Wednesday, 14 December 2011

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 Residential Falcon Tower located on Plot H3 Jumeirah Lake Towers.

The completion of this Tower should be  March 2008 but the apartment was never delivered or intended to build by al Fajer Properties. The german couple end up in a Horror scenario when the development was transferred from Nakheel to Al Fajer Properties in 2006.

After have been mislead, deprived of their property rights by illegal actions and extortion  ,financial and mental extremely damaged by receiving several threats from Al Fajer Properties since 2008 upon 2009,  a criminal complaint was filed in Germany already in August  2009 against the CEO and President of Al Fajer Properties, Maktoum Hasher Maktoum Juma Al Maktoum. The witness hearings and investigations in Germany are still going on.

In 2006 the Residential development Falcon Tower Jumeirah Lake Towers was transferred from Nakheel to DMCC ( 100% Government) and Al Fajer Properties was named by DMCC as new Developer of the Falcon Tower.
DMCC ensured in writing that the terms of Al Fajer´s purchase was that Al Fajer Properties will developing the Falcon Tower with the same design, same unit specifications and price at which the couple purchased original at Nakheel.
It was agreed between Al Fajer Properties to take 1:1 over the once valid contractual obligation – just the completion date will be now in December 2008.
DMCC transferred the 45 % already paid installments paid once by the couple to Nakheel, in 2007 to the account of Al Fajer Properties.
A Financial Statement, hold by the couple, from DMCC and Al Fajer Properties shows this evidently.
The process was accompanied by a lawyer of the couple, the correspondence show evidence that Al Fajer agreed to the named conditions and stept 1:1 in the former contractual obligations.
Left in the illusion everything went fine, Al Fajer Properties start in 2008 to threat the couple to sign and agree to a new contract.This contract was given to the couple in November 2007 in form of a draft in presence of their lawyer and staff members of Al Fajer Properties. It was a blank document , containing only terms and conditions but not containing any Building constitution, no Apartment specification, no price, and no other relevant declarations. It was a draft with no specification. Within this draft Al Fajer themself was not named as developer, just as seller.  The Tower on Plot H3 was quoted in the Header now as Mixed Use Building ( Residential/Commercial)  and renamed to Jumeirah Business Centre 8.
Several correspondence upon January 2008 sent to Al Fajer Properties to complete the relevant documentation failed. Al Fajer Properties didn`t provide the relevant Documentation.
March 2008 Al Fajer Properties appointed  a new CEO and President, Maktoum Hasher Maktoum Juma Al Maktoum. Starting on March 10, 2008 the couple received threats from Al Fajer´s lawyer Michael Kerr,  Denton Wilde Sapte,  to deprive them of the property and simply return the amount,unless they did not sign and agree to the incomplete blank draft contract.
After receiving this threats from Al Fajer Properties, the lawyer of the couple ask Al Fajer to refrain from such illegal actions. The actions of Al Fajer have been mentioned to RERA Dubai.
Al Fajer Properties didn`t retrain and repeated in letters upon 31 March 2008 the same threats to the couple.
After this date it remain silent and Al Fajer didn`t react.
A letter wrote by the couple to Al Fajer Properties in June 2008, brought a reaction of Michael Kerr Denton Wilde Sapte, a lawyer namely instructed to do so by the CEO  Maktoum Hasher Maktoum, and showed willingness to pay a full compensation based on the damage cause by Al Fajer Properties to the couple. The discussion was about the sum and damage caused by Al Fajer, based upon the event to enable the couple to buy an adequate apartment. The market price of such an apartment was at that time over 2 Million AED.
After several delays of Al Fajer´s lawyer to step in a negotiation, a concrete willingness from Maktoum Hasher Maktoum Juma Al Maktoum to provide a fair compensation was shown in September 2008.
The correspondence was hold in written form via Email between the lawyers.
A clear calculation about the caused damage and the therefrom resulted compensation sum was presented by the couples lawyer. But Maktoum Hasher Maktoum rejected this  and set out a fixed sum, which would have caused the couple still a damage of 600.000 AED.
Finally the so called good will of Maktoum Hasher Maktoum Juma Al Maktoum end up in further threats by Al Fajer Properties upon a statement October 2008 from his lawyer Michael Kerr Denton Wilde Sapte , by not taking the now offered amount,  to return only the amount of the once paid 45%. ( 345.000 AED).  Within this letter have also been threatened that they contacted in April 2008 a Journalist providing him what happened to them, they would get in trouble if they made the story public in the future.
No more correspondence sent to Al Fajer Properties or their  lawyer were answered after January 2009.
Later it was revealed by the couple , over a document provided to a foreign court, that Al Fajer Properties CEO Maktoum Hasher Maktoum Juma Al Maktoum sold on March 31, 2008 the Tower Plot H3 Jumeirah Lake Towers as a 100% Commercial Tower to Dynasty Zarooni .
The Price per sqft within this MOU, agreed between this parties, was 2050 AED. This however was nearly the triple of the price Al Fajer had to deliver the 1098 sqft apartment of the couple,  purchase it for total 775 000 AED and on which was Al Fajer in the contractual obligation to deliver it.

