GIO ready to perform

Property developers not always delivering what they promise is nothing new. We’ve all heard stories about brand new apartments that seem ready to fall apart before anyone has moved in – never mind many new projects being delivered several months later than planned.

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By  Ben dawson Published  May 7, 2006

|~||~||~|Property developers not always delivering what they promise is nothing new. We’ve all heard stories about brand new apartments that seem ready to fall apart before anyone has moved in – never mind many new projects being delivered several months later than planned. Well, long suffering home buyers may soon have the last laugh. I hear that the impressive Rashid Galadari, boss of real estate giant Galadari Investment Office (GIO) has been looking at ways to solve the problem. Following a number of meetings with bankers, one plan on the agenda is for developers to give potential buyers “performance bonds” – effectively a financial guarantee that a building will be completed on time, and to the quality and specifications promised. Galadari tells me: “It’s important that developers take responsibility, and clients need more security when making an investment. It’s something we are looking at, and if it works, then hopefully other developers will do the same.” About time... DOUBLE TROUBLE If you’re a German company with interests in the UAE, you might soon need to think again. Germany is one of many countries that has a double taxation treaty with the UAE, hence the huge number of largely German construction firms that have set up in this part of the world. For how much longer is another matter. My spies suggest that come August 5 this year, the UAE may not renew its treaty with Germany. That would mean that several German companies would end up paying tax back home on profits gained here. Whether the treaty is renewed or not is expected to be confirmed this week. JACKO NEXT After having managed to sponsor the recent Robbie Williams concert in Dubai, I hear that The One founder Thomas Lundgren has now got the music bug. More than pleased with his efforts (which cost in the region of US$300,000), Lundgren has made no secret of his desire to become Dubai’s unofficial music promoter. I hear Lundgren’s pals have been in touch with officials in Bahrain over plans to bring – wait for it – Michael Jackson to Dubai next February, for a one-off gig. Williams was paid around US$1 million for his Dubai performance, but it is thought that Jackson will cost nearer US$5 million in fees. Time will tell if Lundgren succeeds. I have a hunch he will. MYSTERY JIM The mystery deepens as to who is the Scottish businessman about to take over Dumbarton Football Club. Club officials are insisting that a hugely successful wealthy Scot has all but signed a deal to give him control of Dumbarton FC, that he lives in Dubai, and that his name will soon be revealed. Top of the list of candidates is i-mate founder Jim Morrison (pictured left), although he strongly denies the rumours. “I come from Dumbarton, I am successful and I live in Dubai. That’s where the coincidence ends,” he told me recently. Hmmmm. TOMMY'S IN TOWN Next week is “Tommy Week” in the Gulf. Fashion legend Tommy Hilfiger will be in town for a few days, officially to open a huge new store in Dubai. I hear a series of impressive launch events are planned, by the end of which it is likely we will all be wearing “Tommy gear” of some sort. I certainly hope so – whatever else you say about Hilifiger, you have to give the man credit. He created a magnificent empire from complete scratch, and has secured his place in retailing history.||**||

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