Lovells opens Jeddah base with Al-Yaqoub

Lovells associate Mustafa Kamal will be based there, while of counsel Imran Mufti works in the Riyadh office, which opened in ­September 2009.

Lovells regional managing partner for Asia and the Middle East Crispin ­Rapinet said: “Jeddah’s ­historically been the ­commercial centre, with many of Saudi’s largest ­corporations headquartered there, and Riyadh the ­capital and banking hub.

“As one of the few international firms to have offices in both, we’re significantly well placed to take advantage of the key economic activity in both Eastern and Western Saudi Arabia.”

Few international firms have presences in Jeddah. One that does is Herbert Smith through its association with Al-Ghazzawi ­Professional Association.

However, the increasing prominence of the city as a commercial hub, major projects in the vicinity and the perception that the lifestyle is more liberal than in Riyadh mean that it is eliciting greater interest from international firms.