Real estate in United Arab Emirates

Al Tamimi & Company

Al Tamimi & Company has a full-service real estate offering that covers investments, joint ventures, financing and securitisation, mixed-use developments, REITs, hotels and leisure. Andrew Thomson heads the practice following his arrival in August 2021 from Eversheds Sutherland LLPMohammed Kawasmi specialises in real estate and has a strong background in the education sector. Malek Al Rifai is also noted and is a ‘stand out lawyer‘; Malek focuses his practice on real estate M&A, property funds and REITs. Senior associate Anna White was a new arrival from Afridi & Angell.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Thomson

Other key lawyers:

Mohammed Kawasmi; Malek Al Rifai; Anna White


‘The whole Al Tamimi Real Estate Team is very efficient, responsive and hands on. They quickly understand the issue, discuss with you the alternatives and suggest the best solution to your problem.’

‘Malek Al Rifai is very responsive, explains both sides of the situation, business minded and comes up with innovative ideas for the problem. He always acts with great responsibility and the team owns the project and tries to increase the best interest for us.’

‘A very responsive technically well-versed team.’

‘Highly attentive, very quick response times, solid legal / technical knowledge.’

‘This teams really does offer a 360 degree service; ranging from a simple land transfer to large scale financed consortium real estate transactions in addition to high end complex hospitality deals with multiple stake holders.’

‘Their expertise is both onshore and offshore.’

‘The combined experience of the team really does outstrip that of all competitors in the market.’

‘Malek Al Rifai is a stand out lawyer. His knowledge and experience of complex transactions is rarely seen in the market.  His commercial acumen and practical common sense are refreshing. He strips down difficult transactions into their core elements and produces a well coordinated plan of action that just needs to be followed for success.’

Key clients


Abu Dhabi National Hotels

Red Sea Development Company

King Abdullah Financial District Development

Knowledge Economic City Company

American Consulate General

The Arts Club

Jaguar Land Rover

Hospitality Management Holdings

Deyaar Development PSC

Al Ahli REIT

Dubai Aerospace

Aldar PJSC


Al Andalus Property Company JSC

Umm Al Qura

Steigenberger Hotels AG

Public Investment Fund


Bloom Holding PJSC

IFA Hotels & Resorts LLC

Majid Al Futtaim LLC

TECOM Investments FZ-LLC

Premier Inn Hotels LLC

RIU Hotels SA

Al Mal Capital PSC

Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank

Aabar Properties PJSC

Emaar Properties PJSC


Arady Developments LLC

Abu Dhabi Pensions Fund


Goldman Sachs

CVC Capital Partners



Dogus Group

Ingenia Polymers Group

Emirates NBD

The First Group


Dubai Holding

Ahli United Bank

Work highlights

  • Advised Apollo Global Management Inc. on a long-term strategic investment with the ADNOC, involving an investment that relates to an underlying real estate portfolio valued at $5.5 billion and leveraging the rental income streams from select ADNOC real estate assets under a 24-year master lease agreement.
  • Advised ADPF on its acquisition of a 31% holding in Abu Dhabi Energy Real Estate Company – Sole Proprietorship LLC, the company created to hold ADNOC’s 51% stake in Abu Dhabi Property Leasing Holding Company RSC Limited, for a consideration of $900m.
  • Advising a European Real Estate Fund on the acquisition of the landmark Address Sky View Hotel in Downtown Dubai from Emaar.

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP's real estate offering in the UAE advises on acquisitions, development and hospitality matters. Practice head Stephen Kelly specialises in mixed-use development mandates and David Nunn has a strong background advising on real estate funds and joint ventures. Sarah Mahood also has a broad hospitality and commercial real estate practice. Counsel Farida Sadiq heads the firm's UAE planning and zoning practice.

Practice head(s):

Stephen Kelly

Other key lawyers:

David Nunn; Sarah Mahood; Farida Sadiq


‘Very strong real estate practice, particularly in the jointly owned property and hospitality fields.’

‘Stephen Kelly and Sarah Mahood form a highly knowledgeable and effective real estate team.’

;The team makes themselves available to offer advice and assistance when requested.’

‘Stephen Kelly and Sarah Mahood are industry leaders in the region in respect of mixed-use development and strata legal advice. Very few other firms, if any, are capable of providing such legal advice of this caliber.’

