Dubai and Hawkamah to Develop Corporate Governance Code

In recent years, the government of Dubai has arrested and charged a number of senior corporate executives from financial and real estate firms in connection with allegations of fraud and illegal financial transactions. With the office of Dubai’s Ruler, HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, issuing a warning that “there will be no tolerance shown to anybody who tries to exploit his position to make illegal profits,” corporate governance is being discussed with fervor among the business community in Dubai.

While sound corporate governance has always been a concern in the region, it has become especially crucial in the aftermath of the global financial crisis and the government's campaign against corporate malfeasance. With the U.A.E., specifically Dubai, emerging from financial crisis, deficiencies in corporate governance have become even more exposed. Objectives promoting sound corporate governance policies and stable growth recently prompted the government of Dubai to engage Hawkamah – the regional institute for corporate governance – to develop a corporate governance framework for small and medium enterprises (SMEs). The relevant question to be asked here is: Why the code on corporate governance is being developed specifically for SMEs in Dubai?

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