Thursday 1 July 2010

Dubai Sports City CEO Resigns

We've learned from the new (and not fully operational yet according to the creators) website that U. Balasubramaniam (often simply called Bala) has resigned as CEO of the Dubai Sports City complex in the United Arab Emirates.

The article reads as follows:

"The monster sports themed proposed development claims notoriety in Ireland as that with which the Concerned Dubai Sports City Investors’ Group, now more often referred to simply as the Dubai Action Group, has taken issue over up to €20m in deposits which the investors fear have now been lost.

These investors bought off-plan apartments through Ennis, Co. Clare based overseas property agent, Larionovo, which went into Liquidation in November 2008. The investors are worried that cash invested, which many hoped would fund their retirements, is now tied up in Dubai, possibly never to be seen again. A meeting of the group in Dublin’s Citywest Hotel late in 2009 heard that investors have no idea if building work has started on some apartments, such is the difficulty in getting information from some Dubai Sports City developers. Some had received letters telling them the project had been put ‘on hold’ but there were no offers to return deposits.

In an email sent to his colleagues and contacts Balasubramaniam said: “The time has come for me to move on to a new phase in my professional career after seven eventful years as the Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Sports City. Leaving is never easy and although it has been a tough decision to take, I am looking forward to taking some time off and pursuing other interests. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Dubai Sports City and am very grateful for the support that I have received from the Stakeholders, the company President, the Management and all the staff, who have been of great help to me in carrying out my job and its responsibilities.

It has been a pleasure to make associations and come to know you over the years and would like to personally thank you for your friendship and support in working together to progress this truly unique and great project.”

In an interview in April 2007, Balasubramaniam was quite bullish about the prospects of the Sports City developments finishing on time, since that time, however, there have been significant delays, in common with many other developments around the Emirate. While the global economic downturn took some time to take hold in the UAE, since striking it has proven to be extremely severe and prolonged.

On the latest Dubai Sports City update document, which was released in September ’09 the company claimed that completion had been reached on the Cricket Stadium, the Ernie Els Golf Course, the Butch Harmon School of Golf and the American Curriculum School. It also stated that the Victory Heights golf community had started to welcome residents, the Sports Acadamies Campus was nearing completion and that all roads, infrastructure and utilities were in place. Apart from Victory Heights no mention was made of the status of any other residential developments, which are numerous. A picture was included, however, of the Canal Residence West apartments, which appeared to be around 25% completed."

You can read the article on the website here.

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