Complex Made Simple

University of Dubai braces for increased demand for legal professionals as economic activity surges in Dubai

The University of Dubai said it is expecting an increase in demand for legal experts in Dubai with the surge in business and trade activities in the emirate. Bracing for the emerging situation, the university has already stepped up its emphasis on anti-money laundering studies and pursued partnerships with international legal associations.

“The growth of business and trade activities in Dubai will create more demand from law firms and courts for legal professionals in the coming years. The University of Dubai offers high quality education in anti-money laundering and financial crimes through its Masters of Law (LLM) program and supports its students with opportunities to be certified by international associations such as the Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering (ACAMS),” said Dr. Harold Koster, Dean of Law School at University of Dubai.

Recently University of Dubai signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with ACAMS to cooperate and participate in the 5th Annual MENA AML & Financial Crime Conference which took place on 18-19 January 2015 in Dubai. ACAMS provides training and certification, runs conferences and disseminates information on detection and prevention of money laundering. The Miami-based organization’s Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (CAMS) program is internationally recognized.

Dr. Koster said while there has been an increase in legal studies in UAE universities, only University of Dubai offers classes in English as a local university. The university’s LLM program has seen a steady stream of enrollments since its inception, Dr. Koster added.

Mohamed Jasim Al Shamsi, a UAE judge who is studying LLM at University of Dubai, said that LLM courses offered by UD provide strong legal fundamentals for professionals involved at the highest levels of business and governmental affairs.”

He added that the LLM program expanded his legal knowledge especially in other judicial systems.

According to Robert Half 2013 UAE Salary Guide UAE, there is a healthy demand for legal professionals in the UAE, particularly for specialized in-house counsel, as corporate legal departments expand their teams to help businesses meet their growth, merger and acquisition objectives amid increased economic activity.

University of Dubai organized as recent as January 21, 2015, a legal seminar titled ‘Why demand for legal experts is growing in Dubai.” The seminar was attended by law firms, accounting firms and investment companies.

Dubai’s economy is projected to grow 4.5 per cent in 2015 which will be higher than the global growth forecast of 3.5 per cent, driven by both government and private sectors.

Monster Employment Index Middle East, a monthly gauge of online job postings in the region, stated that among the occupational groups monitored, legal professionals are the most in demand, posting a 33 per cent growth between October 2013 and 2014.

Economic crime – such as fraud, IP infringement, corruption, cybercrime, or accounting fraud – continues to be a major concern for organizations of all sizes, across all regions and in virtually every sector. United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has estimated that the amount of money laundered globally in one year is 2-5 per cent of global GDP, or $800 billion – $2 trillion in current US dollars.

According to PwC Global Economic Crime Survey 2014, one in three organizations reported being hit by economic crime. The survey showed a steady increase in global fraud rates going up from 30 per cent in 2009 to 34 per cent in 2011 and 37 per cent in 2014.