“Afridi delivers international quality advice on local law matters. The team meets deadlines and bring a commercial understanding to their work product. They are also responsive and personable in their dealings.” - Legal 500 EMEA

Areas of Expertise

  • Corporate and Commercial
  • Tax
  • Funds
  • Dispute Resolution
  • Doing Business in the Region
  • Venture Capital/Private Equity
  • Real Estate
  • Mergers and Acquisitions
  • International Trade Controls and Sanctions


  • Professional
  • State Bar of California
  • Law Society of England and Wales
  • Association of Professional Engineers of British Columbia
  • Languages
  • English
  • Farsi
  • Academic
  • Juris Doctor, University of British Columbia, 1998
  • Master of Business Administration, 2002
  • Bachelor of Engineering, University of British Columbia, 1992
      Speaking Engagements
      • Speaker, Small Business Relief: Who qualifies? The Business Breakfast radio show, Dubai Eye 103.8, 7 April 2023, Dubai
      • Speaker, New Year’s Legal Update: UAE Real Estate, Afridi & Angell’s webinar, 9 February 2023
      • Panelist, Lunchtime Conversations: UAE and Global Real Estate Trends, Canadian Business Council Dubai, 24 May 2022, Dubai
      • Speaker, Data Privacy Law and Real Estate Industry, IE Real Estate Institute, 8 March 2022
      • Panelist, Why is a Property Operating Plan important?, Smart Built Environment Forum organised by CM today, 16 November 2020
      • Panelist, Automating developer’s biggest pain points and finding solutions: financing, legal restraints, business and market forecasting, and project supervision, PropIT Middle East, 26 October 2020
      • Speaker, Start-ups in the UAE: Legal Considerations, webinar organised by Dubai Startup Hub as part of their Dubai Market webinar series, 15 September 2020
      • Speaker, COVID-19 and Commercial Leases in the UAE, webinar organised by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce, 16 June 2020, Dubai
      • Panelist, The Jointly Owned Property Law & Learn about IREM International Program, ‘DREI Talks’ webinar organised by Dubai Real Estate Institute, 2 June 2020, Dubai
      • Speaker, The UAE Real Estate and Labour Markets: Current Situation and a Post COVID-19 Outlook, Industry Breakfast Webinar organised by the Canadian Business Council Dubai, 17 May 2020
      • Speaker, What does it take to launch a new ride-hailing app in the UAE?, The Business Breakfast radio show, Dubai Eye 103.8, 25 February 2020, Dubai
      • Speaker, New DIFC Property Law, The Business Breakfast radio show, Dubai Eye 103.8, 13 January 2020, Dubai
      • Panelist, The New Owners Association Law, The Focus On Trust And Happiness, Meamcon 2019, 12 December 2019, Dubai
      • Speaker, Construction Contracts: Legal Aspects, Society of Engineers, 9 October 2019, Dubai
      • Speaker, Dubai’s real estate: Regulating to ensure sustainable growth, Cityscape, 25 September 2019, Dubai
      • Speaker, Post Summer Regional Update, seminar organised by Afridi & Angell in collaboration with the Association of Corporate Counsel Middle East, the Canadian Business Council, and the Capital Club Dubai, 16 September 2019, Dubai
      • Speaker, Dubai Startup Hub Networking Series, 11 September 2019, Dubai
      • Speaker, Real Estate Industry Breakfast, Canadian Business Council Dubai, 24 April 2019, Dubai
      • Panelist, Abu Dhabi open for business: The merging of old business models with new, Cityscape Abu Dhabi, 16 April 2019, Abu Dhabi
      • Speaker and moderator, Off Plan vs Secondary: Risk, reward and the outlook for Dubai property in 2019, seminar organised in collaboration with Better Homes, 5 December 2018, Dubai
      • Speaker, What’s the latest in Dubai’s real estate market?, Cityscape, 4 October 2018, Dubai
      • Speaker, Post Summer Regional Update, seminar organised by Afridi & Angell in collaboration with the Association of Corporate Counsel Middle East, 26 September 2018, Dubai
      • Speaker, Construction Contracts: Legal Aspects, Society of Engineers, 15 February 2018, Dubai
      • Moderator, Investment in Healthcare in the UAE, seminar organised by Afridi & Angell, 31 January 2018, Dubai
      • Panelist, Crisis & Emergency Management, Meamcon 2017, 7 December 2017, Dubai
      • Speaker, Construction Contracts: Issues and Practical Solutions, The Engineering Forum, 28 November 2017, Dubai