This document in original also revealed that Al Fajer Properties didn`t  intend to develop a Residential Building on Plot H3, nor a Residential Mixed use Building like quoted in their new draft contract on March 2008, the time frame in which the deal with Dynasty Zarooni was already arranged and new Brochures have been already in the printing for a sales promotion of the now  100 % Commercial Tower on Plot H3.
This document uncovered why the couple should have been mislead and been left in the illusion of a now Mixed used Residential Tower, the reason of unwillingness of  Al Fajer Properties to provide the missing declaration and documentation of the building constitution within the draft contract, to which they extorted the couple several times to sign in March 2008 .
Upon today October 2011, Al Fajer Properties is still holding the since 2005 45% paid installments ( 345.000 AED) from the couple and is not showing any positive will to repay this amount nor remembering the once shown will of a compensation.
The Tower however on Plot H3 Jumeirah Lake Towers , which was converted by Al Fajer in a Commercial Building in March 2008 ,renamed to Jumeirah Business Centre 8 , sold in March 2008 to Dynasty Zarooni, is not completed until today.
From 2010 until 2011 Al Fajer Properties was several times contacted directly via email and an adress of a Lawyer who presented Maktoum Hasher. Within this correspondence it has been asked several times to pay the outstanding debts to the couple. Upon today Al Fajer Properties resists to do so.
In a last correspondence hold with an other lawyer of Al Fajer Properties in 2010 it was quoted, that his client, Maktoum Hasher Maktoum cannot remember that the couple had ever claims against him and that he never offered to repay the investments for the purchased accommodation. His further provocation was : ” Can you please send a copy of whatever contract you believe exists between Al Fajer Properties and your clients” ” If you supply evidence to support their assertion losses attributable to Al Fajer, my client ( Maktoum Hasher) will then review it.
The lawyer was after this correspondence informed that a criminal complaint ( by providing him a copy of the complaint) was already filed against his client and that  it is extremely remarkable, due to the evident correspondence of March 2008 until October 2008 from other lawyers of Al Fajer,  that his client Maktoum Hasher Maktoum start now in 2010 to simulate  not to be in the acknowledge that there was still a claim against Al Fajer Properties and him and that he cannot remember his acts,when he threat them in March and October by saying  just returning a refund of the paid installments to the couple.
Sheikh Maktoum Hasher Juma Al Maktoum who comitted this fraud to the German couple didn`t pay back the money ( over 60 000 Euro) he hold in the accounts of Al Fajer Properties since 2007  nor did he pay the compensation for the damage he caused the german couple upon today in 2011.

Several correspondence sent to Al Fajer Properties and Maktoum Hasher Al Maktoum, asking to settle the debts, are not answerd by Al Fajer Properties. 

