Real estate and construction in Saudi Arabia

Legal Advisors, Abdulaziz I. Al-Ajlan & Partners in association with Baker & McKenzie Limited

Legal Advisors, Abdulaziz I. Al-Ajlan & Partners in association with Baker & McKenzie Limited leverages its international reach to handle large cross-border mandates in the Middle East and beyond. The team is active in large-scale real estate transactions and has seen an uptick in development matters related to tourism, in line with the Kingdom's 2030 vision. Bilal Ambikapathy and Gavin Witcombe jointly lead the team which counts government-backed entities as key clients; Ambikapathy focuses on domestic and international hotel projects and real estate transactions and Witcombe excels in construction, projects and disputes. Salman Abdullah who is based between Bahrain and Saudi Arabia is a key name for developments and financings.

Practice head(s):

Bilal Ambikapathy; Gavin Witcombe

Other key lawyers:

Salman Abdullah

Testimonials

‘Bilal Ambikapathy is unparalleled and unchallenged in the field of hotel management agreements and real estate matters, particularly in KSA. His knowledge is absolutely exemplary and I haven’t come across another senior lawyer who comes close enough to Bilal.’

‘Bilal is extremely soft-spoken and helpful and willing to go the extra mile for the client. He has a very deep knowledge of the hotel industry and the KSA real estate market in particular. It is a complete pleasure to have Bilal work on a file and a client can be assured that they are in the best legal hands.’

‘The BM team is very well positioned to deliver on complex real estate projects due to the depth of the relevant practices to real estate transactions including funds, IPOs, Sharia, and legal questions.’

‘Strength is Bilal’s ability to deliver unique solutions and maintain a good relationship with all client team.’

Key clients

Alinma Investment Company

Maad International Company

Mohammed I. Alsubeaei & Sons Investment Company (MASIC)

Sulaiman Abdulaziz Al Rajhi Real Estate Investment Company

HSBC Saudi Arabia

Royal Commission for AlUla

Boutique Collection Company

Diriyah Gate Development Authority

Olayan Financing Company

Saudi Binladin Group Limited

Saudi Railway Company (SAR)

Majid Al Futtaim Properties

Work highlights

  • Advising Saudi Binladin Group Company Limited (SBG) on the construction aspects of the Jeddah Tower (formerly ‘Kingdom Tower’) Project.
  • Advising the DGDA on 32 hotels and branded residences project in Riyadh.
  • Advising SPGA in relation to the procurement of 7 government office buildings and court complexes.

King & Spalding LLP

King & Spalding in Affiliation With the Law Office of Mohammad Al-Ammar has a broad real estate and construction practice that handles a mix of contentious and non-contentious matters. Moustafa Said focuses on corporate sale and leaseback transactions across the UAE and Saudi Arabia. Other key contacts include the co-head of the global construction practice Tim Burbury in Abu Dhabi who specialises in energy and utilities, and Dubai-based Sayf Shuqair who focuses on structuring real estate investments.

Practice head(s):

Tim M. Burbury; Moustafa Said

Other key lawyers:

Randall Walker; Patrick McPherson; Sayf Shuqair

Key clients

NEOM

Vision Invest

Sadara Chemical Company

Misk Foundation

Roshn Real Estate

Riyad Capital (Riyadh)

Al Rajhi Capital

Midad

Sutton Lane

Diyaar Al Salheya

Knowledge Economic City

Sharjah Media City (SHAMS)

Work highlights

  • Representing NEOM on all of its construction program since inception. This includes 50 drafting and negotiating 100s of construction contracts, This matter is important because at $500bn, this is by far the largest construction project ever to be developed.
  • Advising Riyad Capital, on behalf of its parent entity Riyad Bank, on the acquisition from King Abdullah Financial District Development and Management Company (KAFD) of a commercial office building the KAFD District in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
  • Advised Masdar and EDF on the 400MW Dumat Al Jandal wind IPP in Saudi Arabia.

Abuhimed Alsheikh Alhagbani Law Firm (AS&H) in co-operation with Clifford Chance

Abuhimed Alsheikh Alhagbani Law Firm (AS&H) in co-operation with Clifford Chance is known for advising on high-value real estate development, financings, and construction matters. Corporate partner Majid Al-Sheikh and managing partner Fahad Abuhimed are the main contacts.

