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What is Al-Maarifa?

“Al-Maarifa” is the Arabic term for “The Knowledge” and it is also the name of our microsite that is exclusively dedicated to our Saudi Arabian practice. Al-Maarifa is a way for us to share our market-leading legal knowledge of the Kingdom with our clients in a unique and innovative way that demonstrates our commitment to always putting our clients first.

Who are we?

With a greater footprint in the Kingdom than any other international law firm, we are uniquely aligned with our domestic clients and our foreign clients looking to do business in the Kingdom. The combination of our history of advising both domestic and foreign clients on their largest and most significant deals in the region for over 40 years and our on-the-ground presence in Riyadh through our association with The Law Firm of Dr. Sultan Almasoud, provides our clients with access to an integrated team that has an intimate understanding of both the cultural and legal landscape of the Kingdom.

We have extensive experience across a broad range of practice areas, including project development and finance, mergers & acquisitions, foreign and domestic joint ventures, privatizations, private equity and Saudi corporate advisory, capital markets, dispute resolution and litigation in Saudi courts.
  • The New KSA Civil Code: Termination of Contracts
    Prior to the new Civil Transactions Law of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (referred to as the “KSA Civil Code”), there were no detailed rules on termination (or faskh) at law in Saudi Arabia. As with other areas of Saudi law, the courts would interpret  termination provisions in contracts in line with Sharia principles, as informed by various sources of jurisprudence.

    The new KSA Civil Code now provides greater certainty through clear, codified provisions on how parties can terminate a contract, and the practical effects of such a decision on the parties’ contractual positions. This article sets out the key Articles within the KSA Civil Code which govern termination and rescission.
  • The New KSA Civil Code: Construction Contracts

    In our first two articles in this series, we introduced the new Civil Transactions Law of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (referred to as the “KSA Civil Code”) and provided analysis of its key provisions relevant to forming contracts.

    In this article, we consider the impact of the KSA Civil Code’s key provisions of particular interest to parties engaging in construction contracts in Saudi Arabia. These include both general contractual principles, as well as specific provisions related to contracts for service, known as Muqawala contracts.

  • The New KSA Civil Code: Forming a Contract
    In our initial article in this series, we introduced the new Civil Code of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (referred to as the “KSA Civil Code”). This significant legislative milestone codifies the law governing the forming of a contract and related contractual principles within the Kingdom.

