Meydan slaps Arabtec, WCT with $1bn counterclaim

Developer behind world's biggest racehorse complex files case in latest development in legal tussle
Meydan slaps Arabtec, WCT with $1bn counterclaim
eydan Group, the Dubai developer behind the world’s biggest horse-racing complex, has launched a AED3.5bn (US$952m) counterclaim against Dubai-based Arabtec Construction and its Malaysian contractor WCT (AFP/Getty Images).
By Shane McGinley
Mon 02 Jul 2012 01:00 PM

Meydan Group, the Dubai developer behind the world’s biggest horse-racing complex, has launched a AED3.5bn (US$952m) counterclaim against Dubai-based Arabtec Construction and its Malaysian contractor WCT, the latest move in an ongoing legal battle over the cancellation of the original contract to build the project.

Dubai-based Arabtec, which was involved in the building of the Burj Khalifa - the world’s tallest building - and Malaysia’s WCT, which worked on the construction of the F1 circuit in Abu Dhabi, were appointed to build the racecourse and surrounding buildings in September 2007.

The contract was subsequently canceled in early 2009 and Arabtec and WCT jointly launched a AED2.8bn (US$762m) claim against Meydan “for breach of contract and to enforce the JV’s rights and remedies, including the recovery of all amounts due under the contract as well as damages”.

According to a stock market filing by WCT with the Malaysian bourse, Meydan launched a counterclaim on June 14 for AED3.5bn, claiming WCT and Arabtec’s arbitration had expired.

“The company is of the opinion that the civil suit is frivolous and without merit. In addition, there is a valid and binding arbitration agreement between Meydan and the JV and any dispute between the parties must be resolved by way of arbitration,” the filing stated.

Despite this, WCT said it “will continue to pursue its claim pursuant to the on-going arbitration proceedings and will take all necessary steps to defend and/or oppose the civil suit filed by Meydan”.

The Meydan Racecourse, which includes a five-star hotel, two race tracks and a grandstand, was officially opened in March 2010 and is home to the US$27.2m Dubai World Cup, the world’s most expensive horse race.

Meydan Group was not immediately available for comment.

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