Key clients

Marriott International

Diriyah Gate Development Authority (DGDA)

Nakheel PJSC

Meydan Group

Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company PJSC – Masdar (“Masdar”)

Al Farwaniya Property Developments LLC


Abu Dhabi United Hospitality LLC

Binghatti Group

Al Fahim Group – Third Generation Real Estate & Development LLC

Work highlights

  • Advising Marriott International on its branding and management of its mixed-use hotel and branded residence projects across the region.
  • Advising Masdar on real estate due diligence; advice on the establishment of a Green REIT under the ADGM’s fund rules and regulations; arrangements with Emirates ENBD and completion of the transfer of the seed assets into Masdar Green REIT.
  • Advising the Binghatti Group on the sale of the Binghatti Beverages manufacturing and bottling facility in Kizad Freezone, Abu Dhabi.

Clyde & Co LLP

Clyde & Co LLP is 'second to none' when it comes to hotels and resorts and mixed-use development projects. The team, which is led by Alexis Waller, is praised by clients for its 'responsive and commercially minded' approach. Waller is the 'go-to' contact for commercial property and hospitality work. Peter Greatrex is an expert in real estate and advises on all aspects of development.

Practice head(s):

Alexis Waller

Other key lawyers:

Peter Greatrex


‘Clyde & Co’s Real Estate practice is second to none when it comes to their experience in UAE and the wider region, both in terms of the in-house knowledge and the individual experience of their partners.’

‘Very responsive and commercially minded when compared to their competitors, I particularly like the hands-on approach, not simply producing the required work but really trying to understand the client’s business and commercial goals and adding value on projects.’

‘Alexis Waller is the go-to person on real estate matters in UAE, particularly for anything complex or bespoke. I have always found her to be very approachable and responsive and she is comfortable in taking the lead to drive projects forward.’

‘I have found Alexis to be technically very good and she excels in negotiations.’

Peter Greatrex has a wealth of experience across the region (Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait) and knows country-specific requirements from a government authority/regulatory perspective as well as the legal documentation. This practical expertise, together with Peter’s personable character and professionalism make him very easy to work with.’

‘Excellent combination of local market knowledge with technical legal expertise. Very responsive. Clear advice in a commercial context.’

‘Alexis Waller is outstanding.’

Key clients

World of Wonders Real Estate Development, a member of the MNG Group of Companies (WOW)

Al Najah Education LLC

Work highlights

  • Advising WOW on the structuring of the property interests and third-party sales documentation of a 75-storey mixed-use development that includes an “SLS” branded hotel that includes top-tier restaurants, branded residences, and retail.
  • Advised Al Najah Education on the sale of Dubai’s Horizon English School to UK-based school operator, Cognita.

DLA Piper

The UAE real estate team at DLA Piper has a broad offering and has been active in urban regeneration projects, mixed-used developments, and data centres developments. Duncan Pickering has a ‘high level of expertise‘ in hotel development projects, particularly in Saudi Arabia. Senior associate Sean Cope and legal director Nicola De Sylva are other key individuals to note.

Practice head(s):

Duncan Pickering

Other key lawyers:

Sean Cope; Nicola De Sylva


‘The law firm is well rounded and provides for a full array of services. The real estate team and construction work in close collaboration which enables the client to get the utmost level of expertise.’

‘Duncan Pickering has a high level of expertise and always fights for his client’s interests in negotiations.’

Key clients

Gulf Related

Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (“DMCC”)

Salboukh Residential Compound Company (“SRCC”)


Work highlights

  • Advising Gulf Related on the development and leasing of The Galleria, a $1bn, 3.1 million square foot mixed-use development in Abu Dhabi.
  • Advising DMCC on a number of real estate mandates in respect of various property and leasing transactions.
  • Advising SRCC, a joint venture between Gulf Capital and Gulf Related, on the development, management and leasing of the Antara Residential Compound, Riyadh.

Hadef & Partners

Hadef & Partners' practice advises across the entire real estate life cycle. Basil Siddiqi heads the Abu Dhabi team and has a strong construction, real estate, arbitration and litigation background. Ashraf Sayed in Dubai specialises in real estate developments, Islamic financing, hotel management and international franchising. Michael Lunjevich has expertise across the entire development life cycle and Philip Sequeira heads the firm's property regulatory offering.