Other Investors who bought offices from Al Fajer Properties development Jumeirah Business Centre ( Eboy Ivory Tower) after Al Fajer Properties deal with Dynasty Zarooni in March 2008 had also been in trouble with his His Highness Sheikh Maktoum Hasher Maktoum Juma Al Maktoum……..
continue reading Reuters “Angry International Investors Demand Investigation in $630 Million Dubai Real Estate Scandal “
Angry International Investors Demand Investigation in $630 Million Dubai Real Estate Scandal
Iranian conned by Dubai ruling family  
Wall Street Journal pdf

Friday, 17 June 2011

UAE: Human Rights Blogger, Sorbonne Lecturer Charged With ‘Humiliating' Officials

source Human Rights Watch
(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 government and therefore violate
their freedom of expression, Human Rights Watch said. UAE authorities
should release the activists unconditionally and without delay.

The five defendants, who include a leading human rights activist,
Ahmed Mansoor, and a university lecturer, Nasser bin Ghaith, pled not
guilty on June 14, 2011, during a closed-door hearing in Abu Dhabi's
Federal Supreme Court. The trial follows a campaign of harassment
against the activists after they and dozens of other UAE nationals
signed a petition
published on March 9 that sought constitutional and parliamentary
changes in the Emirates and free elections in which all citizens could
UAE rulers are prosecuting these activists solely for advocating
democratic reforms," said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director at
Human Rights Watch. "The authorities should end this shameful crackdown
on peaceful dissent."
The five activists have been detained and denied bail since early
April. Local news reports said that dozens of pro-government protesters
holding banners and flags gathered outside the courtroom on June 14 and
shouted slogans condemning the activists. The next hearing is scheduled
for July 18.

Authorities arrested Mansoor on April 8 and are holding him at the Al Wathba prison in Abu Dhabi.
Mansoor has been a vocal proponent of the petition. Before his arrest,
he gave numerous television and other media interviews on the issue.
Mansoor is a member of Human Rights Watch's Middle East advisory

On April 10, security forces detained bin Ghaith, an
economics lecturer at the Abu Dhabi branch of Paris' Sorbonne
University, who has criticized UAE authorities for failing to undertake
significant political reforms. The three other detained online activists
are Fahad Salim Dalk, Hassan Ali al-Khamis, and Ahmed Abd al-Khaleq.
In early June, UAE authorities charged the five detainees under
article 176 of the Penal Code, which permits a sentence of up to five
years in prison for "whoever publicly humiliates the State President,
its flag or national emblem." Article 8 of the code widens the
application of the provision to include the vice president, members of
the Supreme Council of the Federation, and others. The charges came
after Attorney General Salim Saeed Kubaish said on April 25 that the
five detainees were in "preventive custody" for "instigation, breaking
laws and perpetrating acts that pose a threat to state security,
undermining the public order, opposing the government system, and insulting the president, the vice president and the crown prince of Abu Dhabi."

In the weeks following the arrests, the UAE expanded its crackdown on
civil society by dissolving the elected board of directors of both the Jurist Association and the Teachers' Association.
The decrees, signed by Social Affairs Minister Mariam Mohammed Khalfan
Al Roumi, dismissed the boards and replaced their members with state
appointees. Both associations, along with two other nongovernmental
organizations, had signed a public appeal calling for greater democracy
in the country on April 6.

The United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Defenders provides
that countries should "take all necessary measures to ensure the
protection of everyone against any violence, threats, retaliation,
adverse discrimination, pressure or any other arbitrary action" as a
result of their participation in human rights activity.

Article 32 of the Arab Charter on Human Rights, which has been
ratified by the UAE, guarantees the right to freedom of opinion and
expression, and to impart news to others by any means.
The only
restrictions allowed on the practice of this right are those imposed for
"respect for the rights of others, their reputation, or the protection
of national security, public order, public health, or public morals."

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Nakheel Dubai Sunland Case

June 5, 2011

After 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 futuristic construction known as the Atrium, but which has never got off the ground. In a very Australianstory, the two men are accused of deceiving the buyer of the plot, the
Gold Coast developer Sunland, and harming Nakheel, Dubai Waterfront's parent company.

