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    Jo Hopworth on Justice For Natalie – Na…
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    Martin Kraeter on ACI Dubai Funds filed bankrupt…
    Independent Observer on Iranian’s lawsuit reveals roya…
    Rado on DubaiTouristen landen schnell…
    Dubai Citizen on Al Fajer Properties Case…
    Dane on Outlook in concrete- Dubai Wor…
    jamesl fayad on RERA Dubai – Dubai Prope…
    Jacques on Malika Karoum finally arrested…
    James Brown on ACI – Alternative Capita…
    Journalist on Al Fajer Properties-500 Invest…
    ron oakeley on ACI – Alternative Capita…
    Benson Fu on Shahram Zadeh against Al Fajer…
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    • Criminal Complaint filed against Al Fajer Properties Sheikh Maktoum
      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 December 20th, 2008

The interview mysteriously disappeared from Arabian Business December 13 2008

Posted by 7starsdubai on December 20, 2008


found in a comment:

http://www.revu.nl/12737 and http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?p=29679964

Interwiew can be read here:

http://fraudconstructions.wordpress.com/about/

 

Taking over Niki Lauda
by Jamie Stewart

Saturday, 13 December 2008

 

The Niki Lauda Twin Towers project in Business Bay has run into problems that have resulted in claims and counter-claims from developers
ACI Real Estate and Define Properties, The Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA), and anxious investors. With Define Properties unavailable for
response despite repeated attempts to get in touch, ACI projects director Joerg Grunwald talks about the future of the project to Jamie Stewart in an exclusive interview.

Can you make clear the roles of ACI and Define Properties with regard to the Niki Lauda project?It’s a development from Define Properties. ACI had bought the entire project – the land – and sold it. The responsibility for construction lied on Define. But we saw that Define was struggling in the process of doing the construction and the site had been idle for more than two months. This is what concerned us and our investors. They wanted to know the situation. Until now we have had to refer back to Define as they were the developers but now we have been forced to involve ourselves more.

 

There’s a completely new reorganisation taking place as we speak. Define will be in combination with ACI together. ACI will be the vendor, and will be involved in the construction and the development itself.

What was the nature of the problems that Define ran into?

Financial problems. They could no longer afford to pay contractors.

When did you realise Define was in trouble?

It became clear two weeks ago. That’s when we decided to take action.

So what is the current construction status of the project?

In the previous plans the foundation used a traditional piling system which has now been changed to a raft foundation. Define has produced a third party survey as is obligatory for the approvals for a raft foundation. That has been done and the results were positive so a raft foundation will take place in due course.

ACI has identified the construction company for the same (to be named in mid-December) which will also do not only the construction but also the raft. The contracts will be signed in due course. Mid-December will be very exciting for us and also for our investors.

International Foundation Group (IFG) says it is owed US $680,000 (AED2.5 million). Will ACI or Define be paying this?

That and all open invoices that have been accrued over the last month will be settled either through Define or ACI or a newly formed company which I cannot disclose details of as yet.

Will this new company be a joint venture between yourselves and Define?

Most probably yes.

Investors have expressed concern about the whereabouts of monies paid to date. Is the money being held in an ESCROW account in line with RERA Law 8 2007 (concerning guarantee accounts of real estate developments in Dubai)?

Yes.

100% of it?

One hundred percent of our obligations for the entire building of Nikki Lauda is. That is clearly in our existing contract with Define Properties with the approvals from RERA with the certain conditions of this contract also fully approved by RERA. So the investor’s money is safe in the ESCROW accounts.

To reiterate, 100% of it?

I cannot comment on how many funds have fully gone to the ESCROW accounts. I believe some percentages were taken out for advertisement, for admin and as such but all that goes along with the regulations of RERA law no 8.

RERA Law 8 says that the money has to be used to pay the construction costs, such as the money owed to IFG. So if the money is there, why can’t IFG be paid out of that account?

This is a subject that we must clear up. Why have they not been paid? Money has been paid into the ESCROW account from our side. This is clearly recoverable. Why they have not been paid so far is under investigation but nevertheless, whatever it takes, all debts to third parties within the field of the construction will be paid off in full.

