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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 October, 2009

Dubai Properties Chairman arrested on suspection of embezzlement

Posted by 7starsdubai on October 31, 2009


source Bloomberg October 30 2009

Oct. 30 (Bloomberg) — Hashim Al Dabal, chairman of Dubai Properties LLC has been arrested on suspicion of embezzlement at the state-owned company that’s in merger talks with Emaar Properties PJSC, the emirate’s attorney general said.

“Mr. Al Dabal is accused of abusing his position and earning millions in illegal profit,” Attorney General Essam Essa al-Humaidan said in a phone interview today. “We are questioning him almost daily and Mr. Al Dabal indicated he is ready to answer questions without having a lawyer present.”

more….

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Dubai`s off-plan buyers cash at high risk – Delayed Projects axed

Posted by 7starsdubai on October 29, 2009


source  MaktoobBusiness

DUBAI – Many real estate projects claimed to be on hold due to the collapse of the UAE’s property market have actually been cancelled, but developers do not want to admit this because then they will have to return investors’ money, industry observers say.

Observers also question some developers’ ability to repay investors when projects are finally cancelled, with the prospect of buyers losing millions of dollars.

“In the 18 months before the downturn a number of projects were announced that were not financially viable and therefore unlikely to see completion,” said Tahir Akhtar, chairman of Dubai Business Advisors, who has invested in projects across the UAE.

“Developers do not want to admit this because then they will have to return the funds.”

Billions of dollars worth of developments were launched during the UAE’s real estate boom, which had seen property prices close to double by mid-2008 from the start of 2007.

The boom was driven by speculation and easy credit, with developers funding the construction of projects through off-plan sales.

When the global financial crisis gripped the country’s real estate market prices plummeted as financing and demand dried up, leaving developers unable to fund construction.

UNDER REVIEW

Many developers have put projects on hold or have said they are reviewing projects, but few have come out and outright cancelled projects.

“If they (developers) say it’s cancelled they will have to repay the money to clients. Probably for that reason they are saying it is still on hold,” said Charles Neil, CEO of property consulting firm Landmark Advisory.

Michael Shvo, a well-known luxury real estate marketer from New York, said a developer told him privately a project that is “officially” delayed is actually cancelled, declining to name the developer.
 
“A developer told me that officially the project is on hold, but it is actually cancelled,” Shvo told a conference at Cityscape Dubai earlier this month, prompting him to call for greater transparency.

The number of real estate projects cancelled or on hold stood at around $408 billion in September, up 18 percent from $346 billion in April, according to the Kuwait Financial Centre.

The Centre, also known as Markaz, said it expects cancellations to rise further in Dubai due to the continued lack of financing and uncertain economic outlook.

UAE real estate regulations vary from emirate to emirate, but currently there are no laws governing how long a project can be on hold before a developer must refund investors’ money.

In Dubai, the UAE’s most developed real estate market, authorities are in the process assessing which projects are unviable and should be cancelled, with the findings due out before the end of the year, according to the Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA)

Developers are not allowed to cancel projects in Dubai without the approval of RERA and the Dubai Land Department, RERA said, adding that if a developer does get approval to cancel a project it would have to reimburse investors. 

“It will vary from project to project as which ones will go ahead. Some will end up with half-completed buildings and some may not start (at all),” Landmark’s Neil said.

INVESTOR CONCERN

Investors have become increasingly vocal in voicing their concerns about delayed projects, calling on developers to transfer their investment to another project or refund their money.

Larger companies such as Emaar Properties and Nakheel have set up schemes that allow buyers to swap their investments between projects, but smaller developers lack the project portfolio to offer an alternative, analysts say, leaving investors at risk of losing their money.

Dubai Business Advisors’ Akhtar said a group of investors he belonged to stood to lose around 150 million dirhams ($40.8 million) from projects in the UAE emirate of Ajman that now look like they may not go ahead.

“Not a lot has been done to protect investors,” he said.

Dubai brought an escrow account law into force in mid-2007 in an effort to better protect investors – requiring developers to hold buyers’ money in a special bank account until the completion of a project – but many projects had been launched prior to the law, and other emirates were even later in introducing similar regulations.

“Most projects that fall under the escrow provisions of RERA have an established level of comfort and protection. Those projects that are not covered by escrow are a different situation,” said Blair Hagkull, regional managing director of Jones Lang LaSalle.

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10 year old Emirati Boy 100 % owner of ACI Real Estate LLC Dubai ?

Posted by 7starsdubai on October 26, 2009


original source ExtremNews

Jungunternehmer Robin Lohmann (34) aus Gütersloh (Nordrhein-Westfalen) wurde im eigenen Hause von einem zehnjährigen Jungen als jüngster Chef getoppt.

