United Arab Emirates

Our firm advises international and local clients in all major areas of business law in the United Arab Emirates. Our expertise in this regard covers diverse areas of market entry, corporate matters, project and transactional support, business dissolution and, where appropriate, dispute resolution.

Legal counselling for business activities in the UAE

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is one of the wealthiest countries in the Middle East with a population of almost 10 million, 90% of whom are foreigners, and a gross domestic product of approx. 415 billion USD (2021). The GDP per capita is among the highest in the world. The UAE ranks 16th in the Global Competitiveness Index and 8th in the world in the Economic Freedom Index. The UAE is now one of the most liberal economies in the world. As an economic and trade centre for the entire MENA region (Middle East and North Africa), this also makes it one of the region’s most important trading partners for western countries, including Germany.

The UAE respectively has the sixth and seventh largest oil and gas reserves in the world. The cornerstone of the good economic development in recent years has been the high oil price, which has ensured consistently high government revenues. In the process, however, the country is increasingly broadening its economic and industrial foundation in order to make itself independent of oil revenues in the long term. This diversification extends to tourism, the unabated construction boom, an expanding manufacturing economy and a thriving trade and services sector.

We have advised international and local clients in all major areas of commercial law in the United Arab Emirates. Our expertise covers a wide range of market entry, corporate matters, project and transactional guidance, business dissolution and, where appropriate, dispute resolution in litigation and arbitration.

Consulting on international contracts for UAE

We aim to identify problems at an early stage and solve them in advance. Especially with international contracts and in project management, it is important to be able to act and react quickly.

Through our offices in the heart of Berlin, in France and in Switzerland, as well as our teams and partner law firms in the UAE, Oman and Qatar, we are always happy to advise you on site or discuss the status of your projects via video conference. We are in constant contact with important institutions such as embassies and foreign chambers of commerce.

Our experienced team supports you in all aspects of contract execution and contract management in order to minimise risks and maximise profitability. In addition to contract management, claims management is also one of our areas of expertise. We therefore enforce your claims and defend against opposing claims.

We draft, review and negotiate project contracts for the UAE

In our role as legal advisors for international contracts and international projects, we see ourselves as a long-term partner advising you on all legal and commercial aspects of your contracts and projects.

Our speciality is advising on project contracts (EPC or joint venture contracts) concluded by German companies abroad.

After identifying the legal framework, we work with you to draw up the relevant project contracts, always taking into account the technical and economic purposes and objectives. We support you in this process through our UAE team on site with many years of local experience.

Our founding partner has played a central role in several large construction and infrastructure projects in many GCC countries. Through his own consulting firm, another partner of our firm has assisted large and medium-sized companies in international projects in the United Arab Emirates. In addition, all of our lawyers have lived and worked abroad and/or have completed legal training there. We have successfully advised on many international projects of all sizes in the UAE.

Our large client base includes numerous international companies from Europe and companies from the German SME sector, which are looking for legal support especially for projects in Africa, the Middle East and the Near East..

Practice Focus: „International Arbitration“

Even the most careful preparation of projects and contracts cannot always prevent conflicts from arising. We advise and represent our clients in the out-of-court and contentious settlement of disputes.

However, litigation is expensive, risky and usually unpleasant for all parties involved. In all conflicts, the primary goal should therefore be to reach an out-of-court settlement. We therefore first assist in analysing the costs, risks and chances of success of a conflict as realistically as possible. Building on the experience of many years, we develop the necessary strategy in collaboration with our clients, taking into account the clients’ objectives.

If a dispute cannot be settled out of court, we provide our clients with selected dispute lawyers in ordinary court proceedings and supervise the proceedings. We also provide personal representation in mediation and arbitration proceedings and have many years of experience in proceedings under international (e.g. ICC) and local arbitration rules (e.g. DIS) as well as in investment disputes (ICSID).

Comprehensive legal counsel on international investments in the UAE

One focus of our practice are M&A transactions as well as corporate and commercial matters. We advise on domestic and cross-border transactions, including M&A, private equity and venture capital transactions, acquisitions, investments and the formation of consortia, joint ventures and strategic partnerships.

We advise listed companies as well as small and medium-sized businesses and start-ups on corporate and group law issues, changes in corporate structure and all restructuring measures.

Our many years of experience in the GCC states and the Middle East have enabled us to build up a very good network in the UAE business community. Our founding partner Oliver Alexander has also worked as a lawyer in Qatar for over ten years and is very familiar with the region. In our consultation, we use our many years of experience at the interface between law, business, entrepreneurial interests and local practice.

Your own location outside Germany: Setting up a company in the UAE

Whether you are setting up your own UAE branch directly, or taking this second step after a previous international contractual relationship, our highly qualified team can advise you on all aspects of local company formation and help you set up your business in a professional and time-saving manner.

Our firm and on-site teams have advised more than 500 European clients on doing business in the UAE and have experience across a wide range of industries and project types.

We advise you on whether a production site is needed, whether a project company is required, or whether a special purpose vehicle or special purpose company should be set up for an investment, which licences and permits need to be obtained, and on all aspects of labour law, company law and contracts. We always use our experience and short decision-making processes flexibly for the benefit of our clients.


Our specialised and culturally aware team works in advance to avoid conflicts through solidly drafted contracts and good legal advice. If the need arises, we think entrepreneurially and try to avoid a long and costly dispute. Ideally, a solution acceptable to both sides is found outside the courts. If the conflict cannot be avoided, we can guide you through the dispute in the best possible way with our many years of experience, especially in international conflicts.
Our law firm employs lawyers with extensive experience in UAE law who are personally available as your contacts. To this end, we work closely with a local cooperation law firm, which is closely linked to us and is responsible for coordinating our lawyers. We therefore do not delegate tasks to other law firms. This means that decision-making channels are very short and additional costs are avoided. Moreover, you always have the same contact person for all your issues.


Founding Partner
Drawing from over a decade of experience being based in the GCC, Oliver Alexander specializes in advising clients from Germany and Europe on their business activities in the GCC, with specific focus on commercial law, international and commercial arbitration, as well as dispute resolution in the construction sector. Further he is one of the first movers into the Sub Saharan African legal market by forging a close cooperation with a law firm in Accra, Ghana.
Andreas Scherdel advises on project contracts, corporate law, commercial contracts and claims and risk management as well as accounting and tax aspects with particular focus on the construction, infrastructure and energy industries.
Julia Mohamad was born in Berlin. After graduating from high school (A-levels), she studied law at the University of Potsdam and Arabic at the University of Damascus, Syria.
Dr. Richard Wichmann is a lawyer, certified mediator and has been working in the real estate industry since 2005. Since 2017, he has been advising national and international clients in the fields of energy and infrastructure in private and public commercial law.
Of Counsel
Dr. Aouni Shahoud Almousa is an Assistant Professor at Lusail University (Doha, Qatar) and an Of Counsel at Alexander & Partner.
Of Counsel
Martin Brown is an English qualified solicitor and has over 25 years’ experience advising on international finance transactions.
Of Counsel
Jakob Kisser is Of-Counsel of Alexander & Partner and managing partner of our UAE partner law firm Strohal Legal Consultants. He has been practicing business law in Austria and the United Arab Emirates for 20 years.
Of Counsel
Dr. Philipp Stompfe advises on international contract and corporate law as well as on international arbitration.