Emaar Misr rejects 'frivolous' claim on Marassi land, eyes legal action

Egyptian arm of Dubai real estate giant Emaar rejects part-ownership claim reportedly made by businessman Wahid Raafat

The Celia community within Emaar Misr's Marassi.
The Celia community within Emaar Misr's Marassi.

Dubai Financial Market-listed (DFM) real estate giant Emaar Properties has rejected a “frivolous” part-ownership claim from businessman Wahid Raafat on the plot of land where it is building the masterplanned Marassi mixed-use community in Egypt through its local unit, Emaar Misr, of which it owns 88.74%, with the real estate firm set to take legal action to clear the issue.

Earlier this week, Reuters reported that Emaar Misr was rejecting claims made by Raafat for 168ha (400 feddans) of the 630ha (1,500 feddans) plot of land on which Marassi is being built.

Raafat’s lawyer, Khalid Abubakr, told Reuters that the businessman’s legal team was “pursuing what we are owed for more than 35 years”.

Mostafa El Kady, chief executive officer of Emaar Misr, in an Arabic-language statement on Egyptian Stock Exchange, said “false information regarding allegations” related to part-ownership of Marassi’s land had recently been reported.

In a translation of the original statement posted on DFM, El Kady added: “The company asserts that this claim is utterly false and that there are no legal grounds to support it.

“The Marassi project land was duly registered with the Real Estate Registration Office (Rero) in the name of Emaar Misr, following a full review by [Rero] of all third-party claims submitted to it, including the abovementioned frivolous claim.

“The registration authorities rejected all these claims and concluded the registration in favour of Emaar Misr.

“It is public knowledge that Emaar Misr has purchased the Marassi project land by way of public auction conducted by the Government of Egypt and that it has paid the purchase price in full, hence there are no reasons for concern in this regard.

“The company intends to address the above-mentioned false claim through legal channels,” El Kady added.

According to Reuters’ report earlier this week, Abubakr said the claim had been made following “the release of a contract from the real estate registration authorities dated [28 July] that makes clear the ownership of [Raafat]”.

In a separate statement submitted to DFM, Emaar Properties said the matter would have no impact on its operations.

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