Since their arrest in January 2009, Mr Joyce and Mr Lee have maintained they are innocent. Their passports confiscated, neither allowed to work, they are trapped with their families in a city where food prices are soaring and rent remains expensive despite the property crash. If convicted, the men could face long jail terms in the Middle East.

Mr O'Donnell's testimony may be crucial in proving the sale and value of Plot D17 was approved by Nakheel's executive committee and there was no deception. Mr Joyce was Dubai Waterfront's managing director and Mr Lee its commercial manager.

What Mr O'Donnell said in court directly contradicted the Dubai prosecutor's claims that Nakheel lost millions as a result of the $60 million sale.

The drama began when Mr Joyce and Mr Lee were arrested amid the global  financial crisis and the Dubai government's crackdown on fraud. Dozens of other senior executives were arrested and charged with fraud in
20The Australian men were locked in prison for nine months, and released in October 2009 once they each raised $295,000 bail. While Dubai police allege the Australian men profited from the sale of the land, testimony
from Mohammad Mustafa, of the Dubai government's Financial Audit Department, concluded that Mr Lee did not receive any money; nor did he benefit or gain from the transactions.

continue reading source TheAge Australia

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 in Nakheel's history during which the developer behind Dubai’s palm-shaped island was the biggest casualty of the emirate’s real estate crash, halting work on a number of
offplan projects.
Nakheel’s inability to meet its obligations left it with billions of dirhams in unpaid bills to contractors and suppliers and helped trigger Dubai’s debt crisis in 2009.
source Arabian Business ....continue reading

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

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 Red Sea resort of Gamsha Bay near Hurghada. Sajwani filed the arbitration claim before the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes, based on an Egyptian treaty with the United Arab Emirates that protectsinvestments made by UAE nationals in Egypt, Damac said.
source Reuters ...continue reading

Monday, 16 May 2011

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 year.

 “Most of us purchased these properties back in 2004, we paid for them
in full back in August 2009,” investor Martin Lawrence told Arabian

source Arabian Business continue reading.....

Dubai Rera said Real Estate cancellation rise to 500 in 2011

source Arabian Business 

The number of real estate developments in Dubai facing cancellation this
year has risen from 300 to 500, the emirate’s property watchdog Rera Dubai said.

Marwan bin Ghalaita from RERA Dubai told Arabian Business:

“We have finished the technical review, site visits have already been
done, so we know what stage the projects are at and the strength of the
contractor. Now we’re waiting for the financial audit to finish and we will release the names [of the cancelled Dubai Property projects] very soon.”
continue reading......

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Family of Lee Bradley, who died in Dubai, launched Website Justiceforleebrown

Lee died under suspicious circumstances in Bur Dubai Police Station just weeks ago.

The family are determined that Lee's death should not be in vain.

His family currently fighting for justice for Lee and the truth about his final days amid many many obstacles.

They will continue in the hope that highlighting the tragic death of such a kind and generous man will have a more far reaching impact on the conditions in which Lee was kept and the level of care that citizens can expect when overseas whether working or on holiday, like Lee.

His family can't begin to express the effect that Lee's shocking death has had and the drive that we now have to ensure that the families of others do not have to endure some of the heartache and pain that we have lived through and the hurdles that we have had to overcome.

More up to date information about the campaign is posted on the Comments page

If you have any information or have been in Bur Dubai Police Station please Contact Technorati-Tags: , , , ,

British Tourist Lee Brown died while in police custody in Dubai

Independent investigation urged into death of British detainee in UAE

16 April 2011


The authorities in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) must ensure that the investigation into the death of a British citizen who died while in police custody is impartial and independent, Amnesty International said today.

Lee Bradley Brown, 39, died on Tuesday in Dubai, six days after he was arrested by police and amid allegations that he was assaulted in police custody.

“The UAE authorities must quickly get to the bottom of what occurred by carrying out a full and thorough investigation,” said Malcolm Smart, Amnesty International’s director for the Middle East and North Africa.

