Skip navigation

Tag Archives: investmentfraud

Gütersloh/Bielefeld (dpa). Several companies for real estate funds in Dubai under the umbrella of the German investment company ACI signed bankruptcy on Friday. This handle the companies of Fund II to V and ACI IV Beteiligungs GmbH, was announced by the Amtsgericht Bielefeld. A provisional administrator will probably determined on Monday, it was said. Document number not issued yet.
The company had previously announced the bankruptcy. Reason was the price drop in real estate in Dubai, stressed ACI founder Uwe Lohmann. “Inevitable accounting depreciation of the carrying amount of the projects in Dubai” had then resulted in the bankruptcy.

The Fund VI and VII are not affected. ACI (alternative capital invest) have around 70 million investors money collected and distributed so far EUR 13.8 million. The building projects, several skyscrapers in Dubai, are “in unfinished construction”, said Lohmann.

After a determined the public prosecutor’s Office Bielefeld suspected of investment fraud against ACI for months.

In November 2009 the State company had Dubai acknowledged world, that he and his real estate subsidiary Nakheel which is known for the construction of the artificial island in Palm had accumulated debt of approximately $ 60 billion. Resulted in a significant loss of confidence by investors in the region of Dubai according to banks.


Lack of communication from developers coupled with trying time for sector leave investors fuming

Investors in the UAE’s real estate are a frustrated lot, but not just because the sector is in the throes of the worst-ever slowdown it has witnessed. That’s a known fact, and most investors have reconciled to it.

However, what is not known and, therefore, much more frustrating, is the status of the projects in which they have invested their hard-fought cash.

Many developers in the country have apparently chosen to not communicate with their clients about when the stalled projects are going to take off and when will they be delivered, if at all.

Property blogs and social media sites are full of frustrated investors venting their ire.

A good proportion of such investors do not reside in the country and, therefore, have to depend on communication from the developer and their websites to figure out the status of their investments.

With the websites of most developers updated on a regular basis, and not communication forthcoming from them, such investors are resorting to blogs such as to voice their anger.

“…was told last week, in an e-mail from [the developer], that handover is now March 2011. So, that will be over 4 years since I chose to invest in [the project]. I’m sure it will happen eventually but this constant re-scheduling of end dates is very frustrating,” a user who went with the ID of tonydubai wrote on July 24.

At least tonydubai seemed to have received some kind of communication from the developer. Some of the others have not been so lucky. “I invested in a project in 2007, which was supposed to be delivered in 2009,” a senior media executive told Emirates 24|7.

“Not only has the project not even taken off the ground, [the developer] has not communicated with me at all, in spite of the fact that I kept paying my instalments until end-2008,” he said.

“They refuse to entertain my emailed queries or on the phone, and despite having numerous face-to-face meetings with the company’s junior staff, I have no idea if the project will ever see the light of the day,” he shrugged.

He isn’t alone. Some investors claim that their developers are short-changing them by saddling them with a much smaller properties compared with what they originally paid for.

Some other are upset about the miscommunication and false assurances meted out to them during the sales process.

This is what user pki had to say on May 11: “I am an investor in [project] and interested in any routes to get my investment back. It is not an option to switch to another development as I need the money (or as much of it as I can get back) to pay my mortgage on my home and not upset my bank.

“Does anyone know of anyway to get the investment back?

“They forced me to sign my contract by threatening to keep my deposit (under UK law this is duress so I would be entitled to cancel and get my money back – but if course UAE law does not favour us).

“They provided me with a letter and constant assurances that they could facilitate a 70% mortgage. Of course when I mentioned this to them and sent in the proof – they ‘lost’ it. And my fault, I did not take a copy (was too stressed to think straight).

“Also the development was meant to be ready in Jan 2010, but the enabling work has only been finished now (though they told me it was complete in Jan 2009 (LIES!))

“Any advice, recommendations etc would be appreciated!”

This is certainly not good for the image of the country or its position as a preferred global investment destination.

