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Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance

United Arab Emirates

Our team of over 80 lawyers advises clients on domestic, regional, and international matters and have delivered many first-of-a-kind deals. We opened our first UAE office in 1975 and are well known for innovative, market-leading work.

A sizeable team with a proven track record

We've advised clients in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for over 40 years, significantly longer than many other international law firms. We have in-house Arabic capability, and, in contrast to many other firms, we can advise on both English and UAE law.

Our offices in Abu Dhabi and Dubai are permanently staffed by over 80 lawyers. We base lawyers in the UAE, rather than bringing in out-of-region lawyers to resource complex transactions, because we believe that clients get the best results from teams who are familiar with the region's laws, languages, and business processes.

The size of our UAE team and our close links with the firm's other Middle East offices mean that we can quickly put together strong in-region teams who can work efficiently on complex domestic, regional, and international deals. These teams are used to working together and with specialist lawyers from the firm's international network.

We advise many financial institutions, corporations and government entities on regional matters and regularly deliver complex regional and international transactions.

Recent highlights

Recent work

  • the landmark acquisition by Dubai Aerospace Enterprise of 80% of Jordan Aircraft Maintenance Limited (Joramco) from the Abraaj Group
  • DP World on the acquisition of Economic Zones World from Port and Free Zone World for USD$2.6 billion
  • the increase in Dubai Parks and Resorts' (DPR) issued share capital by way of a USD$460 million rights issue on the Dubai Financial Market
  • UAE sovereign wealth fund in the sale of a business to an international private equity consortium, one of the largest PE deals in the region in several years
  • Dubai World in its successful negotiations with 130 lenders for the extension of more than USD$14.6 billion of debt facilities
  • the award-winning ENOC Jebel Ali Refinery expansion USD$1.5 billion facility
  • Majid Al Futtaim Holding LLC's issuance of USD$500 million reset subordinated perpetual notes (the Notes) by MAF Global Securities Limited
  • DP World USD$3 billion sukuk issuance programme to Regulation S/Rule 144A standards and the inaugural issuance thereunder, coupled with a simultaneous liability management exercise
  • National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) on the establishment of a US Commercial Paper Programme for the issuance of up to USD$5 billion
  • continuing to advise Masdar (Abu Dhabi National Energy Company) on the development of the UAE's first carbon capture project and the world's first commercial scale carbon capture project
  • Emirates Global Aluminium  on a USD$4.9 billion conventional and Islamic facilities for the refinancing of an existing project finance facility of EMAL (Emirates Aluminium)
  • the largest EUR denominated loan for a Middle East borrower, Aabar EUR€3.6 billion facility.

Directory and client comments

Directory listings

Legal 500: UAE, 2018

  • Tier One in Banking & Finance
  • Tier One in Capital Markets
  • Tier Two in Construction
  • Tier One in Corporate/M&A
  • Tier One in Dispute Resolution
  • Tier One in Projects and Energy/Infrastructure
  • Tier One in Islamic Finance

Chambers Global: UAE, 2018

  • Tier One in Banking & Finance
  • Tier One in Capital Markets
  • Tier One in Corporate/M&A
  • Tier Two in Dispute Resolution
  • Tier Two in Construction
  • Tier Three in Real Estate

Client comments

  • "I find that the work the team does is some of the best I've come across. They're very client-oriented and provide care and attention to detail."
    Chambers Global: UAE, 2018
  • "They have a very good network that we can benefit from in multi-jurisdictional transactions."
    Chambers Global: UAE, 2018
  • "They are experts in their fields, they know their client really well and advise accordingly."
    Chambers Global: UAE, 2018
  • "Their debt capital markets team is one of our go-to legal teams. They are trusted advisers for us and offer sound legal advice and innovative legal solutions on a commercial and practical basis."
    Chambers Global: UAE, 2018
  • "Very transparent, service-minded, well informed and highly skilled."
    Chambers Global: UAE, 2018
  • "They are a very well-run team. They're good at building long-term relationships with the client. The team has a good structure and they are always able to cover for each other if one of them is not there."
    Chambers Global: UAE, 2018
  • "Established practice with strong construction capabilities, both locally and throughout the MENA region."
    Chambers Global: UAE, 2018

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