We opened our office in Dubai at the end of 2017 in the heart of Dubai’s financial centre: this was the natural next step to expand our international presence in the Middle East just one year after the opening of our offices in Africa (Egypt and Ethiopia).

Leveraging on Dubai’s role as trait d’union among Europe, Asia and Africa, and it being the pivot for the entire Middle East, our idea was to create an ideal bridge between Africa and Middle East and strengthen our ability to navigate international clients looking to invest in this wider region and local players interested in diversifying their activities through an international expansion in Europe or Africa.

Indeed, from Dubai, we are fully capable to assist our clients who already have a presence or are planning to enter UAE or other jurisdictions in the Middle East on all aspects of their legal needs. Also, the Dubai office has reinforced our capability to assist international clients interested in investing in Africa through a regional hub in Dubai: indeed, numerous multinationals have chosen the Emirate as their base for business in Africa and the Middle East.

The Dubai office is headed up by Catia Tomasetti, partner at BonelliErede, who is in charge of the development of our practice in the Gulf area together with, Marco De Leo, managing partner of BonelliErede Middle East LLP. They are supported by Roberto Flammia, local partner at BonelliErede, Riccardo Denaro, managing associate, Marzia Spadea, senior associate, junior associates Ester Zucchelli, Sami Moacdieh and Letizia Santin and Nour El-Shinnawi, trainee.

Catia split her time between the Dubai office and her Italian practice. She is the Coordinator of the banking and finance practice and an expert in corporate finance, with several market first transacrion in Italy in the following sectors: traditional and renewable energy, waste, water, hospitals, underground systems and roads and motorways. She is also focused on reorganisation of listed companies and assistance to banks, shareholders and borrowers. She is member of the Africa Committee and of the Africa Team and member of the Banks, Construction & Engineering and Infrastructure, Energy & Ecological Transition Focus Teams. Marco is an expert in corporate law, with particular expertise in establishment/break-up of joint-ventures, mergers, demergers and capital transactions, and extraordinary financing transactions. He is member of three Focus Teams: Luxury, Private Equity and Transport. Roberto is expert in project finance (particularly for the construction, maintenance, management, financing and re-financing of renewable energy projects and infrastructures) and in commercial contracts of various industries. He is member of three Focus Teams: Banks, Construction & Engineering, and Infrastructure, Energy & Ecological Transition.

Thanks to our unique capabilities we can assist every client on both transactional (corporate/M&A) and general assistance matters under local law. The Dubai team can cover the whole GCC: on top of UAE, we have been working on matters in Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Kuwait, Qatar, Barhain.


The UAE reforms its arbitration law - 19 December 2023

The UAE has recently introduced a significant reform to its arbitration law aimed at making international arbitration in the UAE more efficient, flexible, and attractive to domestic and international companies. Our Dubai Team and

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Bahrain launches its golden license - 18 April 2023

The Kingdom of Bahrain has announced the launch of the “golden license” for strategic projects as part of its efforts to attract large scale investment from across the world. The Bahraini Cabinet approved the golden license to enhance the investment environment in the Kingdom, enter into …

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The KSA’s Regional Headquarters Program - 29 March 2023

The KSA recently launched an initiative to encourage foreign companies to establish their regional headquarters (RHQs) in the country or relocate existing RHQs there. Once the related law comes into force on 1 January 2024, foreign companies with RHQs in the KSA will not be permitted to cont …

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The UAE issues its Corporate Income Tax law - 13 December 2022

The UAE Federal Tax Authority has published Federal Law Decree No. 47 of 9 December 2022 on the Taxation of Corporations and Businesses (“CIT Law”), which sets out the legislative basis for the introduction of a UAE federal corporate income tax. The long-awaited CIT Law will be effective …

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UAE amends VAT law - 28 November 2022

Over the last two months, the Federal Tax Authority (FTA) has issued some major changes to the tax rules, including Federal Decree Law 18/2022, which is the first amendment to the VAT law since its introduction in 2018, and Cabinet Decree 99/2022, which amends the executive regulations on the V …

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Dubai’s New Labour Law comes into force - 2 February 2022

The United Arab Emirates Cabinet recently approved a new Labour Law on the regulation of labor relations, which comes into force on 2 February 2022. This reform represents a major milestone in the development of the UAE’s labour environment. Our

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Abu Dhabi launches virtual licence for non-resident foreign investors - 9 December 2021

Doing business in Abu Dhabi has just got easier with a “virtual licence” for non-resident investors coming into the picture. The Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development has introduced a virtual licence allowing non-resident investors to obtain an economic licence to do business in t …

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UAE to allow 100% foreign ownership of commercial companies as of June - 4 June 2021

Foreign ownership in the UAE seems to have finally reached a turning point. Following the issuance of Federal Decree Law No. 26 of 2020, the UAE’s minister of economy announced this past 19 May that foreign ownership restrictions for a range of activities in numerous sectors will be lifted …

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UAE Announces 100% Foreign Ownership of Commercial Companies - 2 December 2020

On last 23 November President of the UAE issued a decree (the “Decree”) which radically overhauls the existing foreign ownership regime in the UAE. Announcement of the Decree will be a welcome news to foreign investors contemplating doing business in the UAE and investors already present …

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BonelliErede renews ISO 22301 and ISO 27001 certifications

BonelliErede’s commitment to certification continues with the renewal of the ISO 22301 and ISO 27001 certifications for 2023 for all the firm’s Italian and European offices. Like last year, the firm’s ISO 27001 certification extends to the Dubai office. Both certifications were issued by …

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BonelliErede renews ISO 22301 and ISO 27001 certifications and extends them to new offices

BonelliErede’s commitment to certification continues with the renewal of ISO 22301 certification for all the firm’s Italian offices and its extension to the London and Brussels offices. And ISO 27001 certification has been renewed for the Italian and European offices and extended to the Dub …

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BonelliErede and Zahaf & Partners launch an exclusive cooperation in Libya

The expansion BonelliErede embarked on into Africa and the Middle East back in 2016 has just reached a new milestone: a cooperation with Zahaf & Partners, a leading Libyan law firm with extensive experience assisting institutions and local and foreign companies. The cooperation will enable …

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