Practice head(s):

Basil Siddiqi; Ashraf Sayed

Other key lawyers:

Michael Lunjevich; Philip Sequeira

Key clients

Souq Extra LLC – Retail Centres

Visa Middle East FZ LLC

Merlin Entertainments Developments Limited

Hogan Lovells International LLP

Hai Di Lao Group

Pandora – Panmeas Jewellery LLC


Fly Dubai

Flag Holding

International Capital Trading (ICT)

Work highlights

  • Advised a European government participating in the World Expo 2020 in Dubai on its participation agreement with the Bureau Expo Dubai 2020.
  • Advised a large multinational payment technology company on negotiations with a Dubai-based developer to build a green field bespoke building as its regional HQ.
  • Advised a large private family business operating in the construction and high-end luxury goods markets on the purchase of a high-value luxury property.

Addleshaw Goddard

Addleshaw Goddard‘s Jeremy Scott is praised for his 'innovative' and 'responsive' approach. He has particular expertise advising developers, hotel conglomerates, funds and real estate companies on mixed-use developments.

Practice head(s):

Jeremy Scott


‘We have great experience with this team, closing a large transaction.’

‘Jeremy Scott – innovative, responsive, knowledgeable and delivers.’

‘Jeremy Scott – very responsive, thoughtful in his analysis and thorough. Good understanding of local environment and stakeholders.’

Key clients


Diamond Developers

Khazaen Economic City

Palma Holdings Limited

Work highlights

  • Assisted Cognita with acquiring Horizon English School from Al Najah Education.
  • Acted for Diamond Developers in its capacity as a development manager for a large mixed-use, luxury tourism location in Oman.

Afridi & Angell

Afridi & Angell‘s real estate team is particularly known for its work in the hospitality space. Practice head Shahram Safai is a ‘stellar lawyer‘ and is ‘razor sharp‘; he handles all aspects of real estate transactions, from sale and purchase agreements to construction agreements. Anna White left the firm.

Practice head(s):

Shahram Safai


‘They are hands on and well versed in their individual fields and provide well researched options and consolidated advice, which enables the company to make quicker decisions.’

Shahram Safai – sound knowledge of the market in his field.

‘Afridi & Angell as a team are always well organized, accurate as per market and very supportive for our business. Also, the team has great knowledge in Real Estate and Arbitration.’

‘Afridi & Angell is one of the most established law firms in the UAE. They are known throughout the country at most levels of government and business..’

‘Shahram Safai has impressed us again and again, year over year. He is a stellar lawyer.’

‘Shahram Safai – Highly knowledgeable of real estate laws but also of government policies that effect our business. He predicts most major legal trends, advises us and prepares us strategically for what is to come.’

‘Shahram Safai understands the business of real estate, is razor sharp and as a legal advisor he is practical, value driven and to the point.’

Shahram is at the top of his game. A true star in the legal industry, a pleasure to work with. We are proud to work with him.’

Eversheds Sutherland LLP

Eversheds Sutherland LLP has a broad real estate practice and has particular experience advising on fund investment and property development. Steven Henderson heads the practice following his arrival from Habib Al Mulla & Partners, a member firm of Baker & McKenzie International in early 2022. Melissa Younan and Kevin Fidler both left the firm.

Practice head(s):

Steven Henderson


‘The team has proven to be very solid in their understanding of the different aspects of real estate which provides the clients with a comprehensive approach towards their matters.’

‘The team covers all aspects starting from ownership and tenancy relationships to licensing and regulatory aspects. The level of responsiveness was very good and consistent. The quality of the work product was very good in being straight forward and business friendly.’

Key clients

University of Central Lancashire

Emirates NBD REIT

Saudi Telecom Company

Heriot-Watt University

Gulf Islamic Investments



Birmingham City University

Jumeriah Group

Hilton Hotels

Baker McKenzie LLP

At Habib Al Mulla & Partners, a member firm of Baker & McKenzie International, senior associate Keri Watkins leads on real estate matters and focuses on matters relating to hospitality, healthcare and data centres. Steven Henderson and Wael El Tounsy left the firm in early 2022.

Practice head(s):

Keri Watkins


‘Baker McKenzie is a big firm with ample resources and ability to service the client needs in many jurisdiction.’

‘The team I am dealing with has deep knowledge of the industry and the laws governing it in the region.’

‘They are flexible on billing and have been very supportive in offering competitive rates.’