      • Speaker, Construction Contracts: Issues and Practical Solutions, The Big 5, 26 November 2017, Dubai
      • Speaker, Contracts 101, workshop by Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority, 19 April 2017, Dubai
      • Speaker, Doing Business in the Middle East, training session at Sinopec International (Middle East) FZE, 28 December 2016, Dubai
      • Speaker, Impact of the Trump Presidency, Economist Corporate Network CEO Lunch, 13 December 2016, Dubai
      • Speaker, Managing the Opportunities within, jointly organised roundtable with Control Risks, 7 December 2016, Dubai
      • Speaker, Latest Developments in Dubai Rental Market, organised by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce, 24 November 2016, Dubai
      • Speaker, Talking Term Sheets, The Entrepreneur Day by Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority, 17 November 2016, Dubai
      • Speaker and panelist, Frontier Markets – Opportunities & Challenges Doing business in Africa, STEP Arabia, 7 November 2016, Dubai
      • Panelist, Doing Business in the Region, Deloitte and Odgers Berndtson Economic Dinner, 21 September 2016, Dubai
      • Speaker and panelist, Spotlight on Construction and Liability: Challenges and Fiduciary Duties, MEREIA Conference, 24 May 2016, Dubai
      • Speaker, Term Sheets Made Simple, Womena Angel Series Workshop, 23 April 2016, Dubai
      • Speaker, Real Estate in Dubai, a presentation to students from Kingston University, 5 April 2016, Dubai Land Department and Dubai Real Estate Institute, Dubai
      • Speaker, The control of transactions: how is the transparency of real estate owners ensured?, Structuring real estate ownership in Dubai, 2 March 2016, Dubai
      • Panelist, Setting Up an Entity & Opening Bank Accounts: Onshore, Free Zone & Offshore, Dubai Forward, 17 February 2016, Dubai
      • Chairman and Speaker, Doing Business in Dubai, and what you need to know about the UAE and Dubai, Dubai Forward, 15 February 2016, Dubai
      • Speaker, Dubai Real Estate Legal Landscape – knowing your rights and avoiding potential pitfalls, organised by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce, 15 December 2015, Dubai
      • Speaker, Managing the transition to DIFC wills: what is the impact on existing and common succession instruments/techniques?, Optimal Successions in Dubai & the UAE, 24 November 2015, Dubai
      • Speaker, Dubai Land Department and succession issues/transfer of property, Optimal Successions in Dubai & the UAE, 23 November 2015, Dubai
      • Panelist, MENA M&A Landscape: trends, challenges and winning strategies, The American Lawyer’s Global M&A Playbook, 28 October 2015, New York
      • Speaker, Construction / Real Estate Sector / UAE Forecasts – Opportunity – Challenge – Risks / Land Department & RERA Functioning – Settlement of Disputes, ICC Forum 2015, 22 April 2015, Dubai
      • Panelist, Operating in Dubai: what are the best options for your strategy?, Dubai Forward: The 2nd annual strategic conference on Dubai as a financial & wealth management centre, 23 & 24 February 2015, Dubai
      • Speaker, Real Estate in Dubai – The Amazing Decade, a presentation to a delegation from Singapore, 25 February 2015, Dubai Land Department, Dubai
      • Speaker, Hello Tomorrow – where science and technology meet entrepreneurship to build our tomorrow, 18 February 2015, Hult International Business School, Dubai
      • Speaker, Legal Aspects of VC: The VC Term Sheet in Focus, Dubai Silicon Oasis, 9 February 2015
      • Speaker, Offshore Companies – where to create an offshore company to hold real estate in the UAE?, Optimal Succession in Dubai & the UAE, 24 & 25 November 2014, Dubai
      • Real Estate in the UAE – The Amazing Decade (an Information Exchange organised by The American Business Council of Dubai & Northern Emirates), 19 November 2014, Dubai
      • Panelist, Dispute Resolution in Saudi Arabia and the UAE, Association of Corporate Counsel Annual Meeting 2014, 28-31 October 2014, New Orleans
      • Chairman and Speaker, Spotlight on Construction – Challenges and Fiduciary Duties, Afridi & Angell (in conjunction with Snag & Inspect) client seminar, 21 January 2014
      Awards and Testimonials

      Shahram is ranked as a Leading Individualin Real Estate.

