Friday, 2 September 2011

Egypt keen to settle land disputes

An unnamed government official has said that Egypt is keen to settle disputes over the price of land with about 20 foreign and national investors in order to avoid costly arbitration. One of the companies concerned is Dubai property developer Damac, which filed an international arbitration case against Egypt in May over a land row and the conviction of its chairman and owner Hussain Sajwani.

Other developers have been investigated and in some cases convicted of obtaining state land cheaply from officials in return for favours.

According to Al Ahram daily, the government is aiming to reach a resolution about Damac and other cases in a matter of days, but some speculate that it will probably take longer than that.

The daily also reported the names of some of the companies involved in disputes, including another Dubai-based conglomerate Al-Futtaim Group and Omar Effendi, an Egyptian retail chain owned by Saudi firm Anwal.

A committee set up to negotiate the settlements, headed by Egypt's Prime Minister Essam Sharaf has already settled one of a number of State land sales disputes by revising the terms of a farmland deal with Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal.

For more news and expert analysis about Egypt, please see Egypt Politics & Security.

© 2011 Menas Associates

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