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Nicola de Sylva

Legal Director

Nicola de Sylva has extensive real estate experience, having worked on a number of transactions to include acquisitions, divestments, project developments, design build and lease agreements, and commercial and retail leasing.

She has experience in project development (including mixed use developments, retail, industrial, and office premises) and major commercial property leasing transactions.Nicola has acted for clients in relation to acquisition, subdivision, community/strata titling and development schemes in respect of mixed use developments. She has also acted for developers in the development and establishment of hotels and serviced apartment complexes.

Areas of FocusReal Estate
Professional QualificationsAdmitted as a Solicitor with the Law Society of Scotland


  • Advising Amazon on the acquisition of long term land rights for the development of a Tier 1 data centre region in the UAE, comprising the acquisition of three sites owned by different Government entities, in Abu Dhabi and Dubai with options for extension sites.
  • Acting for Gulf Related in relation to the development and leasing of The Galleria, a USD1 billion, 3.1 million square foot mixed use development in Abu Dhabi.
  • Advising a private developer in relation to the design, procurement, and construction of a series of luxury resort facilities on the Saudi Arabia mainland and in the Red Sea, including legal aspects relating to procurement strategy, contract structuring, tendering, template documentation, tax, title issues, permitting, environmental and sustainability, corporate structures, project management, contract administration, contract negotiations and regulatory matters of a series of luxury residential and hospitality projects within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
  • Acting for SRCC, a joint venture between Gulf Capital and Gulf Related, on the development, management and procurement of facilities management company and manager for the Antara Residential Compound, Riyadh. Antara comprising a built-up area of 98,115 square metres, consisting of 520 homes.
  • Advising China Development Bank, in connection with the provision of financing to China Construction Engineering Corporation and the taking of security interests over 4 residential tower blocks in Reem Island, Abu Dhabi.
  • Acting for Dubai Multi Commodities Centre in the restructuring and re-negotiation of a suite of development agreements entered into with a high profile investor for the sale and development of 8 tower plots with associated retail plots.
  • Advising GE Healthcare with its real estate operational requirements in the Middle East region to include advising on lease of warehouse premises in Dubai, UAE and lease of offices premises in Riyadh, KSA.
  • Client lead for Dubai Multi Commodities Centre advising both its Asset Management and Sales and Leasing Teams on various mandates, to include providing advice in respect of DMCC Dubai Smart City Initiative; advising on numerous leasing transactions including retail, ground, office premises: such as Fidelity Fitness, Dunkin Donuts, Tom & Serg, ONE JLT and co-working premises (flexi desk, serviced office, business centre spaces) in the DMCC Tea and DMCC Coffee Centres; drafting community regulations and health and safety regulations for Dubai Multi Commodities Centre, to include ensuring that the regulations complement the master community declaration and master community rules and any secondary regulatory policies and guidelines in place in relation to the master community; advising on investor documents for real estate investment offering; advising on jointly owned property contractual arrangements and the enforcement of master community declaration in relation to various stakeholders in the master community; advising on and drafting unit plot sale and purchase agreements, utility and substation sale and transfer arrangements, leases, licences, facility and asset management agreements and amendment documents, including carpark leasing and management arrangements; and advising on property related disputes, debt recovery and settlement agreements between various stakeholders and providing legal opinions on various key strategic and commercial issues.
  • English
  • University of Aberdeen, Bachelor of Laws, Hons, LLB
  • University of Glasgow, Diploma in Legal Practice, DipLP


  • IPO Guide in conjunction with the Qatar Stock Exchange (co-author)
  • Getting the deal through: Securities Finance (lead author)

Prior Experience

  • Nicola is a UK qualified lawyer and has worked for several law firms in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Qatar and the UAE. She has been working in the region since 2013.