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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Which are the leading commercial places in UAE? 

UAE is a federation of 7 Emirates comprising of Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah. All these emirates are popular centers for trade and commerce. They all have Free Trade Zones. 

What are the leading free zones in UAE?  

The leading free zones in UAE are Jebel Ali Free Zone, Dubai Airport Free Zone, Dubai Internet City, Dubai Media City, SAIF Zone, Hamriyah Free Zone, Ajman Free Zone and Ras Al Khaimah Free Zone.

As an expatriate investor can I set up a trading concern fully owned by me? 

The Federal Law of UAE restricts the ownership of a trading concern to an expatriate to 49%. But in free trade zones, an expatriate can set up a concern with 100% ownership.

What legal forms are required to establish a business in the free zone?  

Branch of Foreign Company, Free Zone Establishment and Free Zone Company are the legal forms required to establish business in free zones.

Can I have a General Trading License in Dubai?  

The Department of Economic Development, Dubai has classified certain specific activities the L.L.C is permitted to undertake. The company can practice multiple activities with General Trading License with additional fees, which will be levied by licensing authorities in the year of incorporation.

What activities require special approval? 

The licensing authority in the concerned Emirate directly issues license for most of the activities. Those that require special approval are listed below along with its related Ministry/Department.

  • Medical, Pharmacy etc.- Ministry of Health
  • Air Transport, Air Cargo etc. – Department of Civil Aviation
  • Financial Institutions, Banks, Money Exchange etc.- Central Bank
  • New Industrial Project, Expansion – Ministry of Finance and industry
  • Publishing, Printing, Newspaper, Advertising, Video film, Photography etc., - Ministry of Information
  • Education, Training etc. – Ministry of Education
  • Agriculture, Veterinary etc.- Ministry of Agriculture
  • Customs Clearance, Freight Forwarding, Sea Cargo etc. – Seaports & Customs Authority
  • Telecommunication Equipment – Ministry of Communication
  • Branch of Foreign Company, Insurance Company, Audit Firm etc. – Ministry of Economy & Commerce

Is there any taxation in UAE?  

No, currently no corporate or personal tax is applicable to business organizations or employees in UAE. 

How can I obtain my visa to stay in UAE?  

Visa (Residence Permit) shall be issued after obtaining the trade license and completing the immigration formalities.

What is the validity of the Residence visa permit? 

Residence Permit was initially valid for 3 years and renewable for a similar period. There are talks going on that from Jan 2011 the UAE government is going to provide visas for a period of 2 years.

What formalities are involved to bring my family to the UAE? 

You can sponsor your wife and children once your residence permit formalities are completed and if certain conditions are met.

What legal documents are required from my country to sponsor my family? 

The legal documents required are your marriage certificate and the children’s birth certificate duly attested from UAE Embassy.

If I set up a company in Dubai and obtain residence permit can I travel to other emirates freely?  

Yes, you can travel to other emirates since the residence permit is valid for entire UAE.

Can I buy property in Dubai?  

In Dubai, an expatriate can buy properties offered by Emaar Properties, Nakheel Corporation and Jumeirah Residence which are available in certain demarcated areas.

How secured is this country for investment and living? 

The country is very secure for investment and living as majority of the UAE population consist of expatriates.

 Is there any duty or levies charged by government authorities?  

The government departments charge an import duty of 5% for the products imported to the main land. However, companies operating in free zones are exempted from import duty. Besides this, no other duty or levy is charged by government.

How efficient are the seaport facilities?  

UAE has impressive port facilities on its west and east coasts that enable easy access to even the world’s largest container ships. The following are the ports in UAE: Mina Zayed, Port Rashid, Jebel Ali Port, Port Khalid, Khor Fakkan Port and Fujairah Port. Jebel Ali Port is the largest man made port in the world.

What options are available for schooling of children?  

As majority of the UAE population comprises of expatriates from around the world, there are schools offering American, British, Indian, Pakistani and European curricula especially for them.

What are the recreational facilities available?  

Recreational facilities are available in most of the leading cities in UAE and range from cinema, theatre, theme parks and water sports, besides those unique to this region like desert safari etc.

What is the climatic condition in UAE?  

The climate in UAE is mostly sunny. During summer, the temperature often rises above 42°C. Winter occurs during the months of October and April and is quite cool with temperatures going down to 14°C.


Trade Marks & Copyrights  

Do I have to register my trademark?  

No, but there are some exclusive advantages in registration like notice to the public of the registrant’s claim of ownership of the mark, a legal presumption of ownership nationwide, and the exclusive right to use the mark on or in connection with the Goods or service set forth in the registration. Trademark of a product or service distinguishes it from other similar products or services. By obtaining the rights to trademark, the owner can prevent unauthorized use of it. Unlike patent rights, the duration of a trademark right can extend to as long as you wish.