Mohammad Ahmad Thani Obdaid Thani Al-Muhairi
ist erst zehn Jahre alt und schon Boss zweier ACI-Firmen in Dubai: der ACI Real Estate LLC und des ACI Investment Project LLC. Robin Lohman ist dort sein Manager.

Das fand GoMoPa-Korrespondent Martin Kraeter (www.gomopa.net) zusammen mit Rechtsanwalt Hartmut Göddecke bei Recherchen im Departement of Economic Development (DED) in Dubai heraus, wo die genauen Firmenstrukturen des deutschen Fondsanbieters Alternative Capital Investment (ACI) aus Gütersloh eingetragen sind.

Damit sitzt also ein Zehnjähriger auf 300 Millionen Fondsgeldern, die deutsche, österreichische und schweizerische Anleger der ACI zum Bau von Türmen anvertrauten – die sogar von Boris Becker, Michael Schumacher und Niki Lauda beworben wurden. Die Projekte sind pleite, das Geld der Anleger wohl verschwunden.

Die ACI Real Estate LLC und die ACI Investment Project LLC gehören zu 100 Prozent dem zehnjährigen Moammad und seinem Vater, Ahmad Thani Obaid Thani Al-Muhairi (41).

Aber auch die beiden anderen ACI-Firmen in Dubai, die ACI General Trading Co LLC und ACI Consultancy, sind fest in der Hand eines einheimischen Besitzers: des Emiratis Ahmad Nasrulla Ismail Al-Ahmadi (57).

Al-Ahmadi besitzt aber nicht nur zwei ACI-Firmen als Mehrheitsgesellschafter beziehungsweise nationaler Agent, ihm gehört auch die YAMA International Commercial Broker LLC. Das ist die Firma, die alle ACI-Investmentobjekte im Dezember 2008 für 50 Millionen Euro offiziell gekauft hatte und dann nicht zahlen konnte. Weshalb die Anleger seit März 2009 in Deutschland vergeblich auf die versprochene Auszahlung von 50 Millionen Euro warten.

Die Lizenz der Yama war beim Verkauf schon ein Jahr abgelaufen

Die YAMA International Commercial Broker LLC wurde am 16. Oktober 1999 zum Handel mit Geschenken, Spielzeug, Kohle und Feuerholz gegründet. Die Firmenlizenz war aber bereits am 15. Oktober 2008 abgelaufen und wurde nicht verlängert. Der Verkauf fand also an eine Firma statt, die es zumindest von der VAE-Gewerbeerlaubnis her gar nicht mehr gab.

Und der Besitzer dieser Scheinfirma YAMA ist zugleich Mehrheits-Besitzer und nationaler Agent der beiden ACI-Firmen ACI General Trading Co LLC und ACI Consultancy. Die YAMA und die ACI Consultancy hatten sogar dieselbe Postfachnummer.
more….

official ACI Real Estate LLC Licence Details  ( expire of the Licence 20.September 2009)

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Test Case for RERA Dubai – Investors file case with RERA over Dubai project delays

Posted by 7starsdubai on October 24, 2009


source ArabianBusiness
 A group of around 30 investors has filed an official complaint at the Real Estate Regulatory Agency (Rera) over ongoing delays and specification changes at the Vue de Lac and Vista del Lago developments in Dubai.

Investors on the Al Attar project at Jumeirah Lake Towers accused the developer of unreasonable delays and changes being made to apartments without the consent of owners, Construction Week Online reported.

“We have been promised the project since then end of 2007. It was then pushed to 2008, then the end of 2008, and now he’s saying 2011 – which will never happen, because up to date they’ve only finished the piling,” investor Makram Mohamed told the website.

Many asserted that apartment specifications have changed so drastically that they no longer wish to purchase property in the project and want a full refund.

Investors are unhappy at what was described in a letter from Al Attar as “some small changes”, where two-bedroom apartments have been changed to one-bedroom ones.

Al Attar had revised the prices of the apartments in line with the reduction in apartment size, but investors said that they had bought two-bedroom apartments specifically and a smaller alternative was not acceptable.

“Because of the change of designation and all of this delay, we don’t want this property any more. The majority of people investing were buying to live in this property. Ninety per cent of our group wanted to live in this. Now they’ve changed the designation, we don’t need it. I bought a two-bedroom; you can’t give me a one-bed plus study,” said investor Shailendra Sainani.

“The majority of us need our money refunded and the costs absorbed. [Al Attar] needs to resell the project from the beginning.”

In addition to changes in designation, many investors are also concerned that delays to the project will result in a huge interest bill arising from finance agreements that can only be concluded following apartment handover.

Some investors took out finance agreements in 2006 under the impression that the project would be handed over in 2008. They are now facing the prospect of paying five years’ worth of interest on finance agreements, should the project be delivered according to a new completion date of 2011.

