Commercial Contracts in Dubai: Drafting Tips and Common Pitfalls

As a global business hub drawing in thousands of entrepreneurs and corporations from diverse industries, Dubai has a thriving business scene that serves millions annually. Commercial transactions play a crucial role in ensuring smooth operations within Dubai’s dynamic business market, and the key lies in understanding how to meticulously structure them. Continue reading as we highlight the essential factors you need to implement to make sure your commercial transactions are drafted accurately and avoid common pitfalls.

Commercial Contracts in Dubai: Drafting Tips and Common Pitfalls

Drafting Tips

Use Precise and Clear Language

Clear language in a contract serves as a preventive measure against any misinterpretation or confusion that may arise during the execution of the agreement. It leaves little room for ambiguity and allows all parties to have a unified understanding of their respective rights, obligations, and responsibilities. It is essential to ensure the use of precise and clear language as a cornerstone of effective contract drafting. It is also important to note that the approved language under the UAE federal law is Arabic, therefore, any official document issued or stamped by a local authority in the UAE must be presented in either Arabic or in a bilingual format.

Provide a Detailed Description of the Parties

In the process of drafting a commercial contract, it is important to provide a clear and detailed description of the parties involved. Make sure to include details about their legal status, physical addresses, and relevant registration details. 

By meticulously describing the parties in a commercial contract, the potential for confusion or misinterpretation is significantly minimized. This precision ensures that all stakeholders, from legal professionals to the parties themselves, have a clear and accurate representation of who is involved, their legal standing, and where they can be reliably located. This, in turn, fosters a solid foundation for a successful and mutually beneficial contractual relationship.

Specify the Scope of Work and Deliverables

To manage expectations and avoid potential disputes, make sure that the scope of work and deliverables are defined and specified within the contract, and clearly outline the responsibilities of each party, deadlines, and any performance indicators. 

The proactive management of expectations is a fundamental outcome of this meticulous approach to defining scope and responsibilities. All parties involved are not only aware of what is expected of them but also understand the parameters within which success will be measured. This, in turn, minimizes the likelihood of disagreements and disputes by fostering a shared understanding of what constitutes satisfactory performance.

Incorporate Dispute Resolution Mechanisms

Negotiation, mediation, and arbitration are all dispute resolution mechanisms that can be used in commercial contracts. These mechanisms should be explained in detail in the contract to avoid confusion. When resolution mechanisms are mentioned in a commercial contract it provides a firm basis for conflict resolution and obliges both parties to respect them. 

Address Intellectual Property Rights

Commercial contracts should contain details of the ownership, rights, and responsibilities, along with intellectual property rights. This protects proprietary information and aids in avoiding infringement. 

Consider local laws and Regulations

Of course, it is vital to study Dubai’s laws closely to make sure the content in any commercial contract abides by these laws. The legal requirements needed for the specific project based on its domain field or industry must be prioritized. 

Pitfalls in Drafting Commercial Contracts


Being too broad, and using ambiguous or vague language, can never go right when it comes to contracts. It is important to use a clear, straightforward tone, and discuss clauses as detailed as possible. 

Open-ended clauses are to be avoided to avoid confusion and leave room for speculation or later disputes.

Unorganized Payment Terms

As with all other clauses, payment terms must be clarified, and commercial contracts. The importance of payment clauses comes from the importance of financial security for both parties. The payment amount, the frequency of payment method of payment along with financial penalties should be included in commercial contracts to avoid financial losses or fraud.

Failing to Address Termination of Contracts

Unspecified termination clauses can lead to disputes and complications. Termination clauses should include terms and conditions in case either party would like to terminate the contract. 

Addressing Force Majeure 

Force majeure events are events that are out of the control of both parties, and that terminate the contract. For example, natural disasters are force majeure events. 

For an event to be considered a force majeure event, it must be out of the control of the individuals bound by the contract, it must be unforeseeable, and unavoidable, and a direct link must be present between this event and the performance of the company or business related to the contract.

According to Federal Law No. 5 of 1985 of the United Arab Emirates, commercial contracts that bind both parties are automatically canceled in case of force majeure events. 

Clauses That Break Local Laws

As with any contract, every single clause stated must abide by the rules of Dubai. If a clause fails to comply with Dubai’s local laws, then the parties will face legal repercussions.

To be able to successfully draft a commercial contract in Dubai, awareness of the local laws must be prioritized. In addition to that, it is very important to detail clauses and avoid ambiguity. Avoiding pitfalls can help businesses thrive and avoid legal repercussions.

Seeking guidance from legal professionals in Dubai is advisable. You can always refer to our team for the best legal guidance when it comes to commercial contracts.

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