‘They are diligent and efficient and always provide the pros and the cons. They always have 2 views and leave it to the client to select what is best for us.’

‘They are ahead of the game in terms of expertise in the region.’

‘Keri Watkins provide world class advice to clients.’

‘The team are incredibly responsive, always willing to go the extra mile to secure the deal and supportive from start to finish.’

Key clients

Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC)

Emaar Properties (P.J.S.C)

Jebel Ali Free Zone FZE

Al Zorah Development Co

Jumeirah International

Dubai Real Estate Corporation

NCB Capital DIFC (previously Eastgate Capital Group)

Omniyat Middle East Real Estate Developments LLC

Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts

GEMS Education

Jones Lang LaSalle

AWR Rostamani

Rooya Holding Investments

DP World FZE

Dubai World


Work highlights

  • Advising ADNOC on its real estate portfolio worth $5.5bn and the transaction entered into with Apollo Global Management.
  • Representing the Dubai real estate company before the Dubai Courts against a major real estate investment company which had sought a claim plus refund for the purchase price and the termination of a share purchase agreement in relation to a private island in Dubai.
  • Acted for a UAE-headquartered education provider on the appointment of a third party operator for the management of an education facility in Dubai.

King & Spalding LLP

King & Spalding LLP's team is 'proactive, responsive and very commercial'. Moustafa Said is 'a real expert' in the field of hotels and branded residence developments; he has experience advising on a variety of corporate sale-and-leaseback transactions. Managing partner Jawad Ali is another key name. Osama Audi left the firm.

Practice head(s):

Jawad Ali; Moustafa Said


‘Generally the service is great because Moustafa Said understands the kind of service needed.’

‘Moustafa Said is a real expert in his field. He understands the value of having a strong partner led service..’

‘Proactive, responsive and very commercial legal advice.’

‘Moustafa Said is very user friendly and has an excellent knowledge of the GCC market.’

‘The lawyers are well versed and very prompt in attending to us as a client. They are very client friendly & flexible.’ 

‘Moustafa Said is a very learned lawyer in all aspects of real estate laws and regulations. One think I have noticed in him is his promptness in attending to client issues and flexibility to adapt to client requirements. If there is an urgent legal requirement which needs to be attended, he attends to it irrespective of holidays or after work hours.’

Key clients

Roshn Real Estate

VHM Limited

Riyad Capital (Riyadh)

Al Rajhi Capital


Sutton Lane

Diyaar Al Salheya

Seven Tides

Knowledge Economic City


NBK Capital Partners

Shapoorji Pallonji

Ashmore Investment

Al Habib Investment Group

Sharjah Media City (SHAMS)

Mulkiya Capital

Work highlights

  • Advising Arada Developments on the development and sale of a new villa development in Sharjah called Masaar.
  • Advising Seven Tides on various sale and purchase agreements for Anantara Palm Jumeirah and Dukes Oceana, including advising on innovative guaranteed fixed return schemes and delayed payment plan sale and purchase agreements.
  • Acting for Al Mal Capital in a dispute with one of its tenants in connection with a sale-and-leaseback transaction.

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP has particular expertise in development, hospitality, education, investment and healthcare. Philip Corfield-Smith heads the practice and has substantial experience advising governments, master and sub developers, hotel owners and operators, global contractors and corporations.

Practice head(s):

Philip Corfield-Smith


‘Partner-led and commercially focused real estate practice.’

‘Their attention to detail, engagement with the finer aspects of transactions and ongoing client care (i.e. being transparent with fees, etc.) is welcomed.’

‘Philip Corfield-Smith leads the real estate team in the UAE and is excellent from a client care standpoint.’

‘Philip Corfield-Smith is always available, and provides practical commercial advice focused on the ultimate requirements of the client.’

Key clients

Meydan Group

T14 Holdings (LuLu Group)

Pearl Investments LLC

District 1


Eltizam Group

University of Birmingham

Jersey Properties

2020 Holdings

Swiss Property

Work highlights

  • Advising Meydan Group on its various master communities.
  • Advised T14 Holdings on the hotel operator appointment process in relation to a 353 key hotel located in Dubai Downtown, operating under the Pullman brand.
  • Advising the University of Birmingham on a wide range of aspects relating to its plans to develop a new purpose-built campus in Dubai International Academic City.

