Does the new Competition Law ensure fair competition in the UAE?

  • Saif Ahmad Ai Badwawi

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


    Competition law has become an important legal tool as it plays a significant role in preventing different forms of anti-competitive behaviour and ensures fair competition in the market. For this purpose, the United Arab Emirates has adopted its first comprehensive competition law, named "UAE Federal Law No. 4 of 2012 Concerning Regulating Competition", to be enforced from 23rd February 2013. The law contains 33 Articles regulating competition in all commercial sectors. This research aims to investigate the UAE competition law in order to answer the main question, which is to what extent does the new law ensure fair competition in the commercial field of the country. It examines the flaws and drawbacks in the competition law and the enforcement mechanism. The research suggests the reforms required to improve the law and the way this could be accomplished. In order to answer the main question, the research applies two main methods, which are the black letter approach and the socio-legal approach. In addition, the research will employ the interview approach. Different issues were found in the UAE competition law in the areas of anti-competitive agreements, abuse of dominant position, mergers and acquisitions, state aid, and enforcement. The findings demonstrate that evidence exists of anti-competitive behaviour in the market, such as monopolistic practices and abuse of dominant position. Furthermore, there is evidence of inadequate implementation of the law against many market players, such as state-owned undertakings. From the findings, the role of the Competition Regulation Committee seems to be weak and inadequate, and there are some conflicts with the role and the Ministry of Economy. Some recommendations have been suggested for policy reform and enhancement of the law and its upcoming regulations. It is hoped that the findings of this research will provide a framework for the UAE and the countries in the region that seek to have more competitive markets. This study is the first to address the competition law of the UAE, thus this study contributes to the understanding of the law and its application, and it is hoped it will add to knowledge in the field of competition law. Furthermore, based on the evidence, the research concludes by suggesting a number of implications and potential future research avenues.
    Date of AwardOct 2013
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • Nottingham Trent University

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