Viceroy and Five Holdings continue legal tussle
In a fresh update since yesterday's statement by Five Holdings, both owner and Viceroy Hotel Group trade legal words over Palm Jumeirah property
Dubai-based Five Holdings and Viceroy Hotels and Resorts have continued the legal argument over the Palm Jumeirah property, with a number of statements responding to each other over which firm actually controls the hotel.
While the hotel operator claims the owner is denying its team access, the owner has now taken the matter to the Dubai Joint Judicial Committee to decide which is the relevant court for the legal battle, and has asserted that the property is licensed as a Five Hotel.
On July 2, Five Holdings insisted it was managing the Palm Jumeirah property; however, Viceroy Hotels and Resorts released another statement in response last night saying that its DIFC Courts injunction remains in place but its team is being denied access.
The July 2 Viceroy statement said: "Viceroy requested the DIFC Courts’ assistance following the actions taken by Kabir Mulchandani on Monday 19 June, when he announced the purported takeover of the hotel by Five Hotels and Resorts (“Five”), a company affiliated to him, and took steps to remove Viceroy from the property. These wrongful actions are a breach of the hotel management agreement. The owner of the hotel has since refused to either acknowledge the orders of the DIFC Courts or allow Viceroy entry."
Viceroy Hotel Group CEO Bill Walshe added: "We maintain our position that Viceroy has always been, and remains, the legal manager of the Viceroy Palm Jumeirah Dubai. We are deeply disappointed that the owner of the hotel refuses to recognise this, despite the orders of the DIFC Courts, which were issued on 22 June and remain in place.
"Such actions threaten the entire business community in Dubai. Not only are Five and its affiliates creating confusion amongst colleagues, guests, residents and investors, they are also defying the authority of the DIFC Courts.
“Viceroy also deeply regrets the inconvenience and confusion Five’s actions have caused, and continue to cause, our loyal colleagues, hotel guests, purchasers of real estate units in the project, local business partners in Dubai and travel industry partners globally.
“We call on Five and its affiliates to act in the best interest of all of the hotel’s stakeholders and to allow Viceroy immediate access to the hotel property in order to resume its role as the rightful manager of the Viceroy Palm Jumeirah Dubai."
Just a few hours later, in the early hours of July 3, Five Holdings released another statement from its chairman and CEO Kabir Mulchandani.
He said: "The Dubai Joint Judicial Committee, a judicial body to resolve disputes between Dubai and DIFC Courts, has decided to suspend the matter pending before DIFC Courts and Dubai Courts until it decides which is the relevant court.
"This was confirmed by the Dubai Joint Judicial Committee on 29 June, 2017 and further ratified by a letter issued on 2 July, 2017. Viceroy is referring to an order dated 22 June 2017, which has been suspended by force of law."
Mulchandani added that the hotel has been "licensed by DTCM as a Five Hotel", and said that a copy of this is in the property's lobby.