Musthafa & Almana Associates delivers ground-breaking legal solutions worldwide
Thousands of investors come to the UAE to start new ventures across various industries. In 2014, the country has recorded an astounding 163,000 new businesses, a 19 per cent increase from the 136,841 new businesses in 2010. This only proves the UAE’s economic stability and attractiveness for foreign investments.
Nonetheless, a birth of a business does not equate to success. In fact, a good number of businesses fail each year and we are talking regardless of the company’s size. “It is the unfortunate truth,” said Musthafa & Almana Associates’ Founder and Managing Director, Mustafa Zafeer, “and I have personally witnessed this, and most of the time, it is due to the managements’ wrong decisions”.
Musthafa along with his wife Almana Zafeer established “Musthafa & Almana” in 1992 in Kerala, India with the mission to offer effective legal advisory services to companies and help them “capture the true spirit of doing business”. Growth came quickly to Musthafa & Almana due to its passion for innovation, always bringing ground-breaking solutions to the business world. From being a regular legal practice in India, the company evolved into a legal and business consultancy firm with physical offices in India, the UAE, the UK and the USA, and also catering to Qatar and Oman.
“What’s unique about us is that we have a deep understanding of the different business and legal environments that exist in each country that we operate in”, Musthafa said. “For example, if a client comes to us wishing to form a company in the UAE, we will be able to provide an educated advice on the things he might encounter along the way”. His wife, Almana, added that they have a team of highly-qualified lawyers who are fully knowledgeable on each investment platform and different types of practices. “We offer a wide range of Corporate-Commercial services, from corporate governance and company formations, to contract law, corporate restructuring and mergers and acquisitions,” she said.
In the UAE, Musthafa & Almana has a presence in both Dubai and Ras Al Khaimah. Asked why he decided to bring his company to the latter, he said: “RAK is full of potential and it is fast-growing. Truth is, I set up my business in RAK FTZ in 2006 and in just 10 years, I have seen major developments unfold in the emirate and within the free zone. I was also impressed with RAK FTZ’s client orientation. We experienced nothing but ease of doing business and to top it all, the free zone’s cost structure is very competitive. We are very thankful to how RAK FTZ has contributed to our growth and our strong presence in the Middle East”.
Musthafa also added that RAK is a welcoming investment environment that offers immense advantages to investors. “I truly believe in that to the point that we will be launching an initiative called ‘Destination Ras Al Khaimah – Legal Route for Investments’, a platform through we will promote the emirate as an ideal destination for setting up businesses,” he stated.
Musthafa & Almana has also introduced other innovative initiatives, such as: the Musthafa & Almana Startup Support (MASS), which is designed to help entrepreneurs incubate their businesses; the Internal Arbitration System (IAS), a dispute resolution mechanism that aims to contain disputes within the doors of organisations; ‘Destination Dubai’ which is the pioneering investment platform launched in 2014 that is similar to the concept of ‘Destination Ras Al Khaimah’; and the Legal Lounge for Business (LLB) where clients can learn about revolutionary corporate and commercial solutions that they can implement in their respective business and industry.
With tremendous innovations come great recognitions. The international consultancy firm has been acknowledged by different prestigious award-giving bodies for its contribution to the global business community. In February 2016, Musthafa has been conferred with the Award for Excellence by K&K Social Foundation in Mumbai, and in April 2016, the company received the Golden Peacock Award for creating an innovative ecosystem that offers a single window solution to all entrepreneurial ventures. Then in December 2016, Musthafa & Almana was one of the recipients of the Kerala Business Visionary Awards 2016.
“2016 has truly been a remarkable year for Musthafa & Almana and the recognitions we received inspire us to stay committed to our practices,” Musthafa shared, adding that he is excited for what’s in-store for the company in 2017. “This year marks the 25th founding anniversary of Musthafa & Almana and we hope 2017 to be more eventful as the company is set to open the first of its kind Legal Innovation Centre in Asia and the Middle East in Smartcity Kochi. It will be a state-of-the-art facility that is dedicated to testing, launching and incubating startups in the legal industry”.
In addition to that, the firm will be opening its branch offices in Australia, Romania, the Netherlands, Singapore and South Korea, as well as expanding its RAK FTZ base.
“The next 12 months will be very exciting and at the same time very crucial for us,” he concluded.