In the UAE, there is considerable regulation around the registration of trade names at the time of starting a new company in Dubai. Among other government policies for naming a company, it is a prerequisite for businesses to provide an Arabic name, alongside its English version, during the UAE business licensing process.
For a business set up in the UAE, an Arabic company name is important because it honours the country’s culture and traditions. Also, it ensures that the business name is accessible for the Arabic-speaking population of the country. Moreover, it also makes sense from a branding point of view. If a business does not advertise an Arabic version of its name, customers have to devise their own constructions. This can dilute the company’s brand identity and threatens brand recall.
It is important to note that the requirement for an Arabic company name also influences the original version. Before registering their business in Dubai, an owner has to consider how the prospective name would appear in Arabic.
According to government regulations, the name must be transliterated – i.e. written as it sounds rather than translated. Therefore, care must be taken that the original name does not inadvertently result in an offensive word when pronounced in Arabic. When starting a business in Dubai, consult a fluent Arabic speaker before deciding the name. Some phonetic considerations are worth remembering at this point, such as the fact that there is no ‘p’ sound in Arabic and is written as a ‘b’. The Arabic iteration of the company name should neither carry an inappropriate connotation nor be difficult to pronounce.
Consistency is key
At times, there are multiple ways to transliterate a word and the most suitable one should be selected. Once a transliteration has been chosen, it is imperative to stick to it. At times, business owners will register a Dubai company using one transliteration but use another for practical purposes. This can be a costly mistake, for other parties can petition for the cancellation of your registered trade-name if it hasn’t been used for a certain period of time.
Other points to keep in mind is the general list of words that are prohibited from featuring in business names. These include the words ‘Allah’ and ‘God’ and references to divine attributes; the names of countries or governments (unless permission is sought from the embassy of the said country); the names of global political organisations or religious sectarian organisations; the names of families, tribes or individuals (unless the individual is the licensee himself or herself); and any obscene word or language that would be considered objectionable by the general public.
By keeping these simple points in mind when deciding their Arabic company name, business owners can prevent branding backfires and ensure that their business is registered smoothly.