    In this article, we examine the general provisions of the new KSA Civil Code relevant to the formation of a contract and highlight the key considerations to keep in mind.
  • Introducing the New KSA Civil Code
    On 19 June 2023, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia enacted the Civil Transactions Law in Cabinet Decision No. 820/1444 (the “KSA Civil Code” or the “Code”) by Royal Decree M/191/1444. The Code, which enters into force on 16 December 2023 (Jumada II 3, 1445 AH), marks a significant step forward in Saudi Arabia’s legal landscape as it seeks to integrate Islamic principles into modern legal concepts, aiming to streamline transactions and promote economic growth. The KSA Civil Code covers a range of topics, from contracts and property rights to financial transactions and dispute resolution.
  • Webinar: Shearman & Sterling’s Energy Group Provides a Saudi Arabia Update
    Partner Dr. Sultan Almasoud (Saudi Arabia–Corporate) and counsel Brendan Hundt (Saudi Arabia–Project Development & Finance) hosted a webinar on December 12 concerning updates in the energy sector in Saudi Arabia. This year has been an exciting time for the energy industry in Saudi Arabia, following the Kingdom’s release of the Vision 2030 and the National Transformation Program 2020 last year. The discussion focused on the meaning and effects of the new developments in the region’s energy sector for investors, as well as open questions on this topic.
    You can watch the webinar here.
    CATEGORY : Industry Sectors
  • Public Healthcare in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: Plans for Private Sector Participation
    Saudi Vision 2030 and the National Transformation Program 2020 are built upon the encouragement of private sector investment in sectors that have been predominantly funded and serviced by the Government in the past. Reform of how public healthcare and related services are delivered in the Kingdom is one of the Government’s most important priorities. According to the National Transformation Program 2020, the Ministry of Health (the “MOH”) plans to spend up to SAR23 billion prior to 2020 to reform and restructure primary health care. This article summarises our current understanding of the strategic framework that has been developed by the MOH for private sector participation (“PSP”) in the delivery of public healthcare in the Kingdom, including the MOH’s PSP initiatives, the phases for the implementation of the PSP program, the proposed PSP structure and the proposed delivery models for the PSP initiatives.
    CATEGORY : Industry Sectors
  • An Overview of the Industrial Sector in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the National Industrial Cluster Development Program
    Based on a variety of export-oriented industries including oil and gas, metals and mining, logistics, agrochemicals and food and beverages, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has the largest industrial output in the MENA region. Given the Kingdom’s substantial hydrocarbons resources (including gases and liquids associated with crude oil and methane production) and low extraction costs, this industrial output has historically been dominated by oil and gas related industries (e.g. oil production and petrochemicals). 
    CATEGORY : Industry Sectors
  • Mining in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia – An Overview
    Covering two million square km, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is the largest country by landmass in the Middle East and the 13th largest in the world. The Kingdom’s geology gives it an abundance of natural resources and raw materials. To date, over 48 minerals have been identified in the Kingdom, including feldspar and nepheline syenite; garnet; gold; zinc; granite; graphite; gypsum; tantalum; high-grade silica sand; kaolinitic clays; limestone; magnesium; marble; olivine; pozzolan; rock wool; silver; and zeolites. Extraction of these metals is taking place at a rapid pace, especially in high-demand areas such as aluminium and steel. The Kingdom has identified 1,273 sites of precious metals and 1,171 sites of non-precious metals.
    CATEGORY : Industry Sectors
  • Telecoms in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia – An Overview
    The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has the largest information communication and technology market in the Middle East by both capital volume and spending.  It is dominated by the Saudi Telecom Company (“STC”), Mobily and Zain, though new entrants to the market in the form of Mobile Virtual Network Operators (“MVNOs”) have begun to create additional competition. With 53 million subscribers to mobile phone services and a penetration rate of approximately 165%,  competition in the industry is already fierce, but the demand for services is growing. It is a market quickly becoming one of the most coveted by local and international companies. In consideration of this, we outline in this article the Government entities, regulators and legal framework that underpin the sector and observe how the sector has been liberalised and is continuing to grow.
    CATEGORY : Industry Sectors
  • Healthcare in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia – An Overview
    The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is widely recognised as having the largest and fastest growing population in the Gulf Cooperation Council (the “GCC”), with over half the population under 40. Until 2014, all Saudi nationals were entitled to free healthcare. From 2014, free healthcare in Government hospitals has no longer been available to Saudi nationals working in the private sector. The growing population coupled with these new restrictions highlights the potential for rapid growth in the Kingdom’s healthcare market.
    CATEGORY : Industry Sectors
  • Oil and Gas in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia – An Overview
    The Basic Law of Saudi Arabia (Royal Decree No. A/90 dated 27/8/1412 H (1 March 1992)) vests all of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s oil and gas wealth in the Government. The Ministry of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources (“MEIM”) (previously the Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources) develops and implements policies relating to oil and gas and represents the Kingdom’s oil production and pricing policies internationally. 
    CATEGORY : Industry Sectors
  • Saudi Renewables: Is the Sleeping Giant Finally Awakening?
    On 1 June 2016, Saudi Electricity Company (“SEC”) invited expressions of interest from potential lead developers for the development of two 50MW solar photovoltaic (“PV”) Independent Power Plants (“IPPs”) in Al-Jouf and Rafha, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, with their output to be sold to SEC under a long-term Power Purchase Agreement. These new IPPs are expected to attract unprecedented interest from global solar energy players, as well as established regional power developers. Is the Saudi renewables sector, for so long the sleepinggiant in the renewable energy world, finally awakening?
    CATEGORY : Industry Sectors