(Bloomberg) -- Intensifying competition with the United Arab Emirates hasn’t stopped Saudi investors from pouring cash into Abu Dhabi’s listing boom, with Dubai’s anticipated deals also in their sights.

The historically friendly relationship is showing signs of fraying, with Saudi officials pressuring international companies to set up shop in Riyadh rather than in Dubai. The UAE responded by easing business and cultural restrictions to position itself as the more attractive place to live and work.

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That hasn’t curbed Saudi investor demand for the flurry of Abu Dhabi IPOs last year.

“We’ve seen more investors from Saudi Arabia invest in the UAE,” says Christian Cabanne, Bank of America Corp.’s head of equity capital markets in Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Saudi buyers got meaningful allocations in recent deals and will also look at Dubai, he said.

A $9.1 billion initial public offering wave swept through the region last year. Dubai, however, missed out entirely and is seeking to close the gap with Abu Dhabi and local leader Riyadh with a plan to list 10 state-owned companies and boost its shrinking market.

Read More: Dubai Enters Middle East IPO Boom With Big Pipeline

Saudi Arabia benefits from a large retail buyer base and UAE IPOs offer its investors a chance to diversify their portfolios. Dubai’s pipeline this year includes its main utility and road-toll collection system Salik.

Relying on Saudi investors has backfired for the UAE before. Emaar Properties PJSC’s listing in 2017, Dubai’s latest major IPO, was nearly derailed at the last minute by sweeping arrests in Saudi Arabia that led local investors to abandon commitments on the last day of the sale.

Still, the rivalry between Riyadh, Dubai and Abu Dhabi is unlikely to impact the vast majority of listings, said George Traub, managing partner at corporate finance firm Lumina Capital Advisers. “There’s a very healthy competition which bodes well for the future.”

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