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      Criminal Complaint filed in Germany against Sheikh Maktoum Hasher Maktoum Juma Al Maktoum CEO of Dubai Developer Al Fajer Properties The Dubai Sheikh who mislead and extort a German Couple  Germany – Dubai 2011 A German elderly couple , today 80 + 50 years old who have been Dubai Tourists since a decade, bought in 2005 an apartment at Nakheel´s Dubai Residen […]
    • UAE: Human Rights Blogger, Sorbonne Lecturer Charged With ‘Humiliating' Officials
      source Human Rights Watch www.hrw.org (Beirut) - The United Arab Emirates attorney general should immediately drop all charges against five pro-democracy activists to halt their trial, Human Rights Watch said today. The charges of "humiliating" top officials relate solely to the defendants' peaceful use of speech to criticize the UAE governmen […]
    • Nakheel Dubai Sunland Case
      June 5, 2011After 21 hearings, Chris O'Donnell, the Australian chief executive of Dubai's major developer, Nakheel, came to the defence of his former colleagues Matthew Joyce and Marcus Lee. Mr Joyce and Mr Lee are accused of profiting from the sale of land that had been earmarked for a colossal high-rise development, which was to include the futur […]
    • Dubai Nakheel CEO decided to leave the company
      Dubai June 7, 2011 Nakheel said on Wednesday that its CEO Chris O'Donnell had left the company "after completing his contract terms". O'Donnell, an Australian who joined the developer in 2006, said he had decided to leave Nakheel following five years spent with the company, the statement added. O'Donnell has overseen a traumatic time […]
    • Owner of Dubai Developer Damac Hussain Sajwani files case against Egypt corruption ruling
      Dubai property developer Damac said on Tuesday it had filed an international arbitration case against Egypt over a land dispute and the conviction of its chairman and owner, Hussain Sajwani.A Cairo court last week sentenced Sajwani in his absence to jail and ordered him to pay a $40.5 million fine in connection with his 2006 purchase of land at Egypt's […]
    • Dubai Palm Jumeriah - Investors plan to take legal action
      Investors in Dubai Palm Jumeirah’s Golden Mile complex will this week serve the developer behind the project with a legal ultimatum to hand over their units or issue them with a refund.Up to ten investors in the luxury complex plan to issue Souq Residences with legal notice in a bid to force a resolution to a dispute that has been ongoing for more than a yea […]
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Archive for August 27th, 2008

$463mn deal to ease Schon Properties Dubai Lagoon delays

Posted by 7starsdubai on August 27, 2008

Dubai-based developer Schon Properties has signed a $463 million contract with Belhasa Engineering and Contracting Company to speed up the delivery of its delayed Dubai Lagoon development.

Investors in the $816.4 million residential project in Dubai Investment Park have been complaining about delays for months.Earlier this month Schon Properties announced it would be giving full refunds to investors who had purchased units which were scheduled for completion by December 2007.

The statement came a day after Dubai’s real estate agency said the project had not been cancelled.

Schon Properties has blamed the delays on infrastructure alterations and the rising cost of construction costs which has forced the developer to renegotiate its original agreement with Thai contractor, Powerline Gulf.

Belhasa is expected to start on site in October and completion is expected at the end of 2010 or early 2011 said Schon Properties

Posted in Dubai | Comments Off on $463mn deal to ease Schon Properties Dubai Lagoon delays

You must come with us – Experience with the Dubai Police

Posted by 7starsdubai on August 27, 2008


Syed Ali was in Dubai interviewing expatriate workers for a book. The day before he was due to leave, six strangers arrived at his flat and took him to the police compound. A 13-hour interrogation lay ahead …

What happens in Dubai when six strangers come to the door with a search warrant? I hadn’t expected to find out first-hand. I’d gone to the emirate to carry out what would count in most countries as routine academic research.

When the knock on the door came on the last day of Ramadan a year ago, I’d been in Dubai for four months. My project: to do interviews for a book on white-collar expatriate workers. Lots has been written about the exploitation of construction workers in the Gulf region, but I didn’t imagine professionals living the good life would be a touchy topic – especially with Dubai so busy promoting itself as a hub of internationalism, a modern state with modern lifestyles. Come here and buy into the property-and-shopping bonanza, say the big advertising campaigns.

