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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 30th, 2008

No Fireworks – No New Years Celebration in Dubai -Sheikh Mohammed ordered the cancellation off all New Year Celebrations

Posted by 7starsdubai on December 30, 2008


Dubai:

His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has ordered the cancellation of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has ordered the cancellation of all New Year celebrations on Wednesday  as an act of solidarity with the Palestinian people.

In support of the Palestinians in Gaza, who are enduring all kinds of killing, destruction and displacement by the Israeli military machinery, Shaikh Mohammad instructed all concerned authorities in Dubai to put this order in place and take necessary procedures to circulate the decision to all concerned parties.

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Dubai Hotel occupany falls 25%

Posted by 7starsdubai on December 30, 2008


http://www.thenational.ae/article/20081229/BUSINESS/942274954/1005

Hotel occupancy rates in Dubai have fallen by as much as 25 per cent this month, prompting a bout of heavy discounts.

Many middle-market hotels and those that rely on business visitors are experiencing occupancy rates of 70 per cent, down from the high 90s in December last year.
“The extended honeymoon is over,” said Habib Khan, the chief executive of Planet Group, which owns and manages three mid-level hotels in Dubai. “The group’s hotels have been experiencing a 20 to 25 per cent drop in occupancy rates for the month of December.”

Mr Khan said hotel rates had been reduced to try to stimulate business. “We no longer charge supplement charges, which was the case last year. Rates have been reduced by about Dh100 (US$27.22) a night, bringing the final price of a mid-rage hotel to about Dh500 a night.”

Last week, the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) urged hotels to reduce their rates by up to 60 per cent and to give a 40 per cent discount on contracted rates for corporate clients.

In return, the DTCM will try to generate business for the participating hotels in its promotion for the Dubai Shopping Festival, which will be held between Jan 10 and Feb 15. “It is not an obligation for all hotels. Those who participate in DTCM’s promotion will have a chance of getting some business, which is hard to come by for most hotels in Dubai,” said Syed Zahid Hussain, the general manager at the Princess Hotel, a three-star property.

Mr Khan said his company would not take part in the DTCM programme. “Business is still not that bad for us and I don’t want to dilute my rates even further,” he said.

Four and five-star town hotels have been affected most by the drop in the number of tourists.

Beach-front hotels are maintaining higher occupancy levels because most holiday packages were sold earlier this year before the economic slowdown took hold. Read the rest of this entry »

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Investors stuck in cul-de-sac

Posted by 7starsdubai on December 30, 2008


http://www.thenational.ae/article/20081229/BUSINESS/331136343/1137

Last Updated: December 29. 2008 7:24PM UAE.

Restrictions on bank lending have slowed property transactions and sent prices downwards, creating a market of cash-strapped investors with money clogged up in property.

There was a time when sales agents, flush with business from the off-plan sector, had no trouble shifting property that was yet to be built. But with buyers now scarce, their books are filled instead with hundreds of properties that buyers can no longer afford.
Today, thousands of investors, from professional speculators to those simply wanting a home in which to live, are left trying to find a way out of contracts they have signed.
But developers with a commitment to building hundreds of apartments are not making it easy for them.

A regulation issued by the Dubai Land Department last month required that off-plan buyers who wanted to stop their payments must cancel their contract and forfeit 30 per cent of the total value of the property, which has made it harder for buyers to walk away unscathed from deals.

“People are struggling massively to get out of contracts and get as much money back as they can without paying any more. But still, if a developer has to sell 300 units and suddenly half the buyers pull out, even though it can get the units back, they’re still unsaleable,” said Martin Nield, the founder of Property People, a Dubai-based sales agency which has about 700 off-plan properties on its books.

The reasons why people have tied up their money in property vary widely. There are the professional speculators, who presumably came to the market with enough financial backing to withstand losses. Or there are those who liked making money out of property, but who could not really afford the downside when market forces became unfavourable.

Many of these buyers started small, according to Mr Nield.
“They would buy a couple of homes and make maybe Dh1.5 million (US$408,000) out of them, then buy a couple more and make another Dh1.5m, but would then get greedy and buy an entire floor of apartments.”

Mr Nield cites one couple who, having previously flipped property within months and made a small fortune, bought a floor of apartments.

The couple, from the UK, has now paid 20 per cent towards about Dh3.4m in properties. But they failed to meet the deadline for their third instalment earlier this month and now stand to lose everything. If they do not pay, their contracts will be cancelled, with no money returned.

“Even if you beg, steal and borrow from family and friends, you might be able to scrape the money together, but what happens when the next instalment comes?” said Mr Nield.

There are also people now striving to get out of contracts for property where construction has either been slow or has not even started.
Many have ploughed their life savings into off-plan property to avoid soaring rents and to live in their own home.

Setbacks have plagued developers in Dubai, even before the global financial crisis hit last summer.

Take Dubai Lagoons, a residential project by Schon Properties, which launched in 2005. The 48-building development, planned to be for “affordable housing”, underwent a redesign. By the time construction began late last year, construction costs had risen so much that the contractor could no longer afford to build inside the original budget, leading the company to walk off the site in May this year. Read the rest of this entry »

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Gulf stock investors lose $450 billion so far this year

Posted by 7starsdubai on December 30, 2008


http://www.business24-7.ae/Articles/2008/12/Pages/12292008_3ba5500a021641dbaeedcb00fdd451d2.aspx

Equity investors in the oil-rich Gulf are about to bid farewell to the worst year in the region’s bourse history, poorer by more than $450 billion (Dh1.65 trillion) after accumulating a massive wealth from share profits of nearly $359bn in 2007.

The staggering loss this year was in defiance of all market fundamentals as the bulk of companies listed on the seven stock exchanges in the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) achieved higher profits and the economies of the 27-year-old Gulf alliance raced at their highest rate of more than 30 per cent.

Officials and analysts in the region have cited fear from the global economic crisis and other factors for the collapse this year although the seven bourses had sharply grown in the first five months before they began their free fall just after news of the demise of the US Lehman Brothers bank in mid-September.

After reaping a staggering $359bn in 2007, GCC equity investors saw all their wealth evaporate by the end of October. As 2008 approaches its end, their losses far surpassed their 2007 profits although experts call them paper loss.

From around $1trn at the start of 2008, the market capitalisation of the GCC stock exchanges dived to around $602.05bn, a decline of $450.95bn, according to figures by the Abu Dhabi-based Arab Monetary Fund (AMF), a key Arab League financial body that tracks the Arab world’s 15 bourses.

All the seven bourses recorded large declines but the loss was more underscored in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Dubai and Abu Dhabi as they accounted for more than 90 per cent of the total GCC market capitalisation loss. Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul, by far the largest and busiest bourse in the Middle East, tumbled to around $241bn on December 25 from $456bn on January 1.

Kuwait dived to $126bn from $206bn, while Dubai and Abu Dhabi plunged to $64bn from $130bn and to $60bn from $113bn, respectively. Qatar’s fall was milder as it receded to $74bn from $98bn, while Oman fell to $15bn from $23bn and Bahrain to $20bn from $27bn.

The decline in the seven bourses through 2008 means the average daily loss was around $1.5bn calculated by 300 days of trading sessions. The daily loss was much higher in the past two months, when it exceeded $5bn.

The report showed the AMF’s index for the GCC bourses has dropped sharply since the beginning of the year despite its increase in the first four months.

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