UAE

About

White & Case has been active in the UAE for more than 35 years prior to opening in Abu Dhabi in 2007 and further expanding with an office in Dubai in 2013. The UAE practice is staffed with more than 50 lawyers, all of whom have significant international experience and a number of whom also have Arabic and other language capabilities. We provide a unique offering in the UAE in that we have lawyers who are UAE, New York and English law qualified.

 

Longstanding commitment to the United Arab Emirates

Although active in the UAE for decades, we opened our office in Abu Dhabi in 2007 and further expanded with an office in Dubai in 2013. The practice in Dubai has developed quickly, now necessitating a move to larger premises in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), which we have occupied since early 2016. The UAE practice is staffed with more than 50 lawyers, all of whom have significant international experience and a number of whom also have Arabic and other language capabilities. We provide a unique offering in the UAE in that we have lawyers who are UAE, New York and English law qualified. 

 

Partner-led team, with international expertise and deep local knowledge

We offer clients a unique offering in the UAE in that we have lawyers who are UAE, New York and English law qualified. With a deep bench of lawyers based across our offices in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, we provide both UAE and international legal capabilities. Partners and lawyers in both offices advise on matters across the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and beyond into Europe, the US, Asia and Africa. Our approach to providing legal advisory services is to ensure that our teams are partner-led, providing commercial and pragmatic solutions that are focused on the common goals of our clients.

 

Unparalleled experience and market-leading practice coverage

Our Abu Dhabi- and Dubai-based lawyers provide clients with legal advice on a wide range of issues related to matters including: energy, infrastructure and project development (including public-private partnerships), M&A and corporate and commercial law, debt and equity capital markets, banking and finance (including project finance and Islamic finance) and financial restructuring and insolvency, as well as international trade. We are proud to be the first major international firm to have appointed an Emirati lawyer to its global partnership.

 

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

"They’re a team that understands exactly what needs to be done and so I never have any difficulties with them."
"The team is knowledgeable and approachable."
"There is total commitment to servicing us as a client. We feel as though we are always first priority."
"We finished each other’s sentences, we debated in a constructive manner, it was a seamless experience."
"extremely dedicated and hard-working team"
"great talent and boundless energy"
"great-quality work"
Chambers Global 2019

Ranked Band 1 for Banking & Finance in the UAE 
Ranked Band 1 for Capital Markets in the UAE 
The Legal 500 2019

Telecoms, Media & Technology M&A Legal Adviser of the Year
MergerMarket Middle East M&A Awards 2019

Middle East Pharma, Medical & Biotech M&A Legal Adviser of the Year
MergerMarket Middle East M&A Awards 2018

Best Law Firm – UAE
emeafinance Middle East Banking Awards 2018 

Middle East Energy, Mining & Utilities M&A Legal Advisor
Mergermarket Middle East Awards 2017

Best Law Firm – Middle East 
EMEA Finance Middle East Banking Awards 2017, 2016
 

Experience

Abu Dhabi Crude Oil Pipeline 
Representation of Abu Dhabi Crude Oil Pipeline LLP, a wholly owned subsidiary of Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), on the inaugural issuance of US$3 billion senior secured bonds. The Rule 144A/Regulation S bonds were the first capital markets issuance by the ADNOC group. The bond issuance was also one of the largest non-sovereign bond issuances in the history in the Middle East.

Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) 
Representation of ADNOC in connection with its strategic partnership with Baker Hughes, a GE Company (BHGE:NYSE), in connection with ADNOC’s subsidiary, ADNOC Drilling. The transaction also involved BHGE acquiring five percent of ADNOC Drilling for US$550 million. This deal was named “MENA M&A Deal of the Year” by IJGlobal in 2019.

Amanat Holding PJSC 
Representation of the joint lead managers in connection with the AED 1.375 billion IPO of 55 percent of the share capital of Amanat Holdings PJSC on the Dubai Financial Market.