      Legal 500 


      Shahram is ranked in “Band 3” in Real Estate.

      Chambers Global


      “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.”

      Legal 500 2022


      “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.”

      Legal 500 2022


      “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.”

      Legal 500 2022


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

      Legal 500 2022


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

      Legal 500 2022


      “He is an excellent real estate lawyer. He knows his stuff. He is very knowledgeable on local law issues.”

      Chambers Global 2022


      Shahram has impressed us again and again,” adding: “He continues to be an indispensable adviser to us“.

      Chambers Global 2021 


      “Very responsive, professional and educated.”

      Chambers Global 2020 


      “Professional, well informed, presentable and knowledgeable of local industry regulations and best practices.”

      Chambers Global 2020 


      “He inspires a sense of confidence – you immediately feel you’re in good hands. He’s someone who knows the field. He provides an answer but also guides you through the process – there isn’t much he hasn’t come across before.”

      Chambers Global 2018


      “Demonstrates his professional knowledge and commercial sense in his work.”

      Chambers Global 2017


      “Proactive, pragmatic and hands-on” approach, with one adding: “He always finds a way to provide a commercial solution, and give options.”

      Chambers Global 2016


      “A very good lawyer – adaptable, charismatic and well spoken.

      Chambers Global 2015


      “Very clear and crisp advice”, and for having “detailed local knowledge and experience.”

      Legal 500 EMEA 2015


      Always very happy with everything they produce. Of the local firms on the ground, they are one of the main protagonists.”

      Chambers Global 2013


      “Produces work of superb quality thanks to its excellent team of lawyers, with a diverse array of backgrounds. Its long-standing local presence gives the firm a deep understanding of the market and of clients’ needs.

      Chambers Global – The Client’s Guide 2009


      Shahram’s practice focuses on representing leading multinational and domestic corporate clients, investment funds and high net worth individuals.  He counsels clients on private equity and venture capital transactions, as well as advising clients on assessing and managing transactional risks.


      Shahram heads the firm’s tax, venture capital, and real estate teams. He has been highly sought after by boards and shareholders for strategic legal advice.  He is active in lobbying for and providing constructive feedback to government organizations regarding regional laws and regulations pertaining to private equity / venture capital investment, corporate governance, tax and real estate.


      His practice involve advising clients on sanctions and compliance including with respect to investments, joint ventures, as well as introduction to sector specific private and public entities. Such advice generally involves franchise and agency matters, build-operate-transfer transactions, regulatory and legal compliance and strategies, foreign investment protection regimes, sanctions and anti-money laundering implications.


      Shahram real estate lawyer also advises clients with respect to joint ventures, acquisitions and doing business in the region. Such advice involves investment fund formation, compliance advice, sanctions advice, anti-money laundering implications, and agency matters.


      He is a regular speaker at seminars on legal developments and current issues in doing business, private equity, real estate and construction law. At the invitation of the Government of Dubai, Shahram regularly lectures on legal matters and policy. He is a member of an economic advisory committee to the Government of Dubai and has also been selected to represent the Dubai Land Department as a Dubai RE Ambassador 2020.


      Shahram is also Chairman of the Board for the Canadian Business Council of Dubai and the Northern Emirates.


      Prior to joining Afridi & Angell in 2002, Shahram was an associate at Cooley Godward in Palo Alto, California advising clients with respect to private equity / venture capital.


      Shahram is also a registered professional engineer and he has previously worked as a design engineer, a hydroelectric dam manager and a construction engineer. He also worked for a global oil & gas company, supervising the pressure testing of gas wells.