Article 1 (Citation)

This law shall be cited as the “Law No. 8 of the year 1997 on the Organization of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry”.

Article 2 Definitions

The following words shall have the meanings indicated there unless the context otherwise requires:

  • The Emirates: Emirate of Dubai
  • The Ruler: His Highness the Ruler of the Emirate of Dubai
  • The Chamber: Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry
  • The Board: The Chamber’s Board of Directors
  • The Member: Whoever shall obtain a license to practice commercial, industrial, agricultural or vocational business, and becomes a member of the Chamber in conformity with the provisions of this law.
CHAPTER I The Chamber’s Objectives and Powers
Article 3 (Legal Status)

The Chamber is a non-profit public organization, with legal entity and financial and administrative independence. It shall have the competence to own and dispose of movable and immovable properties. It can sue and be sued. The Chamber may delegate any person that it appoints as its representative in judicial proceedings.

Article 4 (Headquarter and Branches)

The Chamber’s main headquarters shall be located in Dubai. It may establish branches or offices in the Emirate, it may also establish offices or trading centers abroad, provided that the decisions and by-laws to be issued by the Board in this regard determine the objectives of branches, offices, or centers, their functions and organizational level.

The Chamber may participate in setting up joint Chambers, provided that the agreements to be concluded for establishing such joint chambers shall determine the objectives and powers thereof.

Article 5 Objectives of the Chamber

The Chamber shall endeavor to achieve the following goals:

  • Looking after the commercial, industrial, agricultural interests and other matters connected with economic and professional activities and related services, and co-operating with the competent government authorities, to organize and develop these activities so as to attain economic and social development for the community.
  • Looking after the interests of the members of the chamber, providing them with the services they need to carry out their activities and commercial transactions, protecting their rights and surveying their opinions and presenting them to the departments concerned, and co-operating with the competent authorities to solve their problems.
  • Encouraging co-operation between the members of the chamber and strengthening their mutual relations and their links with government establishments, business and professional organizations operating in the various economic sectors.
  • Co-operating with the ministries, government departments and establishments, and with local, regional and international chambers of commerce, associations, organizations and bodies in order to coordinate actions regarding common economic, technical, and administrative matters, and to exchange expertise with regard to the Chamber’s endeavors to carry out its functions and achieve its aims.
  • Undertaking to consolidate the Emirate’s economic position and to highlight its role as an international commercial and business center and to organize the functions and programmed required to promote the Emirate’s economy, and its commercial establishments, both internally and externally.
Article 6 The Chamber’s Powers

The chamber shall exercise the powers necessary for the fulfillment of its objectives, particularly:

