Dubai’s Judicial Committee has ruled that DIFC Courts is the correct jurisdiction to enforce an injunction secured in June by Viceroy Hotels & Resorts to help the company win back control of a luxury hotel on Palm Jumeirah island.
The ruling is the latest development in a complex management dispute that has seen numerous court cases filed both in the UAE and US, where Viceroy is headquartered.
In 2013, Viceroy signed a management agreement with the hotel’s owner, an affiliate of Five Holdings, under which the hospitality company would operate the hotel with its name above the door.
However, on June 19 this year, Five seized back control of the hotel, terminating the contract with Viceroy and changing all of the hotel signs overnight from the Viceroy Palm Jumeirah Dubai to Five Palm Jumeirah Dubai.
But a few days later, on June 22, Viceroy obtained an injunction from DIFC Courts that effectively prevents Five from seeking to stop Viceroy managing the hotel. However, Five’s managing director Kabir Mulchandani had disputed the validity of the injunction, claiming DIFC Courts was not the correct jurisdiction able to grant and enforce such an injunction.
According to a statement from representatives of Viceroy, the Judicial Committee decision set to be published on Thursday rules that DIFC is the correct jurisdiction to lead on the matter. "Viceroy is now free to regain access to Viceroy Palm Jumeirah Hotel," the statement said.
“Viceroy Hotels and Resorts today obtained a favourable ruling from the Joint Judicial Committee of Dubai in Viceroy’s ongoing dispute with the ultimate owner of the Viceroy Palm Jumeirah Hotel ... over the management and branding of the hotel.
“The ruling enables Viceroy to enforce the injunction it already obtained from the DIFC Courts against Mulchandani on 22 June 2017 following his unlawful ouster of Viceroy from the hotel. However, Five Holdings insisted last night that it was “business as usual at Five Palm Jumeirah”.