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The UAE's new 'Pledge Law' – and how it could improve sports financing in the Middle East

Dubai at night
Wednesday, 20 March 2019 By Michael Savva

"Sport is one of the most important humanitarian activities that contributes to building the personality of members of society and gives them happiness, vitality and positive energy, so we are keen to implement the vision of our rational leadership by making sport a way of life, and we are motivating individuals and institutions to exercise and provide avenues for their dissemination in society".1

Those are the words of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Crown Prince of Dubai, Chairman of Dubai Executive Council and Chairman of Dubai Sports Council; word which demonstrate the UAE's commitment to sport, both as an industry and as a way of life.

Given the strong focus on sport as a sector by the UAE in general, this article considers a recent development in UAE law that has the ability to make entities in the UAE sporting sector more attractive to financiers. Specifically, it looks at:

  • How the new "Pledge Law" allows the monetising of income streams and other assets
  • How future property can now be pledged as security
  • What this means for sporting institutions and event organisers in the UAE
  • Who UAE sporting entities and event organisers can seek to raise finance from using the Pledge Law
  • Registration and priority of the mortgage
  • The Pledge Law in practice – a few practical tips to note

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Written by

Michael Savva

Michael Savva

Michael is a Solicitor in the Asset Finance practice at Watson, Farley & Williams LLP. He specializes in advising clients in relation to sports finance including: loan finance, financing of broadcasting and ticket revenues and the player transfer finance.


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