Egypt lawyer seeks to annul more land deals
Cairo, October 1, 2010
An Egyptian lawyer said he had filed a lawsuit demanding the government cancel the sales since 1998 of all state land not sold by auction.
It is the latest challenge to state land sales since a court in June annulled the purchase by Egypt's biggest listed developer, Talaat Moustafa (TMG), of land for its flagship Madinaty real estate project.
The government resolved the problem by annulling the TMG contract and reselling the land back to the company, but analysts say this solution, while quelling some investor concerns, has not stopped new claims from being lodged.
"I have filed a suit to call for the cancellation of all contracts that were awarded to investors without being put up for auction," Essam Ali Abdel Halim, an independent lawyer, said by telephone. "We want the law to be implemented."
Abdel Halim's document had a court reference number, indicating that the court will consider the merits of the case.
The court had ruled that the state New Urban Communities Authority (NUCA) sold the land to TMG illegally because it did not put it up for public auction as required by a 1998 law.
The government this month said it would reaward the same land to TMG under rules allowing it to do so when it was in the public interest.
Although the 1998 law stipulates that state land can only be sold through a process of competitive bidding, NUCA sold tracts of land directly to single developers until as late as 2006, basing its sales on legislation that preceded the 1998 law.
Abdel Halim said his lawsuit includes land sold directly by NUCA to universities and foreign schools in new suburbs on the outskirts of Cairo, among them the American University in Cairo, which has built a new campus east of the city.
"This is the real problem," TMG's legal adviser Shawky el-Sayed said on Thursday. "TMG's problem might have been resolved, but the court has opened the gates of hell on all contracts drafted since 1998 with all projects, agencies and sectors."
No court date has yet been announced to hear Abdel Halim's lawsuit. "The window for such suits will remain open until a solution is found to put people at ease," Sayed said. - Reuters
More Construction & Real Estate Stories
- Damac launches luxury apartments at Expo site
- Kuwaitis top GCC property buyers in Oman
- Rubber World to showcase at Big 5 Saudi
- Tool to help create effective property listings
- 'Smart' move by Dubai Design District
- Drake unit wins $13m contract in India
- Solar-powered cleaning boats launched in Sharjah
- $27m Expo Hotel Sharjah deal signed
- Arabtec unit wins $282m Emaar contract
- Abu Dhabi to host pool & spa expo
- ADCM unit secures $213m bridging loan
- Cluttons Dubai launches new luxury apartments
- Dubai developer Damac profits triple to $641m
- Dubai to start work on $544m water canal
- Dubai property market can absorb 25,000 units
- Jones Lang LaSalle renamed 'JLL'
- Aldar raises synergy estimate from Sorouh merger
- UAE industrial property sector keeps up growth
- Dubai residential property prices up 26pc
- Majid Al Futtaim to build new mall in Dubai IMPZ
- 300 firms to take part in Dubai property forum
- Naseej inks deal to develop Bahrain projects
- Dadabhai unveils new residential project
- Flowcrete completes Dubai Mall project
- Global asphalt demand hits new high
- $1.3bn infrastructure investment firm set up in Saudi
- Manara sees big project villa success
- Global giants eye RAK utility projects
- Cayan partners with international artist Zsuzsanna
- Samsung, Hyundai win $1.7bn Iraq deals