Mehr als 200 Millionen Euro hat das Emissionshaus ACI aus Gütersloh bei Tausenden Anlegern eingesammelt, um damit traumhafte Immobilienprojekte in Dubai zu finanzieren. Doch nun ermittelt die Staatsanwaltschaft. Sie geht dem Verdacht auf Betrug nach.

Hamburg – Die Staatsanwaltschaft Bielefeld hat am Dienstag mehrere Geschäftsräume des Emissionshauses Alternative Capital Invest (ACI) in Gütersloh durchsucht. Nach Informationen von manager magazin inspizierten die Beamten zudem Privaträume von ACI-Verantwortlichen.

Nach Auskunft der Staatsanwaltschaft geht sie dem Verdacht auf Kapitalanlagebetrug nach. Es werde geprüft, ob “im Zusammenhang mit dem Vertrieb von Beteiligungen an geschlossenen Immobilienfonds unrichtige Angaben gemacht worden sind und ob diese gegebenenfalls für die Entscheidung der Anleger, sich an den Fonds zu beteiligen, erheblich waren”, heißt es in einer Mitteilung.

Die bei der Razzia gewonnenen Erkenntnisse hätten den Verdacht bisher nicht erhärten können, teilte die Staatsanwaltschaft weiter mit. Eine genaue Auswertung der vorgefundenen Unterlagen bleibe abzuwarten.

Die Ermittlungen gehen zurück auf eine Anzeige von Rainer R., ehemals Vertriebspartner von ACI und nach Informationen von manager magazin selbst im hohen fünfstelligen Bereich an den Fonds des Unternehmens beteiligt. “Wir halten einige Fondsprospekte für fehlerhaft”, fasst Hartmut Göddecke, Anwalt von R., die Vorwürfe zusammen. “Zudem sind bei zwei Beteiligungsgesellschaften die Eigentumsverhältnisse der Grundstücke unklar und wir haben Zweifel an der Seriosität von Fondskalkulationen.” Bei ACI war für eine Stellungnahme zunächst niemand zu erreichen.

Mehr als 8000 Anleger haben in den Fonds investiert

Die ACI gilt hierzulande als größter Anbieter von Kapitalanlagen mit Investitionsziel Dubai. Mehr als 8000 Anleger haben bislang mehr als 200 Millionen Euro in Fonds des Unternehmens investiert. Projekte mit einem Volumen von mehr als 600 Millionen Euro sollten mit dem Geld realisiert werden. Besonderes Markenzeichen von ACI ist dabei das sogenannte Tower-Branding, bei dem Prominente wie Michael Schumacher, Boris Becker und Niki Lauda den Projekten des Unternehmens ihren Namen leihen.

Seit die Finanzkrise den Boom in Dubai vorerst beendet hat, läuft aber auch bei ACI nicht mehr viel rund. 2009 platzte der Verkauf mehrerer Immobilien aus vier Fonds des Unternehmens, der den Anlegern Rückflüsse in Höhe von mehr als 120 Millionen Euro bringen sollte. Mit den Folgen dieses Flops schlagen sich die Investoren nach Angaben von Anwalt Göddecke noch heute herum.

Die Verkäufe seien von ACI trotz allem verbucht und den Investoren eine Gewinnzuweisung zugeteilt worden, sagt Göddecke. “Der Fiskus hat auf die Scheingewinne prompt Steuern kassiert.” Die steuerliche Mehrbelastung könne sich in Einzelfällen auf fünfstellige Beträge summieren. Auch dazu war von ACI keine Stellungnahme zu bekommen.

ACI ist nicht der erste Dubai-Initiator, der seinen Anlegern wenig Freude bereitet. Vor wenigen Jahren scheiterte der umtriebige Finanzwirt Georg R. aus Hamm bei dem Versuch, sich als Fonds-Initiator zu positionieren. Aus seinem Hotelprojekt, für das er mindestens 20 Millionen Euro bei Anlegern eingesammelt hat, wurde bis heute nichts. Auch R. geriet schnell ins Visier der Staatsanwaltschaft.

The hearing begins and a few words and papers are exchanged between the judge and the lawyers representing each side.

Within minutes, it is all over. Claimants and defendants are quickly ushered out of the courtroom as their respective lawyers whisper a roughly translated version of the judge’s ruling. Moments later, the next case begins.

