In Focus – Property

February 2011

Al Tamimi & Company’s Property Practice provides a comprehensive range of legal services across the Middle East, covering all areas relevant to the property industry. With an initial focus on Dubai, our Property Practice now extends to our Abu Dhabi, Doha, Riyadh, Baghdad, Kuwait and Amman offices. Our regional team of property lawyers has a good mix of western and regional qualifications, contentious and non-contentious experience and bi-lingual capability.

Lisa Dale, our Partner who initially established the Property Practice and continues as its head, is described by Chambers Global as a “star who is respected across the board, and has the ability to read a situation and know exactly how to handle it”. She is supported by a number of well-respected, experienced partners and associates.

The success of our Property Practice continues to be recognised globally – having just been awarded Corporate International Magazine’s 2010 “Real Estate Firm of the Year UAE”.

The breadth and depth of our property team’s experience enables us to assist with all aspects of real estate legal practice, including the following:

  • Legislative & Regulatory Issue
  • Setting up & Licensing Real Estate Businesses
  • Financing & Securities
  • Real Estate Funds & REITS
  • Strata and Mixed Use Schemes
  • Land Acquisition & Development, including Joint Ventures
  • Property dispute resolution, including Court Litigation and local & international Arbitration
  • Commercial Property Transactions
  • Hospitality & Leisure Development and Management
  • Long-Term Leases – Residential, Commercial & Retail
  • Short-Term Tenancies – Residential, Commercial & Retail
  • General Landlord and Tenant advice, including litigation and disputes.

Our Expertise
In 2003, Al Tamimi & Company became the first law firm in the GCC region to establish a dedicated Property Practice. We have since continued to lead the field, earning a Band 1 ranking from both Chambers Global and Legal 500. Chambers describes our Property Practice as, “a frontrunner in real estate and construction, with no-nonsense, to-the-point lawyers who have a superb understanding of the issues” whilst Legal 500 states, “with good lawyers and the largest property team in Dubai, Al Tamimi & Company is a star local real estate firm”.

We are regularly consulted by the Dubai Land Department and the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) in Dubai and the Department of Municipal Affairs in Abu Dhabi on the content and drafting of new property laws and regulations. Our central involvement in the development of the legal framework ensures that we are able to give our clients accurate and up-to-date legal advice which is second to none.

In Focus: Jointly Owned Property – Strata
Development work has been a core strength of our Property Practice since its inception. In 2002, we introduced the concepts of the Master Community Declaration and Constitution of Co-Owners Association through our work on the Jumeirah Beach Residence project in Dubai. This form of ownership, management and control for communities and multi-owned buildings quickly became the market norm, not only in Dubai but also in Abu Dhabi, Qatar and the wider GCC region.

After the enactment of Law No. 27 of 2007 on Ownership of Jointly Owned Properties in the Emirate of Dubai (the so-called “Strata Law”), our Property Practice worked closely with the Dubai Land Department and RERA to assist in the shaping and finalisation of the Implementing Directions. These were issued in April 2010 and we have since been at the forefront in working with RERA, our clients and the industry generally to facilitate the understanding and practical implementation of the Directions.

We developed and delivered the inaugural Jointly Owned Property training module for the Dubai Real Estate Institute. In addition we have hosted seminars, written articles and provided in-house workshops to clients and other interested parties.

As a testament to our dedication and capability in this specialised practice area, we are currently assisting our clients to bring some of Dubai’s most complex real estate projects into compliance with the Strata Law and its Directions.

We provide services in Structuring; Documentation; Implementation; Set Up; and Licensing & Regulatory

In Focus: Hospitality & Leisure
Given the growth of this industry in the region, Al Tamimi & Company provides a comprehensive range of legal services across the MENA region, covering all areas relevant to the hospitality and leisure industry.

Led by Tara Marlow, the Hospitality and Leisure practice comprises a team of experienced lawyers who work across the entire range of legal disciplines within the firm. Together, they form a specialist industry practice created specifically to cater to all parties involved with the hotel and leisure business. We advise on every type of product, including destination resorts, city hotels, hotels within shopping malls, serviced apartments, conference facilities, nightclubs, golf courses and clubs, marinas and yacht clubs, private member clubs, together with timeshare, fractional ownership and rental pool arrangements – whether they are independent or part of an overall mixed use development.

Our team has in-depth knowledge of the hospitality and leisure industry gained from advising on all manner of hospitality and leisure related issues. The team also draws on the invaluable experience of its members who have previously held in-house general counsel roles within the hotel industry.

We advise on all matters applicable to a hotel/leisure project, whether your interest is as an owner, investor, developer, operator or financier.

Our expertise ranges from site/property acquisition, corporate structuring and long-term strategy planning, project and operational licensing, project finance, equity and debt financing, hotel development, hotel operator appointment (including negotiation of hotel management agreements), day to day operational matters, employment related advice, property refurbishment/renovation, dispute resolution, intellectual property protection and disposal options.

For more information, please contact one of our Property specialists:

Lisa Dale, Partner & Head of Property
P: +971 4 364 1641

Tara Marlow, Head of Property & Hospitality Abu Dhabi
P: +971 2 674 4535