There are very few people that can make writing about business interesting. Generally speaking, writing is not an easy task. People talk, and communicate, and use words every single day of their lives but the ability to tell a story in writing or to captivate an audience in words is a rare talent. So when it comes to writing about business, it is even more difficult – since the details surrounding businesses are generally boring.
Which is why when we initially picked up Kamal K Jabbar’s book titled ‘UAE Business Essentials: Practical legal protections for individuals, entrepreneurs and SMEs’, a deep breath was taken. You have to brace yourself when you are about to read a book like this. While the content is important, it is usually dense and technical which does not exactly make for leisure reading.
It was thus surprising that the book was not just correct and thorough, but it was also a breezy read that anyone interested in the topic would understand and also want to read. The writer, Kamal K Jabbar, is a corporate lawyer who has been based in Dubai for the past decade. With more than two decades of experience in law, he is a partner at Keystone Law Middle East LLP and advises on banking and corporate matters.
While the book is specifically about corporate laws in Dubai, it also paints an interesting picture of the very deep running and intricate nature of the relationship between the world of business and the world of law. When one imagines a lawyer, the automatic image that pops up is of the quintessential trial lawyer – eloquent, sharply dressed, quick witted, and full of impassioned speeches meant to sway juries and defend clients. But perhaps some of the sharpest and most important legal minds out there are corporate lawyers – these are the women and men that draft contracts between corporations, find irregularities in agreements, and make sure businesses are above the board. They are firefighters in both a preventive and corrective sense.
In particular, this book works in two ways. The first is that Dubai is a major hub for business, and everyone wants a piece of it. There is no doubt about the amount of money flowing in and out of the small UAE state. And there is also no doubt about the fact that this book will have Pakistani eyeballs trained on it because of the obsession that Pakistanis have with Dubai. In fact, this obsession was the subject of a Profit cover story back in November last year.
As we pointed out back then, the UAE is the second largest source of remittances to Pakistan, only slightly behind Saudi Arabia (which has an expatriate Pakistani population nearly twice the size of the UAE), and nearly as much as the remittances from the United States, Canada, and the European Union combined. It is also our second-largest trading partner, behind only China, and the single largest source of Pakistan’s oil imports.
Even more importantly than this, everyone knows that Pakistanis – particularly the upper middle class and the wealthy elite – like to park money in the UAE. But Profit has conducted an analysis that has, to a degree, been able to quantify at least the part of that capital that flows back towards Pakistan.
And this is why the book might have such a significant audience here. Even though Dubai attracts entrepreneurs from around the world, most people don’t know much about the UAE’s legal system, its business environment, or their rights and responsibilities. The information is often hard to come by, dry as a stone and difficult to comprehend. UAE Business Essentials is a no-nonsense guide to help anyone understand the system, so that they can protect themselves and thrive in one of the most vibrant economies in the world.
Crisply written in a fluid tone that nods towards the writer’s experience as a fiction writer, the book covers a wide range of topics from protecting assets, to using NDAs to safeguard assets, raising funds for a business, patents, copyrights, trademarks all the way to factors such as doing business online, negotiating employment contracts, and essentially complying with the basic laws of the UAE. With many people hoping to get a slice of the Dubai pie, the book offers a very good base to go armed with into this very global market.
As the writer himself says, “this book is for you if you: • wish to know more about UAE’s business environment and legal system • are an entrepreneur planning to launch a business in the UAE • are running a small or medium-sized business • are seeking guidance on protecting yourself and your assets • are investing or looking to invest in the UAE • wish to have more informed conversations with your advisers • are employed by or do business with a UAE based company.”
The launch of the book also comes at an interesting time, with the Dubai Expo 2020 kicking off on the 1st of October 2021, in which 191 countries are participating, meaning that the world’s attention, quite literally, is once more turning to Dubai. The theme of the six-month event is “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future”, and the focus will be on business opportunity and sustainability. Entrepreneurs from around the globe will be looking at the rich opportunities that the UAE offers, its many pro-investment policies, and its ecosystem.
This will also be an opportunity for the book to do business. The target audience of the slim yet impactful volume are individuals and small businesses across the world. The book will be available through Amazon. The issue is that to the uninitiated, information on UAE’s legal system and business laws can be challenging to access and fully comprehend. A highly readable new book addresses a crucial need for pertinent data conveniently available in a single source. The book formally launched on the 7th of September and provides an easy guide to understanding the UAE’s ecosystem, its commercial laws and the nuances of doing business in one of the most vibrant economies in the world – all in simple and engaging English. While it cannot possibly be a complete guide, it is a great starting point, and has some interesting details for people that are thinking about setting up their own business in Dubai.