Middle East – New ball game

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On 2 December 2010 FIFA, the international governing body of football, officially announced that a desert state would be hosting the 2022 World Cup. Qatar, a country with a population of only 1.6 million people, endures average daytime temperatures in excess of 40°C in June and July. How will the players cope?

The bid chairman, and sixth son of the current Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani was unruffled: ‘We will have to take the help of technology to counter the harsh weather. We have already set in motion the process.’

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Middle East – Still standing

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As the Arab Spring spreads across the Middle East, investors are flocking to safe ground. LB discovers which states will prosper and which have the most to lose.

It is late April and tanks are being deployed by security forces in Syria following the government’s inability to quell civil resistance protests. Of the long list of countries affected by political unrest recently, those that have hit the headlines most emphatically include Libya, Egypt, Tunisia and Yemen. But does this turmoil have the lawyers in the region’s main financial centres worried?

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Changing tack

Amid leaner times in the Gulf and a flat economy in Dubai, international clients are moving their focus to other key Gulf states. LB canvasses the leading domestic and international firms and asks, what next?

In early 2012, the sailing dhows off the coast of Abu Dhabi will have some serious competition on their hands. The emirate is due to play host to the yachts of the round-the-world Volvo Ocean Race, in another sign of its growing profile and confidence on the world stage.

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