  • Registering natural and juridical persons licensed to practice the activities stipulated by Article 7 hereunder as members of the Chamber, and issuing the appropriate certificates and documents that may help them accomplish their commercial transactions.
  • Issuing various types of certificates of origin for exported and re-exported goods and products. The Chamber may adopt the means that it may deem suitable to check the correctness of the presented data either by asking for the original documents indicating the place of origin of the concerned product, or by inspecting the product itself, if necessary.
  • Attesting signatures and stamps, as well as certificates and contracts and other documents related to the commercial transactions that may be needed by the members of the chamber in order to accomplish their transactions.
  • Nominating experts for inspecting commodities, goods and properties, and determining their types, weights and values.
  • Expressing opinion on the legislation regulating various commercial and economic matters, and studying draft laws, regulations and statutes issued by the competent authorities for the regulation of the above mentioned matters.
  • Suggesting economic programmes and plans and investment projects that may consolidate and enforce the Emirate’s economy or increase employment and investment opportunities; also suggesting legislation regulating commercial and economic matters, and submitting the related suggestions to competent authorities.
  • Carrying out activities that promote and bolster the Emirate’s economic relations, particularly by:
    • Receiving visiting trade delegations and missions, and sending trade delegations abroad.
    • Holding local and international trade fairs and exhibitions, and participating therein.
    • Organizing, contributing to or participating in conferences, seminars, symposia and training courses inside and outside the Emirate.
    • Publishing and distributing magazines, periodicals, directories and any other commercial and specialized publications.
    • Concluding cooperation agreements with similar unions, chambers, or bodies in order to foster the cooperation and the commercial relations.
  • Preparing economic studies, researches, and reports on the evaluation of the various economic sectors’ performance, their orientation and development, the problems and difficulties they are facing and then presenting the conclusions of such studies to the competent authorities.
  • Studying all applications presented for holding exhibitions, conferences, seminars and symposia dealing with commercial and economic matters to be held in the Emirate, and presenting the appropriate recommendation regarding the approval of such events to the competent authorities.
  • Compiling information and data of economic nature, such as prices of exchanged goods, commodities, services, securities, currencies and others and issuing information thereupon, and compiling, classifying and publishing regular statistics, legislative and regulative texts.
  • Supplying commercial directories, specialized books, references, scientific and other supporting publications other may help in preparing reports and studies.
  • Providing advise to the members of the Chamber regarding legal, commercial, economic, or technical matters, supplying them with the available information and advising them on how to follow the procedures and apply the means that may help them protect their rights and develop their businesses.
  • Contributing in the development of administrative and technical cadres in the economy and business administration. Looking for the suitable potentials and means to fulfill the foresaid objective, by establishing institutions, or centers for commercial and technical training.
  • Mediating to settle commercial disputes that might arise between the members of the Chamber, or between them and other parties in order to reach amicable settlements.
  • Determining the local commercial usages and expressions.
  • Providing a mechanism for the settlement of commercial disputes, by supervising the conciliation and arbitration processes in conformity with the Chamber’s Commercial Conciliation and Arbitration Rules.
  • Owning movable and immovable properties and managing, investing, selling or mortgaging them; concluding contracts with third parties, and accepting donations.
  • Participating in committees formed by ministries, departments, bodies and other institutions with the aim of studying or regulating economic matters, representing the Chamber in activities that are within its jurisdiction and other relevant activities.
  • Performing all acts that may fulfill the objectives of the Chamber stipulated by Article V of this Law.
CHAPTER II Joining the Chamber
Article 7 Chamber’s Membership
  • Whoever is licensed by the Emirate’s competent authority to practice any of the activities mentioned here-under shall be bound to become a member of the Chamber:
    • Activities related to agriculture, animal resources and fisheries.
    • Mining, quarrying and exploiting natural resources and related downstream industries.
    • Converted industries.
    • Distribution of electricity, water, gas and oil derivatives and related activities.
    • General contracting works.
    • Buying commodities and other tangible and intangible movables with the intention of selling them. Selling by public auction, brokerage, commercial agencies and intermediary activities.
    • Repair and maintenance.
    • Hotels and restaurants.
    • Transport by land, sea and air, business connected with maritime and air transport, shipping, tourism and travel, customs clearance, loading and discharging, storage and communications in general.
    • Banking, money exchange, financial establishments involved in investment, funding and crediting, and all other financial brokerage operations.
    • All types of insurance.
    • Buying and selling land and real estate or renting them with intention or sub-letting. Buying or renting movable properties to hire them out.
    • Accounting services, consultancies, commercial, administrative and engineering studies and related technical services. Advertising and exhibition services, news agencies and offices that supply manpower and services.
    • Producing, publishing and distributing newspapers, magazines and books. Radio and television activities, recording and filming studios, cinemas, theatres, entertainment and private sport clubs.
  • All commercial companies or establishments practicing any type of activities which could be consistent with the activities mentioned here in above and having similar characteristics and objectives shall be bound to become members of the Chamber.
  • Individuals practicing small trade or a simple vocational activity that depends on their efforts, skills and physical strength in order to gain profit that may provide their living more than any capital shall be excluded from the mandatory membership of the Chamber.
  • Without prejudice to all clauses mentioned above, categories other than those indicated in paragraph (A) and paragraph (C) above may subscribe as members of the Chamber in accordance with the provisions of this Law.
  • If any member practices his activities through one branch or more in addition to his main office, each branch shall be registered with the Chamber, and membership fees shall be due for each of the branches.
Article 8 (Business License and Membership Certificate)

