1. Handbook
  2. Subjects
  3. Construction Law in the Middle East
  4. Print

Construction Law in the Middle East (LAWS90146)

Graduate courseworkPoints: 12.5Not available in 2019

You’re viewing the 2019 Handbook:
Or view archived Handbooks


Year of offerNot available in 2019
Subject levelGraduate coursework
Subject codeLAWS90146
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

This subject will provide a detailed overview of construction law, projects and practice in four representative Middle Eastern jurisdictions: the United Arab Emirates (with a focus on Dubai and Abu Dhabi), Qatar, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and Oman, with some further brief comparative analysis of Egypt, Iraq and Iran. Through detailed explanation, analysis and case studies, students will develop an advanced and integrated understanding of the key construction law-related features of each jurisdiction. The detailed treatment of both the aspects which are distinctive in each jurisdiction and those which are cross-cutting is designed to enhance the advanced knowledge and integrated understanding of students who already practice in one or more of these jurisdictions and those who are looking to expand their range of practice into them.

The subject coordinators, William Marshall, Jeremie Witt and Debbie Barbour, bring to the subject extensive experience as construction and project finance lawyers from the Middle East.

The subject will provide a detailed introduction to construction law, projects and practice in four Middle Eastern jurisdictions with reference to:

  • The size, importance of, opportunities and trends in their construction sectors
  • Their key legal and regulatory frameworks, tender practices, and project management norms
  • Their principal standard forms of contract in use
  • New developments surrounding modelling systems for monitoring cost, quality, and risk factors for sponsors, contractors and consultants
  • Their resource management, financing, innovation and competitiveness in the development of their construction sectors, with particular focus on non-oil and gas sectors, and also considering 'contractor financing' as a means of project financing and delivery
  • Detailed case studies on construction, which might include (subject to confirmation in the year of subject delivery) the Abu Dhabi International Airport project, planning and construction of the Dubai Metro project and the initial attempts to deliver under a PPP structure, the Dubai Creek canal extension and 'contractor financing', the construction of the Saudi Stock Exchange and the issues of contract risk allocation, the Doha Metro project, Qatar Airport developments and issues relevant to the Qatar 2022 World Cup, and Mussandam Gas Plant project, in Oman.

Intended learning outcomes

A student who has successfully completed this subject will be able to demonstrate an advanced and integrated understanding, in respect of the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Oman, of:

  • The law and regulatory environment as applied to each jurisdiction's construction projects and be able to critically analyse the similarities and differences between the laws of the relevant jurisdictions
  • The distinctions between civil law and common law generally, the origins of civil law in the Middle East including the Napoleonic Code, the involvement of Al Sanhuri and Egyptian scholars in the progression of law in the Middle East and the relevant aspects of Sharia'h in commercial and domestic laws
  • The relative size, sophistication, importance and operation of construction in the relevant jurisdictions
  • The nature and characteristics of the standard forms of contract which are in use in each jurisdiction, particularly those of FIDIC and the main government standard form contracts
  • Relevant planning for, tendering of, awarding and administration of construction contracts
  • Recent representative project experience and future prospects
  • Select methods of project evaluation in current use.
  • In addition, students will be able to demonstrate an advanced and integrated understanding of: • The various dispute resolution forums in the Middle East, including but not limited to the main arbitration rules and institutions • Relevant aspects global connectedness in Australasia and the lessons to be derived from it.

Eligibility and requirements





Non-allowed subjects


Recommended background knowledge

Applicants without legal qualifications should note that subjects are offered in the discipline of law at an advanced graduate level. While every effort will be made to meet the needs of students trained in other fields, concessions will not be made in the general level of instruction or assessment. Most subjects assume the knowledge usually acquired in a degree in law (LLB, JD or equivalent). Applicants should note that admission to some subjects in the Melbourne Law Masters will be dependent upon the individual applicant’s educational background and professional experience.

Core participation requirements

The Melbourne Law Masters welcomes applications from students with disabilities. The inherent academic requirements for study in the Melbourne Law Masters are:

  • The ability to attend a minimum of 75% of classes and actively engage in the analysis and critique of complex materials and debate;
  • The ability to read, analyse and comprehend complex written legal materials and complex interdisciplinary materials;
  • The ability to clearly and independently communicate in writing a knowledge and application of legal principles and interdisciplinary materials and to critically evaluate these;
  • The ability to clearly and independently communicate orally a knowledge and application of legal principles and interdisciplinary materials and critically evaluate these;
  • The ability to work independently and as a part of a group;
  • The ability to present orally and in writing legal analysis to a professional standard.

Students who feel their disability will inhibit them from meeting these inherent academic requirements are encouraged to contact Student Equity and Disability Support.



  • Take-home examination (5,000 - 6,000 words) (100%) (15 - 18 November)


  • Research paper (8,000 - 10,000 words) (100%) (18 December) on a topic approved by the subject coordinator

A minimum of 75% attendance is a hurdle requirement.

Quotas apply to this subject

Dates & times

Not available in 2019

Additional delivery details

This subject has a quota of 30 students.

Enrolment is on a first come, first served basis. Waitlists are maintained for subjects that are fully subscribed.

Students should note priority of places in subjects will be given as follows:

  • To currently enrolled Graduate Diploma and Masters students with a satisfactory record in their degree
  • To other students enrolling on a single subject basis, eg Community Access Program (CAP) students, cross-institutional study and cross-faculty study.

Please refer to the Melbourne Law Masters website for further information about the management of subject quotas and waitlists.

Further information

  • Texts

    Prescribed texts

    Specialist materials will be made available free of charge from the Melbourne Law School prior to the pre-teaching period.

  • Available through the Community Access Program

    About the Community Access Program (CAP)

    This subject is available through the Community Access Program (also called Single Subject Studies) which allows you to enrol in single subjects offered by the University of Melbourne, without the commitment required to complete a whole degree.

    Entry requirements including prerequisites may apply. Please refer to the CAP applications page for further information.

  • Available to Study Abroad and/or Study Exchange Students

    This subject is available to students studying at the University from eligible overseas institutions on exchange and study abroad. Students are required to satisfy any listed requirements, such as pre- and co-requisites, for enrolment in the subject.

Last updated: 19 June 2019