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Trusts and the Middle East

Trusts and the Middle East

Robert Brodrick explains why trusts are so attractive to Middle Eastern clients and why they are increasingly being used by families to deal with succession issues

People normally think about trusts in the context of tax planning, but in the Middle East trusts are increasingly being used by families to create long-term structures to deal with succession issues.

For Middle Eastern clients, the flexibility of using a trust can allow adherence to Islamic law and can also be a useful way of dealing with the issues of control that arise when trying to pass a family business on to the next generation. Trusts also offer confidentiality and can be a useful defence against third party claims.

The Middle East includes the six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Arab Islamic States which are Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates (which comprises seven emirates of which the best known are Abu Dhabi and Dubai), Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Oman. To understand why trusts are so attractive for Middle Eastern clients, you need to have a basic
understanding of Islamic law - known as Shari'ah law.

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