Allen & Overy LLP

Allen & Overy LLP‘s international capabilities makes the firm well placed to advise on cross-border investment transactions in the real estate sector. Ian Bevan heads the practice and has particular experience in the hotels and hospitality space. Nick Smith is the go-to contact for real estate focused investment funds.

Practice head(s):

Ian Bevan

Other key lawyers:

Nick Smith


‘International knowledge in relevant sectors.’

‘A&O lawyers act as advocates and strategic advisors during negotiations, they are not “just present”.’

Key clients


Aldar Properties PJSC

Modon Properties

King Abdullah Financial District


Charles Russell Speechlys LLP

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP's Simon Green heads the Middle East real estate practice and specialises in large-scale mixed-use development projects, real estate investment and real estate management and finance. Senior associate Glenn Bull leads the real estate offering in Dubai and has a strong background in construction and engineering.

Practice head(s):

Simon Green; Glenn Bull


‘Very client friendly practical solution-based approach to legal advice.’

‘Glenn Bull – excellent knowledge of local law and business practices. Always available. Very client friendly.’

‘Glenn Bull – Always able to present practical solution to problems.’

‘Simon and his team are a delight to deal with and always friendly and extremely helpful.’

Key clients

Majid Al Futtaim Properties (Majid Al Futtaim Group)

Gargash Group

Emirates REIT (CEIC) Limited

Etisalat PJSC

The Heart of Europe (The World Islands)

Emaar Entertainment LLC

Eagle Hills International Properties LLC

Marriott Group/Luxury Hotels Management MEA Ltd

GH Gulf Investments Limited (a part of Gulf Hotels Group BSC)

Ministry of Tourism (Oman)

Alvarez & Marsal

Alliance Business Centers

Luxury Property LLC

Stones International LLC

Work highlights

  • Advised Emirates REIT on a wide range of matters relating to commercial property in Dubai, including on regulatory, leasing and other matters.
  • Advised the Kleindeinst Group, developer of the iconic world-famous The Heart of Europe project, on a number of matters.

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance has an active real estate practice that handles construction developments, real estate portfolios, REITs and hotel financings. Tariq Imam has a broad real estate transactional practice and advises clients in the financial services, healthcare, transport, hotels and leisure sectors.

Practice head(s):

Tariq Imam


Clifford Chance Real Estate (Dubai Office) have genuine expertise in UAE real estate law.

Given their previous experience in dealing with the local authorities, they are able to provide useful insight and guidance.’

Top-notch team of lawyers.’

‘They have assisted us with several large matters and have handled them efficiently and effectively.

The team has broad experience in the real estate sector.

We are especially impressed with Tariq Imam, with his deep understanding of the industry and for his commercial acumen in dealing with our matters.

Knowledge of both the international and local legal environments.

Key clients

Aldar Properties PJSC

DP World

Emaar Properties PJSC

Meydan Group

Nakheel PJSC

The Red Sea Development Company (a PIF company)

Qiddiya Investment Company (a PIF company)

King Abdullah Financial District Management and Development Company (a PIF company)

Abu Dhabi National Oil Company

Majid Al Futtaim Properties LLC

Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank

Emirates Global Aluminium

Standard Chartered Bank

Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone Authority (RAKEZ)

Ascorp Holdings PSC

Nord Anglia Education

Dubai Maritime City LLC

First Abu Dhabi Bank

Work highlights

  • Advising Aldar Properties PJSC on the divestment of two district cooling assets on Abu Dhabi’s Saadiyat Island to National Central Cooling Company PJSC (Tabreed) for a total consideration of AED 963 million (approximately $263m).
  • Advised KAFD (a PIF company) on its high-profile sale of the tallest tower in Riyadh’s new financial district, the King Abdullah Financial District, to Riyad Bank.
  • Advised The Red Sea Development Company on all real estate, construction, operation and maintenance aspects of the utilities required for a luxury tourism development in Saudi Arabia.


CMS has a broad real estate offering and handles a range of matters from real estate investment and development, to asset management and sale. Geoff Smith heads the real estate practice in Dubai and is frequently instructed on large-scale development and investment transactions. Office and retail leases are another area of focus. Associate Laura Whiteley provides additional support.

