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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 March 2nd, 2009

UAE media law – Regulatin gloomy reporting

Posted by 7starsdubai on March 2, 2009


original published AlArabiya

A UAE draft media law could give authorities wider powers to regulate increasingly gloomy economic reporting after years of basking in coverage of hyper-growth and glitterati just as dazzling and gossip-worthy as Hollywood’s.

The final version of the proposed law still requires presidential approval, but journalist groups have made pre-emptive strikes – accusing officials of trying to muzzle the press and force news outlets to become part of the country’s image-building machine. Government officials insist the draft law is in “no way a response” to the economic turmoil and work on it began during the boom times two years ago. “It’s merely a coincidence that the legislation has reached the stage of review … when our economy, like that of every country, is facing complex problems,” said Ibrahim al-Abed, the director of the National Media Council, as reported by the Kuwait Times.

The new draft media law, passed by national lawmakers in January, can impose fines up to about $136,000 for “carrying misleading news that harms the national economy” and for “deliberately publishing false news.” It also includes fines of about $272,000 for “insulting” members of the ruling elite. “The new law has no reference to imprisonment,” al-Abed explained. He said it also protects reporters against revealing their sources and obligates ministries to disclose information.

“Dubai has an economic threat going on,” Timothy Walters, head of the journalism and mass communications department at the American University of Sharjah, said in the report published by the Kuwaiti English daily. “When a society feels threatened, people who manage it try to regulate the media because they know media has the power to change.” Nearly all Mideast countries pose challenges for local coverage of sensitive topics such as the rulers’ private lives or political dissent.

It’s merely a coincidence that the legislation has reached the stage of review … when our economy, like that of every country, is facing complex problems
Ibrahim al-Abed, the director of the National Media Council

The proposed law has already sent a chill through some local media, which have typically avoided stories that could anger ruling officials. But they now face a newsroom dilemma. The economic troubles are often the main story in the Emirates.

We reject this law,” said Mohammed Youssef, the director of the UAE Journalists Association. “It has more restrictions than it is necessary.” Youssef said journalists were puzzled by the vague wording of offenses such as “false news” and misleading information on the economy. “You could interpret every news item as misleading … particularly since the economic indicators are unpredictable,” Youssef said in the report published by the Kuwait Times.

But some Emirati journalists favor the law, saying it protects their industry. “It’s not to stop bad news,” said Abdullatif al-Sayegh, who heads the Arab Media Group, a Dubai-based media conglomerate. It is, however, to prevent journalists “digging for bad news,” he said. “The law is to protect the media community and only those who don’t have the ABCs of the business are worried,” said al-Sayegh.

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Dubai Formular1 theme parke maybe candelled

Posted by 7starsdubai on March 2, 2009


original published Arabian Business

Dubai’s third-largest property firm may cancel a proposed Formula 1 theme park if it fails to receive government cash or tap debt markets soon, despite expecting to return to profit in the first quarter.

Union Properties Chief Executive Simon Azzam told Reuters in a telephone interview that the theme park, part of a multi-billion dollar MotorCity project in Dubai, was the company’s main short-term challenge. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Dubai | Comments Off on Dubai Formular1 theme parke maybe candelled

13 Australians under arrest in Dubai

Posted by 7starsdubai on March 2, 2009


THREE property industry high-flyers, including the senior agent of a company part-owned by James Packer, are among 13 Australians under arrest in Dubai as its supposed property miracle has succumbed to the global financial crisis.

Legal sources in Dubai have confirmed that among those in jail or in effect under house arrest over property-related bribery allegations are:

■ David Brown, architect and the middle eastern head of the Sunland Group, a Queensland development company which is part-owned by Mr Packer. Mr Brown has been interrogated at least eight times and has had his passport confiscated in relation to a bribery investigation.

■ Marcus Lee, until recently a senior executive with the Dubai Government-controlled Nakheel development company. He is a former executive with the local property companies Jones Lang LaSalle and Investa. Mr Lee is in jail, without charge, and is facing investigation over alleged bribery.

■ Mr Lee’s Nakheel colleague Matthew Joyce, former managing director of the Dubai Waterfront project, is also in jail without charge over alleged bribery.

Until now, only the arrests of Mr Joyce and an unnamed colleague had been made public.

The three executives are of particular concern to lawyers and the Australian embassy because of the seriousness of the allegations and the uncertainty of their future. United Arab Emirates law allows suspects to be held indefinitely without charge.

It is understood the bribery allegations involve millions of dollars in consultancy payments by Sunland to Nakheel and a third party over a waterfront property purchase. Nakheel is one of four development companies linked to the Dubai Government and its ruler, Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum.

Mr Lee and Mr Joyce have been held in solitary confinement since January 25. They have been allowed only limited access to lawyers and family.

Mr Joyce’s and Mr Lee’s Melbourne lawyer, Martin Amad, refused to identify Mr Lee by name or discuss details of the cases. But he said he was anxious for both men as they enter their second month in custody without charge.

“We’re concerned for the welfare of the accused in custody where they’ve been kept in solitary confinement,” he said. “Their physical and mental health has deteriorated. We are becoming increasingly frustrated at the time it seems to be taking for the prosecution authorities to investigate the matter.”

Commenting on the 13 Australians under arrest in Dubai, a Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade spokesman said: “The United Arab Emirates legal system is different to the Australian legal system. People who are under investigation can be held in detention for long periods of time without bail.”

Some fear people are being made scapegoats. “There is a lot of face-saving to be done,” said one Melbourne property player well versed in business in Dubai.

“The sheik can never be responsible, so somebody else has to be.”

Sunland’s managing director in Australia, Sahba Abedian, confirmed Mr Brown had been interviewed by police but insisted his company was not “implicated in the investigation”.

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