Some investors also query Al Attar’s ability to deliver the project on time.

“Can we still believe Al Attar can deliver in 2011, if they couldn’t even start construction in the last three years?” said one investor.

The group has filed a case with Rera because they say that Al Attar Properties is refusing to communicate with them except through a lawyer.

No-one from Al Attar was able to comment on the case or development.

The case has now been filed with Rera, who said a decision on the steps it would take would be forthcoming in the next few days.

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UAE collect DNA from all Residents – DNA database set to start in a year

Posted by 7starsdubai on October 24, 2009


source The National

The UAE aims to start collecting genetic samples from residents within 12 months as part of its controversial DNA database project, the programme’s director said yesterday, making it the first country in the world to do so.

Dr Ahmed al Marzooqi, the director of the National DNA Database, also said the order for millions of people to allow lab technicians to collect samples of their DNA by swabbing their cheeks would probably be given as a security directive and not require the passage of new legislation.

“The first step is to set up the infrastructure and hire the lab technicians,” he said in an interview with The National.

“This should take us approximately one year.”

Then, he said, the UAE would start collecting DNA samples from the general public, beginning with juveniles.

“The aim is to eventually have a profile of the entire population,” said Dr Marzooqi, who is also the chairman of the DNA Working Group, made up of various police forces across the Emirates.

“Our goal is to sample one million per year, which could take as long as 10 years if you factor in the population growth.”

Some officials have suggested that the DNA programme may require new legislation, which would then need to be considered by the Federal National Council.

But Dr al Marzooqi said this might not be the case.

“We are not sure if this will go through the Federal National Council or not,” he said. “It could simply be decided as a security matter and not need the legislation of the FNC.”

The legislative route seems increasingly remote given that a new government department, the National DNA Database, has already been formed within the Ministry of Interior and collection kits ordered to help the police gather genetic material.

At present, only 5,000 DNA profiles are stored, all of convicted felons.

The notion of collecting DNA samples from non-criminals has raised ethical concerns about privacy protection.

In Britain, for example, such use of DNA was contested last year in the European Court of Human Rights, which ruled that Britain must purge non-criminal genetic material from its database.

The UAE has not accepted the jurisdiction of any such body.

Even attempting such a database – in which DNA is gathered from the entire population, even those who have never gone through the legal system – is basically unheard of, said Sir Alec Jeffreys, the British genetics pioneer who invented the DNA profiling system.

He expressed concern over the lack of legislation required for a national database.

“It will be interesting to see how this develops,” he said.

“How this works out will really set the scene for how other countries approach this problem. If it’s seen as a great success which the population and citizenry fully endorse, I think it will open the way for a lot of other countries going down this route.

“If it turns into a disaster for whatever reason, that will be the end of the story. You are the interesting experiment at this point.”

Dr al Marzooqi, who is also Interpol’s single Middle Eastern representative in its DNA Monitoring Expert Group, said he was aware of the project’s challenges.

“We are certain the pros will outweigh the cons,” he said. “The issue of privacy is just as important for us as it is important for the public. We will implement strict usage rules and will take secondary tests in court cases to verify the identity matches.”

Other nations could use information from the UAE’s data bank, but not access the material, he said. Treaties and other international agreements would dictate the specifics.

“If there is co-operation with the country seeking the DNA profile, we share this information through Interpol – only the DNA profile, and obviously not the sample,” he said.

Because each country may have its own database of DNA profiles, Dr al Marzooqi said, databases would not be merged with those of any other country.

“Not every country who asks will be given this information,” he said.

The database, he added, would be “instrumental in helping with unsolved crimes, identifying unknown bodies and will also be a great help in major disasters, either man-made or natural”.

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How safe are your Mobile calls ?

Posted by 7starsdubai on October 23, 2009


A company called Secusmart has developed an advanced encryption and authentication system to provide secure cellphone communication.

According to André Stürmer, operations director of the TriVest Group, South African distributors of the German developed Secusmart chip: “The hard fact about cellphone security is that you should always assume you have unwanted listeners. In countries where more and more business is conducted over the mobile phone network, such as is the case in Africa, this is particularly relevant.”

GSM-based communications can be attacked in three different ways:

1. An attack on the transmission network.

2. An attack on the air interface.

3. An attack by ID spoofing.

During an attack on the transmission network, the speech data is transferred clearly, and can be intercepted through legal as well as illegal measures. Air interfaces can be actively and passively attacked. An active attack on the air interface is performed by an IMSI catcher. The IMSI catcher makes use of the lack of authentication between the network and the mobile phone and intercepts the data by placing the phone on its ‘private’ network. Additionally, the IMSI catcher disconnects the normal GSM encryption. Not only does the cost of around R2 million limit its use, but it is also difficult to deploy and the active interception means that the use of the IMSI catcher can be traced.