Al Fahim Group 
Representation of Noor Bank PJSC as arranger in connection with the dual tranche AED 800 million Islamic development financing in Dubai for Al Fahim Group. 

Al Ghurair Investments 
Representation of Al Ghurair Investments in relation to its AED 1.2 billion Shari’a compliant syndicated real estate development financing.

Barakah nuclear project 
Representation of the ADWEA/ADWEC in connection with the power purchase agreement for the 5,6000 MW US$35 billion Shuweihat nuclear power project being constructed at Barakah, Emirate of Abu Dhabi. This project was recognized as "MENA Public Sector Financing Deal of the Year" by IJGlobal in 2016.

DP World
Representation of the managers on Dubai-based global port operator DP World’s issuances of US$300 million Notes due 2048 under its Global Medium Term Note (GMTN) Programme, and US$1 billion Trust Certificates due 2029 under its Trust Certificate Issuance Programme.  Both issuances were oversubscribed, with the order books for the GMTN issuance and Trust Certificates issuance reaching US$1.6 billion and US$4.6 billion, respectively.

Emirates Water and Electricity Company 
Representation of the Emirates Water and Electricity Company (formerly the Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority) for over 20 years on all Abu Dhabi IPPs/IWPs/IWPPs.

Emaar 
Representation of Emaar in relation to its US$1.5 billion Pre-IPO term facility from First Abu Dhabi Bank PJSC.

ENBD REIT
Representation of Emirates NBD Capital Limited as listing advisor, and EFG-Hermes UAE Limited and Emirates NBD Capital Limited as joint global coordinators and joint bookrunners, on the initial public offering of shares of ENBD REIT (CEIC) Limited (ENBD REIT) and its listing on Nasdaq Dubai. ENBD REIT is a Shari’a compliant real estate investment trust established in the DIFC and managed by Emirates NBD Asset Management Limited. This transaction is only the second publicly listed REIT in the United Arab Emirates, and it is the first IPO in the UAE to close successfully in nearly two years (on any UAE securities market).

EMAL Smelter Project – Phase I & II expansion 
Representation of the lenders (including commercial banks, Islamic banks, export credit agencies and the joint lead managers of any bond issue) in connection with the US$10 billion financing aspects of the EMAL Aluminium smelter project – Phase II. We also previously advised the commercial lenders in connection with the initial US$4.7 billion financing of the same project.

Etisalat 
Representation of Etisalat on all legal aspects related to Federal Decree by Law No. 3 (“Etisalat Law”) and the new articles of association of Etisalat that were issued by the Council of Ministers pursuant to the issuance of the Etisalat Law. 
Joint representation of Etisalat and Noor Bank on the launch of a Dirham-denominated digital payment services company in the UAE and regulated by the UAE Central Bank. 

Etihad Airways 
Representation of Etihad Airways PJSC (Etihad) in relation to a US$300 million Syndicated Islamic Facility made available by Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank PJSC and Emirates NBD Bank PJSC. This landmark deal involved these two top tier UAE financial institutions, which participated in providing a commodity murabaha facility to Etihad to assist in funding the company’s continued expansion and growth plans. 

Farabi petrochemical project
Representation of the mandated lead arrangers (Banque Saudi Fransi, Samba Financial Group, The National Commercial Bank and The Saudi British Bank) in connection with the SAR 2.15 billion Islamic project financing for the construction of a new petrochemicals complex in Yanbu, Saudi Arabia. The deal was recognized as "MENA Petrochemicals Deal of the Year" by IJGlobal in 2019.

Galadari 
Representation of the heirs of Abdul Latif Ibrahim Galadari in connection with their buyout of the remaining shareholders (the Investment Corporation of Dubai and the heirs of Abdul Rahim Ibrahim Galadari) in the Galadari Brothers group. The acquisitions were partially funded by a AED 1.675 billion (approx. US$456 million) bridge credit facility provided by Mashreqbank psc and approx. AED 450 million (approx. US$ 123 million) provided by our client. The bridge facility was recognized as “Local Currency Loan Deal of the Year” by Bonds, Loans & Sukuk Awards, Middle East in 2018.

