Dubai’s DP World wins ruling against Djibouti over seized port

DP World, which is majority-owned by the Dubai government in the United Arab Emirates, operates nearly 80 marine and inland terminals around the world. (AFP)
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Updated 14 January 2020

Dubai’s DP World wins ruling against Djibouti over seized port

  • London tribunal ordered Djibouti to restore its rights and benefits under a 2006 concession agreement
  • DP World operates nearly 80 marine and inland terminals around the world

DUBAI: DP World said Tuesday it has won another arbitration ruling against Djibouti over the African country’s seizure of a container terminal managed by the Dubai-based global port operator.
The company said a London tribunal ordered Djibouti to restore its rights and benefits under a 2006 concession agreement governing the Doraleh port within two months or pay damages. DP World estimates it has lost $1 billion since Djibouti took over the terminal in February 2018.
DP World, which is majority-owned by the Dubai government in the United Arab Emirates, operates nearly 80 marine and inland terminals around the world.
Djibouti seized the container terminal after DP World created another corridor for imports to landlocked Ethiopia in Somaliland, endangering Djibouti’s near-monopoly on Ethiopia’s imports.
Ethiopia recently became a 19 percent shareholder in Somaliland’s Berbera port, where DP World holds a 51 percent stake. Somaliland, a breakaway northern region of Somalia, holds the remaining 30 percent.
The expansion into Somaliland came alongside plans by the United Arab Emirates to build a naval base in Berbera, part of its expanding military presence in the region.
Djibouti’s port alone accounts for 95 percent of Ethiopia’s imports. With a population of 110 million people, Ethiopia is the largest economy in the Horn of Africa.
DP World said the tribunal ruled that Djibouti broke the law when it removed the company from management of the terminal and transferred the terminal’s assets to a state-run company. The Dubai-based company said Djibouti has ignored five previous rulings in its favor despite the fact that the contract is governed by English law.


Dubai rents may be bottoming out as ‘green shoots’ appear

Updated 20 January 2020

Dubai rents may be bottoming out as ‘green shoots’ appear

  • An estimated 45,000 homes were completed in Dubai in 2019 according to Chesterton estimates

LONDON: Confidence may be returning to Dubai property despite a bloated market for off-plan homes, according to a report from Chestertons, the real estate broker.

Although apartment and villa sales prices were down 2 percent and 3 percent respectively in the fourth quarter of 2019 compared to the previous quarter, rental rates are stabilizing.

But supply issues continue to represent the biggest challenge facing the market, with 45,000 new units completed in 2019 and that expected to double this year.

“The Dubai residential market in Q4 2019 is alluding to a more positive outlook for 2020 thanks to the slowdown of sales price declines and the leveling of rental rates,” said Chris Hobden, of Chestertons MENA. “This does, however, have to be tempered by the volume of new units scheduled for delivery in 2020, which makes the short-term recovery of prices in the emirate unlikely.”

In the rental market, no movement was witnessed in the fourth quarter with the market supported by a draft law which would fix rental rates for three years upon the signing of a contract. 

“To ensure high occupancy in 2020, landlords will have to be realistic in the face of tough market conditions. The incentives previously offered to tenants, such as rent-free periods, multiple cheques and short-term leases, will continue, with an increase in tenant demand for monthly direct debit payments also likely” added Hobden.