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Urban Communities Authority to settles disputes with developers

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The Urban Communities Authority demanded EGP 180 million from Damac as payment for readjusting its stated activity in addition to a series of late fees

By Mohamed Darwish

Egypt’s Urban Communities Authority concluded a number of its legal disputes with a group of real estate developers, namely Al-Futtaim Group, Damac Properties, Orascom for Cooperative Housing (a subsidiary of Orascom Construction), Wadi El Nile for Contracting & Real Estate, and Dream Land.

Nabil Abbas, first deputy to the president of the Authority said that these companies had agreed to the terms set forth in offers made by the Authority. Legal advisors on both sides are currently in the process of drafting the final agreements for the settlement contracts.

He added that the Authority’s Board of Directors had postponed its meeting that had been scheduled for 25 December 2012 to 1 January 2013 to discuss the issues of settlement contracts with other companies, proposing amendments to Egypt’s legal real estate regulations in addition to reviewing the results of what had already been agreed upon with the above listed companies.

Al-Futtaim had agreed to pay the Authority the EGP 420 million stipulated by Egypt’s Public Prosecution after the 25 January Revolution. The Authority will then collect the money owed in exchange of granting the company a new plot ratio.

The Authority demanded EGP 180 million from Damac as payment for readjusting its stated activity in addition to a series of late fees. Damac insisted in addition to the 20.9 per cent stock share that had been granted to them in the Hyde Park Real Estate Development Company (which is owned by Damac), the EGP 143 million they had already paid to the Authority was enough compensation. This came in addition to an EGP 290 million loan granted to the company by Hussain Sagawani.

Yahya Qadri, Legal Advisor to Ahmed Bahgat, owner of the Dream Land, said that the Authority demanded the return of 153 feddans out of a total of 1850 acres of land used by the company in a recent development project, at a price of EGP 850 per metre, as was agreed upon in the company’s contract. This came despite the fact that the price is currently EGP 50.

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