IBA Middle East Office opens in DIFC



Today, the International Bar Association(IBA), in partnership with the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), announces the opening of its Middle East Office in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The IBA, headquartered in London, England, has opened the new office as part of its global strategy of expanding its network of international offices to serve regions more fully and broaden contact with its members.

Fernando Pombo, IBA President, in Dubai for the opening, said, 'It is important to me that the IBA is accessible and geographically close to its members. The physical presence of an IBA office in the Middle East will enable us to better respond to the needs of our members there. We recently hosted the Islamic Finance in the Middle East conference in Dubai and, in time, will develop and deliver other tailored programmes like this which specifically address issues unique to the region.'

The IBA Middle East Office is based at the heart of the Middle East's business and financial community in the DIFC, the world's fastest growing international financial centre.

Nasser Al Shaali, CEO, DIFC Authority says, 'We are committed to offering a hub of business excellence and the establishment of the IBA within the DIFC is in line with this strategy. The IBA is a world leading organisation and I am certain that legal practices within the DIFC and the rest of the region will see real benefits. Beyond the individual legal practices the IBA will play a significant role in developing the region’s legal framework with its invaluable knowledge of international best practice.'

Faten Hani, CEO, DIFC Centre of Excellence says, 'The fact that the IBA is setting up an office within the DIFC is testament that the region has grown into a major financial centre and a unique jurisdiction. This is a major endorsement of the significance of legal practices within the Middle East and will be invaluable to the sector's growth in the region. The DIFC Centre of Excellence has attracted a number of high profile organisations within the professional services industry. The IBA is a welcome addition and truly strengthens our offering as a world class centre for education.'

Mark Ellis, IBA Executive Director comments, 'The opening of the Middle East office represents the culmination of several years of research and planning. It also represents a major investment by the IBA in the Middle East. It is essential for the IBA, as the global voice of the legal profession, to be engaged with regional developments around the globe. The new IBA Middle East Office in the prominent location of Dubai provides the IBA with the excellent advantage of being in close proximity to the leaders of the regional business community throughout the Middle East. This will be of enormous benefit to the IBA in delivering programmes throughout the region with greater clarity and understanding.'

The IBA will hold its annual conference in Dubai in 2011. This will be the first time in the Association's history that the IBA Annual Conference will be held in the Middle East.

Erin Callahan, IBA Deputy Director, is responsible for establishing and overseeing the operations of the IBA Middle East Office. She can be reached with enquiries by email at: erin.callahan@int-bar.org. The official opening date was Monday, 14 January 2008.

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