Strategy & Transformation

Forging a Strategic Path: Succession Planning for Family Businesses in the UAE

May 14, 2024

A CEO's true legacy can be measured by the effectiveness of their succession planning. This includes not only selecting a capable successor but also fostering a smooth transition and empowering the new leader to guide the company's future.”

Succession planning in UAE's family businesses goes beyond generational handover, focusing on continuity and growth. Tailored strategies are crucial, given family enterprises' economic significance. This article delves into key elements of successful succession planning, essential for navigating the unique dynamics of UAE's business landscape.

Understanding the Landscape

Before delving into strategy formulation, it's crucial to grasp the landscape within which family businesses operate in the UAE. These enterprises are often deeply entrenched in the fabric of society, blending familial ties with commercial endeavors.

Key characteristics of the UAE family business landscape include:

Interplay of Family Dynamics: In UAE's family businesses, intricate family dynamics extend beyond the boardroom, influencing succession planning.

Cultural Considerations: Cultural norms, including respect for elders and consensus-driven decision-making, shape succession practices within family businesses.

Economic Significance: Family enterprises are vital to the UAE economy, emphasizing the need for effective succession planning to sustain economic stability and growth.


This framework simplifies the three intertwined groups in a family business: family, business, and ownership. With seven distinct interest groups, success hinges on their collaborative functioning.

Key Components of Succession Strategy:

Crafting a successful succession strategy requires a comprehensive approach that addresses the specific needs and challenges of each family business. Key components of an effective strategy include:

Vision and Goal Alignment: Establish a clear long-term vision and strategic objectives aligned with family values and ambitions to guide succession planning. MBG's Family Business consultants facilitate workshops to unite the family and establish a shared vision.

Successor Identification and Development: Identify potential successors within the family and invest in their growth through mentorship and training. MBG offers leadership development programs tailored for family businesses to groom the next generation of leaders.

Governance Structure: Implement robust frameworks defining roles and decision-making processes to ensure transparency and accountability. MBG's Family Governance Consulting develops customized structures fostering clear communication.

Communication and Financial Planning: Promote open communication to address conflicts and manage expectations while developing comprehensive financial plans for wealth transfer and asset protection. MBG's experts guide family businesses through discussions and create plans safeguarding the family's legacy.

Partnering with MBG Corporate Services' Family Business division empowers UAE family enterprises to navigate succession complexities. Their tailored services cover succession planning, governance, finance, strategy, HR, conflict resolution, digitalization, and compliance, ensuring sustainable growth and continuity.

Leveraging expertise in family dynamics, MBG fosters sustainable growth and harmony, ensuring the longevity of UAE family businesses. Contact MBG today to discuss your succession planning needs and embark on a journey to secure the future of your family's legacy.

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