Over the weeks, I met and interviewed dozens of Dubai-born and raised foreign professional workers about their experiences growing up and working there. (About 90% of Dubai’s population, and about 98% of its private-sector workforce, is made up of people categorised as expats.) I recorded our interviews in their homes, their workplaces, in cafes and restaurants and shopping malls. I was struck by the fact that being born in Dubai conferred no rights of permanent residence, let alone citizenship, meaning that people who had spent most or all of their lives in the emirate have the same legal status as a worker who has just arrived. I made no secret of what I was doing. I kept an ongoing blog and told everyone I spoke with that I was a Fulbright scholar (the US state department’s best-known scholarship programme) doing book research.

Then, just the day before I was scheduled to leave Dubai, five men arrived unannounced with a court order. With them was one woman, the only person in police uniform; the men were wearing ordinary white robes. It was about noon, on October 22. That they showed up at my friend’s place, where I’d been staying for only three days, and timed their arrival right before I was to fly onward to India for a family holiday, meant – as a duty officer at the US consulate said when my wife rang to ask for help – that they’d been keeping tabs on me.

For about an hour, they searched the flat, and then made to go: “You must come with us.” My wife, who had arrived from New York just 12 hours earlier, said she and our 14-month-old son would come too. “No. We will bring him back soon.”

“Can I leave my mobile phone with my wife?” I asked. “It is not allowed.” “Can I write down some phone numbers, as she doesn’t know anyone here?” “Yes.” I wrote two numbers, then one of the men huffed, “No more numbers!”

I was put into a Toyota Landcruiser, its windows tinted so dark the driver could barely see out, and driven to the immense police headquarters compound, an oasis of bougainvillea and other hanging vines and plants on the north-east side of Dubai Creek. There, we wound up a ramp until we arrived at a one-storey building evidently assigned to the secret police, my escorts. For the next 13 hours or so my interrogators were two Dubai nationals – only nationals work in the State Security Division. One, who looked to be in his late 20s, was thin with jaundiced skin and no top front teeth, the other was in his mid 30s, short and chubby with jowls. The latter played good cop, while the thin one was bad cop. Watching their technique, I wondered if part of their interrogation training had consisted of watching American cop movies.

The questioning was mostly about my family’s migration history, my education from nursery school to doctorate, my work history, and so forth. Every now and then they would interject with the real questions: Why did you come to Dubai? Who is funding you? Why are you asking so many questions about locals and non-locals? They never raised their voices.

My wife, meanwhile, had immediately gone to a nearby hotel to call the US consulate in Dubai. She told them I had been taken away by the men in white, who had showed no identification. Startled at the detention of a Fulbright researcher, consular staff spent more than nine hours phoning Dubai officials before they located me and arranged for my release. Once I left the country, I also called the British embassy in Dubai, hoping it too would make some sort of protest, as I’m a dual UK-US citizen. The duty officer was unimpressed: “You’ve left Dubai, what do you expect us to do?” That was that, for Foreign Office assistance.

By the end of the night, a more senior officer came to wrap things up. Called “chief”, he was all business and in bad-cop mode. He came right to the point: “The research you have been doing is creating divisions in our society and we will not allow it. We will keep your files. Your laptop and iPod [which I used for interviews] we will give you back tomorrow. We will contact you. You will leave on the next available flight. Do not return to Dubai; you are banned and will be arrested if you return.”

Good cop put a cheery spin on things. “I hope you have enjoyed Dubai. Well, this is not enjoyable, but I hope the rest of your stay has been productive and enjoyable and that you represent Dubai positively.” What do you say to that? Good cop also came to the nub of what I’d got myself into when he told me he liked me, but had doubts about my funding. “What do you mean?” I asked. “I think it is the Jewish,” he said. “Why would ‘the Jewish’ be funding me, a Muslim American, to ask questions of people in Dubai?” “I do not know, but I think it is them … and maybe the CIA.”

Anyway, they released me, and put me in the back of the Toyota. On the seat were two bottles of water for me. Nice. After 13 hours of talking, I was thirsty. The driver even bought me a vitamin C drink on the way home, and let me cadge a couple of cigarettes before he dropped me at my friend’s apartment building. And so my story was not one of torture or long imprisonment; rather, a glimpse into the everyday workings of an apparatus of control where the insecurities of those in power can still so easily distort the ordinary activities of an ordinary person.

The next day, a regular policeman phoned and told me to meet him that evening at a shopping mall, the start of another slightly surreal encounter when I got there and called his mobile. “Where are you?” he asked. “Standing next to the guy dressed like a chicken,” I replied (some sort of mall promotion was going on). Come up the escalator, the unseen policeman told me. Halfway up I thought, Oh, this is bad. At the top I made to turn around but then saw him he summoned me to join him. And so I found myself sitting in Starbucks writing out a receipt under his supervision for equipment received in “best operating condition”, after which he gave me back my laptop – without, I later discovered, the hard drive. The authorities also kept my iPod with all my interviews … and replaced it with a new 60 GB video iPod! And if ever I came back to Dubai, the officer said hospitably, he would show me around.