A passive attack of the air interface requires cracking the A5/1 encryption. The two possibilities are:

1. GSS ProA – GSM interceptor

* On-the-fly decryption of up to 100 speech connections.

* Simultaneous interception and content analysis.

* Cost is approximately R750 000.

2. Open-source projects

GSM cracking project/A5 busters

The threat by this type of attack is high, as the interception cannot be traced and the entry barrier is low.

The cheapest alternative is to duplicate the caller ID – this is known as ID spoofing. Sites such as www.spoofcard.com show how easy and cheap this type of attack can be. The invader communicates the false call number and the victim trusts the number, resulting in them divulging confidential information. This threat by caller ID spoofing is extremely high because it is possible with any telephone.

These points illustrate that secure mobile communication requires more than just encryption. For this reason, Secusmart’s solution ensures encryption and authentication. Certificate authentication protects against caller ID spoofing thanks to the public key infrastructure (PKI). The Secusmart solution is independent of the mobile phone and it requires no changes to the device. The usage is simple, does not impede normal phone usage, no loss of battery time and intuitive handling, with no degradation in speech quality.

The solution makes use of crypto hardware integrated in a microSD card, which encrypts voice calls end-to-end using a 128-bit AES encryption algorithm. Authentication is certificate-based, using an elliptic curve Diffie-Hellmann key exchange and with a key agreement within 3 seconds. The microSD card is a standard chip for mobile data storage with up to 2 GB Flash storage. Additionally, it contains a secure PKI smartcard controller (NXP SmartMX P5CC072) with TCOS 4.0 operating system. The design has a high-speed AES co-processor which consumes little battery power and securely stores key.
More details-  information . Secusmart

Another ineresting Advice: original source Surveillance Self-Defence EFF

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Critical test of Dubai’s credit worthiness – Dubai `s 80 Billion Dollar debt pile

Posted by 7starsdubai on October 19, 2009


original source online WallStreetJournal by Maria Abi-Habib and Stefania Bianchi

Dubai will crank up efforts this week to tackle its $80 billion debt pile with senior officials heading to Asia to meet potential investors amid reports that one of its most indebted companies has repaid a $1.2 billion bond ahead of schedule.

Top officials from Dubai’s Department of Finance will meet fixed income and Islamic investors in Hong Kong, Singapore, London, Dubai and Frankfurt starting Thursday ahead of possibly selling more debt this year, according an invitation sent to bankers and seen by Zawya Dow Jones Monday.

An external spokesman for the department said the roadshows are part of “ongoing investor communication” but bankers suspect the meetings could be an early sign that Dubai may be preparing to issue the second half of its $20 billion bond program launched in February to support its economy and embattled companies.

“This will be the first time investors hear the Dubai story from officials post-crisis,” Abdul Kadir Hussain, chief executive of Mashreq Capital told Zawya Dow Jones. “How this story is received will determine how successful Dubai will be over the next three to five years.”

At the height of the global financial crisis, the Abu Dhabi-based central bank of the United Arab Emirates supported Dubai by underwriting the first half of its planned $20 billion bond program to bail out the sheikdom’s struggling companies and economy.

Recently, Dubai officials including Omar bin Sulaiman, the head of the Dubai International Financial Center, have said they expect strong interest from private investors for the eagerly awaited second $10 billion bond.

Mohamed Alabbar, who helps oversee a committee evaluating the impact of the global credit crisis on Dubai, told CNN earlier this month that the emirate may raise the additional $10 billion by November.

The investor meetings due to start in Hong Kong on Oct. 22 are the latest sign that Dubai and its government-owned companies are trying to dig themselves out of an estimated $80 billion debt pile, most of which was incurred during the emirate’s property, tourism and logistics boom.

According to Standard & Poors, Dubai has almost $5 billion worth of debt maturing between September and the end of the year. The biggest share of this debt is held by Nakheel, a unit of government-owned Dubai World. The company has a $3.5 billion Islamic bond maturing December. The bond, which will be pumped into Dubai’s Financial Support Fund, is seen as a critical test of Dubai’s credit worthiness.

“The Financial Support Fund is in need of further resources to fulfill its mandate of supporting Dubai’s government related entities, many of which face heavy debt repayments in the coming three years,” said Farouk Soussa, head of Middle East government ratings at S&P.

PAYING DEBTS

A report Monday in Middle East Economic Digest said Nakheel had repaid a 4.4 billion U.A.E. dirham ($1.2 billion) securitized bond issued in January, one month ahead of the scheduled repayment deadline of Nov. 15.
The repayment made on Oct. 15 will come as a comfort to many investors in Nakheel, and especially those concerned about Nakheel’s December sukuk. A Nakheel spokesperson declined to comment when contacted by Zawya Dow Jones Monday.
Nakheel’s bond repayment came on the same day that government-owned conglomerate Dubai World announced that it completed a major restructuring.

