Dubai continues to attract significant investment and gives a boost to law firm hiring for international lawyers.
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M&A activity lifts Dubai’s highly competitive legal market

Posted by: Georgina El Mountassir 01/08/16
Even though uncertainty over fluctuating oil prices is still weighing down on business activity in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) continues to be supported by its reputation as the region’s thriving business hub.

Dubai’s successful bid to host Expo 2020 led to the government budgeting for over $8bn worth of new projects and further growth will undoubtedly be driven by foreign investment in the run up to the Expo, which has been themed "Connecting Minds, Creating the Future" and sub-themes will include sustainability, mobility and opportunity.

Sustainability is a key focus for investment in the UAE, with government’s highly ambitious sustainable energy targets, which could see up to $50bn worth of funding funnelled into expanding the nation’s solar capacity, highly likely to drive up demand for lawyers with experience overseeing deals in the energy sector.

M&A activity in the region remains healthy even despite some concerns over the impact of oil prices on foreign investment, with inbound, outbound and regional M&A markets all remaining robust. According to global law firm Baker & McKenzie, the UAE led the way in terms of outbound M&A activity in Q2 of 2016 with 17 deals. The Cross-Border M&A Index also indicates that the number of outbound deals in the Middle East region in H1 2016 edged up compared to H1 2015, increasing from 33 to 35.

Dubai’s legal sector remains highly competitive with intense pressure on fees, yet the trend that emerged in 2014/2015 of law firms withdrawing from Abu Dhabi in favour of focusing on their offices in Dubai still prevails. The Dubai International Financial Centre also continues to attract significant amounts of international business, with most law firms believing that having a presence in the district is a precondition for success.
Tagged In: Middle-East
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