Indian firm to offer deal on Dubai properties


HUNDREDS OF Irish investors who feared they had lost large sums on Dubai properties that were never built will be offered a new completion deal by an Indian company next week.

The investors are being invited to meetings in Dublin, where they will be briefed on proposals to finish construction on the developments, located in the Sports City area of Dubai.

Up to 1,000 Irish investors are thought to have become involved in the Sports City scheme through Irish agent, Larionovo, which went into liquidation at the start of last year.

The matter has largely been in limbo since then, although 150 investors have mobilised through the Dubai Action Group in an effort to recover some of their investment. Each investor has committed tens of thousands of euro to the project, rising to €400,000 in some cases.

Some investors remortgaged their homes to become involved in the project, located in a 50 million sq ft area designed to house a mixture of commercial, residential and sports facilities.

They learned this week that an Indian group had bought out three of the four developments concerned. The Indian company, Smart Investments, wants to finish construction of the properties and is likely to seek further funds from the Irish investors in this respect.

Some investors paid up front in full for the properties, while some paid a portion of the full price. All the purchases were made from plans. All affected investors are being invited to meet Probir Chatterjee, a representative of Smart Investments, next week.

Mr Chatterjee was previously financial controller of Profile Group, which in turn was the parent of Larionovo. He and a fellow Indian businessman have completed a deal to buy the Eagle Heights, Bermuda Views and Profile Residence developments in Sports City. Larionovo controlled a 25 per cent stake in Profile Residence, and Smart is thought to have agreed a sale of that interest with the agent’s Dublin liquidator, Grant Thornton.

The Dubai Action Group is taking advice from Dublin law firm, Anthony Joyce Co, which has become involved in a number of problematic overseas property cases over recent years.

The firm is also looking at options for investors in a separate Sports World development – Kensington Royale – where construction has been slow and further funds are being sought by the developer, MED.

It is thought a substantial number of Irish investors could be involved, having purchased through British agents.

Next week’s meetings are being held at the Carlton Hotel at Dublin airport. Bermuda Views and Eagle Heights investors are invited to attend at 7pm on Tuesday 8th. Profile Residence investors are meeting on Wednesday at 7pm.