The move will help the firm save $800 million over the next three years and ease a small part of the near $60 billion of liabilities on its books. The term liability refers to a company’s legal debts or obligations arising from its business operations.

Earlier this month, Dubai Holding, a conglomerate controlled by the emirate’s ruler, paid back in full a $300 million loan belonging to its Sama property unit. There are also signs that Dubai is repaying some of its outstanding bills to construction contractors.

On Monday, U.K. Trade Minister Mervyn Davies said that debts owed to British contractors in Dubai have reduced, but payments remain outstanding.

“I think it has improved, but it’s been a sensitive issue, and it is important that Dubai companies pay their debts,” he said.

The U.K.-based Association for Consultancy and Engineering, which represents about 800 British construction firms, said in May it was tracking approximately GBP400 million in unpaid fees for building in the emirate.

(Natasha Brereton in London contributed to this story.)

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To absorb the amount of commercial real estate UAE needs 150,000 white-collar jobs

Posted by 7starsdubai on October 18, 2009


source Arabian Business
The UAE needs to create at least 150,000 white-collar jobs to absorb the amount of commercial real estate expected to hit the market in the next two years, Nomura has said.

Dubai and Abu Dhabi need to create at least 100,000 and 50,000 white-collar jobs, respectively, to satisfy future supply of commercial real estate in the two emirates, the investment bank said in a note to investors.

Commercial real estate space in Dubai is expected to increase by 20m sq ft while the Abu Dhabi market could add another 10m sq ft.

In the residential market 65,000 and 15,000 additional units are expected to be completed by the end of 2011.

“This is in an environment where jobs, still real estate and construction related, are being cut,” Nomura analyst Chet Riley said.

“Capital values are stabilizing in Dubai, but growth is not expected until the latter part of 2010.”

Residential rents in Dubai could fall another 10 percent, he said.

“The residual risk has not fully unwound yet, in our view. When the risk does unwind and the financially weak developments are sidelined for good, we will become more positive on the macro real estate fundamentals.”

Consolidation among small developers would take less time if banks withhold financing, he added.

“The banking sector will not move until the current risks have been mitigated adequately, but when it does, we feel we would have passed the current pinch point,” he said.

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Extrem News – Pressefreiheit endet beim Geldhahn – ACI Dubai Scandal

Posted by 7starsdubai on October 18, 2009


source Extremnews.com

Die springereigene Euro am Sonntag und auch die Financial Times Deutschland der Gruner + Jahr AG & Co KG aus Hamburg knickten anfang August vor den Drohschreiben des Gütersloher Dubai-Fonds-Emissionshauses Alternative Invest Capital (ACI) ein. Zwar versicherten sich die Chefredakteure bei GoMoPa, dass die von GoMoPa gelieferten Recherche-Ergebnisse über die ACI und deren Chefs, Uwe Lohmann (64) und dessen Sohn Robin (34), aus erstklassigen Quellen stammen und vor Gericht beweisbar sind, aber dennoch wolle man einem finanziellen Risiko aus dem Weg gehen und löschte bereits online veröffentliche Meldungen kommentarlos auf ihren Online-Plattformen.

ACI verklärte Löschungen als Wahrheitssieg

Die ACI feierte die Löschungen und schrieb in einer Pressemitteilung wörtlich: “Darüber hinaus wurde über Herrn Robin Lohmann weiter behauptet (ursprünglich in GoMoPa veröffentlicht und anschließend unter anderem in der Financial Times und Euro am Sonntag von dort übernommen), er habe einen Privatjet für 17 Millionen Euro sowie 6 Bentleys bestellt. Zudem hätten die Lohmanns in Panama eine neue Identität beantragt. Sämtliche Äußerungen sind frei erfunden. Die beiden letztgenannten Medien, Financial Times und Euro am Sonntag, haben hinsichtlich dieser Äußerungen strafbewehrte Unterlassungserklärungen abgegeben beziehungsweise ihnen wurde diese Äußerung durch einstweilige gerichtliche Verfügung verboten.”

Keine Stellungnahme von Euro am Sonntag und Financial Times

GoMoPa schrieb beide Zeitungen an und bat um eine Stellungnahme. Die Zeitungen zogen es vor zu schweigen. GoMoPa veröffentlich weiterhin die Wahrheit über die ACI. Die ACI reagierte mit einer Schmähkritik auf der Firmen-Internetseite . GoMoPa ging rechtlich dagegen vor und gewann. Die ACI nahm die Verunglimpfung aus dem Netz und zahlte die Kosten für den GoMoPa-Anwalt: 1.500 Euro. Der Inhalt der GoMoPa-Meldungen war nie strittig.

