Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Saudis suspend Emaar activities

Staff Report
Dubai : Saudi government has frozen the activities of the Dubai-based Emaar Properties until a lawsuit filed against it by its joint venture Saudi Emaar is settled.

Emaar has confirmed the dispute in a statement to the press. Efforts by Gulf News to contact senior Emaar officials did not succeed.

In the statement Emaar said, "The company confirms reports in a section of the press that a dispute has arisen with a Saudi-based company which involves a conditional agreement entered into by Emaar to conduct business in the Kingdom.

Emaar has been accused of violating a contract signed earlier with its partners to set up Saudi Emaar and failing to start profitable projects, reports said.

Abdul Aziz Al Qaseer, solicitor of the plaintiff, accused Emaar of entering into another joint venture agreement with the rivals of its partners in Saudi Emaar.

The company last year launched Emaar Middle East, the new joint venture with Al Oula, to build 12 residential projects in various parts of the Kingdom.

But the property developer said: "Emaar enters into such agreements from time to time with various investors, which does not create any obligations on either party unless the conditions are fully met.

"Emaar further reassures that the dispute with the Saudi company does not go beyond the ambit of the conditional agreement and as such will have no effect on Emaar's local or international expansion plans, including those in Saudi Arabia," the statement added.

According to the Saudi decision, Emaar will not be allowed to develop any projects nor establish new companies in Saudi Arabia.

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