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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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Posts Tagged ‘off-plan properties dubai’

Dubai – Forbes – Al Fajer Properties Scandal – Battle over the Books – Behind the $870 million ”rescue” of a royal developer

Posted by 7starsdubai on May 31, 2009


original published Forbes

March 08. 2009 12:36AM UAE / March 8. 2009 8:36PM GMT

zadehmaktoumjbcOn Feb. 3, Al-Fajer Properties, a high-profile real estate development firm owned by the brother in law of Dubai’s ruling sheik, announced a 3.2 billion dirham ($871.2 million) restructuring of its operations. Under the leadership of its new president, Sheikh Maktoum bin Hasher al-Maktoum–the eldest son of the company’s owner, and nephew of Dubai’s ruling sheik–the company explained it had liquidated its land bank and sold off its remaining inventory after a “rigorous” business review in order to strengthen its balance sheet.

But sources close to Al-Fajer tell Forbes that the restructuring was actually a wholesale “rescue” from financial ruin as an independent entity, after nearly three years of alleged mismanagement under former manager Shahram Abdullah Zadeh, a flamboyant, Iranian-born businessman who was fired last year and who claims to still be owed at least $1.9 billion by Al-Fajer.

Forbes has consulted documents–including bank statements, company contracts and employee interviews drafted by an auditing firm, which was called in to help conduct the business review last year–that purportedly tell the story of how Zadeh allegedly forged company contracts, kept fraudulent, unaudited accounts and moved money back and forth between Al-Fajer Properties and other companies owned by him.

Sources close to Al-Fajer say the new president, Maktoum, was called in by his father to fix the so-called “financial shambles” after an employee indirectly alerted the elder sheik to the company’s financial situation by requesting cash in early 2008. Documents show a cash balance of approximately $8.2 million when Maktoum arrived, which was restored to $163.4 million to $190 million 60 days later.

The sheik, say sources close to the company, did this by unwinding investments that would have saddled Al-Fajer with massive liabilities–in the “hundreds of millions” of dirhams–narrowly escaping the real estate slide that hit Dubai months later after the collapse of U.S. investment bank Lehman Brothers in September. Since then, property prices have fallen an estimated 20% to 25%.

Al-Fajer’s cash balance as of February 2009 was not made available to Forbes, but sources close to the company hint that nearly all of it has been plowed back into construction projects.

Zadeh flatly denies any wrongdoing and claims that the so-called “rescue” was a full-blown theft of a company he had owned and financed alone throughout the course of its existence. Moreover, he denies that the company was a financial mess and claims that his erstwhile partner, Maktoum, breached his trust to take control of a successful firm.

“I was the sole investor, and Al-Fajer Properties was my company,” he says. “Sheik Hasher Maktoum has not invested a single dirham into the company; his only contribution has been the real estate license.”

The payment for this license, which cost $82,000, sat in a bank account from the company’s inception in 2004 and was not used as operational capital, Zadeh says.

Zadeh claims that Maktoum, his father and others together “cooked the books” and took control of Al-Fajer Properties while he was detained in jail by the authorities, without being charged, between February and April 2008. After being blindfolded, tortured and interrogated for weeks about unfounded bribery allegations and his operations at Al-Fajer in detail, Zadeh says he emerged from jail only to find a letter demanding he cease all involvement with the company.

Zadeh says he believes his detention was the result of a false report. Sources close to Al-Fajer say that any such claims did not come from them.

The battle has already spilled into the courts, a potentially embarrassing development for a company linked to Dubai’s ruling family. After filing two unsuccessful criminal complaints against Al-Fajer last year, Zadeh said his lawyers filed a civil lawsuit against the company on Feb. 26 at the Dubai Courts, claiming he was still owed $1.9 billion.

Although Al-Fajer Properties is said to have filed a criminal complaint against Zadeh in late February, alleging fraud and embezzlement of funds, the company’s lawyer would not confirm this. “I am aware of no suits against me,” Zadeh says.

Zadeh does not deny moving funds between Al-Fajer and other companies he owns, but claims that he put the money into the company’s account in the first place and later took it back as his “investment.” He said that no money was missing, though he admitted there had been no auditing of the company accounts because the firm was understaffed and had big ambitions.