Die seit März 2009 fälligen Ausschüttungen in Höhe von 60 Millionen Euro an die Anleger bleiben weiter aus. Und Antwort, wo die 300 Millionen überwiesener Anlegergelder geblieben sind, bleibt die ACI ebenfalls schuldig. ACI-Juniorchef Robin Lohmann (34) musste, da er in Dubai auf Anordnung der dortigen Staatsanwaltschaft nicht verlassen darf (sein Pass wurde eingezogen), per Video in die Anlegerversammlung in der Gütersloher Stadthalle am 2. September 2009 zugeschaltet werden, die nicht von der ACI-Führung, sondern von den Vertrieben organisiert wurde.

Anlegerschutzanwälte und Journalisten waren nicht zugelassen. Aus Angst vor GoMoPa und seinem Netzwerk von Anwälten, wie man der örtlichen Presse erzählte, machte die Polizei Ausweiskontrollen und sperrte die Stadthalle für Nichtanleger ab. Die Anleger drinnen wurden wieder einmal mit Hinweisen auf die allgemeine Krise abgespeist. Kein Wort darüber, dass Lohmann zwei der vier ACI-Firmen einem zehnjährigen arabischen Jungen und dessen Vater überschrieben hat, wie GoMoPa-Korrespondent Martin Kraeter (KLP Group Emirates) und der Siegburger Anwalt Hartmut Göddecke bei Recherchen im Departement of Economic Development in Dubai herausfanden.

Anmerkung der ExtremNews Redaktion:

Auch unsere Redaktion bekommt aufgrund der Veröffentlichung von GoMoPa und anderen “kritischen” Pressemitteilungen immer wieder Drohungen sowie Aufforderungen von beauftragten Rechtsanwälten, die Meldungen wieder zu löschen. Sollten wir der Löschung nicht nachkommen, droht man mit Schadensersatzforderungen in fantasievollen Höhen.. Die ExtremNews Redaktion steht für eine freie Berichterstattung und lässt sich weder kaufen noch erpressen, daher veröffentlichen wir auch weiterhin Meldungen von GoMoPa und andere “kritischen” Pressemitteilungen. Der Bürger hat ein Recht auf eine Freie Presse. Genau aus diesem Grund wurde ExtremNews von seinen Gründern ins Leben gerufen, weil sie immer wieder persönlich erleben mussten, wie Unternehmen und Personen durch Drohungen erfolgreich  Einfluss auf die Berichterstattungen in den unterschiedlichsten Medien genommen haben. Es geht uns selbstverständlich nicht darum, irgendwelche Unternehmen und Personen zu diffamieren oder schädigen sondern die Bürger über tatsächliche Missstände zu informieren. Sollten betroffene Unternehmen und Personen meinen, die Berichterstattung entspricht nicht der Tatsache und Gegenbeweise haben, sind wir selbstverständlich gerne bereit auch eine Gegendarstellung zu veröffentlichen. Interessanterweise war bis jetzt aber keine Firma oder Person, von der wir Drohungen bekamen, dazu bereit bzw. konnten entsprechende Gegenbeweise liefern.

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CEO Damas Dubai quits after 165 Million US$ unauthorised property transactions

Posted by 7starsdubai on October 17, 2009


source Arabian Business

Following Sunday’s voluntary suspension of trading by Damas on Nasdaq Dubai, the company announced that it has accepted Tawhid Abdulla’s resignation.

The luxury retailer said in a statement that he had stepped down “due to his disclosure to the Board of what is understood to be unauthorised transactions conducted by him”.

The statement added that the full extent of the transactions had not yet been calculated but the company’s initial estimate was that they could amount to about $165m.

The Abdulla brothers, who are founding members and current owners of more than 50 percent of the company’s shares, “fully stand behind the company”, the statement said.

“They have agreed to commit the necessary assets to secure and repay in full any unauthorised transactions,” the statement added.

A special committee of the Board is to appoint an independent global accountancy firm to conduct an independent review and an international law firm to assist in analysis of the transactions.

The Board has appointed Hisham Ashour as CEO of the company effective from Sunday. Tawfique Abdulla will continue to serve as chairman of the Board and has also assumed day-to-day responsibilities as managing director.

The company also said it had adequate funds to meet its current financial obligations and was continuing to conduct business as usual.

“The Board remains fully committed to the highest standards of corporate governance, and has implemented procedures to ensure that the repayment is conducted in an appropriate and timely manner and that all transactions are fully scrutinized in the future to prevent a recurrence,” the statement added.

Damas, a family-owned jewellery group with origins going back to 1907, raised $270m in an initial public offering on the Dubai International Financial Exchange, NasdaqDubai’s predecessor, in July 2008, in one of the largest privatisations of a family-owned business in the Gulf.

