Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Blue City battle royale - Round 2 goes to AAJ

Muscati and Sue Hutton have posted that Cyclone's main court case against AAJH was dismissed on Monday. See Muscatis blog comments
This is really good news for Oman (and AAJH obviously), as it emphasises the independence of Omans courts, as you don't get too much more well connected as the shareholders in Cyclone LLC!

There's a lot more to come. Over the past 3 months whilst Cyclone has had the cheque book, I'm sure there has been lots of action on that account. There are already reports (Muscati again) that AAJ is counter-suing to try and get something back.

Watch this space. Round 2 may have gone his way, but Cyclone are unlikely to keep still. There's too much at stake.

Unfortunately, what the project now needs is stability and some actual construction, so they can pre-sell phase 1 and get some money back into the project. Otherwise there's a risk that the mess will make it hard to sell, and then the whole game is over as the bondholders move in...


  1. For the sake of fairness and clarity:

    - Blue City has now engaged the world renowned architect Norman Foster and his firm to redo the master planning for the project. As much as Mr. Jannahi might think of himself, he's still no Norman Foster.

    - Blue City phase I is sold out.

    - Gordon Campbell Gray signed for the first hotel inside the project.

    - The construction contract has been signed and work is going on on the site.

    It's not all just smoke and mirrors. The project is too high profile for the country.

  2. Whatever may or may not be happening (and I have to take take ANY statement of this lot with a pinch...), it seems you too have some difficulty in understanding the very basics of corporate law and governance as did the Blue City's minority partner? Thankfully the Omani judge and courts did not. Lets hope it all gets sorted soon. Oman is not Zimbabwe.

  3. I agree with Muscati. It is only fair to recognize that especially the omanis would not let the project in their country to go down the drain. They took action.

    As dragon said let's wait and see the reaction. As much as AAJH declare victory there must be another side to the story

  4. Thanks Muscati,

    Bringing in Foster was the reason the cash reserve is now low. He's good, but has never been accused of being cheap. Is phase 1 really sold out, or have they just taken deposits?

  5. Bringing in Norman Foster is just more of a sham to give the project (and Cyclone), some much need 'provenance'. It's to try to give the (very much needed and often stupid) international bankers some sort of confidence. Its just like the $925m bond whereby the various hangers-on got about 5% as err, umm... Fees. As 'arry used to say... "Loads 'a money"! As I understand it the AAJ Co., were the developers in all this and not the architects. Bobindubai

  6. Based on his global reputation it seems that Norman Foster is the kind of guy that delivers. If I remember correctly, it is the first time that masterplanners of that scale work in Oman. As someone told me from the ministry, this is the kind of thing that will give Oman its international profile. It is better to stay away from bankruptcy stories, especially in these mega projects

  7. Quite so. Norman Foster's rep. speaks for itself. BUT... If he (or any other Co., or business cost) has been appointed / authorized without AAJ's due approval it is then a null and void contract. If in doubt ask the judge. I think they (Norman Foster, and many others) have been had. Its gonna cost someone a lot of money.

  8. Yep, more to come, like I said.

    BTW, you can post a comment with a nickname while still being totally anon. It makes it easier to know who your responding too!

  9. Did anyone see the press launch of GIH's healthcare city. Seems odd with Blue City struggling for credibility that a competing project should be promoted so nearby.

  10. From what I can gather I don't think the local promoter of the Blue City is that popular in Oman. As always there are other 'factions', and it would seem that the Healthcare City group are very much a case in point. After all as 'mole' mentioned health was to be a cornerstone of the BC. Note too that Dubai will also have a Health Care City. Bobindubai

  11. It all kinda reminds me of Shelly's poem... Ozymandias

    "I met a traveller from an antique land. Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone stand in the desert. Near them on the sand,
    Half sunk, a shatter'd visage lies, whose frown and wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command tell that its sculptor well those passions read which yet survive, stamp'd on these lifeless things,
    the hand that mock'd them and the heart that fed. And on the pedestal these words appear: "My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
    Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!" Now nothing beside remains: round the decay of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare, the lone and level sands stretch far away".

    Well, something like that!
    Willie Dryer

  12. After reading all this, I’m very much worried, I’m an expat invested the family saving in this project. Don’t know really where it’s heading!!

    Rgds, AJK

  13. A busted flush?


  14. It's interesting reading through the various literature on this subject, but nobody seems to question the motives of Mr Jannahi or the over inflation of the land prices when he was involved.

    If he was so good for the project why didnt he deliver sooner and why did Cyclone have to push him out in the first place?

    I am sure this is not a greed factor here, as Cyclone would realise the risk to the project and adverse publicity that would go with their decision, it couldn't have been taken lightly IMHO..

    There is also a lot of conjecture with regards to other business dealings that Mr Jannahi has been a party to, strange how these are misplaced or forgotten.

    Maybe some consideration should be given to these dealings as opposed to beating up Cyclone?

    From what I have seen there has been little to no response from Cyclone, it's all about the poor Bahraini's..

    IMHO... I would say the scam was in the begining and maybe this was a contributing factor as why he was booted out apart from non delivery... maybe the new management are now cleaning up the mess and at last bringing some transparency to the project which was not there before..


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