Welcome to Dubai’s Property Court, a division of the emirate’s legal system that has been dealing with the fallout of its property crisis since September 2008.

As case files spill out of a room one floor down from the court, officials decline to reveal how many property disputes are under way or pending. A clerk in charge of registering cases hints that the figure may be in the “thousands”.

“We are overwhelmed … it is too much work,” says the clerk, who does not want to be named. “Some cases are small, some are big. People should try and settle with the developer as they will spend more bringing the problem here.”

Just a few months after it opened in 2008, the Property Court had a mammoth challenge on its hands after the property downturn.

The court is a “work in progress”, says Dr Jamal Alsumaiti, the director general of the Dubai Judicial Institute. “You can see there’s movement from the government for regulation and for developing the judicial system as well … it’s a very critical period.”

Ron Oakeley is more than familiar with the Property Court, and the huge investment of money and time that come with a lawsuit.

The British businessman, who has been in Dubai since 1985, is about to attend his 15th hearing in a case filed more than a year ago against Alternative Capital Investment (ACI), a German developer.

Mr Oakeley is trying to recover more than Dh1.2 million (US$327,000) he spent on two offices at ACI’s long-delayed Niki Lauda Twin Towers, one of a trio of projects launched in late 2007.

His efforts, in part, paid off in February when the court rendered his agreement with ACI for one of the units “void” and ordered the company to repay him Dh569,585, plus 5 per cent interest from the date he started proceedings.

The court ruled for Mr Oakeley because ACI had failed to register the property with Dubai’s Land Department, according to court documents. A property contract is valid only when it is registered with the department.

But Mr Oakeley lost the case for the second unit, which cost Dh695,000, because the court found that the property had been registered, although it has since emerged it was under somebody else’s name.

ACI was quick to appeal the decision on the first unit. At yesterday’s hearing, the court decided to appoint an official to check on construction progress at the site, which appears to be at a standstill.

If there is still no conclusion at the next hearing, scheduled for June 23, then the case could go to the Court of Cassation, the final stage in the judicial process.

Mr Oakeley is one of dozens of investors with suits against ACI. He says it has so far cost Dh400,000, including fees and the cost of lawyers. But with the project showing little sign of progressing, he says he has no choice but to fight on.

“It’s the principle … most people can’t afford to keep fighting,” he says. “Unlike elsewhere in the world, you’ve got to spend so much more money to get your rights. There are hundreds of other projects in the same boat but nobody seems to be helping the people.”

Robin Lohmann, the chief executive of ACI, was unavailable for comment in the past two days.

Property disputes are generally filtered through the Dubai Land Department, where the department’s legal team tried to resolve them before they reach a courtroom.

While there is a surge in the number of investors turning to the department after the financial crisis, fewer people are approaching it today, says Mohammed Sultan Thani, the assistant director general of the Land Department.

“We are now seeing a lot of agreements between the buyer and seller,” Mr Thani adds. “There’s been a lot of movement of buyers between a project that hasn’t started to one that has.”

Since the Property Court is costly, it has mainly been used by major investors such as Mr Oakeley, who have the funds to pursue a case.

It costs Dh30,000 to register each case with the court, so if an investor has bought 10 apartments from one developer, simply lodging the dispute will cost Dh300,000.

As well, all cases require a local lawyer, who will charge a commission of up to 5 per cent of what the client is claiming. The proceedings are in Arabic so a claimant would have to pay for the translation of court documents as required.

“For an investor contemplating filing a legal case against a developer, it is advisable to first seek consultation with a lawyer who can advise whether filing a case makes sense based on the circumstances,” says Ludmila Yamalova, a partner at Al Sayyah Advocates and Legal Consultants.

Some cases have been settled out of court, Ms Yamalova adds, with developers agreeing to reimburse claimants in instalments.

With just four judges at the Property Court, cases can be long. But more than 18 months after it was established, steps are being taken to refine the system, says Dr Alsumaiti – a move that will likely boost confidence among investors.

