Dear Clients and Friends!
15 years ago, on 11 June 2005, ANDERS LEGAL CONSULTANCY opened its doors for the very first time. Since then, we have met many challenges and celebrated great successes together. It is time to give a heartfelt thanks to you – for your trust in us and the rewarding collaboration on countless matters, whether big or small!
I would like to express my gratitude for 15 years ANDERS LEGAL CONSULTANCY to my colleagues as well: Alvernia Campbell witnessed the beginnings of the firm and is now spearheading the communication with local authorities. Christina Mauel is responsible for tenancy and real estate-related matters and possibly knows procedures in certain free zones better than some employees actually working there. Lisa Merod is our employment law guru who easily navigates all the different labour regulations. Dr. Anna-Luisa Lemmerz heads our commercial agency department and regularly explores the depths of the local corporate law. Katharina Hees always lends a sympathetic ear and keeps us and our office organised. Kristina dela Peña reigns supreme as head of accounting and hunts down even the smallest inaccuracies. Without such a well-attuned team, our success would not be possible!
Through the years, the business environment in the United Arab Emirates has not become any easier. The global economy is weak, the geopolitical situation in the Middle East is tense, the public sector no longer invests as generously as it used to and regulatory requirements increase constantly. Many quality products succumb to cheaper competition. These factors have indeed caused companies to pack up and leave.
But to literally bury one's head in the sand has never been an option in the Emirates. Time and time again, those responsible have proven to be visionary thinkers, looking unwaveringly ahead. And we are convinced: Sustainable business models and innovative products and services will continue to attract customers in the years to come. Now as before, the United Arab Emirates provides the best conditions throughout the whole region for your business ventures for the foreseeable future.
We are looking forward to standing by your side and lending our support.
With the warmest regards from the entire team,
Why we enjoy doing what we are doing – Views from our office
Our anniversary provides us with the opportunity to share with you some personal memories and impressions of our day-to-day work. We had great fun experiencing and compiling them and hope they bring a smile to your face as well.
When first starting out in the UAE, the notary public had no queueing system. If you wanted to be served, you had to scramble through the waiting crowd. It was every man for himself – and I the only woman. Whilst I was still plotting my approach, the notary spotted me, shouted something in Arabic, the crowd parted and I got my documents attested within minutes. Now, queueing at the notary public involves token numbers sent to your mobile phone by SMS – and, hence, equal opportunities for waiting men.
And how do I get there exactly?
15 years ago, finding a location was an adventure. Street numbers and detailed city maps were virtually non-existent in the UAE. Therefore, we started drawing maps for one another, at times for clients as well. Now, Google Maps shows us – and many taxi drivers – the right way without detours, usually at least. There are still uncharted places in Dubai, such as certain locations of P.O. Boxes and service centres. That's why some clients can still enjoy a very special Dubai sightseeing experience with me as their own personal tour guide.
When visits to authorities make your day
Proceedings in the UAE are extremely fast-paced. New regulations may already be in use before they have officially come into effect – and vice versa. Hence, it is unavoidable to regularly communicate with the authorities and visit them in person to stay on top of things. More often than not, this can be quite stressful but I would not miss it for the world. When having an appointment with a specific free zone authority, for example, my favourite beverage, an extra-large Americano, is already waiting for me. Elsewhere, my visit is eagerly anticipated in order to practise the pronunciation of recently learnt German words.
Meeting Sheikh Mohammed for dinner
Some things never change. And that is the level of security in the UAE. Admittedly, one's steps are increasingly monitored through camera surveillance but this, in turn, would also allow you to walk home safely on any street of Dubai at 3 am. Members of the ruling family or His Highness The Ruler of Dubai himself even visit Dubai Mall or a camel race without a large escort. During our annual office Iftars, the traditional dinners in the month of Ramadan, we thus have bumped into His Highness and members of his family multiple times.
Digital Authority? Already a reality in the UAE
Although the UAE has imposed restrictions like #stayhome and #socialdistancing due to the COVID-19 pandemic, local business life has only barely been affected as digitalisation has systematically been implemented for many years. Currently, nearly all administrative matters can be processed remotely from home. Even the famous Arab hospitality has gone digital. A cute little robot might now be serving you beverages, which are typically offered to visitors to government offices, while undergoing the obligatory medical test. It will – probably – take a while until this robotic employee also takes your blood sample.
That's no problem at all
Our clients frequently seek our advice in non-legal matters as well. We have arranged for the assembly of a bed in the apartment of a soon-to-arrive new employee, organised the shipping of an obviously really comfortable hotel mattress and ensured the safe transport of a cat to its new home. In return, we have received many personal tokens of appreciation. A large gingerbread house has thus found its way to us all the way from Switzerland. Despite our best efforts, it decorated our reception area for only a short period of time though – it was simply too tasty.
Katharina Hees (Office Manager until November 2020)
We can be persistent too
It is part of our daily business to apply for licenses, residence visas and other approvals. However, like everywhere else in the world, applications can now and then be rejected. On such occasions, we have to prove that our services are worth your money. Once, an authority refused to issue a certificate needed for the appointment of a distributor. It took as many as twelve appointments until the document was finally issued. The approval cleared the path for our client to successfully distribute its goods in the UAE and we were as pleased as the client to have reached this milestone.
Dr. Anna-Luisa Lemmerz