The competent licensing authority shall not deliver the original license to the concerned establishment unless a certificate or a document is presented thereto as a proof that the concerned establishment has joined the Chamber. The license shall not be renewed unless the establishment’s membership in the Chamber is renewed and the annual membership fees are paid.

The membership certificate or a document providing registration with the Chamber and payment of its fees shall stand among the main documents that should be presented to any government department or body when filling the application for a bid, for contracts with contractors supplies or other parties, for clearing exported, imported or re-exported gods and for any application that is connected with any of the activities mentioned in the above article.

Article 9 Chamber’s Fees

The Chamber collects annual membership fees from its members as well as fees for issuing certificates and for other services provided by the Chamber in conformity with the provisions, categories and amounts stipulated by a decree issued by the Ruler.

A member who has delayed the payment of his annual fees for more that one year may be exempted from paying these fees according to the conditions and provisions stipulated by the Executive Regulations.

Article 10 Suspension of Membership

A member shall have his membership suspended and shall be deprived of the services provided by the Chamber if he commits any of the following infringements:

  • Refraining from the renewal of the membership and the payment of membership fees within a period of three months from the date of maturity there of while continuing to carry out his activities, without presenting a reasonable justification to the Chamber.
  • Not co-operating with the Chamber in settling commercial complaints submitted to the Chamber against him.
  • Presenting certain documents to the Chamber that contain false information, or concealing important documents.

A member subjected to any sanctions as mentioned hereinabove may present a petition of protest to the Executive Bureau with all justification and evidences proving that the sanctions imposed were not justified, or explaining the conditions and situation that caused the concerned member to be liable to sanctions. The Bureau shall then study the petition and make its decision thereupon within a period not exceeding one month from the date of the petition. The Executive Bureau’s decision shall be final.

Article 11 Lapse of Membership

The membership shall lapse in any of the following cases:

  • Bankruptcy of the licensee – unless rehabilitated.
  • Canceling the license issued by the competent authority.
  • Presenting forged papers or documents that do not pertain to the concerned member after a court judgment.
  • Refraining from the renewal of the membership and the payment of membership fees within three years from the date of maturity thereof while continuing to carry out the activities, without presenting a reasonable justification accepted by the Chamber.
  • Death of the licensee or liquidation of the Company.

Members whose membership lapses as stipulated in paragraphs (3) and (4) above, shall be deprived from carrying out their activities upon advice by the chamber to the licensing authority. The latter shall then take the necessary procedure to cancel the license issued to them.

A member whose membership lapses, may have it reinstated when the circumstances that caused it to laps no longer exist according to the provision of the Executive Regulations.

CHAPTER III The Chamber’s General Organizational Structure
Article 12 (Organs)

The Chamber’s general organizational structure shall be as follows:

  • The Board of Directors
  • The Executive Bureau of the Board or Directors
  • The Chamber’s Committees
  • The Chamber’s Administrative Body.
Article 13 Board of Directors

The Board of Directors shall consist of a maximum of twenty six members to be appointed by a decree issued by the Ruler and chosen among competent and experienced people in conformity with Article No.15 of this Law. The term of the Board’s membership shall be a renewable three-years term.

Article 14 Powers of the Board of Directors

The Board is the authority assigned to supervise the Chamber’s activities and manage its affairs. It shall undertake the measures and make the decisions that it may deem appropriate for the fulfillment of the Chamber’s objectives within the framework of the jurisdiction and authorities assigned thereto.