Practice head(s):

Geoff Smith

Other key lawyers:

Laura Whiteley

Key clients

Aldar Properties

Ernst & Young

Sweid & Sweid


Oman Investment Authority

Al Mutatawera Gulf General Trading Limited

Fajr Capital / Cravia Group

Select Group

SHG Ventures Limited

Weir Group

Work highlights

  • Advising Aldar Properties PJSC on the sale of The Westin Abu Dhabi Golf Resort and Spa, including the Westin Hotel and the Abu Dhabi Golf Club, to a private investor for AED 180 million.
  • Advised a private investor on its acquisition of share capital in SHG Ventures Limited, which operates hospitality venues across the Middle East.
  • Acted for Bonnington, which has a well known hotel in JLT, on the franchise of the voco brand (under IHG Hotels & Resorts).


Dentons' Iain Black heads the corporate and commercial practice and has been involved in a wide variety of real estate and hotels-related transactions. Joe Carroll is 'a strong real estate lawyer' with expertise in acquisitions and disposals, development projects, hospitality and mixed-use projects.

Practice head(s):

Iain Black; Nick Simpson

Other key lawyers:

Joe Carroll


‘Their advice on transaction structuring, documentation and negotiation are specific areas of strength in our opinion.’

‘They are effectively able to coordinate with foreign legal counsels for transactions where cross-border advice is required.’

‘Joe Carroll is quite hands-on and available to assist, even on short notice. His depth of knowledge on real estate matters related to banking and finance is outstanding particularly hotel management documents.’

‘Joe Carroll is also able to coordinate well within his team i.e. with other partners to make sure that the firm can act as a one-stop shop for all legal matters even those not specifically pertaining to his domain of work.’

‘Good practical, recent knowledge of real estate laws and practice and this experience is applied practically against specialised requirements or circumstances.’

‘Joe Carroll – Strong real estate lawyer.’

Key clients

Al Masaood

Asyad Group

DAMAC Real Estate Development Limited

DMCC (Dubai Multi Commodities Centre)

First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB)

Higher Corporation for Specialized Economic Zones (ZonesCorp)

Inmarsat Global Limited

Keyz Investment Enterprises

National Central Cooling Company PJSC (Tabreed)

Majid Al Futtaim (MAF)

Al Farwaniya Property Developments LLC

Alamar Foods

MENA Infrastructure Fund

Sweetheart Kitchen

Noor Bank PJSC

Gulf Related

SENAAT (General Holding Corporation PJSC)

Work highlights

  • Advising an Abu Dhabi-based district cooling provider on its purchase of Aldar Properties’ district cooling assets on Abu Dhabi’s Saadiyat Island.
  • Advising Asyad Group on sales and related matters including sales of off-plan and completed premises and lease-to-own arrangements for luxury residential developments in Dubai.
  • Advising Al Farwaniya Property Developments LLC on a new retail and entertainment complex in Abu Dhabi with 2 million sq. ft. of leasable area.

Galadari, Advocates & Legal Consultants

Galadari, Advocates & Legal Consultants has a particular focus on the hospitality sector and advises on all aspects of hotel acquisition and management. Manish Narayan co-heads the real estate practice and assists clients with real estate development projects, real estate funds, distribution agreements and franchising. Chairman and fellow practice head Ziad Galadari is another key point of contact.

Practice head(s):

Ziad Galadari; Manish Narayan

Key clients

Dubai Holding


Dubai Properties Group



Dubai Media City

Business Bay

Dubai Tourism Authority

Action Group Holidays

Action Real Estate

Novotel Dubai

Premier Development

Sheikh Mubarak bin Abdulla Al Sabah

Thalia Real Estate

ERAA Restaurant Management LLC

Emerald Palace Group

Cranstal International Limited


Asia Africa Trading FZE

Downtown Hotel

Javad Tavakoli Toroghi

PRG Global Restaurants Management LLC

Galadari Real Estate Investments

Work highlights

  • Advised Downtown Hotel on negotiating the terms of a hotel operator agreement in relation to its AED 10 Million hotel in Dubai.
  • Advised Cranstal International Limited on its investment strategy and helped with setting up entities for the sole purpose of investing and acquiring real estate within the UAE.
  • Acted for Asia Africa Trading FZE in an asset management dispute arising from breach of the contractual provisions of the asset management agreement in relation to its AED 45 million commercially leased property.

Horizons & Co

Real estate is a core focus for Horizons & Co and the team advises on both contentious and non-contentious work. Managing partner Ali Ismael Al Zarooni is an experienced litigator. Areen Jayousi has an active real estate development and construction practice.