“Four judges are not enough,” he says. “The concept of having a specialised property court isn’t new but the implementation is. The judges need to have the skills and knowledge to understand every single detail of a case. As long has you have provisions to speed up your procedures, you have a very strong legal system.”

Grauer Kapitalmarkt grotesk: Eigentlich sollten im Luxushotel “Maritim Dubailand” längst Gäste wohnen. Auf dem Wüstengrundstück befindet sich aber bislang nur eine Baugrube. Deutsche Anleger haben den Hotelflop mitfinanziert. Einem jungen Finanzwirt aus Hamm vertrauten sie Millionen an.

Hamm/Dubai – Drei Kräne, ein paar Baucontainer und eine riesige Baugrube – viel mehr gibt es nicht zu sehen auf dem Grundstück im Hinterland Dubais. Nur wenige Arbeiter sind zu entdecken – sie machen nicht den Eindruck, als wollten sie sich verausgaben.

Was an gleicher Stelle zu dieser Zeit eigentlich geplant war, steht im Emissionsprospekt eines geschlossenen Immobilienfonds, des Hotelfonds Dubai 1000: Ein Luxushotel, ausgestattet mit 1000 Zimmern, 50 so genannten Ownersuiten und – als besonderem Bonbon – dem “Ein-Zimmer-Ein-Auto-Konzept”, bei dem die Übernachtungsgäste eigens bereit gestellte Fahrzeuge kostenlos nutzen können. Schon im Juli dieses Jahres hätte das Haus die ersten Besucher aufnehmen sollen.

Tat es aber nicht. Und auch in nächster Zukunft wird kaum ein Gast im Hotel “Maritim Dubailand” absteigen. Denn im Moment ist kaum absehbar, wann der Bau fertig gestellt wird.

Zahlreiche deutsche Kapitalanleger kommt das teuer zu stehen. Denn diese haben den Fonds mit reichlich Eigenkapital ausgestattet. Wie viel die Anleger genau zum Investitionsvolumen von insgesamt knapp 143 Millionen Euro beigesteuert haben, ist allerdings offen. Initiator Georg Recker aus Hamm in Westfalen macht dazu keine Angaben. Die 70 Millionen Euro, die laut Markterhebung des Analysten Stefan Loipfinger zusammengekommen sein sollen, werden von Insidern als zu hoch gegriffen angezweifelt.

So oder so steht der Beteiligungsmarkt, in dem Jahr für Jahr zweistellige Milliardensummen eingesammelt werden, damit allen Bestrebungen und Beteuerungen für mehr Transparenz, Professionalität und Seriosität zum Trotz einmal mehr am Rande eines Anlagedesasters größeren Ausmaßes.

Was ist passiert? Am Anfang standen – wie so oft – große Versprechungen. In Hundertschaften hatte Recker vor rund zwei Jahren Anleger und potenzielle Vertriebspartner in Dubai begrüßt. Der Junginitiator – Anfang 30, Typ Dampfplauderer und bis dato vor allem als Steuerexperte und Seminarveranstalter aufgefallen – hämmerte seinen Gästen an zahllosen Wochenenden die Vorzüge seines ersten Beteiligungsangebots ein. Dubai boomt, der Fremdenverkehr ebenso. Was läge da näher als ein Hotel in der Wüste zu bauen?

Das Projektteam löst sich in Luft auf

Aber nicht irgendeine Herberge sollte es sein. Diplom-Finanzwirt Recker wollte das größte Vier-Sterne-Hotel im arabischen Raum, mitten im Herzen des geplanten Mega-Freizeitparks “Dubailand” sollte es stehen. Ein neues Monument der Gigantomanie im an Superlativen ohnehin schon überfrachteten Dubai. Wenn schon, denn schon.

Viele waren auf Anhieb begeistert. Und die wenigen, die Bedenken äußerten, wurden von Recker und seinen Jüngern gnadenlos abgebügelt. Risiken? Gelächter!

Unter jenen, die sich tatsächlich beteiligt haben, herrscht inzwischen Ernüchterung. Von Reckers Versprechungen hat sich noch kaum eine bewahrheitet. Insbesondere die prognostizierten Ausschüttungen von durchschnittlich 10 Prozent pro Jahr sind nicht in Sicht.

