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Category Archives: United Arab Emirates

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Key Considerations for Middle East Entities Looking to Invest in US Technology Companies

Four of Latham & Watkins’ leading emerging company partners in Silicon Valley, Luke Bergstrom, Tad Freese, Jim Morrone and JD Marple, recently hosted a webinar titled “Achieving Successful Outcomes as a Non-US Company Investing in or Acquiring Technology Companies in Silicon Valley”. The webinar can be viewed here. In this blog we have sought to … Continue Reading

The Legal Landscape for Drones in the UAE

The use of “unmanned aerial systems” or “drones” for commercial, government and consumer purposes has significantly increased in recent years across the globe. In the UAE, the office of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, introduced the Drones for Good Award at the Government Summit held in Dubai … Continue Reading

The Legal Status of Bitcoin in the United Arab Emirates

This is the first in a series of articles considering legal issues relating to bitcoin, cryptocurrencies and blockchain in the UAE. In this article we focus on the legal status of bitcoin and address the question of whether bitcoin is banned in the UAE. In part two we will consider the case for regulating bitcoin … Continue Reading

United Arab Emirates – the New Digital Payments Regulatory Landscape

New Regulations balance innovation in the payments sector with safety, security and maintaining the public’s trust in the UAE payment ecosystem. After a long period of consultation, on 1 January 2017 the Central Bank in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) issued the Regulatory Framework for Stored Values and Electronic Payment Systems (Electronic Payment Regulation). The … Continue Reading

Climate Change Further Threatens MENA Water Security

The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) is home to 14 of the 33 most water scarce countries globally, with six times less water availability than the worldwide average and less than 2 percent of the world’s renewable water supply. The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states – Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia … Continue Reading

Telemedicine in the UAE

Telemedicine is a product of 20th century information and communication technologies. It is generally defined as the provision of healthcare services from a healthcare professional to a patient from a remote location using a telephone or the internet. International and local health providers are increasingly looking to provide telemedicine services in the region, specifically in … Continue Reading

6 Unique Challenges for Protecting and Exploiting Intellectual Property in the United Arab Emirates

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is an attractive global business centre and gateway to the wider Middle East region for international companies seeking to commercialise and exploit their brands, products and technologies. However, the UAE is often considered to present risks from an intellectual property (IP) infringement perspective – a perception that potentially can undermine … Continue Reading

3 Key Considerations Before You Begin Outsourcing in Qatar, Saudi Arabia or the UAE

Outsourcing has historically not been a major pillar in Middle East public and private sector organisation’s strategic architecture. While the benefits of outsourcing are understood and recognised, organisations have sought to engage with major outsourced service providers through managed service agreements and joint ventures. This approach has generally worked well. It has enabled local organisations … Continue Reading

Abu Dhabi Global Market Publishes New Commercial Regulations and begins Financial Regulation Consultation

On 15 June 2015, the Abu Dhabi Global Market (Global Market), Abu Dhabi’s financial free zone, published the following six new regulations concerning the regulation of non-financial services in the Global Market: – Application of English Law Regulations; – Companies Regulations; – Operating Regulations; – Insolvency Regulations; – Employment Regulations; and – Real Property Regulations. … Continue Reading

Financing the Middle East’s Shopping Spree

The continuing strong economic conditions of the UAE and other GCC economies has led to an upsurge in consumer spending in recent years. With retail sales in the region expected to reach US$284.5 billion by 2018, the need to meet the growing demand for consumer goods has led to a boom in planned shopping mall … Continue Reading

How Oil and Gas Companies can Optimize Technology Performance and Costs During Oil Price Volatility

An unexpected surge in production coupled with weakened global demand has resulted in a 50 percent drop in the price of crude oil since June 2014 and currently averaging US$50 a barrel. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) announced it would leave market forces to determine crude oil price and would not cut … Continue Reading

What You Need to Know About Abu Dhabi Global Market’s New Draft Regulations

The Abu Dhabi Global Market, Abu Dhabi’s new financial free zone, located on Al Maryah Island, recently issued a first wave of draft regulations and related consultation papers. The Global Market’s general approach in the draft regulations follows very closely the  English law model. In particular, the Global Market is proposing to apply English common … Continue Reading

As Bitcoin Gains Momentum, Focus on Regulation Increases

The virtual currency market has emerged in the United Arab Emirates with Dubai’s first Bitcoin ATM introduced in April 2014. Middle East entrepreneurs have begun launching Bitcoin payment products and SMEs are beginning to realise the potential of such technology, with The Pizza Guys becoming the first restaurant in the UAE to accept Bitcoin payments. … Continue Reading

Is Green Sukuk a Viable Option for Clean Energy Initiatives in the GCC?

A number of GCC governments, including those in the UAE and Saudi Arabia, have set ambitious clean energy and energy efficiency targets. As the fastest growing region in the world, the GCC’s population is expected to grow more than 53 million by 2020. Substantial amounts of investments will be required to finance the clean energy … Continue Reading

5 Ways to Protect your Business from a Cyber Attack

Global cyber-attack threats stand at the highest ever recorded level, jumping 14 percent from 2012 to 2013 (Cisco 2014 Annual Security Report). Furthermore, a recent Microsoft Security Intelligence Report found that operating system infection rates in the GCC countries were almost twice the worldwide average, with up to 13 computers out of every 1,000 being … Continue Reading

Top 4 Innovations Driving Growth in the Global Sukuk Market

The Sukuk Opportunity Total Sukuk issuances for 2013 stood at approximately US$120 billion and the Sukuk market is likely to sustain double-digit growth in the coming two to three years with assets in Islamic finance expected to reach US$2.8 trillion by 2015. The growth of the Sukuk market has allowed investors to diversify their portfolio … Continue Reading

How the GCC Can Boost Confidence in its Local Exchanges

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries accounted for IPO issuances valued at US$1.1 billion in 2013, according to Bloomberg. Notably, Qatar Exchange bounced back this year with the successful IPO and listing of Mesaieed Petrochemical Holding company Q.S.C. (a Qatar Petroleum Subsidiary), the first IPO in Qatar since 2010 and the first under the current … Continue Reading

An Introduction to Non-Profit Incorporated Organisations in the DIFC

While the Dubai International Financial Centre (the DIFC) remains primarily focused on the financial services industry, its stable and sophisticated legal and regulatory regimes have increasingly attracted organisations in the culture and arts, retail, leisure and — more recently — the non-profit sectors. To date, only a handful of non-profit entities have been established in … Continue Reading

Top 4 Trends that are Shaping UAE Capital Markets

The strengthening global recovery appears to have brought renewed confidence to the UAE’s capital markets. As such, a number of interesting themes have begun to emerge: Resurgence in Dubai’s Real Estate Sector:  Following a four year gap, IPOs and other equity offerings have returned in the form of DAMAC, Al Noor Hospitals, Arabtec, NMC Healthcare … Continue Reading

How Educational Institutions Can Capitalise on Real Estate Assets

With investment pouring into the education sector, academic institutions have never been in a stronger position to capitalise on costly real estate assets to fuel future expansion.  Research suggests the public and private education market in MENA is projected to be worth US$96 billion by 2015, with the GCC region claiming US$61 billion of that … Continue Reading

Infographic: How #Healthcare is Regulated in the #UAE

UAE Healthcare_v2Investment in the UAE’s healthcare sector is steadily increasing as the government seeks to deliver world-class healthcare to its residents.  Latham has compiled the following Infographic to explain the regulatory framework behind the UAE’s first-rate infrastructure projects and advanced healthcare services. Read more about UAE healthcare regulations here.… Continue Reading
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