“They must also ensure that any police or others who are found responsible for assaulting Lee Bradley Brown or causing his death are promptly brought to justice.”

Lee Bradley Brown is reported to have been on holiday in Dubai when he was arrested on 6 April following an altercation at a luxury hotel. He was taken to a local police station where, it is alleged, he was assaulted by police officers before being confined to a cell.

He died six days later after choking on his own vomit, according to the Dubai authorities.

The Dubai police have told Amnesty International that the death is being investigated by their Criminal Investigation Department.

“We welcome the fact that an investigation is already underway but it is not sufficiently independent if, as it appears, one branch of the police is investigating alleged abuses by other police,” said Malcolm Smart.

“It is vital in cases of this nature that those charged with finding the truth are fully independent and have the powers and resources to achieve this end, otherwise they cannot expect to command public credibility.”

For more Information please visit the Website

Justice for Lee Brown
Technorati-Tags: ,

Ahmed Mansoor Dubai UAE human rights activist detained after death threats

Duba April 9, 2011 - Ahmed Mansoor, Human Rights Activist and Blogger from the United Arab Emirates , was taken from his apartment in Dubai on Friday April 8, 2011 afternoon,  he has not been heard from since he was taken from his Dubai apartment Friday, his wife said.

CNN report that Lt. General Dhahi Khalfan Tamim, the commander-in-chief of Dubai police, said he was not aware whether Mansoor had been arrested, but promised to look into it.

The last posts  from the Website and the Twitter Account of Ahmed Mansoor

They Came up to me at 3:50 They came to take me

April 8, 2011

The security guard of my building came to my apartment at 3:50 am few minutes ago. I could tell immediately that there is something wrong. i reluctantly opened and asked him what? he said there are three policemen waiting for you in the main entrance, i told him are you sure they are policemen? he said yes. they told me to tell to go and see them down, i told him what they need? he said they say something related to the car. i told him then send them up to my apartment. closed the door and called Dubai police immediately, and i told him the story that i was told by the guard, and i told them that i have been receiving death threats and that i can not go down like this. they told me you are right and we will send some one to check, stay home. after minutes somebody from Dubai police called me from his mobile and asked me guide him to the place, i did, he told me i will call you back

he called me back after minutes telling that they are suspecting your car and would like to take it. i told him if they want to take the car they can do that in the morning, not 2:50 am. or they are the State Security making their old trick i further said. he said now will you come down or not? i told him if they want the car they can take it, he said what about your belongings, i said there is nothing valuable there, they can take it.

This method is well known method of the State Security because they do not have an arrest warrant, they make such tricks to bring you down and take you. i’m ready to go, but they should either do it the right way or by force.

I refused to go down from my apartment and started writing this email. not sure if they took the car or not, i will not soon know. the scenario is that if they take it, they can put whatever they like inside and make a case against me. i’m declaring here that my car is clean of unlawful material, it has a swiss style knife that put there today after receiving 6 death threats and some papers of no great importance.


Ahmed Mansoor


Death threats against me and on the verge of dismissal from work

Ahmed Mansoor wrote April  7, 2011

Dear all,

I would like to inform you all that I'm facing an unprecedented campaign against me, the result, until yesterday, before the middle of the night, six clear and direct death threats with their real names, phone numbers and some were using their real photos in their facebook profile. They were all UAE citizens and belong to the tribe called ”Al Mazrouei”. The Campaigns and the outrageous insults against me by some individuals were posted in the blogs, Twitter, Facebook and BlackBerry.  All this campaign came after we posted the petition dircted to the head of state and rulers of the Emirates calling for reform in the FNC (the parliament) to extend legislative and regulatory power to it, and after our appearance in some media channels talking about these demands, revolutions in the region, and implications the sensitive time in the region. The strange matter is that most of those who death threatened me declared their full names, phone numbers and some were using their real photos apparently in their facebook profile!

additionally, Etisalat (the Teleocom provider), which owns the largest share in my company that I work for (Thuraya Teleocm. Comp.) decided suddenly that they need to move Ahmed Masnoor, to work in their group subsidiary in Paksitan. Although I have no relation with Etisalat whatsoever and my contract is directly with Thuraya and Thuraya does not have an office in Pakistan or elsewhere other than UAE.

