BY THE BOOK

UAE, Sharjah 2017 | EXECUTIVE GUIDE | INTERVIEW

TBY talks to Eslam Farouk, Founder & Owner of Al Farouk Legal Group, on its key differentiators, the legal environment for start-ups and SMEs, and sectors to look out for in the future.

Eslam Farouk
BIOGRAPHY
Eslam Farouk is a legal professional and an active lawyer and international arbitrator. He has over a decade of experience in legal practice including private practice as well as in-house. His expertise includes various types of contract drafting (both in Arabic and English), petition drafting, memos, and reviewing all legal documents. He holds a bachelor’s in law (LLB) from College of Law, Zagazig University in Egypt.

What milestones has Al Farouk accomplished since opening its doors in 2012?

Al Farouk as a firm prides itself on being among the few firms that counts every case, no matter how big or small, to be an achievement. Every individual and company who places their faith in us is counted as an accomplishment. We have been fighting on behalf of various companies, individuals, and victims regardless of whether a case was commercial, criminal, or civil in order to win them their rights. Our objective was to retain a judgment in their favor. In addition, Al Farouk also helps in setting up companies, obtaining license registration, and protecting trademarks. Our lawyers, who we consider to be a key part of our firm, excel in all legal actions and procedures.




How do you differentiate yourself from other law firms?
Al Farouk Legal Group covers most legal practice areas and provides legal coverage to all types of clients and investors. Our team practice revolves around areas of litigation and arbitration, commercial law, capital marketing, criminal law, labor, employment, intellectual property, and so on. What makes us different from other law firms is the prominence of our lawyers, their experience in various areas, and also our vast coverage, involving not just the UAE but also different parts of the GCC; we not only advise our clients on laws that pertain to the UAE but also other parts of the GCC and the MENA region.

What makes the UAE an attractive investment destination?

According to the 2017 Global Investment Report, the UAE is the ninth-largest FDI recipient in Asia, attracting approximately USD8 billion. The strength of the UAE includes its easy access to oil resources, low energy costs, a willingness to diversify the economy, and high purchasing power. The UK, the US, India, France, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait are the main countries investing in sectors like financial intermediation, real estate, wholesale and retail trade, oil and gas, and construction. The banking sector provides solid and profitable investment plans for foreign investors and ensures both parties are protected by favorable regulations. The UAE has a cheap foreign labor force, excellent transportation and production, and access to low-cost energy. The UAE's geographical situation makes it a potential platform to influence other parts of the GCC, Asia, and the Middle East.

How would you describe the environment for encouraging SMEs and start-ups and how could it be improved?

The legal system in the UAE provides assistance with all kinds of legal documentation, from setting up a company to actually running the show. The legal system here is trustworthy to the point that it protects the individual seeking an investment as well as the individual investing in a current business. An SME or investor should also have a legal agreement that states all the terms and conditions agreed by both parties in order to avoid future conflicts.

Which sectors look the most promising in the medium and long term?

Real estate is one of the sectors that look promising in the medium and long term. Similarly, other promising sectors include financial intermediation, wholesale and retail trade, automobiles, construction, and oil and gas. Meanwhile, cities such as Dubai, Sharjah, Ras Al Khaimah, and Abu Dhabi have granted permission for foreign investors to invest in properties based on a long-term lease basis in certain areas allotted by these cities. However, a foreign investor cannot purchase properties outside these specified areas in the UAE. Financial intermediaries create a trade channel between the UAE and other countries that gives the UAE an opportunity to bring in foreign investors. Another sector that plays a major role in the economy is construction. A major milestone was achieved when the UAE won the bid to host Expo 2020, which allowed it to spread its wings in construction. Foreign investors are advised to invest in the construction sector in order to reap the largest benefits.