Dabei sah das Vorhaben auf dem Papier zunächst wirklich vielversprechend aus. Eine Reihe prominenter Partner hatte Recker mit ins Boot geholt. Vom Edel-Interieur-Designer Bost in Berlin über die Siemens-Tochter SIAT sowie die weltweit renommierte Projektmanagementgesellschaft Drees + Sommer (“Zentrale Deutsche Post, Bonn”, “Aqua City Palace, Moskau”) bis zu Dewan, einem der führenden Architekturbüros im arabischen Raum, reichte die Liste der am Projekt beteiligten Unternehmen. Mit Maritim war auch schon ein namhafter Betreiber gefunden.

Inzwischen ist von Reckers Dreamteam nicht mehr viel übrig. Lediglich Designer Bost hält dem Jungunternehmer aus Hamm uneingeschränkt die Treue. Das Architekturbüro SIAT? Schon vor Monaten aufgelöst. Der Projektmanager Drees + Sommer? Recker kündigte den Vertrag bereits im April 2006 wegen angeblich mangelhafter Leistung.

Der Initiator stellt sich tot

Anfang dieses Jahres sprang mit Bernhard Ilming auch noch Reckers wichtigster Berater in Hotelfragen ab. Und die Maritim-Gruppe? Laut Informationen von Marktbeobachtern war der Vertrag mit der Hotelkette auf ungewöhnliche Weise zustande gekommen. Recker habe die Kooperation direkt mit der Maritim-Zentrale in Bad Salzuflen vereinbart, schreibt der Brancheninformationsdienst “Hottelling”. Der übliche Weg über den Maritim-Auslands-Entwicklungspartner HMS in Köln sei umgangen worden.

Jetzt teilt Maritim auf Anfrage mit, das Thema Dubai 1000 Hotelfonds werde gerade bearbeitet. Zurzeit seien definitive Aussagen dazu nicht möglich. Echte Vorfreude auf eine Hoteleröffnung klingt anders.

Die kann nach Einschätzung von Experten ohnehin frühestens in zwei Jahren aufkommen. Und das auch nur, wenn von nun an mit Hochdruck gearbeitet wird – wovon aber gegenwärtig keine Rede sein kann.

Von Georg Recker war zu alldem keine Stellungnahme zu bekommen. Insbesondere die Fragen, welches Unternehmen zurzeit die Bauarbeiten vor Ort betreibt und wann mit einer Hoteleröffnung zu rechnen ist, blieben unbeantwortet. Zu den offenen Forderungen seiner (Ex-)Geschäftspartner äußerte er sich ebenfalls nicht.

Gegenüber seinen Anlegern zeigt sich der Initiator dagegen wesentlich kommunikativer. Mit seitenlangen Schreiben versucht er sie bei Laune zu halten. Die Verzögerungen von “sicherlich 12 Monaten” seien auf eine verspätete Übergabe der Grundstücke in “Dubailand” zurückzuführen, schreibt Recker da. Er sei aber stolz, bereits einen 500 Meter langen Zaun errichtet sowie mehrere Baucontainer aufgestellt zu haben.

Weiter heißt es: “Die Hotels in Dubai sind mit mehr als 85 Prozent Auslastung voller Besucher von nah und fern. (…) Viele Besucher aus Kuwait und Saudi Arabien machen ihren Jahresurlaub mittlerweile in Dubai und nicht mehr in Europa.”

Wären die Anleger des Dubai 1000 Hotelfonds an einem anderen Hotel in Dubai beteiligt, würden sie sich über diese Informationen sicher sehr freuen.

Authorities in Germany are seeking the arrest of a German national on suspicion of a multimillion-euro fraud in connection with a Dubai hotel project that was never built.

A court in Dortmund issued an arrest warrant in November for the developer Georg Recker, who is in Dubai and has denied any wrongdoing.

Investors are said to have provided about €25 million (Dh123.7m) for Mr Recker’s Dubai 1000 Hotel Fonds towards building a 1,050-room, four-star hotel in Dubailand.

