In spite of increasing job cuts in the Middle East, firms are still setting up in the region and some big ticket hires in February suggest many still view it as having potential.
Bain & Company, the business consulting firm, has hired Jean-Marie Péan to head up its Middle Eastern operations in Dubai.
Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi UFJ has opened an office in the Qatar Financial Centre and suggests that it's likely to expand its functions going forward.
GLG, the hedge fund manager, has taken on former Goldman banker Youssef Kabbaj in a push to develop relationships with sovereign wealth funds in the Middle East.
HSBC has bolstered its senior management team in Qatar with the appointment of Dimitri Giokas as chief operating officer. It also promoted Robert DeGama to chief risk officer.
ING Investment Management has hired Farah Foustak as its new chief executive officer. She replaces Grant Bailey, who has moved to the firm's Asia-Pacific operation.
JPMorgan has hired Paola Moscovici to head up its Middle Eastern private banking function. He will, however, remain based in Geneva.
Nomura has gained a licence to operate in the DIFC to carry on with the investment banking, equities and fixed income activities it inherited from Lehman Brothers in Dubai. It's also applied for a licence from the Qatar Financial Authority.
Novaar, an investment management advisory platform for HRH Prince Saud bin Mansour, has kick-started its activities in the DIFC.
The Securities and Investment Institute, the professional body for the securities and investment industry, has taken on Tim Miles as regional director for the Middle East, based in Dubai.
Scottish Widow's Investment Partnership, the Edinburgh-based fund manager, has set up an office in Saudi Arabia in a bid to attract domestic institutional investors.