Sources close to Al-Fajer also confirm that no money appeared to be missing; Zadeh is said to have made up the balance of withdrawn funds with later payments back into the firm.

The corporate tussle casts no direct shadow on the reputation of Dubai’s ruling family, even though Al-Fajer’s operators are one degree removed from Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum. But it’s another example of the dark side of Dubai, one more blow to its image as a spectacular hub for global investment. After recently being forced to borrow $10 billion from the United Arab Emirates’ central bank in Abu Dhabi to help its enterprises pay short-term debts (see “Dubai’s Jolt Back To Reality”), Dubai is bracing for more bad news as its gross domestic product growth plunges from 8% or so in 2008 to an expected 2.5% this year.

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Posted in Dubai, Jumeirah Business Centre | Tagged: , , , , , , | Comments Off on Dubai – Forbes – Al Fajer Properties Scandal – Battle over the Books – Behind the $870 million ”rescue” of a royal developer

Al Fajer Properties Sheikh plans counter claim

Posted by 7starsdubai on May 25, 2009


source Zawya (AFP)

DUBAI, May 25, 2009 (AFP) – A Dubai sheikh being sued by an Iranian businessman over 1.9 billion dollars in property investments plans to file a counterclaim demanding compensation for losses, his lawyer said on Monday.

Shahram Abdullah Zadeh, the former chief executive of Dubai-based developer Al-Fajer Properties, filed the initial lawsuit against the firm and  Sheikh Hasher Maktoum bin Jumaa al-Maktoum, in February, claiming he was the sole investor and real owner of the company.

“We have requested time to file a counterclaim to demand compensation from Shahram Zadeh,” lawyer Samir Jaafar told AFP following a fourth hearing in the case on Monday.

Zadeh accused the defence of “running away from responding to the lawsuit” against Sheikh Hasher, a brother-in-law of Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum.

He said Sheikh Hasher was registered as owning Al-Fajer PropertiesAl-Fajer Properties
Al Fajer Properties, because being a foreigner he could not register it under his own name.

He told AFP his defence had requested the appointment of an auditor to trace capital inflows into the company, and said despite claims that he was just an employee he never took a salary or had an employment contract.

“He was supposed to earn a share of profits made under his management. But the company did not make any profits,” Jaafar responded.

Al-Fajer Properties, which since February 2009 has been run by Sheikh Hasher’s son, Sheikh Maktoum, filed two complaints with Dubai police in February and March, accusing Zadeh of embezzling 114 million dirhams (31.06 million dollars).

A representative of Zadeh’s lawyer, Salim al-Shaali, called the two claims false and said a complaint about them has been lodged with the public prosecution.

Zadeh is demanding the recovery of all assets of Al-Fajer PropertiesAl-Fajer Properties
Al Fajer Properties, estimated in the lawsuit at seven billion dirhams (1.9 billion dollars).

The judge adjourned Monday’s hearing to June 17.

Posted in Dubai, Jumeirah Business Centre | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Al Fajer Properties – Dubai Court Case – Lawyer rubbishes lawsuit against Dubai sheikh

Posted by 7starsdubai on May 18, 2009


source BusinessMaktoob and  Zawya

Dubai Monday, May 04, 2009

The defence lawyer( Samir Jaafar) for a Dubai Sheikh ( Hasher Maktoum bin Juma Al Matoum, brother in law of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum) being sued by an Iranian businessman over $1.9 billion property investments  on Monday rejected the lawsuit as baseless.

“All his allegations and the sums that he claims to have pumped into the company are unfounded,” lawyer Samir Jaafar told news agency AFP after the third hearing in the case.

Shahram Abdullah Zadeh has filed the $1.9 billion case against Sheikh Hasher Maktoum bin Jumaa Al-Maktoum and the Dubai-based real estate developer Al-Fajer Properties.

Zadeh insists he was the real owner and sole investor in Al-Fajer, which is registered under the name of Sheikh Hasher, a brother-in-law of Dubai’s ruler, Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid al-Maktoum.

“There are surprises in the documents that we have presented to the court which will turn the case upside down,” Sheikh Hasher’s lawyer Samir Jaafar said, declining to elaborate.

“We believe that the lawsuit will be rejected after the court goes through the documents that we have presented,” Jaafar added.

Legal sources close to the case, asking not to be named, said the defence has charged that the sums which Zadeh says he invested in the company were in fact the “company’s money that he misused to appear as if it was his own”.

