Middle East

Dubai remains the undisputed ‘hot spot’ of the Middle East, with UK firms, such as Herbert Smith and Lovells looking to bolster their presences in the Emirates.

But it was Allen & Overy’s (A&O) surprise launch in Saudi Arabia earlier this month that created the biggest stir. The magic circle firm is one of only a tiny number of international firms to stake a claim in the kingdom. It has launched in Riyadh through an association with local firm Abdulaziz AlGasim – the only avenue open to foreign firms at the present time.

The return to glory of the Saudi Arabian oil market isundoubtedly a key driver for A&O’s expansion, as is the flood of government-led infrastructure projects.

This Middle East Special Report examines the rise of the Saudi legal market as well as Oman’s booming real estate sector and the growing number of petrochemical projects in Dubai.