Capital markets in United Arab Emirates

Clifford Chance

Mike Taylor heads a Clifford Chance equity capital markets practice that handles listings across Emirati exchanges as well as in Saudi Arabia. Stuart Ure's activity in debt capital markets includes work for both government-related entity issuers and bulge bracket banks, as well as sukuk issuances for for a range of issuers, including Saudi businesses and regional government-related entities. Australian-qualified counsel Cheuk-Yin Cheung is a notable name for derivatives and structured products work. Clara Gold and Rizwan Butt are notable senior associates on the debt and equity capital markets sides of the practice respectively.

Practice head(s):

Mike Taylor; Stuart Ure

Key clients

Emirates NBD Bank PJSC

Australian Postal Corporation

Citigroup Global Markets Limited

Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding Company

Government of Sharjah

Standard Chartered Bank

DP World PLC

Majid Al Futtaim

EQUATE Petrochemical Company

Emirates NBD

Work highlights

  • Advised a syndicate of investment banks on the initial public offering of Dubai-based company Network International on the London Stock Exchange main board.
  • Advised Australian Postal Corporation on the sale of a 10.1% stake in Aramex by way of a direct deal on the Dubai Financial Market.
  • Advised Emirates NBD Bank on a rights issue raising AED6.45bn.

Latham & Watkins LLP

While of late Nomaan Raja's representation of the investment banks in the Saudi Aramco IPO has rightly attracted a lot of attention, Latham & Watkins LLP is also particularly active in debt capital markets as well. Raja and Basil Al-Jafari advise a range of issuers and investment banks on sukuk structures, as well as dollar-denominated high-yield debt.

Practice head(s):

Nomaan Raja

Other key lawyers:

Harj Rai; Basil Al-Jafari

Key clients

Dar Al-Arkan Real Estate Development Company

The Government of Dubai

Dana Gas PJSC

Emirates Telecommunications Group Company PJSC (Etisalat)

Pearl Petroleum Co. Ltd.

Emirates Airlines

Qatar National Bank (Q.P.S.C.)

Samba Capital & Investment Management Company

Tadawul Real Estate Company

Work highlights

  • Advised the underwriters on the IPO of Saudi Aramco.
  • Advised Dar Al-Arkan on a $600m issuance of trust certificates.
  • Advised the Government of Dubai on drawdowns under its trust certificate issuance programme.

White & Case LLP

White & Case LLP is also no stranger to heavyweight equity capital markets, with Sami Al-Louzi one of the partners in the firm's global team assembled for the Saudi Aramco IPO. Debashis Dey spearheads the debt side of the practice covering a range of sukuk and conventional instruments, and UAE-qualified M&A specialist Abdulwahid Alulama is active in off-market trades of listed companies. Ali Shaikley handles work involving listed funds. Counsel Claudio Medeossi is notable for his expertise in advising banks on security trustee roles and analogous responsibilities in sukuk structures, as well as some securitisation transactions; fellow counsel Xuan Jin is an English-qualified Mandarin speaker with a track record across debt capital markets.

Practice head(s):

Debashis Dey; Sami Al-Louzi; Ali Shaikley; Abdulwahid Alulama

Other key lawyers:

Claudio Medeossi; Xuan Jin

Key clients

Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Saudi Aramco)

Arabian Centres Company

Saudi Real Estate Refinance Company

J.P. Morgan


HSBC Saudi Arabia

Goldman Sachs


DP World

Bank of America

Deutsche Bank


First Abu Dhabi Bank

ADES International Holding Plc

EFG Hermes

SHUAA Capital Psc



BNY Mellon Corporate Trustee Services Limited

Emirates NBD Capital Limited

Emirates REIT plc

Work highlights

  • Advised Saudi Aramco on its SAR111bn initial public offering.
  • Advised the managers on the issuances by Dubai-based global port operator DP World of notes and trust certificates totalling $1.3bn.
  • Advised investment banks including JPMorgan Cazenove on the IPO of Finablr, a UAE-based global platform for payments and foreign exchange, on the London Stock Exchange.

