x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Meydan and Banyan Tree in hotel dispute

Banyan Tree Hotels and Resorts, which was originally signed to manage the Meydan Hotel, has launched legal proceedings against the company.

The Meydan Hotel in Dubai is inviting companies to bid for its management contract because Banyan Tree Hotels and Resorts, which was originally signed to manage the hotel, has launched legal proceedings against the company. The five-star hotel, which is part of the newly opened Dh10 billion (US$2.72bn) Meydan Racecourse in Dubai, is due to open on March 4. Banyan Tree, the company based in Singapore that signed a contract with Meydan in 2007 to manage the hotel and a villa resort, last week said it was taking action against the developer "for various breaches of the hotel management agreement".

The details of the dispute have not been disclosed, but the Jumeirah Group was appointed to launch the hotel. The racecourse opened last month. A spokeswoman for Banyan Tree said: "We are not able to provide further details due to a confidentiality clause that survives the agreements. "Had all the terms and conditions in the hotel management agreement for The Meydan been adhered to, we would be interested to bring this project to fruition.

"We have initiated arbitration proceedings against Meydan LLC and the termination of contract can only be decided by a court of law." Abdin Nasralla, the vice president of Meydan Hotels and Hospitality, said: "Banyan Tree is no longer the operator. That had been decided in November. We asked [Jumeirah] for help to initiate the opening. At the moment we're just working in a gentlemen's agreement." Meydan and Jumeirah are already associated through the luxury Bab Al Shams desert resort, which is owned by the former and managed by the latter.

Mr Nasralla's previous role was as the general manager of the desert resort. He said Meydan would invite bids and choose a suitable management company for the hotel property. rbundhun@thenational.ae