There are Israeli business law firms and there are business law firms. If you need a “rubber stamp” and nothing more, you might just make do with any Israeli law office, even if the attorney only rents out a desk, upon which you stumble. If, however, you have higher stakes on the line, such as an international deal with the up and coming international trade center for its surrounding nations in the region, of Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), you want more than just a certificate on the wall. You need an Israeli law firm that understands the differences among cultures and can draft an unequivocal, inimitable, contract that will be legally binding on all sides. That is the office of David Page, a top Israeli attorney who is licensed in both, the USA and Israel.
Compared to Other Cultures
Unlike many other parties to an agreement that you might have encountered on your entrepreneurial journey, Dubai, the UAE, compare themselves to other cultures with various anthropological tools. The UAE does this in a competitive manner, seeing which country has scored higher on different points.
Dubai in particular and the UAE in general, have tremendous respect for any authority that they recognize. Subordinates in that culture will obey and carry out any order and or instruction, issued and handed down by management. Upper management will always have the upper hand in any decision-making process and no input will be required or even tolerated from the lower ranks. This is absolute.
Wording contracts will become increasingly more tricky and other parties will have to tread carefully on issues regarding gender bias and other factors where cultures differ, so as not to deeply offend the future partner in business and risk dashing any hopes for a deal. This is no exception when the lawyer is from an Israeli business law firm, with a progressive, egalitarian mentality. If your Israeli lawyer is too complacent and does not take the painstaking trouble to do his or her due diligence, even if you will not be advised of loopholes or pitfalls, the other side will and you stand to lose a great deal.
When in Dubai, do as Dubai
The old adage, “When in Rome, do as the Romans,” applies here, much more than in more diversity tolerant countries. Visitors to Dubai and the UAE must conform to their standards, limitations and regulations. Visitors are guests and as such, have to learn their ways. Failure to do so can result in deeply offending one’s hosts and if taken very far, could land someone in prison.
High Power Distance Speak
Any representative of a foreign business law firm like Israel, visiting Dubai, UAE, will have to be very conscious of how he or she speaks. In any deal, one’s bargaining position has to be strong and for that, one has to maintain a “high power distance,” where managers tell subordinates what to do. They do not ask them or reason or bargain with them. Therefore, one would adapt the way he or she speaks and only sound unwavering and in charge. For example, an Israeli attorney who is being nice, will be regarded a fool and not taken seriously.
Competition? What Competition?
In the UAE, competition is not at all common, except for some, based on the masculine score of the anthropological tool of Hofstede’s Value Dimensions, namely Power Distance. The UAE society is focused on the group as a whole and people are not constantly trying to one up and outdo one another.
Even if customs and traditions are meaningless to visitors, whether reps from foreign, Israeli business law firms or managing principals, to the people of Dubai and the UAE, traditions are more highly upheld and regarded and nobody wants to change them. Do some homework before proceeding and all should go well.