The Board’s powers shall include in particular the following:

  • Planning the Chamber’s general Policy, adopting the programs and activities within it’s jurisdiction, and orienting the same in accordance with the requirements of the economic development and the country’s needs.
  • Proposing draft laws and decrees related to the Chamber and its affairs and functions and any amendments thereto.
  • Adopting the Chamber’s annual budget and its final statements of accounts for the last financial year.
  • Approving the receipt or grant of endowments and donations, and approving loan contracts.
  • Approving the conclusion of agreements and contracts of cooperation with other chambers, associations or bodies in domains of matters of interest to the Chamber.
  • Organizing outgoing trade delegations and missions as well as promotional tours aiming to consolidate the Emirate’s foreign trade relations or to promote its economy and to introduce the investment opportunities available in the Emirate.
  • Sending employees of the Chamber on education missions abroad for specialized or post graduate studies.
  • Issuing the Executive Regulations, other by-laws, decisions, and instructions regulating the Chamber’s administrative, financial and organizational affairs.
  • Expressing its opinion regarding the issue referred to the Board by the Ruler or any of the governmental institutions or bodies.
Article 15 Requirements for the Board’s Membership

A person appointed to be a member of the chamber’s Board of Directors shall fulfill the following criteria:

  • Be a united Arab Emirates National.
  • Practice a commercial, industrial, agricultural or vocational activity or any related service in the Emirate for at least eight consecutive years, or at least five consecutive years if he has an academic degree form university or a high institute.
  • Have not ever been convicted of a felony or any crime contradicting with honor and honesty. Have not declared bankruptcy unless rehabilitated.
  • Be a member of the Chamber during the period indicated in paragraph “2” above.
  • Be at least thirty-five years old, or twenty-eight years old if he holds a university or a high institute degree.

In exception to the provisions of paragraphs Nos. (2), (4) and (5) hereinabove, the Ruler may appoint one third of the Board’s members without being bound by the above criteria.

Article 16 Forfeiture of the Board’s Membership
  • A member of the Board shall forfeit his membership in any of the following cases:
    • If the presents a written request to waive his membership and his request is accepted by the Board.
    • If he loses one or more of the criteria indicated in Article XV hereinabove
    • If he fails to attend three consecutive meeting or five scattered meetings of the Board during his term without presenting a written excuse acceptable to the Board.
    • Death
  • In all cases, the Board shall present to the Ruler its recommendation on the cancellation of the membership of the person subject to any of the provisions stated in this article. The Ruler shall then appoint a substitute.
  • The Board’s term shall be considered as expired if the number of the Board’s members is reduced to less than half. In his case, the Ruler shall appoint a new Board in conformity with the provision of this Law.
Article 17 (Chairman and Executive Bureau)
  • The Chairman of the Board, the two Vice-Chairmans and the members of the Executive Bureau shall be elected during the first duly convened meeting of the Board to be held within two weeks from the date of the appointment decree issued by the Ruler. The meeting shall be presided over by the eldest member until the election procedures are completed.
  • The election shall be carried out by secret ballot. Any member may be a candidate to the post of Chairman, Vice-Chairman, or member of the Bureau. Whoever obtains the highest number of votes shall be elected as Chairman, Vice-Chairman or Member of the Executive Bureau.
  • A Board’s member may be entitled to a fixed remuneration to be determined by the Ruler of the Emirate in compensation for his commitments in attending the Board’s meetings, contributing to the activities and events organized by the Chamber, and carrying out the tasks assigned to him by the Board.
  • If after the expiration of any Board’s term no new Board is appointed, or if the new Board did not meet to elect the Chairman, Vice-Chairmans, and members of the Executive Bureau, the old Board and Executive Bureau shall continue to fulfill their functions until the new Board is appointed or the elections take place.
Article 18 The Board’s Meeting
  • The Board shall meet regularly at least once every three months upon the invitation is sent to the members ten days prior to the date of the meeting. The meeting’s agenda shall be enclosed with the invitation.
  • In urgent cases as determined by the Chairman of the Board, the Board may be convoked only three days prior to the date assigned for the meeting.
  • The Board may be convoked upon the request of the Board’s Executive Bureau. The Board may – in exceptional cases – be convoked upon a written request signed by at least six members.
  • The Board’s meetings shall be valid if attended by more than two thirds of the members, including the Chairmans. If the quorum is not established, within a maximum period of one week from the first assigned date. The second meeting shall be valid if attended by at least half of the members.
  • The Board’s decision shall be made by the majority of the votes present at the meeting. The Chairman shall have a casting vote in the case of equal votes.
  • The Executive Regulations shall determine the provisions related to the holding of the Board’s meetings, their proceedings and the rules for election and voting.
Article 19 The Board’s Executive Bureau