Zadeh, for his part, demands the “recovery of all material assets of Al-Fajer Properties“, according to legal documents obtained by AFP.

These include liquid assets and property, which are estimated at 7 billion dirhams ($1.9 billion), and 9 percent interest since the suit was filed.

His lawyer Salim al-Shaali, who asked the judge for time to study the defence document, said that at the next hearing on May 25 he will ask for an auditor to be appointed to look into the company’s accounts.

“The expert would decide who pumped capital into the company and … whether the defendants paid any money,” he told AFP.

Zadeh charges Sheikh Hasher made no investment in Al-Fajer and that he acquired the licence under the sheikh’s name only because Emirati law does not allow non-Gulf citizens to register real estate firms under their own names.

“For every dirham that Sheikh Hasher can show the court he has invested in Al-Fajer Properties, will give him the company and an extra $10 million bonus,” Shahram Zadeh told AFP after the latest hearing, which he did not attend

Shahram Zadeh said he started up the company from scratch, pumping in cash “as and when the company needed”, and that he only withdrew part of his initial investments after the company expanded from property sales.

“The Sheikhs claim I was an employee,” said Zadeh.

“My question to the court is what employee (can be) the sole investor, work for four years with absolute single authority signing billions of dirhams on cheques, contracts … but work without a salary or an employment contract?”

In addition to Sheikh Hasher, Zadeh is suing his daughter, Sheikha Maryam, a partner in the company, and son Sheikh Maktoum bin Hasher Juma Al Maktoum, who was made president of Al-Fajer after Zadeh was sacked in February.

Zadeh said he was detained by Dubai police after he was sacked and then held without charge for 60 days, and that his passport was confiscated and is still being held.

“I still don’t know why I was arrested,” he said.

The case comes as several executives from high-profile Dubai firms are being held on suspicion of embezzlement and as the once-booming regional business and tourism hub struggles to stave off the impact of the global economic crisis.

Dynasty Zarooni

Al Fajer Properties

GulfNews The first report about this case in the local UAE press

Posted in Dubai, Jumeirah Business Centre | Tagged: , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Dubai law pins down property defaulters – If the developer has not been able to start construction “without any negligence or omission on the developer’s part”, the developer may keep 30 per cent of the money paid by the buyer to that point

Posted by 7starsdubai on April 19, 2009


source The National

The Dubai Land Department is planning to issue an amended property law that will determine refunds for investors who default on their payments based on construction progress of the project, according to lawyers briefed on the matter.

The move will bring clarity to the property market in Dubai, where a credit squeeze and the effects of the global financial crisis have led to defaults by home buyers. But some investors have criticised the amendment for being too heavily in favour of developers.

Lawyers say the amendment to article 11 of Dubai Law 13 of 2008 will stipulate that in cases where a buyer defaults and the developer has constructed at least 80 per cent of the project, the buyer loses all money paid to that point. The home can then be auctioned to compensate the developer for the rest of the cost.

If a developer has completed at least 60 per cent of the project and the buyer defaults, the developer is entitled to keep 40 per cent of the purchase price.

But if a developer has completed less than 60 per cent of the project, it can only keep 25 per cent of the purchase price.

If the developer has not been able to start construction “without any negligence or omission on the developer’s part”, the developer may keep 30 per cent of the money paid by the buyer to that point.

Developers would have to refund any money due to the purchaser within one year, or within 60 days of the resale of the home.

A legal briefing from the law firm Clyde & Co said the amendment “provides much anticipated clarification regarding the procedures required to be followed by developers in respect of defaulting purchasers, as well as the rights of developers to retain purchaser monies upon cancellation”.

The original law specified that if a buyer defaulted on payments to the developer, the buyer would be able to recover 70 per cent of any money they had turned over to that point.

But when the property market started to face difficulties last autumn, the Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA) issued an interpretation of the law that said the developer could retain 30 per cent of the total price of the property. In some cases, this meant the developer could keep all payments a buyer had made to them.

Officials from RERA later admitted that the interpretation was an emergency measure intended to prevent a wave of defaults that would cripple the property sector.

The new amendment, called Dubai Law No. 9 of 2009, will not only provide more specific terms but be retroactive for all property contracts signed in Dubai. If a contract between a buyer and a developer has a contrary clause, it will be rendered void, according to the Clyde & Co briefing.