Practice head(s):

Ali Ismael Al Zarooni; Areen Jayousi


Ali Ismael Al Zarouni is one of the best lawyers I have ever dealt with in the UAE, he has a vast knowledge in the real estate sector, we always rely on his advice, and he is always available when needed.

Ali Ismael Al Zarouni follows up all the recent precedents adjudged by the Courts of Cassation in Dubai in various cases so that they could use them in the cases handled by Horizons.

Key clients

Abaar Investments – PJS subsidiary of Mubadala Investment PJSC

Al Burj Real Estate Limited

Al Reef Real Estate Investment

G&Co Real Estate Development – LLC

Zion Karkukli

Work highlights

  • Represented Abaar Investments in a dispute arising from a utility agreement in relation to two luxury buildings in Abu Dhabi.
  • Represented Al Burj Real Estate LTD in a dispute in relation to several sale and purchase agreements with the largest developer in the UAE, owned by a semi-governmental entity.
  • Represented Al Reef Real Estate Investment in a dispute after entering into a sale and purchase agreement for a plot in a project that was promoted to be one of the biggest in UAE, with a semi-governmental entity which is the largest developer in the UAE.

Norton Rose Fulbright

The Middle East real estate practice at Norton Rose Fulbright handles a broad range of work, from real estate financing and dispute resolution, to energy and infrastructure projects and real estate development projects. Louisa Lynch heads the real estate practice in the region and has been active on real estate development projects in the retail and hospitality sectors.

Practice head(s):

Louisa Lynch

Key clients

Mubadala Investment Company

Nakheel PJSCHSBC Middle East

Credit Suisse

Hadia Abdul Latif Jameel Ltd


Emirates NBD Bank PJSC

ACWA Power


Work highlights

  • Advising Mubadala Investment Company on a number of plot sales on Al Maryah Island, having advised on the sale of four plots on Al Maryah Island to Webridge Properties LLC for development as mixed-use developments.
  • Advised Nakheel on multiple aspects of the Palm Tower, Palm Jumeirah which forms part of the Nakheel Mall development, including advising on the legal strata titling of the Palm Tower and the Nakheel Mall.
  • Advised HSBC on its corporate offices in Abu Dhabi and on its build-to-suit development of HSBC’s new headquarters in Emaar Square.

The Bench

The Bench is a boutique firm with a core focus on the TMT and hospitality sectors. Joby Beretta provides 'excellent support' and advises on commercial leases, mixed-use hotel developments and real estate financing. Hameed Almihdar specialises in real estate and construction disputes. Elise Gillians is also noted.

Practice head(s):

Joby Beretta; Elise Gillians; Hameed Almihdar


‘The thing I enjoy most about dealing with The Bench is the versatile approach and the flexible way they go about their business, you feel like you are in a partnership with the team. It’s like having the understanding and support of an in-house team but with the convenience of a consultancy set up.’

‘I deal primarily with Joby and he is always available, provides excellent support and advice and provides me with the right level of detail and advice to help me understand what we are dealing with.’

Key clients

International Hotels Group (IHG)

Accor Hotels

Rixos Hotels

Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC)

Louvre Hotels

RMAL Hospitality

Al Fahim Group

Sunflower (Owners of Hotel Indigo Dubai)

Redhat Al Jabal LLC (Owners of Hotel Indigo Oman)

Golden Group of Companies

Work highlights

  • Advised Redhat Al Jabal LLC on its hotel management agreement with IHG to bring Hotel Indigo to the Sultanate of Oman.
  • Advised Rixos on the full suite of agreements for the Rixos Beach Resort, Qetaifan Island North project, which will accommodate a 400 key upper upscale hotel, a waterpark, a souq and beach club.
  • Advising luxury fashion house on numerous commercial retail leases across the UAE.

White & Case LLP

White & Case LLP's Louise Vun specialises in real estate and hospitality and acts for government entities, international and domestic corporates, hotel and resort owners and private equity firms. Recent work includes advice on mixed-use developments, jointly owned property developments and gated communities.

Practice head(s):

Louise Vun

Key clients

The Red Sea Development Company

Work highlights

  • Represented The Red Sea Development Company, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, The Public Investment Fund, on the signing of key finance documents for Phase One of The Red Sea Project.