The Legal 500 > Europe, Middle East & Africa > Saudi Arabia

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Legal Market Overview

Saudi Arabia remains one of the largest economies in the Middle East with vast petroleum reserves, arguably the biggest in the world accounting for its GDP growth. Vision 2030 remains an integral program in the Kingdom, designed to diversify its economy and wean the country off its reliance in the oil sector. Despite this commitment, according to the World Bank, Saudi Arabia is still 75% dependent on oil exports for its budget.

There has been an uptick in transactional mandates across the board with some of the region’s largest Islamic financings in the banking area, PPP’s, mostly due to the Public Investment Fund (PIF), and real estate Giga projects such as the NEOM smart city.

Religious tourism has also been steady, with the Muslim pilgrimages of Hajj and Umrah underway again with Covid restrictions in place. Under the Crown Prince, a sizeable amount has been devoted to social infrastructure projects, hotel and resort developments, and mega projects like the ambitious Red Sea Development.

International law firms require an association with local law firms on the ground to operate, among these are market players Baker McKenzieLatham & Watkins LLPDentons, and Clifford Chance LLP. Key local firms include Khoshaim & AssociatesDerayah LLPC – Saudilegal and regional powerhouse Al Tamimi & Company.