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Case Study: UAE Foundation


  • A family resident in the UAE and comprises father, mother and four children, one of whom has special educational needs 
  • The family's assets, which were originally held in the patriarch's sole name then transferred into a UAE Holding company, include real estate in UAE; Bank Accounts/Investment Portfolio and the shares of the family's trading business.

Rationale for using a Foundation:

  • Avoid potential conflict between two of the children, as one is involved in the business and the other is not
  • Avoid dilution of assets (and corresponding destruction of value) and to ensure as much as possible the continuity of the family business
  • Delay inheritance for younger children
  • Ensure the child with the special educational needs is protected after the passing of the parents.


The family were happy with the Foundation structure because it is more akin to a company than a Trust.   The Patriarch wanted a mechanism to involves his eldest children in the process.

Patriarch is the Founder and the Council members include himself, his eldest son and daughter and Ocorian.  The family decided to appoint a trusted family adviser as the Guardian.

Although it is not mandatory to name the Beneficiaries, the Patriarch and his wife named their four children and remoter issue.

Ocorian Foundation Structure Diagram

What advantages does this structure bring to the family?

  • Mechanism to bring the next generation into the decision-making process
  • Confidentiality
  • Distribution to the beneficiaries, including to a local charity, is guaranteed via the Bylaws of the Foundation, reflecting the wishes of the Patriarch (as the Founder) 
  • The Foundation, as a legal body, can protect and provide for the needs of the child with special educational needs, especially after the passing of the parents
  • The Council can only operate within the realms set by the Bylaws which gives the family additional comfort
  • The Guardian is there to supervise the Council and ensure the intentions of the Founder (enshrined in the Bylaws) are respected.