Al Tamimi & Company

Local regulatory matters surrounding interactions with both ESCA and the DFSA are core areas of expertise at Al Tamimi & Company, with the firm sole adviser to a Dubai government project to create a platform for trading shares in free zone companies. Public M&A and other issues with listed companies such as rights issues and capital reductions, as well as advice on international IPOs of companies with businesses with presences in the UAE are other work streams. Andrew Tarbuck and Husam Hourani are the key names for these seams of work, and Rafiq Jaffer's recent instructions have included sukuk issuances.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Tarbuck; Husam Hourani; Rafiq Jaffer


‘It has deep knowledge of local market rules and regulations.’

‘As the pre-eminent regional law firm with a very strong corporate client base, Al Tamimi are represented in most capital markets transaction in the region. They have very good relationships with regulators and stock exchanges, and are very strong at bringing local firms to market.’

‘Al Tamimi have really benefited from hiring Andrew Tarbuck who is an industry leader and is on top of capital markets transactions in the region. He’s always available and provides insightful advice that gets to the heart of the issues. He’s also very practical and can help clients get deals done despite challenges.’

‘Extremely plugged into the government and regulatory ecosystem.’

‘Very personable and accessible.’

Key clients




Network International


Tabarak Investment





The First Group

Work highlights

  • Advised BLME, an English-incorporated, NASDAQ Dubai-listed bank on its acceptance of an offer made by Boubyan Bank.
  • Advised Dubai Investment Bank on its purchase of Noor Bank, a listed entity.
  • Advised Network International Holdings on its IPO on the London Stock Exchange.

Allen & Overy LLP

Allen & Overy LLP's capital markets practice in the UAE is prominent in debt capital markets, acting for both leading investment banks and issuers including state-linked entities and regional sovereign issuers. Bilal Ahmad in Dubai is particularly active in issuer-side sukuk work, while Anzal Mohammed's practice includes both Islamic and conventional issuances, both for issuers and banks, including issuances of Basel III-compliant debt. Khalid Garousha in Abu Dhabi has handled key bank and issuer-side work, and Nazuma Hassan is a notable associate.

Practice head(s):

Anzal Mohammed


‘A&O UAE’s DCM practice’s strengths are around Islamic finance where they are market leaders in terms of technical ability. ’

‘Anzal Mohammed and Bilal Ahmed have great technical ability (especially in relation to Islamic finance) and are very hands on.’

Work highlights

  • Advised the joint lead managers and delegate on Emirates NBD’s $1.75bn rights issue.
  • Advised Aldar Investment Properties on a London-listed sukuk using retail units in Yas Mall as income-generating assets.
  • Advised GFH Financial Group on a $300m sukuk issuance using a dual wakala-murabaha structure.


Dentons' Alex Roussos heads a practice advising investment banks, multilateral development institutions and private sector businesses on debt issuances under both convention and Shari'ah complaint structures. The practice regularly works with its offices elsewhere in the GCC for issuers across the region.

Practice head(s):

Alex Roussos


‘The team is led by a committed, hard working, talented and knowledgeable partner. They routinely deliver excellent results, to short high pressure deadlines.’

‘Dentons in Dubai is a leading firm for regulatory capital and sukuk in the MENA region. They have an in depth technical knowledge of AT1 in the region and are considered to be one of a small handful of go to firms for practical advice on these instruments.’

‘Alex Roussos in Dubai is very visible on transactions. This is very much a partner led practice. Alex is pragmatic and easy to work with. He is great at collaborating with all stakeholders to get transactions over the line.’

Key clients

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB)

Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB)

Barclays Bank


Standard Chartered Bank (SCB)

Emirates NBD

First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB)


JP Morgan

KAMCO Investment Company

Kuwait Finance House (KFH)

Commercial Bank of Dubai (CBD)

Islamic Development Bank (IDB)

Qatar International Islamic Bank (QIIB)

Bank of Sharjah

Burgan Bank KPSC

National Bank of Ras Al Khaimah (RAKBANK)

National Bank of Oman

Bank Dhofar

Work highlights

  • Advising Islamic Development Bank on its first sustainable sukuk issuance of $1.5bn, the first by an AAA-rated issuer.
  • Advising the managers on the issuance of Majid Al Futtaim’s $600m green sukuk.
  • Advising Commercial Bank of Dubai on a proposed issuance of Additional Tier 1 Capital Notes.


At Linklaters, Jonathan Fried heads a capital markets practice that is active for investment banks on conventional and sukuk work, both for banks (often those backing sovereign debt issuances), as well as private sector issuers from both the UAE and other nations in the Arab world. Ross Whibley and Nicola Minervini are key associates in the team.

