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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 29th, 2009

Corruption cases mushroom as Dubai bubble bursts

Posted by 7starsdubai on March 29, 2009


source

DUBAI (AFP) — Faced with a sudden economic slowdown, Dubai is trying to combat the fraud cases that surged during the past years of rapid economic growth in a bid to boost its status as a regional business hub.

But the clean-up drive has stirred controversy as several former executives of major firms, suspected of embezzling sums which total hundreds of millions of dollars, have been held for months without charge.

The economic boom of the past several years appears to be the main culprit.

“It was a boom market. Everybody gets greedy and you have corruption,” economist Eckart Woertz of Dubai-based Gulf Research Centre told AFP. “You have the opportunity to cash in some bribes, and you do it.”

The economy of Dubai, which is part of the oil-rich United Arab Emirates, had been growing at a breakneck speed.

The main engine has been the real estate sector, after foreigners were allowed to own freehold property in 2002, while oil prices shot up last year to unprecedented records, creating a massive cash surplus in the region.

But the global financial crisis threw the spanner in the works of Dubai’s economy, as a liquidity shortage and weak confidence applied the brakes on growth in the realty sector.

Most of the recorded and alleged corruption cases are linked to this sector.

Earlier this month, seven men appeared in court in two trials against former business executives charged with demanding bribes — the first corruption trials since the fraud cases surfaced last year.

One case involves four former executives from Sama Dubai, a property developer belonging to the vast Dubai Holding conglomerate, and an executive from Damac Properties.

The other case embroils two former sales executives at the government-controlled giant property developer Nakheel, according to press reports.

Bribes in the case of Sama Dubai executives amounted to 8.35 million dirhams (2.28 million dollars), while they amounted to 5.14 million dirhams (1.4 million dollars) in the Nakheel case.

Nakheel, contacted by AFP, declined to comment on the case.

In February, police reportedly arrested three other senior managers at Nakheel — the company which shot to world fame for its projects to develop three palm-shaped islands and a world map-shaped cluster of islands off Dubai.

The longest-serving top executive in police custody is former Deyaar chief  executive, Zack Shahin, an American of Lebanese origin, who has been held since March 2008 without formal charges.

Dubai’s prosecution charged in late February that Shahin and other suspects had embezzled more than 98 million dirhams (27 million dollars).

An Internet website called “Save Zack Shahin” says the man has been tortured in custody and it has posted photos of him in hospital.

But the largest corruption case appears to be an alleged scheme to defraud the Dubai Islamic Bank of 501 million dollars, over which seven persons have been charged, according to court documents.

Two of the suspects are still at large.

The alleged fraud was committed between 2004 and 2007 and involved two former DIB executives and five businessmen linked to a trade finance company and a real estate project in Dubai.

Meanwhile, the Dubai prosecutor’s office has issued an arrest warrant against a top executive of Dynasty Zarooni, according to a local daily.

Al-Shaali law firm, which is acting on behalf of investors in Dynasty Zarooni projects, told AFP it has lodged complaints worth a total of nearly 82 million dollars.

The clampdown has rocked the business environment in the emirate.

But “it is to their credit that the (Dubai) authorities have decided to forcefully attack this problem, despite any negative publicity,” said Ali Shihabi, CEO of Rasmala investment bank.

“The traditional Arab approach is to sweep such issues under the covers or ignore them completely … These actions against corruption will strengthen the quality of the business environment in Dubai,” he said.

Some UAE newspapers have been active in reporting corruption cases.

But the freedom to cover the cases could be curtailed by a proposed media law which would penalise the press for publishing “misleading news that could harm the national economy” in the Emirates.

“I would seriously advise them against it (passing the law) … It won’t achieve the aim of impeding negative reporting… You will have blogs,” said Woertz of the research centre.

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Property Investors take heart from Dubai court ruling – but ..Courts in Dubai are not bound by precedent or previous decisions

Posted by 7starsdubai on March 29, 2009


source The National

The Dubai Property Court is emerging as a champion of the small investor following its inaugural ruling last week, lawyers say.

On Monday, the Property Court ruled that Mizin, a development arm of the government-owned investment company Tatweer, had to pay back Dh7.4 million (US$2m) and 9 per cent interest to an investor because Mizin did not register the transaction with the Dubai Land Department within 60 days under a new law.

The ruling has triggered discussion among investors and lawyers who believe the court is planning to take a literal interpretation of laws relating to the property sector, which could mean many investors getting their money back.

“My phone has been ringing off the hook,” said Jonathon Davidson, the managing partner of MAC Davidson and Associates in Dubai. “The result of this is that the clients who were sitting on the fence or who didn’t have faith that the Property Court would provide closure are now taking an entirely different view. They want to file cases.”

Read the rest of this entry »

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Tamweel Dubai chief wants urgent property aid

Posted by 7starsdubai on March 29, 2009


source The National

The Government must urgently add liquidity to limit the drop in property prices and revive the economy, the chairman of Tamweel, the country’s second-argest home finance provider, said yesterday.

The fall in property prices is bringing “huge losses” to investors in the country, Sheikh Khaled bin Zayed said.

“Unless we bring in financing for the real estate sector, I do not think the economy can be revived,” Sheikh Khaled said on the sidelines of a Dubai Economic Council conference.

“The Government has to intervene and provide funding for banks to come back and lend.” Read the rest of this entry »

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