Not all trademarks are registrable. A trademark can be registrable only if it is new or distinctive. If not, it is not possible to get a valid trademark registration.

A trademark is considered “new” when it (or a similar mark) has not been used or registered before on products or services similar to yours. A trademark is distinctive when it is more than just an obvious word or picture. It must not describe the nature or any feature of the product or service concerned.

Trademark Searches 

How do you know whether or not you mark is new?  

We conduct and/or arrange for searches of the relevant local and international databases (some of which can be accessed by subscription or by attendance only) to see if similar marks have been registered in the past or for which an application for registration may have been filed. Besides this, there are other searches that determine whether any similar mark is in use, but may not be registered or for which applications may not be filed. Searching involves not only finding relevant marks but also analyzing the same and their registration documents to know whether they might pose any difficulties for your mark.

What are the benefits of trademark registration? 

  1. Constructive notice nationwide of the trademark owner’s claim.
  2. Evidence of ownership of the trademark.
  3. Jurisdiction of federal courts may be invoked.
  4. Registration can be used as a basis for obtaining registration in foreign countries.
  5. Registration may be filed with U.S. customs service to prevent importation or infringing foreign goods.

Are there federal regulations governing the use of the designations “TM” or “SM” with trademarks? 

No. But use of the symbols “TM” or “SM” (for trademark and service mark, respectively) may be governed by local, state, or foreign laws and the laws of the pertinent jurisdiction must be consulted.

These designations usually indicate that a party’s right in the mark and are often used before a federal registration is issued. 

When is it proper to use the federal registration symbol (the letter R enclosed within a circle--®--with the mark)? 

The federal registration symbol may be used after the mark has been registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The registration symbol may not be used before the mark has been registered, even though its application may be pending. The federal registration symbol should only be used on goods or services that are the subject of the federal trademark registration. [Note: Several foreign countries use the federal registration symbol to indicate that the mark is registered in that country. A holder of a foreign registration may use the symbol]

Marks To Avoid When Choosing a Trademark or Service Mark 

Descriptive – Descriptive marks are meaningful marks that describe the goods and services with which it is associated. Generally, descriptive marks are not registrable but can be made so upon showing a secondary meaning.

Generic – Generic words are common names that describe an entire class of goods or services. These words do indicate the source of goods or services and should be avoided when choosing a potential mark.

Geographically mis-descriptive or deceptively mis-descriptive marks – These types of marks are not registrable without a showing of secondary meaning.

Scandalous or immoral marks – These are marks that may be offensive.

Surnames – Surnames are not registrable without a showing of secondary meaning.

Deceptive marks – Deceptive marks are not registrable.

How Long Does a Trademark Last? 

A federally registered trademark lasts upto 10 years. If well maintained, it can last indefinitely.

What is trademark maintenance? 

To prevent cancellation of your trademark, it is necessary to file a Section 8 Declaration of Use between the fifth and sixth year of registration. Subsequent filings must be made every 10 years, on the date of its initial registration. Additionally, after five years of continuous use of your trademark, you are entitled to file a Declaration of incontestability.

Improper maintenance of your trademark may cause you to lose it or unnecessarily limit your rights. If you do not have an attorney, we are available to assist you in maintaining your trademark.

Do I need to be using my trademark to register it? 

No, but you must have a genuine intention to use the mark in interstate commerce. If you have not yet used your mark, you may file Intent to Use Application. Once the mark is used in interstate commerce, the applicant must file a Statement of Use. It currently involves a $ 100 government filing fee and a $ 185 preparation fee. They are not included in our $250 application fee.

What works are protected? 

Copyright protects "original works of authorship" that are fixed in a tangible form of expression. The creation may not be directly perceptible if it is communicated with the aid of a machine or device. Copyrightable works include the following categories:

Iterary works;
Musical works, including any accompanying words
Dramatic works, including any accompanying music
Pantomimes and choreographic works
Pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works
Motion pictures and other audiovisual works
Sound recordings
Architectural works

How long does a Copyright Protection Endure? 

A work that is created (fixed in tangible form for the first time) on or after January 1, 1978, is automatically protected from the moment of its creation and is ordinarily given a term enduring for the author's life plus an additional 70 years after the author's death.

Contact Us
Mr. Zayd Maniar
21st Floor, The Prism Tower,
Business Bay, Dubai, UAE
zayd.maniar@crowehorwath.ae Tel: +971 4 4473951