Viceroy says will restore branding at disputed $1.17bn Dubai hotel - Gulf Business
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Viceroy says will restore branding at disputed $1.17bn Dubai hotel

Viceroy says will restore branding at disputed $1.17bn Dubai hotel

Kabir Mulchandani’s Five Holdings announced the rebranding of the property in June

Los Angeles-based Viceroy Hotel Group has announced it will take necessary steps to restore its branding to a $1.17bn property on Dubai’s Palm Jumeirah after obtaining a favourable ruling from the emirate’s Joint Judicial Committee.

The hotel group said the committee ruled that an injunction it obtained from the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Courts against property owner Kabir Mulchandani could be enforced after its “unlawful ouster” from the hotel.

Mulchandani’s Five holdings (formerly Skai holdings) announced its purported takeover of the Viceroy Palm Jumeirah months after its April opening on June 19, saying the property had been rebranded Five Palm Jumeirah Dubai.

Read: Viceroy Palm renamed Five Palm Jumeirah Dubai

This led Viceroy to claim the hotel management contract had been breached and its later filing for an injunction at the DIFC courts.

Read: Viceroy goes to Dubai’s DIFC court over Palm Jumeirah hotel

Five has since stated it continues to manage the property, which has a total 477 rooms and suites and 221 residences.

Viceroy said the DIFC injunction requires Mulchandani to restore its branding and management of the hotel.

“Viceroy intends to take all steps necessary to enforce the DIFC Courts’ injunction, re-enter the Viceroy Palm Jumeirah Hotel and restore the Viceroy branding,” it said.

However, a statement from Five Holdings appeared to contradict this claim.

“We are pleased to announce that the case against Viceroy’s affiliate in the local Dubai Courts for the sum of Dhs500m has been allowed to proceed by the Joint Judicial Committee of Dubai (“JJC”). In the meantime, there is no injunction or order of any kind against the owners of the hotel or Kabir Mulchandani or the legal and licensed operator, FIVE Hotel FZCO, of FIVE Palm Jumeirah Dubai,” it said.

In October, Viceroy announced it had filed legal claims against Mulchandani in California alleging fraud and extortion in relation to its removal from the management of the hotel.

This came after it denied allegations made in a September lawsuit against it by Five and Mulchandani.

Read: Viceroy denies allegations of US lawsuit filed by Dubai’s Five Holdings

“The cross-complaint details Mulchandani’s decision to leverage Viceroy’s hotel management expertise in opening the hotel, which he followed by evicting Viceroy from its role as exclusive hotel manager,” Viceroy said.

“It further details how he subsequently created a false record of accounting-related accusations in an attempt to both justify Viceroy’s eviction after the fact and extort a settlement. The allegations against Mulchandani include fraud, extortion, conversion, and unfair business practices.”

Viceroy is 50-per cent owned by Abu Dhabi sovereign fund Mubadala and operates another UAE hotel at Abu Dhabi’s Yas Island race circuit.

Five Holdings had also signed up Viceroy to manage the second of its hotels, a Dhs1.28bn ($348.4m) property in Jumeirah Village Circle due to open next year.

This too will now be managed under Five Hotels & Resorts, according to a June announcement.

Read: Viceroy Palm renamed Five Palm Jumeirah Dubai

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