I still do not understand under what legal stand does Etisalat order Thuraya to take this action.  Management in my company (Chief Human Resource Officer first, then CEO the same day – yesterday, 6 April 2011) told me that the matter is not in their hand and they have no control over it.

There was no doubt in my mind that the matter was an order from the State Security to find a mechanism to get rid of me.

They would get rid of me in all cases in a politically correct way, if I accept, I go to Pakistan, if I don't I will be fired.

I certainly refused to go to Pakistan regardless of the offer. I certainly refused to go to Pakistan regardless of the offer. I never signed a contract with Etisalat, and my contract is directly with Thuraya. I never signed a contract with Etisalat, and my contract is directly with Thuraya. The management of my company was professional and friendly and appreciating to my work, they dealt with me on that basis, it was beyond their hands.

Thought they did not state it, it was clear to all of us that this came from the State Security due to my activism in Human Rights, demand for political reform and late appearance in many TV shows.

I expect that they will soon send me termination letter as I refused to go to Pakistan. I expect that they will soon send me termination letter as I refused to go to Pakistan.

Just wanted to keep you in the picture. Just wanted to keep you in the picture.

Regards, Regards,

Ahmed Mansoor


UAE: "internet thugs" attacking militants

March 17, 2011
Following the trend in Egypt, Yemen, Libya and Bahrain, some Emirati "Internet Thugs" have been attacking activists, Jurists and the signatories of a recent petition that called for a reform of the Federal National Council (Parliament) which has been signed by more than 400 citizens after it was published on the Internet.

The Internet, especially the Facebook, Twitter and online discussion forums, has been witnessing an unprecedented attack from some Internet users on activists, noticeably after the revolution of Egypt. The Internet, especially the Facebook, Twitter and online discussion forums, has been witnessing an unprecedented attack from some Internet users on activists, noticeably after the revolution of Egypt. Attacks however peaked after the reach of protests to Oman and Bahrain. Attacks however peaked after the reach of protests to Oman and Bahrain.

Internet Thugs have been using verbal abuses and insults, threats of physical harm, and recently distributed a electronic circular describing activists as traitors and posting their photos around a gallows (see link below), in a Simi-replica of the scenario that accused Bahraini activist of coup plot. Internet Thugs have been using verbal abuses and insults, threats of physical harm, and recently distributed a electronic circular describing activists as traitors and posting their photos around a gallows (see link below), in a Simi-replica of the scenario that accused Bahraini activist of coup plot.

Some activists believe that these thugs may belong to security agencies; as UAE usually, and quickly, block such Internet sites, while no action has been taken so far towards these thugs so far, especially that many UAE laws criminalize such acts. Some activists believe that these thugs may belong to security agencies; as UAE usually, and quickly, block such Internet sites, while no action has been taken so far towards these thugs so far, especially that many UAE laws criminalize such acts.

Some activists whom their photos appeared in the electronic circular hold the security authorities responsible for their personal security and request them to stop the systematic abuse against them. Some activists whom their photos appeared in the electronic circular hold the security authorities responsible for their personal security and request them to stop the systematic abuse against them.

Internet penetration in UAE is one of the most in the Arab world compared to number of the population, opposition and dissents sites however are usually blocked quickly. Internet penetration in UAE is one of the most in the Arab world compared to number of the population, opposition and dissents sites however are usually blocked quickly. Reports have also indicated the targeting and harassments of Internet activists by the State Security. Reports have also indicated the targeting and harassments of Internet activists by the State Security.