A lawyer representing the investors has said there is a clause in the contract between ACI and Define that says ACI is entitled to 40% of all investor’s money and that Define retains the other 60%, and that ACI have a letter from RERA which confirms and allows this agreement, and allows it to withdraw its premium at any time. Is that accurate?

Yes that is correct. Whatever contractual terms we agreed on with Define have all been approved by RERA.

Is this agreement in violation of RERA Law 8 2007?

RERA’s Law 8 has been changed various times over the last month. With amendments, new clauses and so forth. We just took advantage of the possibilities of a contract that we entered with Define Properties which are in line with the regulations.

Have the regulations changed since you signed the contract?

In various aspects yes. With the retention of monies; with the amount of monies to be withdrawn from the ESCROW account for certain purposes; and others with the termination clauses and so forth. Many times. But we are always in line with those.

But whatever it takes and whatever clauses are to be obeyed and followed we saw that the construction stalled and this is not acceptable for us because it is our reputation. Our name and our brand stands behind it. We take it seriously and that is the reason why we have now initiated this transition of Define Properties in combination with ACI to continue the construction immediately.

Did ACI and Define approach RERA to have this share clause put into the contract?

Frankly speaking the percentages of what has been withdrawn or was legally allowed to be withdrawn I cannot comment on. I am not in the finance department – I am director of projects and my concern is to keep things going.

Will ACI cancel any projects?

No.

Have you taken over all of Define’s projects, such as Define Essence?

That will be revealed in a press release in mid-December.

Can you estimate the new construction timetable for Niki Lauda Twin Towers?

As a rough calculation, raft foundations will commence very soon and take about four months, then basements and super construction will take around 15 months. So 19 months in total. Detailed figures will be given once we have signed the contracts with the new company.

Do you have a message for those who have invested in the Niki Lauda Twin Towers?

We are doing our best to raise the trust and confidence of our investors despite these difficult times. We see massive lay offs from other developers, other mergers, and so forth. We are propagating confidence and we will show that we fulfill and deliver what we promise.

We have not been able to get in touch with Define Properties. Have all the staff been told to go home until this has cleared up?

Yes that is true. Rest assured that things will commence in a professional way now. We will do our best to safeguard the interests of other Define clients as well. From those Define projects which are proceeding and where sales have already commenced and clients are to be honoured with their contracts we will also honour that. Later this month – the picture will be clear

Posted in Dubai | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Internet Cut December 19, 2008

Posted by 7starsdubai on December 20, 2008


Internet cut a ‘rare’ occurrence – The National Newspaper

Last Updated: December 20. 2008 4:10PM UAE / December 20. 2008 12:10PM GMT

Internet connections have slowed to a crawl across the Middle East after the three main fibre-optic communications lines connecting the region to Europe were severed on Friday.
A similar incident in January was blamed on ships dragging their anchors along the sea floor during a storm. No explanation has yet been given for how the three cables, which run from Egypt to Europe, were cut this time.

For three cables to all be cut simultaneously like this is pretty unlikely, it is certainly a rare event,” said Alan Mauldin, the research director for TeleGeography, a research group specialising in the global communications system. “For this kind of event to happen twice in one year is crazy.”

The UAE’s two telecommunications companies have responded to the cuts by redirecting traffic eastward, using connections to East Asia to make up for the lost capacity. But internet users still complained of slow, unreliable connections.

France Telecom said its marine cable division would repair the damaged lines, but warned that service would not be back to normal until December 31. Finding the severed cables will be a primary challenge for the repair boat, which will reach the area within days. Although the precise location the cables is known, their severed ends are likely to have moved significantly following the cut. These ends, little thicker than a garden hose, are now flailing across hundreds of square kilometres of sea floor, and will need to be located by remote-controlled submarines.

France Telecom released estimates showing the UAE has lost almost 70 per cent of its traffic capacity, while Qatar and Saudi Arabia were also down by more than 50 per cent.

The island nation of the Maldives is in total blackout, while India, home to a call centre and outsourcing industry that is dependent on international communications, has lost 80 per cent of its international connections.

Cable operators and telecommunications companies have responded swiftly to the cuts, using knowledge gained from the almost identical situation that occurred in late January. Then, cables were severed off the coast of both Egypt and the UAE, leading to major communications disruptions for more than a week.