Gargash 
Representation of Dubai-based Gargash family in connection with a dual tranche Islamic and conventional acquisition finance facility made available by Mashreqbank psc in connection with the acquisition of 100 percent of the shares in Gargash Enterprises LLC (Gargash Enterprises). This is considered as one of the largest leveraged buyout transactions in the automobile industry’s history.

Hassyan Clean Coal Power Project 
Representation of DEWA on the Hassyan Clean Coal Power Project. The project was recognized as "MENA Power Deal of the Year" at the IJGlobal Awards 2016 and "MENA Power Deal of the Year" at the PFI Awards 2016.

Investment Corporation of Dubai 
Representation of Investment Corporation of Dubai in connection with the US$1 billion issuance of trust certificates by ICD Sukuk Company Limited under its US$2.5 billion trust certificate issuance programme. The trust certificates, which were issued in a single tranche maturing in 2027, were offered pursuant to Regulation S and are listed on the Nasdaq Dubai and on the Irish Stock Exchange, and have a profit rate of five percent per annum.

Liwa plastics project 
Representation of six ECAs and 19 international and local banks in connection with the project financing (including multiple ECA covered tranches) of the US$6.4 billion LIWA Plastics petrochemical project in Oman. This project was recognized as “Middle East and Africa Petrochemical Deal of the Year” by Project Finance International in 2016, “MENA Petrochemical Deal of the Year” by IJ Global in 2016 and “Project Finance Deal of the Year” by Bonds, Loans & Sukuk Middle East Awards.

Meydan 
Representation of Cassa Depositi e Prestiti S.p.A. (CDP) and Standard Chartered Bank (SCB) as arranger and agent, respectively, together with a group of lenders comprising SCB, CDP and UBI Banca S.p.A, on the negotiation of a US$300million SACE covered facility to Meydan Group LLC. The facility benefits from 100 percent coverage from an insurance policy issued by SACE S.p.A. 

Nakheel
Representation of Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank and Samba Financial Group in relation to AED 1.5 billion financing provided to Nakheel for a residential property project in Dubai. This deal has been recognized as “Ijarah Deal of the Year” by Islamic Finance News in 2018.

National Central Cooling Company PJSC (Tabreed) 
Representation of J.P. Morgan, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank and Mashreqbank on the 2018 debut issuance by National Central Cooling Company PJSC (Tabreed) through Tabreed Sukuk SPC Limited of US$500 million Regulation S Trust Certificates, utilizing a capacity structure.

Samena Capital 
Representation of Samena Capital, a principal investment group focused on the Subcontinent, Asia, Middle East and Africa (collectively known as the SAMENA region), on its acquisition of a stake in Flemingo International, one of the world’s leading emerging market-focused duty free and travel retail operators.

United Arab Shipping Company (UASC) 
Representation of United Arab Shipping Company (UASC) on its merger with Germany-headquartered Hapag-Lloyd AG, in a multibillion deal that is the largest cross-border M&A deal involving a Middle East-headquartered company in the last ten years and the largest-ever M&A deal involving a DIFC company. The new combined company is the world’s fifth largest container shipping line, with a fleet of 230 ships and annual turnover of around US$12 billion. The former majority shareholders of UASC, Qatar Holding LLC and the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia, also separately advised by the White & Case Dubai team, have become key shareholders in the new Hapag-Lloyd, holding approximately 14 percent and ten percent, respectively, in the combined entity. IFLR called this deal “a blueprint for future M&A transactions in the shipping container industry,” and Legal Business called it “hugely complicated.” This transaction was also recognized as "Transaction of the Year (Over £3 Billion)" and "Industrials Deal of the Year (Over £1 Billion)" at the Second Annual EMEA Corporate Growth Awards presented by The M&A Advisor.