Al Tamimi & Company

Al Tamimi & Company has an experienced real estate team handling a steady stream of mandates in the hotels and leisure industries. It acts for developers, investor clients and investment banks across the region on real estate funds and REITS. Key contacts include new real estate group head Andrew Thomson who joined from Eversheds Sutherland LLP and Tara Marlow.

Practice head(s):

Tara Marlow; Andrew Thomson

Testimonials

‘Knowledge of the local legal environment, and pragmatic business approach to finding solutions.’

They are responsive, substantively and administratively.’

Clyde & Co LLP

Clyde & Co LLP handle a blend of contentious and non-contentious real estate and construction projects in the Saudi market and beyond. Practice head Ben Cowling specialises in disputes for major contractor clients and developers, and has over nineteen years of expertise in transactional matters. He is supported by litigator Abdulaziz Al-Bosaily and Dubai-based Peter Greatrex who handles infrastructure and PPP projects. Associate Ben Cunningham in Riyadh is also a key member of the team, advising on construction arbitration. The group also advises on nationalisation issues and distribution agreements.

Practice head(s):

Ben Cowling

Other key lawyers:

Abdulaziz Al-Bosaily; Peter Greatrex; Ben Cunningham

The Law Firm of Hassan Mahassni

Law Firm of Hassan Mahassni focuses on the transfer and development of real estate projects, with notable strength in project structures including BTO, BOT, and PPPs. Emad Zahrani jointly leads the group with Yousef Al Husiki that counts regional and international corporates, including high-net-worth families in the Kingdom as key clients. The team lost Atif Mulla to Clyde & Co LLP in January 2022.

Practice head(s):

Yousef Husiki

Other key lawyers:

Emad Zahrani

Work highlights

  • Acting for a multi-millionaire business family who is the former president of the Royal Etiquettes & Protocols in relation to the transferring of the ownership of his real estate properties to his wife and daughters.
  • Acting for a multi-millionaire business family who are well known for his business empire in the western part of Saudi Arabia for creation of an Islamic Waqf (trust) for endowment of various real estate properties including prime properties near the two-holy mosque of Makkah and Madinah.
  • Representing a Saudi Arabian company in connection with the negotiation of a development contract with Jeddah Development and Urban Regeneration Company (“JDURC”).

Alsabhan & Alajaji Law firm in association with Pinsent Masons LLP

The real estate practice at AlSabhan & AlAjaji Law Firm in association with Pinsent Masons is frequently instructed by an enviable client base on large infrastructure projects and high-profile developments across Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Practice head Ibrahim Alajaji in Riyadh advises several leading developers, investors and property funds in commercial transactions and acquisitions, whilst Peter Blackmore advises on PPP projects. Real estate related litigation is handled by Naif Alsabhan. Elsewhere, Dubai based Mark Raymont  and head of the Middle East property practice; Philip Corfield-Smith are also key contacts.

Practice head(s):

Ibrahim Alajaji; Peter Blackmore; Mark Raymont; Philip Corfield-Smith

Other key lawyers:

Naif Alsabhan

Testimonials

Alsabhan and Alajaji have done great jobs for our company on the concerned issue, and their very deep understanding of law and in particular the valuable practical experiences have succeeded to reach a win-win result.’

Reliable business partner, highly recommended! This team has been demonstrating high efficiency in a professionalism style. We see close collaboration with full communication on details of the issue.’

Key clients

Eltizam Group

Bouygues Batiment International

National Centre for Privatization

Grupo Cobra

International Water Distribution Company (Tawzea) Group

EDF

Acciona Agua

Tamasuk Holding Company

FCC Aqualia

FCC Construction SA

Work highlights

  • Advising CGGC International (as lead counsel) on its equity investment and its bid for EPC contractor for the Red Sea Project in Saudi Arabia, one of the largest projects to be undertaken by the Saudi Government in recent times.
  • Advising the EPC Contractor consortium in relation to their bid on the Al Ansar Hospital PPP. This is the first hospital project in KSA to be procured by the Ministry of Health on a public private partnerships basis.
  • Advising Eltizam Group in its expansion from managing 14 buildings to 155, from 300 units to 44,000, in Saudi Arabia, Oman, Kuwait and Bahrain.

Derayah LLPC – Saudilegal

Andreas Haberbeck leads the real estate group at Derayah LLPC – Saudilegal and is noted for handling transactional work and contentious construction matters.

Practice head(s):

Andreas Haberbeck