The healthcare and life sciences ecosystem is witnessing significant growth in the Middle East as the GCC continues to seek economic diversification.

By Brian A. Meenagh, Sara Patel, and Lucy Tucker

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) are advancing initiatives to nurture a thriving life sciences ecosystem in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). In January 2024, Saudi Arabia launched its National Biotechnology Strategy, which aims to position itself as a biotech

The DIFC guidelines provide practical guidance for DIFC-registered entities engaging in electronic direct marketing, including useful “dos” and “don’ts”.

By Brian A. Meenagh, Fiona M. Maclean, and Laura Holden

What Do DIFC-Registered Entities Need to Know?

In January 2019, the Commissioner for Data Protection for the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) issued new Direct Marketing and Electronic Communications Guidelines, aimed at DIFC-registered entities that collect and maintain personal data for electronic direct marketing purposes.

The document provides practical guidance on the rules relating to the collection, maintenance, and use of personal data for electronic direct marketing purposes set out in the Data Protection Law, DIFC Law No.1 of 2007 (DP Law), which is based on the (now superseded) UK Data Protection Act 1998 and EU Data Privacy Directive 1996. However, the guidelines also take into account the latest direct marketing requirements under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Privacy and Electronic Communications Directive 2002, providing practical examples of “do’s” and “don’ts” for entities to consider. The guidelines also appear to leverage provisions from the October 2018 draft of the EC’s new e-Privacy Regulation (ePR) which is currently anticipated to come into force in 2021.

With the rise in frequency of mergers & acquisitions (M&A) in Africa, the 26 percent growth of M&A in the Middle East this year and the global volume and value of M&A at its highest for years in the first three quarters of 2014, global M&A activity is expected to continue its growth through 2014 and into the first quarter of 2015. Latham & Watkins recently hosted, in collaboration with PwC and the Dubai Economic Counsel (DEC), an industry

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 and invest in credit that they would not otherwise have access to, such as Islamic institutions, which only raise funds in a Shari’ah-compliant manner. The

Over the last 12 months, structured finance transactions in the Middle East (both Islamic and conventional) have seen increased use of a comparatively new and previously underutilized type of special purpose vehicle (SPV) – the DIFC special purpose company (SPC).

An SPC is a private company limited by shares incorporated under the laws of the Dubai International Financial Centre (the DIFC), a financial free zone located in the Emirate of Dubai with its own body of law and regulations and

In February, Greece launched its sovereign debt swap, pursuant to which holders of EUR 206 billion of its bonds were invited to swap their existing holdings for a package of instruments with a nominal value of just 46.5 per cent. of the par value of their current bonds. This invitation for voluntary participation in the debt swap is backed by the threat of a retroactive collective action clause, enacted by the Greek parliament shortly before the launch of the invitation