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Participation in tenders in the UAE

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The United Arab Emirates is actively developing: there is a continuous construction of buildings, expansion of transport networks and infrastructure, the increase in the flow of tourists. A huge number of tenders are conducted every year with the aim to find contractors for new projects.

For example, numerous construction related contests (from interior design to architectural projects) are held in Dubai. Tenders in the area of IT industry, public enterprises, food and light industry are also held there.

How to participate in tenders in the United Arab Emirates?

First of all, it should be noted that only foreign companies, which are registered in the UAE or have a local agent, are allowed to participate in tenders.

In fact, any foreign company (regardless of whether it has a representative office in the United Arab Emirate or not) can participate in any tender. However, if it wins the tender, it must undergo the registration procedure in the UAE by the time of signing an agreement.

In general, the outline of tender participation is as follows:

1) Official invitation

It is usually placed either in a national newspaper of the United Arab Emirates or on the website of the governmental authority-organizer.

2) Submission of tender documents

Accreditation (submission of documents and a guarantee) is a mandatory requirement for tender participation. The amount of a bank guarantee depends directly on the scale of the object of the tender. For example, in the case of construction of infrastructure facilities, the bank guarantee can amount to about $1 million.

The documents must be written in Arabic, rarely in other languages (read the requirements carefully).

3) Holding a tender in the UAE

The winner is defined based on the level of economic viability of his proposal. Then an official notification and invitation to sign the contract are sent to the selected company.

4) Performance Bond

A selected company must provide a Performance Bond — 5-15% of the amount, which is specified in the tender contract, to guarantee that the tender will be performed.

5) Signing of a contract

The final step is the signing of an official contract between the winner company and a governmental agency (or a private company), which has organized the tender.

Please note that the requirements to tenderers may vary in different Emirates. For example, you may participate in the tender in Abu Dhabi only if your company is registered in this particular Emirate.

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