The Board shall have an Executive Bureau that shall supervise the Chamber’s financial and administrative affairs in conformity with the Executive Regulations and the decisions made by the Board. The Bureau shall consist of :

  • Chairman
  • First Vice-Chairman
  • Second Vice-Chairman
  • Treasurer
  • Vice-Treasurer
  • Two Members of the Board
Article 20 The Chairman’s Tasks
  • The Chairman of the Board shall have the following tasks:
    • Presiding over the Board’s and the Executive Bureau’s meetings, managing and convening them.
    • Representing the Chamber before the judicial authorities, bodies, institutions and other parties. He may depute and other person for such tasks.
    • Attending meetings and conferences and other events and activities organized by the Chamber.
    • Signing agreements and contracts concluded by the Chamber
    • Ratifying the minutes of meetings, regulations, decisions and instructions; and signing letters issued by the Board and Executive Bureau.
    • Ordering payments from the Chamber’s funds or effecting commitments in respect of Chamber’s expenditures, signing payment orders, documents and instruments, contracts, and all financial transactions within the limits and powers determined by the Chamber’s by-laws.
    • Presenting the annual report to the Board on the affairs and activities carried out by the Chamber including his suggestions for development.
    • Any other tasks assigned by the provisions of this Law or the Chamber’s By-law, or assigned by the Board in conformity with its powers.
  • When absent, the Chairman shall be replaced by the Vice Chairmen consecutively, who shall be vested with the powers granted to the Chairman. The Chairman may depute any of the Board’s members, the Director General, the Deputy Directors or a Director of any of the departments to fulfill certain tasks or any urgent matter under his jurisdiction.
Article 21 The Chamber’s Committees
  • Permanent committees in the Chamber shall be found formed by Board decision to tackle commercial, economic, industrial, public relations and legal matters and other issues related to the Chamber’s objectives and functions which need continuous follow up by holding regular consecutive meetings.
  • The Chamber may form Sub-Committees affiliated to the permanent committees in order to look after any special matters related to any of the commercial the practices of the Chamber’s members of their activities in those sectors.
  • The Chamber may also form ad hoc or Technical Committees assigned to fulfill a certain task having an incidental nature or a specific period during which it has to be accomplished. They may be assigned to assist any of the Chamber’s departments in the accomplishment in the accomplishment of a certain assignment.
  • Committees shall be formed from the Board’s members or Chamber’s staff or members. Committees may approach experts and specialists and others from governmental or private institutions and bodies as the Chamber may deem appropriate either for the proper composition of such committees or to have their relevant opinions.
  • The Executive Regulations shall determine the types of committees, the rules of their formation, their functions and how to convene and organize their meetings.
CHAPTER IV The Chamber’s Administrative & Financial Affairs
Article 22 The Board’s Executive Bureau

The Chamber shall have an administrative body assigned to fulfill the executive tasks pertaining to the Chamber’s functions and activities in accordance with the provisions of this Law and the Chamber’s by-law.

The rules governing the appointment of employees, their powers, responsibilities, assessment, punishment and dismissal as well as the pension & retirement system, and other provisions related to the adoption of the organizational structure of the Chamber’s administrative body, shall be subject to the provisions of the regulations of the personal affairs issued by the Board.