Emad Eldin Farouq, a senior legal counsel with the Dubai Land Department, told a panel last week that the amendment had been signed into law and would soon be published in the official gazette of Dubai, according to an article in Xpress, which first reported the story. The amendment would “maintain the confidence of investors and safeguard the real estate of Dubai”, Mr Farouq said, according to Xpress.

But some investors said the amendment did not go far enough in protecting investors from developers who had delayed construction indefinitely.

“It is taking away our rights from the way the law was originally written,” said Nigel Knight, a homebuyer and member of the Dubai Property Investors Group.

The investors’ group handed the Land Department a petition last week asking for a meeting to discuss concerns it has with the amendment.

A Dubai Land Department spokesman could not be reached yesterday.

Posted in Dubai | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

CEO RERA Dubai: “Dubai is like a movie star, and just like a movie star everyone is looking at us, adding more pressure.”

Posted by 7starsdubai on February 13, 2009


KippReport

http://www.kippreport.com/kipp/2009/02/12/is-dubai-acting-smart/?bnr=1

confusion“Dubai is like a movie star, and just like a movie star everyone is looking at us, adding more pressure.”

That’s what Marwan Bin Ghalita, the CEO of Dubai’s Real Estate Regulatory Agency (Rera) told Emirates Business, explaining that the city’s success is leading to incorrect media rumors about cancellations of property projects in the city.

A recent report by HSBC said that $75 billion worth of projects are being cancelled in the UAE, but a Morgan Stanley report put the number at $263 billion.

Rera’s CEO, however, says the authority is still “studying the market at present.” He rubbished a list that is doing the rounds, telling Al Bayan that “The list was not accurate and not true simply because it was not issued by Rera, Department of Lands or any official relevant body. Those behind the list are only seeking to raise fears and panic so as to make narrow gains.”

“We understand the feelings of worry resulted from the impact of the global financial crisis but we are against the unjustifiable panic, exaggeration and hitting under the belt by some for the sake of making illegitimate ends,” he added.

While the list is possibly inaccurate (Kipp did try to ascertain some projects earlier, but was unable to confirm the status of several projects), it has been more than three months since the effect of the economic slowdown began to be felt in Dubai’s real estate sector.  Hundreds of people have been laid off from their jobs in the property sector, with developers blaming it on postponement or cancellation of projects; and financial houses like HSBC and Morgan Stanley have already come out with their lists.

Rera will be releasing “accurate data next week that would show the true picture of Dubai’s real estate market.”

“We didn’t announce any cancellation of projects especially those sold to investors, and this is a stabilizing factor which can contribute to further boosting confidence in the vibrant real estate market in Dubai,” Ghalita told Al Bayan. “We want to send a clear message that we have confidence in the city,” he told Emirates Business.

Well, Kipp isn’t sure how confident investors are of the movie star’s talents.

 

Posted in Dubai | Tagged: , , , , , , | Comments Off on CEO RERA Dubai: “Dubai is like a movie star, and just like a movie star everyone is looking at us, adding more pressure.”

RERA Hits Back – Dubai RERA CEO said: “The investor should feel happy when he sees the authorities hit with an iron fist all those who put interests of the city and investors at risk.

Posted by 7starsdubai on February 13, 2009


http://www.7days.ae/storydetails.php?id=73857&title=RERA%20hits%20back

justice2Dubai Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) has denied receiving a letter signed by 300 real estate investors, developers and advocates expressing concerns over the fate of their investment in the emirate.

In their letter, they demanded RERA act before prices in the real estate market crash, according to a report published by Zawya Dow Jones news web site, which also blamed the RERA CEO of declining to comment on the issue.

Marwan bin Ghalita, CEO of Dubai Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA), branded the news as absolutely untrue. “Personally, I did neither receive a letter of this kind nor any call from the said news web site or other,” he affirmed in a statement.

He added that RERA could not have made any regulatory achievements in the real estate market if it had not been keeping regular contacts with developers, brokers and investors alike.

It was reported that the petitioners demanded RERA to take measures to bring the situation under control especially following recent financial investigations into several property companies, a move which raised questions about RERA standards.