The project was planned to be one of the largest hotels in the Middle East and was to have been completed by 2007.

Mr Recker’s property fund was set up in 2005 and was trying to raise €142m. In the prospectus provided to investors, Mr Recker requested a minimum investment of €10,000.

Five years after the project was launched, however, there is nothing but a hole in the ground at the site in Dubailand.

The prosecutor’s office in Dortmund, Germany, confirmed yesterday that a warrant had been issued for Mr Recker’s arrest.

Mr Recker denied there was an arrest warrant for him. He also claimed that work on the hotel project was continuing.

“Everything in Dubailand is delayed,” he said. “There is no infrastructure, no power, no electricity. What we are doing will definitely [continue], but it will take two to three years.”

About 70 of the 900 investors in the fund are also taking legal action against Mr Recker in Germany. KWAG, a law firm based in Hamburg, is representing the investors.

Mr Recker, 36, also denied the existence of the lawsuit.

Lutz Tiedemann, a lawyer at KWAG, asserted that five German bank accounts in Mr Recker’s name, containing a total of about €1m, had been frozen in connection with the claims. Mr Tiedemann added that it might prove difficult to arrest Mr Recker while he was still in Dubai.

“Enforcement in Dubai would be difficult. When he turns back to Europe he would probably be arrested.”

The construction consultancy Drees and Sommer International had been taken on to manage the hotel project, and Dewan Architects and Engineers was providing architectural consultancy services.

“We were working on this project a few years ago,” said Ammar al Assam, the executive director of Dewan. “The client … never paid us for the balance of our work.”

A spokeswoman for Drees and Sommer said her company was no longer involved in the project.

Maritim, the German hotel operator, was signed up to manage the completed property.

“Obviously Georg Recker was not able to win enough investors for the Dubai hotel project,” said Britt Winter, Maritim’s director of public relations. “As far as we are informed, the building is no longer being built, therefore the conclusion is very simple: Maritim cannot run a hotel that doesn’t exist.”

As part of the plans for the property, a Smart car would be provided free for guests who booked a room, according to the prospectus and a press release.

“Picture 1,000 ‘branded’ Smart cars driving around the city of Dubai and you will get a vision of the great brand-building and promotional opportunities within this exciting project,” the statement said.

Dubai’s biggest planned tourist attraction, Dubailand, was designed to help the city achieve its target of attracting 15 million visitors annually by 2015.

Dubailand, a project of the developer Tatweer, was launched in late 2003 with a billing as the Disney World of the Middle East, to be spread over 3 billion square feet.

The plans were that the development, with 45 major projects, would attract 40,000 visitors a day.

But the economic crisis and downturn in property prices has meant that many of the projects exist only on the drawing board.

These include the Universal Studios theme park, Lemnos, which was meant to be a “high luxury world dedicated to women”, and the Aqua Dunya water world, the centrepiece of which would be the world’s largest cruise ship, and the Great Dubai Wheel.

Mr Recker said he was now running a tour company and a German-language publication called Dubai Magazin.

Property investors in Dubai will be eligible for refunds or replacement property if they fall victim to unscrupulous or failing developers, under laws planned for this year.

And developers will face new financial penalties if the buildings they promise are not delivered on time, or to agreed specifications.

Details of the proposed laws were revealed in a newsletter from the law firm Al Tamimi and Company, which ran a dialogue between Lisa Dale, the head of the firm’s property practice, and Emad Eldin Farouq, a senior legal adviser at the Dubai Land Department.

“There are lessons to be learnt from the crisis and we are emerging with a new legal regime,” said Mr Farouq. “Loopholes in laws are being dealt with and things will become more organised in 2010.”

As more buyers default on their payment plans and developers fail to deliver buildings on time, legal disputes are expected to remain a dominant theme in the UAE this year, lawyers say.

“2010 is still the year of fighting,” said Michael Lunjevich, the head of the property practice at Hadef and Partners. “It will be about consolidations, legal claims, liquidations and insolvencies. The market needs to clean itself out.”

The most significant elements of the proposed legislation in Dubai relate to the protection of property investors, including the refund or replacement property for buyers where the developer delivers a defective property, and financial penalties for late delivery.