One of Dubai’s best-known brand names and a leading member of the city’s jewellery and precious metals industry, Damas has more than 500 stores across the world.

read also Police not involved in Damas probe
 and
Morning round-up: Dubai is Glut City the National crane country Blog

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Dubai Property Market already oversupplied – It`s going to be a long and slow recovery

Posted by 7starsdubai on October 16, 2009


source TheNational
Dubai home glut to worsen – The National Newspaper

The number of new homes in Dubai is expected to grow by 34,300 in the next two years, as a prolonged economic slowdown hits demand.

Dubai will have more than 340,000 residential units by the end of this year and is already oversupplied by 25 per cent, according to Colliers International, the property consultant.

“We see no reason to believe this will improve; it should actually worsen,” said JP Grobbelaar, the director of research and advisory at Colliers.

“Unless there’s a significant increase in population over the next two years, we expect these vacancy levels to increase.”

Mr Grobbelaar added that property prices in the emirate, which had fallen by 48 per cent in the past year, would only start to level out once demand started to exceed supply.

The broker believes the office sector will be worst hit, with the oversupply expected to double in the next two years.

“It’s going to be a long and slow recovery,” he said. “Levels of economic activity are greatly reduced … we don’t see any economic drivers that will lead to an increase in demand and absorb the additional supply coming on to the market.”

Read also: UAE needs 150,000 white-collar jobs to fill office projects – by Soren Billing Arabian Business

and  Quality Streets – by Rob Corder Arabian Business

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Hydra Properties to appeal against buyers court victory

Posted by 7starsdubai on October 12, 2009


source Zawya
Hydra Properties says it will appeal against a court decision in favour of two property buyers in its troubled Hydra Village development.

The case, brought by two European women, was recently heard through the Court of Appeal in Abu Dhabi, a source close to the couple said.

If Hydra loses the appeal, the investors will be refunded the money they have so far paid to the project.

“In principle, they have won the case, and through the legal system they should have the money released to them,” said the source.

Between 10 and 20 more cases by investors were under way against Hydrawhile a further 150 claimants were seeking legal advice, the source said. The cases are being handled by MIO Lawyers and Legal Consultants, based in Abu Dhabi.

Ali bin Sulayem, the chief executive of Hydra Properties, said the company would appeal against the decision and it was still open to negotiating with investors out of court.

“I think that anyone, when there is a dispute, has the right to file cases,” he said. “This is our right to appeal, we have to use it. But I am sure the door of negotiation is still open. It does not mean that if a case is filed against our company that we cannot still find a way of settling this matter.”

The legal action is the consequence of a long-running battle between the investors and Hydra over contract changes, price rises on previously sold properties and demands to make payments for homes that are significantly delayed.

Talk of taking the firm to court started in June, when the Hydra Litigation Group was formed among members of the Hydra Investors Group. About 150 out of 350 people joined the litigation group, with about 50 per cent now pursuing the legal route, said Karl Howard, the co-chairman of the group.

Many of the investors had hoped to settle their contract issues – which included price hikes for property size increases due to an overhaul of the project’s masterplan – amicably with the firm.

But the final straw for most came recently when they received a letter, seen by The National, from Hydras legal department saying their units would be cancelled and all money kept if they failed to sign the new version of the contract by October 15.

“I don’t think you can threaten people to sign a contract that’s not acceptable,” said Graeme Perry, the deputy chairman of the Hydra Investors Group. “It’s got to the stage where people are saying ‘no’ and are lodging court cases.”

One investor, who has started legal proceedings and is hoping to recoup Dh450,000 (US$122,515), said: “We were trying to negotiate with HydraHydraLoading…, but then it got to the point when we realised there was no hope.”

Another investor, who has also started legal proceedings, said: “I’ve had enough now, it’s deeply frustrating. I’ve paid Dh400,000 and am not paying any more … I’m interested in getting out of this and getting my money back.”

More investors are expected to pursue legal action. “We do want to go ahead with it [legal action] as we don’t just want to sit back,” said Matt O’Hara, who has so far paid Dh250,000 towards a villa at Hydra Village.

“But we’re just weighing things up at the moment.”

A lawyer representing the investors at MIO declined to comment.

In June, Hydra tried to appease Hydra Village investors by giving those who had paid 50 per cent or more a payment break until the middle of next year, while penalties for late payment for those who had invested less were waived.

The company, which is owned by The Royal Group and at the time was headed up by Sulaiman al Fahim, the new owner of Portsmouth Football Club in England, also assured investors their homes would be built. The project was supposed to be delivered this year, but is now unlikely to be finished until 2011.

Hydrais one of dozens of developers that sold off-plan property to a market dominated by speculators during the boom, and which is now struggling to get buyers to keep up their payments. The situation has led to a rise in property disputes in Dubai, with Hydras being the first major dispute of its kind in Abu Dhabi.

