Franchise Agreements in Dubai


Franchising has become a cornerstone of economic growth in the UAE, attracting both international brands seeking regional expansion and local entrepreneurs seeking established business models. This dynamic sector, spanning retail, food and beverage, and services, relies heavily on well-crafted franchise agreements to ensure a successful and mutually beneficial partnership between franchisors and franchisees.

A recent report by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry estimates that the UAE franchise market is expected to reach AED 57 billion (USD 15.5 billion) by 2025. This growth underscores the need for robust franchise agreements that comprehensively address key considerations and potential challenges.

Key Components of Franchise Agreements in Dubai


Franchise agreements are vital contracts that govern the relationship between a franchisor and franchisee, allowing the latter to operate a business under the franchisor’s brand and business model. In the UAE, where franchising is a popular business model across various sectors including retail, food and beverage, and services, these agreements are crucial for both local and international brands seeking to expand their footprint.

The following are common components and clauses that are generically found on a franchise agreement, but are not exhaustive, and each industry/market would have different clauses and elements depending on the principal contract, therefore it is always best to find an industry-specific lawyer in Dubai who can assist you with your specific agreement:-

1. Grant of Franchise:

  • This clause defines the rights being granted to the franchisee, including the use of the franchisor’s trademarks, trade names, service marks, and proprietary information.

2. Territory:

  • The agreement must specify the territory in which the franchisee can operate and whether the franchisor retains the rights to open additional outlets within the same territory.

3. Fees and Royalties:

  • Details regarding the initial franchise fee, ongoing royalty payments, advertising fees, and any other required payments should be clearly laid out. These fees compensate the franchisor for the use of the brand and the continuous support provided.

4. Term and Renewal:

  • The length of time the franchise agreement is valid should be specified, along with conditions under which the agreement can be renewed.

5. Training and Support:

  • Franchisors typically provide extensive initial training and ongoing support. The agreement should detail the training schedule, the scope of ongoing support, and any additional costs associated with these services.

6. Advertising and Marketing:

  • The agreement should specify how marketing funds are to be managed. Often, there’s a requirement for franchisees to contribute to a national or regional advertising fund.

7. Quality Control:

  • To maintain brand consistency, franchisors enforce quality control measures. The agreement must specify these standards and the franchisee’s obligations to adhere to them.

8. Sale or Transfer of Franchise:

  • Conditions under which a franchisee can sell or transfer the franchise rights to another party are crucial and must be clearly defined, often requiring franchisor approval.

9. Termination Conditions:

  • Circumstances under which the franchise agreement can be terminated by either party should be explicitly stated, including breach of contract, insolvency, or failure to meet performance standards.

10. Dispute Resolution:

  • Given the potential for conflicts, it is important that the franchise agreement specifies the mechanisms for dispute resolution, typically including mediation and arbitration clauses.

Common Matters Negotiated in Franchise Agreements in the UAE

  • Local Compliance: Adapting the franchise system to comply with local UAE laws, including labour laws and commercial regulations.
  • Cultural Adaptations: Adjustments to the business model to better fit local culture and consumer preferences.
  • Growth Strategy: Discussion on potential for future expansion and the franchisor’s development plans in the region.
Why Expert Legal Guidance is Essential

Navigating the complexities of franchise agreements requires understanding both international franchise practices and local UAE laws. Legal experts can provide invaluable guidance in drafting, negotiating, and enforcing these agreements to protect the interests of both franchisors and franchisees.

A well-structured franchise agreement is foundational for the success of the franchise system in the UAE. With the help of skilled Corporate Lawyers in Dubai from 24Justice’s portal, franchisors and franchisees can ensure that their agreements are not only compliant with UAE regulations but also tailored to meet their specific business needs and objectives.

Open chat
💬 Speak to us now
Hello 👋
My name is Zian, please let me know how I can assist you today