Article 23 The Director General

The Chamber shall have a Director General to be appointed by a decision of the Board upon the nomination made by the Executive Bureau.

He shall be assigned to preside over the Chamber’s administrative body and manage the Chamber’s financial, technical and administrative affairs. His power and tasks shall be determined by the Executive Regulations.

The Directors General shall have a Deputy Directors General, who shall be appointed in the same manner and shall help the Directors General to accomplish the tasks assigned to him, and shall replace the Directors General whenever the latter is absent.

Article 24 The Chamber’s Budget
  • The Chamber shall have an independent budget adopted by the Board and funded by the following recourses:
    • The annual membership fees, the fees of issuing certificates and attesting commercial documents and others.
    • Yields of the Chamber’s invested funds and its real estates.
    • Revenues from facilities available at the Chamber’s premises and the various services provided to members and non-members and the yield of the sale of publications. The prices for such facilities and services shall be fixed by Board’s decision.
    • Subsidies, donations and endowments that the Board decides to accept.
  • The Director General shall prepared a draft annual budget for the Chamber to be referred to the Executive Bureau two months prior to the beginning of the new financial year. The Board shall adopt the annual budget before the beginning of the following year.
  • Appropriations shall not be relocated from once to another section of the budget unless by a decision made by the Board. However, relocation can be done from one item to another in the same section of the budget by a decision of the Executive Bureau.
  • The Board may-during the financial year add new items to the Chambers published budget, and may also increase the number of employees, provided that such expenses shall be supported by appropriations not used by the budget’s other items or by the surplus revenues.
  • The Director General shall prepare the draft final statements of account within two months as from the end of the financial year. He shall refer the statements and the attached auditor’s report to the Bureau for approval.
Article 25 (Chamber’s Funds)

The Chamber shall independently manage and dispose of its own funds. However, the Chamber’s funds shall not be spent except in the scope of the objectives for which the Chamber was established. Expenses shall be settled and orders for payment shall be given, provided that the amounts due for such expenses had been determined and legally due and the appropriations for such expenses are available in the budget.

The management of the Chamber’s funds, its accounting system, methods of revenues and the means for preserving, spending and managing its funds thereof, the rules of investment, and the organization of internal financial control shall all be subject to the provisions of the Executive Regulations and the financial and accounting regulations set forth by the Board.

Article 26 (Debts and Obligations)

The Chamber’s funds shall be considered as public funds. Any party having a debt or obligation on the Chamber shall not recover that by seizure, attachment, sale by auction, acquisition of the Chamber’s funds, or by any legal action whether a final judgment regarding such debt or obligation, was pronounced or not.

Article 27 The Auditor

The Board shall – at the beginning of each financial year – appoint an auditor registered on the accountants and auditors roster, who shall revise the annual financial statements of the relevant year. The auditor shall present a report on the audit with his remarks to the Chairman of the Board.

The auditors shall have the right to have access – at any time – to all the chamber’s books, records and documents, and to request the data that he may deem necessary for his work. He shall be entitled to check the Chamber’s assets and liabilities.

If the auditor is prevented from performing his duties or is not given the chance to duly perform such duties, he shall state the same in a report to be referred to the Chairman of the Board.

CHAPTER V Concluding provisions
Article 28 (Previous Law)

This law shall replace the Law No. (2) of the year 1975 on the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the amendments thereto, and shall cancel the Chamber’s By-laws issued on 13/7/1972.

Article 29 (Publication and Implementation)

This law shall be published in the official Gazette and shall be enforced as from the data on which it shall be published. All the concerned authorities shall implement this law, each in accordance with its jurisdiction.

Issued in Dubai on 25 May, 1997

Corresponding to 19 Moharram, 1418 Hijri

Maktoum bin Rashid Al-Maktoum

Ruler of the Emirate of Dubai