Commenting on this, the RERA CEO said: “The investor should feel happy when he sees the authorities hit with an iron fist all those who put interests of the city and investors at risk. It’s illogical that such a measure could feed concerns… on the contrary it should send a message of confidence and assurance across the board.”

marwanbinghalita-reraHe explained that RERA had, since its creation about one year ago, been taking tremendous efforts to regulate the real estate sector by issuing flexible regulations at bar with the highest possible level of transparency.

Answering a question about a list being circulated on the internet about tens of cancelled or delayed developments, the RERA CEO affirmed: “The list was not accurate and not true simply because it was not issued by RERA, Department of Lands or any official relevant body. Those behind the list are only seeking to raise fears and panic so as to make narrow gains.”

Posted in Dubai | Tagged: , , , , | Comments Off on RERA Hits Back – Dubai RERA CEO said: “The investor should feel happy when he sees the authorities hit with an iron fist all those who put interests of the city and investors at risk.

Dubai Property Buyers may move court for cancelled off-plan contracts

Posted by 7starsdubai on January 30, 2009


http://business24-7.ae/Articles/2009/1/Pages/01282009_c77c5faf7c0e4120b77817701e56af04.aspx

Property buyers can contest their “terminated” off-plan contracts, signed after August 31, 2008, in the newly set-up Property Court, but will have to go through the Dubai Land Department (DLD), a senior government official said.

“The purchaser will be further able to seek compensation from the Property Court if he establishes a ground for the termination,” Emad Eldin Farouq, Senior Legal Counsel, Dubai Land Department, told Emirates Business.

In November 2008, the Land Department in an administrative circular, said developers – not buyers – would have to initiate the official procedure to cancel the off-plan transactions. But for sales contracts, signed before August 31, 2008, the terms and conditions of the contract will be applicable for the two parties under the UAE Civil Code. However, these would not have to go through the DLD.

In the internal administrative circular, the department gave the interpretation of the meaning and practical application of Article 11 of the Law No.13 regulating the interim real estate registration. According to this circular, in case of a termination of an off-plan contract, the developer shall be entitled to 30 per cent of the purchase price plus 30 per cent of the any further monies paid above 30 per cent of the purchase price.

“In case of a cancellation of an off-plan contract where the purchase price is Dh1 million and the purchaser has paid 40 per cent of the property value, then the maximum claim the developer can make is of Dh330,000 (30 per cent of Dh1 million and 30 per cent of the remaining 10 per cent),” he said.

“If a buyer wants to contest this, he can go to the Property Court which shall apply the civil jurisdiction on this. Nobody can prevent the buyer from going to the court. Further, the Property Court may or may not agree with this and they can choose to either cancel these terms or they can adopt it or they can apply any other rules to this. The Property Court will look at it based on the rules and regulation in place under the Civil Code Law,” added Farouq.

Legally any agreement can be terminated either amicably, voluntarily or can be terminated by a court order based on the facts.

Under the Civil Code, the purchaser has the right to terminate the contract if there is a breach by the seller. The purchaser is entitled to refer the matter to the appropriate court with jurisdiction (which is now the Property Court)

Mohammad Kawasmi, Senior Associate Al Tamimi & Company, said: “We are not aware if the administrative circular issued by the DLD will hold true in the Property Court and they can choose to override the circular.”

Earlier this week, Farouq told this newspaper that investors facing cash-flow constraints can approach the Dubai Land Department for rescheduling payments for their properties.

Register online

Developers will have to register their off plan and completed units through the Dubai Land Department’s online registration system, said Farouq.

Called Oqood, the new system will enable effective implementation of Law No13 of 2008 for regulating the interim real estate register in the emirate.

Developed by Emirates Real Estate Solutions for the Dubai Land Department, the Oqood online interim registration process will lead to minimising conflicts arising between developers, investors and sellers, while contributing to cutting down the escalating off-plan selling and reselling costs.

Charges will be the same as levied by the Dubai Land Department – one per cent of the total value paid by the seller and one per cent to be paid by the consumer. Following the issuance of Law No 13, developers now have to register all their units prior to launch of the project and only then can they proceed with their sales.

The law aims to create further consumer ease and protection within the Dubai realty market.

Posted in Dubai | Tagged: , , , | Comments Off on Dubai Property Buyers may move court for cancelled off-plan contracts

 
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