreneurs and businesses aiming to strengthen market positions and enhance management efficiency in 2024. Its demand persists due to the need for resource optimization and gaining competitive upsides.

A crucial aspect of consolidation is adherence to legal and regulatory norms, involving coordination with regulatory bodies and conformity with corporate standards. This ensures transparency and legality throughout the consolidation process.

The impact of the UAE's economic policies on business consolidation is noteworthy. Investment reforms and the removal of restrictions on foreign capital create a favorable environment for consolidation and attracting investments. However, during the consolidation procedure in UAE companies, legal and regulatory perils associated with consolidation need to be considered, and appropriate steps should be taken to alleviate them.

Analyzing successful examples of consolidation in the UAE illustrates that this strategy can lead to the establishment of large and successful companies capable of competing globally. Examples of such successful mergers and acquisitions underscore the significance of strategic planning, innovation, and adaptation to the evolving economic environment.

Overall, business consolidation in the UAE in 2024 presents entrepreneurs and companies with numerous possibilities for advancement and development, given compliance with legislative and regulatory norms and a strategic approach to the integration process. Our company's experts are ready to provide all the required information and comprehensive support for navigating the consolidation of organizations in the UAE. To message us, choose a convenient method from the "Contacts" section.

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