Connections between Europe and Asia are being redirected through the US, while Middle Eastern operators are sending their Europe-bound traffic around the globe, first to East Asia, across the Pacific Ocean to the US and then across the Atlantic Ocean to Europe.

The three cables that were severed lie hundreds of kilometres apart, meaning it is unlikely that a single ship could have damaged all three. Mr Mauldin said a simultaneous cut would more likely be caused by an undersea earthquake or landslide.

Hundreds of cable cuts happen each year around the world, but few lead to internet and telephone disruptions for end users. While scores of undersea cables connect the continents of Europe and North America, just a handful link the Middle East to the outside world. The small number of backup options mean freak occurrences like Friday’s cut have a disproportionate impact. “If there were other cable options,” Mr Mauldin said, “you wouldn’t even be hearing about these problems.”

A host of new cables linking the Middle East to Europe and Asia are currently being developed. A 15,000 kilometre cable connecting the UK to India will stop off in Fujairah, with the telecommunications company du contributing US$50 million (Dh183m) to its $700 million construction price. The Egyptian companies Telecom Egypt and Orascom Telecom are both investing in new links between Egypt and Europe, with Orascom’s new line to run through to Saudi Arabia. Etisalat is part of a $400 million cable project that will link India to the Middle East and Africa.
tgara@thenational.ae

Posted in Dubai | Comments Off on Internet Cut December 19, 2008

UAE Dubai Property bargains fail to sell

Posted by 7starsdubai on December 20, 2008


Property bargains fail to sell – The National Newspaper

A Dubai-based estate agent slashed millions of dirhams from the value of homes in a 12-hour sell-off, but not one of the properties changed hands.

Last week, the Marina franchise of the international estate agency Engel and Volkers held what it called “the largest discounted sale of completed properties in Dubai” to breathe some life into its local business. But the result was a sign of just how far the property market has reversed since the summer.

More than 150 homes in some of Dubai’s most exclusive addresses, including Emirates Hills, The Marina and the Palm Jumeirah, had a combined Dh175 million (US$48m) knocked off their original listing prices. The company said it made contact with dozens of potential clients, many of whom indicated they would attend similar sell-offs in the future, but failed to sell any properties during the event.

“It was unfortunate, but it proves just how tough the market is at the moment. A lot of people were scared that prices would drop more,” said Harriet Killen, the office manager of Engel and Volkers’s Marina office, who added that December was traditionally a weak sales month since many residents left the country on holiday.The situation was in stark contrast to scenes at this summer’s Abu Dhabi Cityscape Exhibition, when hundreds of investors queued for hours in the hope of putting their names down for properties.
“The market has been slow recently so we had to be active in generating some direct sales and some urgency,” said Ms Killen.The company had urged sellers to drop their prices for a day to stimulate interest among potential buyers, knocking off between Dh500,000 and Dh1m from the prices of many properties.A large number of the current owners of the discounted properties are making payments on assets that are sinking in value.

Many in their position have sold their homes to ease cash flow problems or to re-invest in other markets. Most have already witnessed a huge appreciation in their homes since they first bought them and are generally content to take a hit on their margins. During the event last Saturday, prospective buyers were invited to a 12-hour sell-off starting at 9.30am in which the public could meet the company’s sales and leasing agents. A local mortgage company was also on hand to arrange financing for potential clients.
Obtaining a mortgage is another stumbling block for would-be buyers. Banks and finance houses have tightened their lending criteria as the worldwide credit crisis deepens. One lender, Amlak, has suspended new loan applications and others are demanding larger deposits.Estate agents have said the shifting property market might have a positive effect, “cleansing” the business and raising standards in the industry.

There have already been hundreds of redundancies among brokerages and property developers, in some cases predominately support staff.Quaid Abbas, an executive property consultant at the Sheikh Zayed Road branch of Engel and Volkers, described a typical discounted property as a villa in Arabian Ranches that sold initially for Dh2.5m, reached Dh7m as the market gained, and advertised for Dh6m in today’s market.

“We’re getting more listings than buyers. More people are selling than buying. Buyers are looking for a very good bargain and we cannot always meet their expectations. In their minds they want to buy at less than half of what it was.”rditcham@thenational.ae

Posted in Dubai | Comments Off on UAE Dubai Property bargains fail to sell

 
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