Qurashi says Nakheel can't chase criminal case

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UK property developer Safi Qurashi.

UK property developer Safi Qurashi.

British real estate developer Safi Qurashi has said a Dubai judge has ruled that Nakheel should not be allowed to pursue him in the criminal courts.

In a statement, the man behind plans to develop the Great Britain island in The World said the judge had  made a ruling that the cheques fraud allegations should be dealt with by the Real Estate Committee formed in 2009 to listen to property disputes.

The criminal charges filed by Nakheel in July refer to a plot of land Qurashi bought on the Dubai Waterfront development, a 1.4bn sqft project twice the size of Hong Kong, launched at the height of the Dubai property boom.

The criminal case was lodged when Nakheel officials presented the security cheques, which Qurashi had submitted as part of the purchase agreement, to cover the remaining payments on the Waterfront plot.

Nakheel's case came as Qurashi was freed by a Dubai court after two-and-a-half years in jail after he was cleared of two counts of cheque fraud.

Safi Qurashi, CEO of Q Group said, said: “I am relieved and delighted at the news that the Dubai courts have stopped and transferred the cheque case that Nakheel had filed against me.

"This is not a criminal matter and the correct jurisdiction is the Real Estate Committee. The case requires the expertise of this specialist committee that deals with real estate related cheque matters between developers and investors."

He said that the committee’s task will be to identify if the master developer Nakheel is entitled to the value of the cheques and will appoint experts to look into the development in the Waterfront that the cheques are related to.

He added in the statement that he was looking forward to "a fresh start for 2013".

Qurashi said last month he is to head up a new Dubai real estate holding company, which will include a series of new development projects and investment vehicles worth around $200m.

Qurashi formally launched Q Properties, the first of four companies which will be part of an umbrella holding company to be called the Q Group of Companies.

Q Properties is looking to develop its first project, which will be a series of villas in Jumeirah Village Circle.

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