The laws would also establish the grounds on which a purchaser can demand cancellation of the contract if, for instance, the developer refuses to link payment plans with construction milestones.

“The investor protection law is being proposed to deal with some specific issues identified last year, where investors needed further assistance in dealing with errant developers,” Ms Dale said.

Another element of the legislation would allow Emiratis with land granted to them by the Government to convert it to a freehold title, allowing them to sell it to another Emirati or GCC national, or mortgage the property, she said.

“The granted land system is a tradition in the UAE, enabling nationals to have access to lands for the purpose of building their home or business premises,” Ms Dale said.

“However, the system is quite limiting, as there are restrictions on transacting with such land. If you upgrade your title from granted to freehold, you can sell the property to other UAE or GCC nationals, or you can put it into a property fund or mortgage it. It becomes a much more flexible asset.”

The Dubai Land Department also plans to begin regulating property valuers and conveyancers by requiring them to obtain licences, and to create a law to oversee property brokers who handle trust accounts for property deals, Ms Dale said.

The department has created a draft law that would provide a regulated structure for establishing and managing property funds, which would “potentially provide a boost to the Dubai real estate market by generating an increased level of collective investment activity”, she said.

Mr Farouq said in an interview yesterday that the Dubai Land Department was seeking to raise its number of lawyers to 15 from 10, and bring on board more property experts to help deal with the overflow of cases that have arisen from the slowdown in the property sector.

Planned laws welcomed, b4

But the wider problem for clearing the system of legal disputes is the relatively uncertain nature of property legislation in Dubai.

Last year, the authorities announced Law No. 9 as a definitive system for determining what happens in the event of a buyer default, but the regulations spelling out the specifics of the law have yet to come out.

Alexis Waller, the head of the property practice at Clyde and Company, said developers and investors in Dubai faced a “change-of-law risk”.

“You could do something today that could be impacted by a new law later,” Ms Waller said. “We are operating in a jurisdiction where there are a lot of grey areas.”

Malika Karoum, de voormalige spionne uit Slotervaart die ervan verdacht wordt vanuit haar standplaats Dubai internationale drugstransporten te financieren, is in Egypte tot achtentwintig maanden gevangenisstraf veroordeeld voor het witwassen van crimineel geld en betrokkenheid bij wapenhandel. Dat onthult Revu deze week in een exclusieve reportage waaraan maanden voorbereiding vooraf is gegaan. Een nationale veiligheidsrechtbank in Ismailiya (Egypte) heeft op 5 en 19 april in drie zittingen de Nederlands-Marokkaanse veroordeeld tot achtentwintig maanden gevangenisstraf. Malika had zes jaar kunnen krijgen, maar werd vrijgesproken op verdenking van contraspionage. In hoger beroep, begin juli, kreeg zij dezelfde straf opgelegd. De berechting volgde na haar aanhouding begin 2009.


Ongeveer een jaar geleden onthulde Revu als eerste het verhaal van de Nederlands-Marokkaanse Malika Karoum, een rijzende ster bij de Nederlandse inlichtingendienst die eind 2006 naar Dubai was vertrokken om voor meerdere diensten informatie te vergaren over terroristische en criminele geldstromen. Najaar 2007, bij de aanhouding van een geldkoerier op Schiphol, werd duidelijk dat zij een Mata Hari-achtige dubbelrol vervulde en mogelijk zelf de financiering van drugstransporten had gefaciliteerd. Malika bleef dat overigens ontkennen. Uitlevering aan Nederland leverde echter problemen op omdat er geen wederzijds uitleveringsverdrag tussen Dubai en Nederland bestaat. Vandaar naar Egypte werd uitgeweken.

Haar advocaten deden de affaire vorig jaar nog grotendeels af als leugens van haar ex-man, die in een jaren slepende voogdijzaak met Malika was verwikkeld. Die zaak werd eind 2008 in zijn nadeel beslecht, toen het hof oordeelde dat Malika’s zoontje bij haar in Dubai mocht blijven. De man was ondergedoken nadat hij was beroofd van honderden paspoorten en geld van Mekkagangers die tickets bij zijn Amsterdamse reisbureau hadden besteld. B. meldde zich pas begin 2009 weer bij de politie en blijft verdachte in de zaak.