Practice head(s):

Jonathan Fried

Other key lawyers:

Ross Whibley; Nicola Minervini

Key clients

Ahli United Bank B.S.C.

Barclays Bank PLC

Bank of Bahrain and Kuwait B.S.C.

HSBC Bank Plc

Bank of China Middle East (Dubai)

Standard Chartered Bank

Credit Suisse UK Limited

Citigroup Global Markets Limited

Emaar Properties

Bank of China (UK) Limited

JPMorgan Chase & Co

National Commercial Bank

Morgan Stanley

Qatar Islamic Bank

Société Générale

Work highlights

  • Advised investment banks including Citigroup and Bank of China on two issuances totalling $12bn by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia acting through the Ministry of Finance under its global medium-term note programme.
  • Advised, among others, First Abu Dhabi Bank and HSBC as delegate on Riyad Bank’s $1.5bn issuance under Riyad Sukuk Limited’s trust certificate issuance programme.
  • Advised Qatar Islamic Bank as the issuance thereunder of $800m floating rate trust certificates, listed on the Taipei Exchange – the exchange’s first sukuk.

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP

Rizwan Kanji and counsel Hamed Afzal at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP's Dubai office are the key names in a practice covering a range of sukuk matters. The firm advises Islamic Development Bank on a range of structures and also acts for leading regional private sector investment banks as managers of proposed issuances.

Practice head(s):

Rizwan Kanji

Other key lawyers:

Hamad Afzal

Key clients

Emirates NBD Capital

Al Bilad Capital


BNY Mellon Corporate Trustee Services

Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector

Islamic Development Bank

Work highlights

  • Advising the Islamic Development Bank on developing its template sukuk documents and the restructuring of its portfolio as part of Libor transition.
  • Advising a number of holders of sukuk issued by NMC Healthcare.

Hogan Lovells (United Arab Emirates) LLP

Rahail Ali and Imran Mufti are the key partners in Hogan Lovells (United Arab Emirates) LLP's broader Islamic finance practice in Dubai, which is active in a range of sukuk transactions. Senior associate Ahmet Kalafat is well-connected in Turkey.

Practice head(s):

Rahail Ali

Other key lawyers:

Imran Mufti; Ahmet Kalafat

Key clients

Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector

Aktif Bank


Dubai Islamic Bank

Noor Bank

Emirates NBD



Work highlights

  • Advised Emirates NBD Capital and Noor Bank on the $500m refinancing of flydubai’s debut sukuk.
  • Advised Aktif Bank on a $40m sukuk for Emlak Girişim Danışmanlığı A.Ş., listed on the Irish stock exchange.

Ibrahim & Partners

Ahmed Ibrahim and Malack El Masry are the key names for capital markets work in the Dubai office of Ibrahim & Partners. Equity capital markets is the key area of strength, with work spanning tender offers and similar matters in the UAE, as well as local matters concerning companies listing overseas - in addition to London work, this practice also regularly works with the firm's regional offices.

Practice head(s):

Ahmed Ibrahim; Malack El Masry


‘Both individuals are responsive, have an extensive proven record and are very easy to deal with.’

Key clients


ENBD Capital

Amanat Holding PJSC

VPS Healthcare

BH Mubasher PrJSC

Allianz Marine and Logistics Services Holding Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advised ENBD Bank, as lead legal counsel, on the largest rights issue in the UAE.

Simmons & Simmons Middle East

Lee Irvine at Simmons & Simmons Middle East has a debt capital markets practice covering both issuer-side sukuk matters, concerning regulatory capital issues and products listed both in the UAE and London, and both conventional and Shari'ah compliant work for investment banks. John Kearns  is a key supervising associate in the team.

Practice head(s):

Lee Irvine

Other key lawyers:

John Kearns.

Key clients

Société Générale Corporate & Investment Banking

Emirates Strategic Investment Group

The First Group

Merrill Lynch International

Citibank N.A., London Branch

Barclays Bank PLC

Standard Chartered Bank

Emirates NBD Capital

Deutsche Bank

Work highlights

  • Advised the investment banks in respect of the debut issuance by GFH Financial Group of $300m of sukuk.
  • Advised Emirates Strategic Investment Group on the establishment of a $1bn sukuk issuance programme and its debut issuance of $600m sukuk thereunder.
  • Advised The First Group on the issuance of $135m high-yield sukuk certificates.