According to Saud Masud, the head of research and senior analyst of real estate at UBS bank, many buyers did not question the fundamentals of their investments. Hydra Village was sold to investors with promises of a five-star hotel, swimming pools, fountains and significant green areas. But none of these features exist in the revised masterplan.

“In general, if you look at the amount of investment that flowed two years ago, you can’t really argue the case that they were sound investments,” Mr Masud said.

“It was about speculation. Investors didn’t really question the fundamentals of the company, the portfolio, timelines or finances. We all knew this was a pay-as-you-go model.”

Mr Masud said projects were being delayed before the fallout from the economic downturn. “The writing was already on the wall, even in 2006. Handovers were delayed significantly.”

By Angela Giuffrida and Nathalie Gillet
The National 2009

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Peter Riddoch Damac Properties CEO resigns

Posted by 7starsdubai on October 12, 2009


source Arabian Business

Peter Riddoch, CEO of Damac Properties, announced that he will be leaving his job at the Dubai-based developer October 2009.

Riddoch said he arrived at his decision to leave with great difficulty but that it was time for him to move on.

“To leave an organisation that has been a significant part of my life for so many years will not be easy, but I know that the time is right for me to make some changes, focus a bit more on my personal interests and family, and possibly even take on new challenges,” Riddoch said in a statement published by UAE daily Gulf News.

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Dubai Cityscape few Visitors – no deals – what a difference a year makes

Posted by 7starsdubai on October 8, 2009


original source Wall Street Journal
On the eve of last year’s Cityscape, Dubai’s annual real-estate trade show, Nakheel unveiled plans to build a one kilometer-high skyscraper at a glitzy event with guests including actors Catherine Zeta-Jones and husband Michael Douglas.

This year, the government-owned developer made a much more modest appearance, displaying just two of its $80 billion worth of projects at the four-day event, which closes Thursday. Plans for its Nakheel Harbour and Tower development are now on hold.

Since Cityscape 2008, Dubai’s property bubble has dramatically burst. Home prices have slumped up to 50% from peaks, lending has slowed and by some estimates close to $300 billion worth of construction is either delayed or canceled.

Many were hoping that this year’s Cityscape, usually a barometer of sentiment for Dubai’s real-estate sector, would kick-start activity in the emirate’s stalled property market, but the lackluster mood in the exhibition halls suggests otherwise.

Organizers say visitor numbers have fallen about 50% to 38,000 from a year ago. Those who are attending are there mainly out of curiosity rather than serious plans to invest in property.

“I’m here to test the market,” said one visitor from Saudi Arabia with property investments in Dubai. “There are no new opportunities, but its reassuring to see that there are projects underway. That means there’s still money flow here.”

With just one project launch at this year’s show – a $100 million development in the Kurdish region of Iraq by New Zealand-based developer Atconz Real Estate Development, developers say they are focusing more on project completion and the retention of existing customers.

“2009 is the year of the customer, rather than new projects,” said Markus Giebel, chief executive of Dubai’s second-largest developer Deyaar.

 LOST TOUCH

 It’s a far cry from last year’s event when men dressed as Zulu warriors alternately danced and lounged next to a sprawling scale model of AmaZulu World, a development slated for South Africa, by Ruwaad, a U.A.E.-based company.

During the boom times, some developers spent up to $3 million on exhibition models, entertainers and glamorous promotion girls, according to Donald Trump Junior, executive vice president of the Trump Organization.

“Some people had taken it too far,” said Trump. “They lost touch with reality.”

In December, plans for a $790 million Trump Tower on Nakheel’s Palm Jumeirah were suspended. Trump Jr said earlier this week that the project might be restarted in the next two years.

“I’d love it to happen in the next two years, but it won’t be any time soon,” he said.

One of the highlights of last year’s event was the launch of Meraas Development’s $95 billion project called Jumeirah Gardens. The sprawling scale model drew in crowds of visitors. This year, although Meraas’ model is on display, the crowds are smaller and the Dubai government-backed real-estate developer admits it is scaling down its plans.

“We looked at the market, the investors, the changing real-estate scenario,” said Sina Al Kazim, chief business development officer.

Despite the gloom, there are some murmurings of recovery, or at least the market having hit the bottom.

“Perhaps what we’re seeing is a new realism, a reality check,” said Blair Hagkull, regional managing director of real estate consultancy Jones Lang LaSalle. “2009 has been the year of contraction. 2010 will see the ushering in of a new era of stability.”

By Stefania Bianchi, Dow Jones Newswires; +971 4 3644967; stefania.bianchi@dowjones.com

Posted in Dubai | Comments Off on Dubai Cityscape few Visitors – no deals – what a difference a year makes

 
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