- - - -
Link to electronic circular that describe Activist as traitors and shows their photos around a gallows: Link to electronic circular that describe Activist as traitors and shows their photos around a gallows:

Thursday, 31 March 2011

Dubai Tourists - Alcohol Licence requirement in UAE update January 2011

Jumeirah boss slams Brit poll branding Dubai ‘unsafe

Dubai 31 Mrach 2011 source Arabian Business

The chairman of Jumeirah Group, the state-backed hotel firm that
operates Dubai’s Burj Al Arab, has spoken out against a poll branding Dubai one
of the least safe tourism destinations.

A poll of British holidaymakers published last week placed
Dubai alongside Mexico, South Africa and Jamaica as countries they feel least
safe in, a result condemned by Gerald Lawless.

“You can go into our hotels now and just do a sample of all
of our guests and ask if you think Dubai is safe and 99.9 percent of our guests
will say; ‘Absolutely, it is one of the if not the safest destinations in the
world,’” Lawless told Arabian Business
on the sidelines of a Dubai event...continue reading

To end the confusion about the Alcohol Licence requirement in UAE please read the Update
quoted from the Website
Despite what some people may think, alcohol is relatively freely
available in Dubai (a very stark contrast to Saudi Arabia). Almost all 4
and 5 star hotels have restaurants and or bars where alcohol is served,
and many sports clubs have restaurant and bar facilities for example
the Aviation Club, the Country Club.
Alcohol Licence requirement in UAE update January 2011

Whether or not a resident of, or visitor to, the UAE requires an
alcohol licence to drink alcohol has been a common subject of
conversation and confusion in the UAE. As far as we knew, the situation
was as follows:

  • An alcohol licence is permission to drink alcohol rather than permission to buy alcohol (similar to a driving licence).
  • Tourists and visitors to the UAE do not need an alcohol
    licence to drink alcohol in bars, restaurants, and other licenced
    establishments in the UAE
    - they cannot obtain one anyway since a UAE
    residence visa is a requirement to obtain an alcohol licence.

  • Visitors
    drinking alcohol in private homes was always a grey area - no one really
    knows if that is (or was) legal or not (update: apparently it's illegal
    - see below)
  • Expat residents of the UAE need an alcohol licence to be
    allowed to drink alcohol, whether in hotels, restaurants, bars,
    nightclubs; or at home; or at private houses belonging to friends and
  • The question of UAE citizens requiring an alcohol licence is
    moot since all UAE citizens are Muslims, and Muslims are not issued
    alcohol licences.

A report in The National on 27 December 2010 clarified the confusion (or confused the clarification) by saying Federal
law makes it illegal to consume alcohol in the UAE without a licence -
whether at home or in a hotel, and this applies to both residents and
tourists, according to the Abu Dhabi-based lawyer Khalid Mustafa.

  • The lawyer gave as an example a situation where a taxi has an accident, and the passengers had consumed alcohol: "The
    police would take them to the police station and test them, if they are
    shown to have drunk alcohol, they would be held on suspicion of
    drinking alcohol.
  • Thus reinforcing the Land-of-Irony image of the UAE - how
    can a tourist drink alcohol legally in the UAE if they cannot obtain a
    licence? The answer (as with many other irony-clad situations in the
    UAE) is that you can't but don't worry about it unless you're very
    unlucky or very stupid.
  • An unnamed judge in Dubai in the same report confirmed the confusion by saying "The licence and the law are confusing,"
  • A 24 January 2011 report in The National clarified things even further by reporting an unnamed CID official as saying "If
    I walk into a hotel or bar and I can see that the people drinking are
    Muslims, as a security official, I do not have the right to arrest them.
    And also reporting that Even if a someone were walking in the street
    and was clearly drunk but did not have the alcohol with him and was not
    causing problems, police would not arrest him, the officer said
    Which seems to contradict many anecdotal, and media, reports of people
    who have in fact been arrested while appearing to be drunk in public,
    and in some cases not appearing to be drunk but suspected of having had a
    drink. Be careful out there.
  • However, the report did start off by saying Police will
    not arrest anyone for alcohol violations unless some other crime has
    been committed, despite unambiguous laws on the books, according to a
    top police official in the capital
    . Which by and large seems to sum
    up the situation in the UAE. Drinking alcohol per se won't get you in
    to trouble, but if you do something else to attract the attention of the
    authorities, or are blatantly drinking or drunk in public, then you
    will probably suffer an alcohol related penalty involving a fine (up to
    AED 5,000?), and/or jail (up to 5 years reportedly), and/or deportation.

