Nakheel wins court verdict on Waterfront payments

Dubai: The Dubai Courts have ruled in favour of Nakheel on the developer’s payment claims against investors who had acquired plots in Dubai Waterfront. The investors — Safi Qurashi and his business associates — will have to pay the master-developer Dh11 million as per the judgement, Nakheel said in a statement issued on Thursday.

“Nakheel has obtained an attachment to recover the judgement debt,” according to the verdict by the Courts. Nakheel declined to offer further details on the case, which a spokesperson said was a “recent development”.

Safi Qurashi, CEO of Q Group, issued a comment saying he was surprised by Nakheel’s statement, which he called “very misleading.”

“The facts are that in December 2013 the Dubai Courts ordered that I should receive Dh31.3m from a complainant, after clearing me of any criminal charges in a case of security cheques, which the courts ruled should never have been banked,” the statement said.

Qurashi’s statement also said the judgement referred to in the Nakheel statement relates to an attachment order by the court for some of the money still owed to his company.

The project in question was launched — and extensive spadework done — during the boom period in the middle part of the last decade. Investors were quick to pile into the project as the first clusters were released to sub-developers and property buyers. But once the downturn hit, the project was among the many that was placed on hold.

But, in the recent past, there have been movements related to the project through specific project launches — the Badrah and Veneto — by Nakheel, valuation works, collection of payments related to plots bought by developers/investors, etc.

“When the Waterfront was launched, it was the last piece of undeveloped seafront and as such was considered prime property,” said Sameer Lakahni, Managing Director at Global Capital Partners. “The crash in 2008 and subsequent litigation caused values to recede.

Buying activity

“But Nakheel has been methodically overcoming these issues to ensure the area retains its value as a prime residential district of the future.”

According to Ranjeet Chavan, Director at SPF Realty, “Buying activity is yet to take off in a big way on the Waterfront … though it’s still early days in its relaunch phase. All of the activity continues to be led by Nakheel.

“But there aren’t any more of the credit notes related to the Waterfront — issued by Nakheel at the time of the downturn — floating about in the market.” The credit notes were issued by the developer to those investors in delayed projects and which could be used by them to take up positions in ongoing or completed ones. Meanwhile, Nakheel on Wednesday again confirmed that it had no plans to launch redevelopment works for the Palm Jebel Ali, which was conceived to be the second instalment of the Palm trilogy. “That’s definitely not on the agenda right now,” said Ali Rashid Lootah, Chairman of Nakheel. The third project in the original series has taken on a completely different form and function through “Deira Islands”.

Source: Manoj Nair, Associate Editor, GN


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