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Skyscraper city scape with tall buildings and harbour
Skyscraper city scape with tall buildings and harbour

United Arab Emirates

We have had a strong presence in the United Arab Emirates since 1978 and have offices in both of the country's major business centres – Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

The United Arab Emirates is a significant part of our network. Our lawyers offer international expertise gained on high-profile, multi-jurisdictional transactions with deep local roots, the result of many years’ experience in the local Middle East markets where they operate. They advise on some of the most innovative and complex transactions in the region, many of which are market firsts. Over the years we have also built strong relationships with local law firms, key government agencies and regulatory bodies. Thanks to this combination we are now recognised as the preferred legal adviser to some of the most successful organisations operating in the United Arab Emirates, including those expanding overseas and international clients investing in the region.

Whether we are handling corporate, banking, project finance, capital markets, funds and real estate transactions or dispute resolution matters, we use the best of our technical and international expertise and local knowledge to find practical ways to help our clients achieve their business objectives.

Our first Middle East office opened in Dubai in 1978 and it has grown into a major force in the region. Our team of resident partners and associate lawyers, including Arabic speakers, have experience in working on some of the largest, most complex and unique transactions in the region for a variety of high-profile clients. In terms of track record, breadth of resources and consistent quality across the range of disciplines, there are few firms in Dubai capable of matching this overall service.

Our Abu Dhabi office opened in 2007 and today has a highly experienced team including a number of leading Abu Dhabi practitioners who brought with them extensive expertise and understanding of local practices, clients and transactions. We advise numerous local government entities on a wide variety of matters, including drafting.

Our experience

Citibank, Deutsche Bank and HSBC Bank

Citibank, Deutsche Bank and HSBC Bank

On an Islamic and conventional ECA backed financing for the Dubai Department of Finance in relation to the Al Sufouh Tram System.
The lenders

The lenders

On a joint venture of Ma’aden, Sabic and Mosaic on the USD7.75bn Waad al-Shamal fertiliser and mining project in Saudi Arabia.
Dubai World

Dubai World

Advising The Creditors’ Committees on the USD14.4 billion restructuring of Dubai World, on the USD10.4bn restructuring of Nakheel and on the USD3bn restructuring of Dry Docks World.
Orascom Construction Industries (OCI)

Orascom Construction Industries (OCI)

On the approximately USD7.6bn demerger of its construction business from its fertiliser business. 
Al Khair National for Stocks and Real Estate Company LLC an investment company controlled by the Kharafi Group in Kuwait

Al Khair National for Stocks and Real Estate Company LLC an investment company controlled by the Kharafi Group in Kuwait

On the proposed sale of a 51% stake in Mobile Telecommunications Company K.S.C. (Zain) to Etisalat for approximately USD12bn.
Government of Abu Dhabi

Government of Abu Dhabi

On the establishment of its USD10bn Global Medium Note Programme, as well as its two-tranche issue co-arranged by Citi, Deutsche Bank and JP Morgan.
Abraaj Capital

Abraaj Capital

On the acquisition of a 49% stake in Network International LLC for approximately AED2bn.

On the establishment of a pan-MENA real estate fund, structured by way of a Cayman Islands exempted limited partnership, with investment projects across the MENA region.


Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (TAQA)

Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (TAQA)

On a 40% stake in Sohar Aluminium Company for approximately USD430m.
Zayed University PPP Project

Zayed University PPP Project

Advising on the USD1bn PPP project entailing the development of Zayed University in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (Middle East PPP Deal of the Year, PFI Awards, 2009).
DIAC Arbitration

DIAC Arbitration

Defending two Dubai government entities in DIAC arbitration proceedings relating to a large mixed-use development project. The claims were valued at in excess of USD580m.

Our offices

Abu Dhabi
Dubai

News & insights

Middle East International Law Firm of the Year

News: 28 NOVEMBER 2019

Chambers Middle East Awards 2019

A&O wins Middle East International Law Firm of the Year plus UAE Banking & Finance Law Firm of the Year at the inaugural Chambers Middle East Awards.

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News: 07 OCTOBER 2019

Allen & Overy’s aviation team awarded ‘Best Aviation Law Firm in the Middle East & Africa’ for a fourth year running

Allen & Overy’s Aviation Finance team were crowned ‘Best Aviation Law Firm in the Middle East & Africa’ for the fourth year running at the Airline Economics’ Aviation 100 Middle East and Africa awards, held in Dubai on the 1st October.

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Nick Smith and Jodi Norman

News: 11 SEPTEMBER 2019

Nick Smith and Jodi Norman to head up A&O’s Middle East Funds and Financial Services Regulatory group

Nick Smith and Jodi Norman have joined forces to head up A&O’s Middle East Funds and Financial Services Regulatory group.

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Publications: 17 APRIL 2019

Analysing the impact of the AIFM Directive

The Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD) will have a major impact on the asset management sector as it regulates alternative investment fund managers who market or manage funds in Europe targeted at professional investors. With the rapid growth in alternative investment funds focussed on a wider range of asset classes the AIFMD heralds increased regulatory scrutiny on the sector.

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Recognition

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We are at the top end of the market – as evidenced by advising on all ground-breaking ‘big-ticket’ deals across the UAE and wider Middle East.

Media contact

Laura Pyke-Jean
Laura Pyke-Jean

Head of Business Development - Middle East & Africa

Dubai

View profile
Dubai
  • Allen & Overy LLP

    11th Floor, Burj Daman Building, Happiness Street, Dubai International Financial Centre

    Dubai

    PO Box 506678

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