After a fantastic farewell dinner of kebabs with friends, we finished packing and took ourselves to the airport. Despite the threat I supposedly posed to Dubai society, the secret police who banned me apparently felt no need to escort us.

Later, I wrote to the ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, via the “royal email” section of his website asking for my hard drive back, and my files. This is the same sheikh, by the way, who launched a $10bn fund for the Middle East recently, amid much fanfare: its objective, to foster education … and research in the region. I’m still waiting for his reply. Not that it matters in practical terms. I have backups – wouldn’t the secret police have realised this? What did they possibly have to gain?

I also complained to Dubai’s police chief, Lieutenant-General Dhahi Khalfan Tamim, via the departmental email and was quite surprised to get a response. He stood by my arrest, but then seemed to turn the whole incident on its head by assuring me that I had not been deported, nor banned: “You are welcome at any time as a visitor to the Emirates, not as an investigator for a police agency or other authority that flies in the face of international legitimacy. Once again I wish to say to you that you are not on lists of persons expelled at all.”

Welcome at any time as a visitor. I think I’ll take them up on that. I wish I’d kept that policeman’s mobile number

· This is Syed’s weblog on his Dubai experience bklyn-in-dubai.livejournal.com

· Syed Ali is an assistant professor of sociology at Long Island University in Brooklyn. Do you have a story about your life? Email it to my.story@guardian.co.uk

Posted in Dubai | Comments Off on You must come with us – Experience with the Dubai Police

Dubai – Blind justice – Real Estate – ArabianBusiness.com

Posted by 7starsdubai on August 27, 2008

Blind justice – Real Estate – ArabianBusiness.com:

by Rob CorderAugust 2008

The rumours swirling around Dubai’s current high profile anti-corruption sweep are just that: rumours.For justice to be done, authorities must work through an exhaustive, multi-phase, multi-agency process that eventually punishes the guilty and clears the innocent.Phase one requires forensic examination of companies’ and individuals’ incomes, expenditures, balance sheets and assets.

Reliable sources have told Arabian Business that this process began as far back as 2004, and have been ongoing ever since through the office of Dubai’s Criminal Investigation Department (CID).
Nobody has been given immunity or preferential treatment according to their status, although investigations were rightly conducted discreetly and privately so that companies and individuals were not damaged at a stage when the law requires everybody to be judged innocent until proven guilty.

Investigations have thrown up several high profile names, but this does not make any of them guilty.

It is the job of Dubai prosecution officials to work with CID to draw together evidence that can be presented to the court.

Even those arrested within the past few weeks must face trial to establish to the satisfaction of the court that they have committed crimes and must be punished.
This is the phase that we are about to enter, and it is vital that it is carried out with the rigour and professionalism that the CID and prosecutors have applied so far.Corporate corruption crimes are notoriously difficult to bring to trial.

You only have to look at the investigations into arms sales to Saudi Arabia, which date back over 20 years without any resolution in sight, to see how complex the issues can be.But just because these trials will be difficult, and the complexity of evidence could lead them to taking years rather than weeks of month, the Dubai courts should not cut corners on the way to justice.
They must also show the same steely nerve demonstrated by police and prosecutors in assembling evidence against high profile individuals working for government-owned businesses.

Justice must be blind to those that it presides over.

Inevitably, deals will be done to speed up the legal process. Even judges must sometimes be pragmatic, and accept plea bargains that spare the court thousands of hours of torturous testimony in return for immediate guilty pleas.

Prosecutors, defence lawyers and judges should work together on these concessions.

This is dangerous territory.

Pragmatism is an acceptable part of justice, but it must not be used as a cover for capitulation.It is part of a defence lawyer’s toolkit to create as much complexity as possible on behalf of his clients – to make it look like a trial could be a massively expensive waste of everybody’s time.

Nobody yet knows which of the current crop of high profile defendants are innocent or guilty, and nobody should be hungry for instant justice. It would be a travesty if this long-running investigation – which aims to stamp out corruption and leave

Dubai with a gleaming reputation for probity – were to stumble during its trial and sentencing phase.

The public must be patient, and allow the justice system to follow up the excellent work of police and prosecutors.

It may take years before justice is finally seen to have been done, but the work will serve as a foundation for governance that should then survive for centuries.

Posted in Dubai | Comments Off on Dubai – Blind justice – Real Estate – ArabianBusiness.com

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