2 prominent UAE businessmen facing corruption charges in Egypt

UAE - Egypt March 2011  source ahramonline Egypt

Six prominent businessmen facing corruption charges in Egypt have offered to make financial reparations totalling some LE2.375bn, with one pledging to return five million square metres of land on the country's northern coast he is alleged to have gained illegally.

The men - Ahmed Ezz, Mounir Ghabbour, Hisham Al-Hathek, Hussein Sajwani, Mohamed Abul-Enein and UAE businessmen Omar Al-Futtaim - made these offers during investigations into their business activities carried out by Ali Hawary, the Attorney General for public fund prosecution.

Former secretary of the National Democratic Party Ahmed Ezz offered to pay LE1bn, representing the value of shares seized by his Suez Steel Company in violation of trading regulations.

UAE businessman Omar Al Futtaim suggested paying LE1bn to cover the difference between the sum he paid for a plot of land in a deal with the former Minster of Housing Ahmed Al-Maghrabi, and the actual market value of the land, which was much higher.

Hussein Sajwani, Chairman of DAMAC Properties, pledged to pay LE150m representing the value of land allocated to him by Zuhair Garana, Egypt's former tourism minister. Hisham Al-Hathek offered to pay LE150m as reparation for his involvement in the same case.

UAE send 12 Jets to help enforce the no-fly zone over Libya

ABU DHABI March 26, 2011  source The National

The UAE send six Mirage and six F-16 fighter jets to the country, according to a statement released yesterday by Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

The move isthe biggest military contribution yet by an Arab country to the operation, which is the most serious challenge to Col Qaddafi's four-decade rule.

Sheikh Abdullah said the decision was an extension of the UAE's commitment to humanitarian operations in Libya.

"As an extension of those humanitarian operations the UAE Air Force has committed six F-16 and six Mirage aircraft to participate in the patrols that will enforce the no-fly zone now established over Libya," he said.
A UN Security Council resolution issued last week authorised the use of military force to enforce a no-fly zone and "all necessary measures" short of a ground invasion of Libya to protect civilians, as fears grew of an imminent onslaught by pro-Qaddafi forces on rebel-held cities.
Arab support was seen as crucial to the operation to underscore the coalition and cast it as a truly international effort, not a western intervention that could be used as a propaganda tool by Col Qaddafi.

Investors in one of Palm Jumeirah's developments formed a group to advocate for their interests

DUBAI // Investors in one of Palm Jumeirah's biggest developments say they have been left out in the cold by a Dh1 billion (US$272.3 million) legal dispute between Souq Residences, the company behind the project and Nakheel, which built the group of islands.

The investors in the Golden Mile who recently formed a group to advocate for their interests say they have yet to move in six years after the project's launch, even though construction has been completed and they have paid in full for their properties.

"We've had immense difficulty," said Suhail Rehman, one of the investors. "People have lost two years of rent on fully paid-up assets."
"We're being reminded of this by cases against some of the government and private developers. It's not just a matter of finances but also of putting a legal system in place to handle these disputes."

source The National continue reading...

Thursday, 17 February 2011

ABC Journalist Miguel Marquez Beaten in Bahrain

Bahrain protesters hold ground - Middle East - Al Jazeera English

Bahrain protesters hold ground - Middle East - Al Jazeera English

Anti-government protesters are continuing to occupy a roundabout in Manama, Bahrain's capital, after two days of violent clashes left at least two demonstrators dead.

The protesters, pressing for a host of demands including political reforms and better human rights in the kingdom, are refusing to disperse, despite a rare apology from the king over the deaths in police firing.

An Al Jazeera correspondent in Bahrain, who cannot be named for his own safety, said that thousands of protesters were occupying a major landmark on Wednesday.