Middle East Newsletter - Issue 2, December 2010

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Welcome to this latest edition of Reed Smith LLP’s Middle East Newsletter brought to you from our offices in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. We are coming to the end of an exciting year for the UAE and for the firm and next year promises to be one of further growth in our region.

This year Dubai has taken stock and moved on, as is evident not only from its skyline and the reappearance of its traffic, but from the growth in our own local and regional business for existing clients and the large number of new inward investing corporates for whom we are acting.

That is a story repeated in Abu Dhabi where investment in growth continues apace and infrastructure develops in support both of its position as a regional hub and its steadfast pursuit of its framework Plan 2030. We see that overseas investors, from Britain and the United States in particular, are increasingly looking at the attraction of assets here in the context of mergers and acquisitions. The legislative infrastructure does not always make that simple, but there are great opportunities to buy into and partner in the development of the region.

Changes in laws to simplify investment, including changes long foreshadowed to the Companies Law which are widely expected to permit majority foreign ownership of companies, at least in certain circumstances, may now be introduced in the coming months. In addition to keeping you up-to-date with legal developments, members of our Middle East team are always delighted to discuss with clients and others the business environment and the commercial opportunities for business in the UAE and the wider region of which we are at the hub.

We British in the UAE have been delighted by the active support which the British government is now giving to promoting the mutually beneficial opportunities for engagement between the UK and the UAE. This has included many and senior ministerial visits, including one by the Prime Minister, David Cameron, shortly after he took office. This culminated at the end of November in the State Visit by Her Majesty the Queen and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, the first for over 30 years. Coincidentally, I was here for both visits and on this occasion was honoured to have been a guest at the State Banquet for Her Majesty hosted by H.H. Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the President of the United Arab Emirates.

I am sure that you will find something in this Newsletter to interest you and hope that you will all have a thoroughly relaxing and enjoyable holiday season.

Please see full newsletter below for more information.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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