Well Malika, as I told you before….the (and your) end is near !!!

Malika 3 in 1Dubai – Vier Dubai-Fonds des Gütersloher Initiators Alternative Capital Invest (ACI) sind offenbar in Schieflage geraten. Die Fonds II bis V könnten vorerst keine Ausschüttungen leisten, berichtet der Branchendienst unter Bezugnahme auf ein Schreiben der ACI an ihre Anleger. Zwar sei ein Verkauf der Fondsimmobilien vertraglich vereinbart. Jedoch habe der Erwerber entgegen einer früheren Zusage seiner Bank keine Kredite erhalten. Aus unternehmensnahen Kreisen wurden die Informationen der WELT gegenüber bestätigt. ACI-Geschäftsführer Uwe Lohmann war bis Redaktionsschluss nicht für eine Stellungnahme zu erreichen.
Mit einer Investitionssumme von insgesamt 474,5 Mio. Euro ist ACI nach der Marktstudie der Beteiligungsmodelle von Feri EuroRating der größte Anbieter von Dubai-Fonds in Deutschland. Auf ihrer Internetseite beziffert die Gesellschaft ihr Gesamtinvestitionsvolumen im Wüstenstaat sogar mit “über 550 Mio. Euro”.Investoren hatten in den vergangenen Jahren für Milliardenbeträge Bürotürme und Hotels in Dubai errichtet und damit eine gewaltige Spekulationsblase geschaffen, die mit der Finanzkrise platzte. Verbraucherschützer hatten schon im Jahr 2005 vor Engagements im Immobilienmarkt des Öl-Emirats am Persischen Golf gewarnt. rhai

by Robert to 7StarsDubai

Until recently I worked in the ‘legal’ department of a major property developer in Dubai. These investors are 100% correct. The unscrupulous practices being carried out by Developers in Dubai in order to defraud investors of the money they’ve handed over in good faith is quite incredible.


It’s a massive scandal just waiting to be revealed. I just hope these investors are sucessful in their quest to reveal the extent of the scandal. We are talking about billions of dollars of investors money, not millions.

These developers have taken the money from investors, spent it and now cancelled the projects to which the money relates. The crux of the problem is the companies won’t now refund investors their money back as they simply don’t have this money anymore. They’re broke. If they were in an western country we’d say they were Insolvent or Bankrupt. They simply shouldn’t still be trading.

They can’t now give the investors the money back and they’ve spent it (or hidden it away in accounts in far off places). All these developers were relying upon is the ‘Pyramid Scheme’ they’ve been operating wouldn’t come to an end. Sadly the credit crunch arrived and their income gravy train has come to a sudden and abrupt halt. Now blind panic has set in amongst these developers and investors quite rightly ask for their money back in relation to the numerous cancelled projects. The scandal is that the developers are doing every trick in their big sordid book of malpractices in order to avoid having to refund such money, for the reasons I’ve said.

The Dubai Government and the so called ‘Real Estate Regulation Authority (RERA)’ are doing next to nothing to stop these sharks. They shouldn’t be surprised therefore that the pack of cards they’ve tried to build in Dubai over the last few years is now going to come tumbling down around their sorry, sordid ears. You reap what you sow.



Be advised, the DL project, nor the units have been registered with the land department. in violation of the law. everybody go to the land department’s registration office ASAP and register your unit in your name. this prevents Schon from selling your apartment and canceling your contract. then go file your case in court ASAP.


Escrow account is iffy too. go to the bank and request for your account information as well.


I am an ex member of staff from Schon who is owed not an unsubstanial amount of money. Ex employees are not being paid what they are owed. There are several pending civil court cases against this company, who have clearly flaunted the employment and visa rules of this country. One of these cases is taking place this week. By my estimation money owed is certainly well over 1m dirham.

If i were an investor i would not be paying any more money to this compnay until there delivered . they are taking but not giving in any shape or form.