DIFC Courts rules against Viceroy Palm Jumeirah owner in management dispute

Viceroy Palm Jumeirah Dubai's owner has been forced to comply with the management agreement.
The Viceroy Palm Jumeirah Dubai, UAE

DIFC Courts has issued a court order prohibiting Viceroy Palm Jumeirah Dubai hotel owner Kabir Mulchandani from attempting to prevent Viceroy Hotels and Resorts from exercising the company's exclusive authority to manage and operate the hotel, HotelierMiddleEast reported.

Viceroy has confirmed in a statement that it requested the DIFC Courts' assistance after the actions of the hotel's owner last Monday. On June 19, the owner claimed and reported to the media that Five Hotels and Resorts would take over operations of the hotel and attempted to remove Viceroy from the property. According to the statement, the hotel owner's actions breached the existing hotel management contract. Therefore, Viceroy is working to ensure the owner fully complies with the terms of the court order and the agreement. 

Bill Walshe, CEO of Viceroy Hotel Group, said in a statement, "The court’s order requires, among other things, Viceroy’s name, signage and branding to be reinstated at the hotel. Our priority remains to work with our outstanding hotel colleagues to ensure continuity of service and consistent delivery of a guest experience in keeping with the Viceroy ideology. We will continue to work strenuously with our legal team to ensure we achieve this.”

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In 2013, Vicerory Hotels and Resorts signed a long-term management agreement to operate the Palm Jumeirah hotel and resort, which opened on Mar. 13, 2017. 

In the announcement of the takeover on June 19, Aloki Batra, CEO of Five Hospitality said in a statement, “We believe now is the right time to disrupt the hospitality industry. The people who actually provide a hospitality experience never receive the real benefits while most of the commercial benefits are taken in most cases by operators. This needs to change. There needs to be a much more equitable distribution and we will be introducing this in our hospitality vertical immediately to ensure our philosophy is executed from the heart.”

The takeover followed days after the hospitality group debuted its new corporate identity based on the five elements. The company's new name reflects the group's plans to grow its current $2-billion property portfolio. 

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