Dubai govt official accuses ARY of ‘dishonesty, shameless greed’

Our Correspondent
Sunday, Sep 04, 2022

KARACHI: The government of Dubai business body has accused the ARY Group of dishonesty and shameless greed over the breach of an agreement it signed two decades ago to build a gold refinery in Dubai.

Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) Executive Director Ahmed Bin Sulayem posted it on social media contrary to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) social media traditions stating that 21 years ago, the ARY Group made a commitment on which work hasn’t ended in more than 20 years and it has become a health hazard to the DMCC (Dubai Multi Commodities Centre).

In a Facebook note, Ahmed said that 21 years ago, ARY made a commitment which remains unfulfilled. He wrote: “Unfortunately it seems that shameless greed continues to blind you. If this is how you treat stakeholders in your global businesses.”

The UAE authorities seem upset as more than two decades ago, the ARY Group signed a contract to build a state-of-the-art gold and jewellery refining and production complex — ARY Aurum Plus — which is still nowhere near completion. It is not clear if the land was given at concession rates for the specific purpose and promise and what were the terms of the agreement.

The Dubai government official also added: “I am looking to include this sad case to the Harvard Business Review study so this embarrassment does not repeat amongst master developers. While the incompetent ARY sits on its incomplete construction site for over 20 years with a scheme of flipping it as opposed to contributing towards the significant development as they promised back in April 2002 for the goodwill of our community like most of our members, @DMCCAuthority has witnessed & delivered the following accomplishments during the same period as ARY’s shameful, embarrassing, deteriorating, health hazard shell of an incomplete refinery continues to rot. It’s important to note that each of the above took between 8 months — 36 months to complete from start to finish and have contributed a net positive outcome for not just the DMCC community, but for good of Dubai and the #UAE.”

The Dubai government official added: “There is no doubt that ARY has been the ugliest addition to our community, having shown no respect for what the DMCC community has achieved, what it stands for, or for the vision of our national leadership.”

According to a local UAE newspaper, around two decades ago, a 25 million dollar financing arrangement was also made for planned development in Dubai. At the time, ARY announced it as a “major step to further promote the vision of General Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and UAE Defence Minister, to establish Dubai as a leading centre for international business, The ARY Group has embarked upon the creation of a state-of-the-art-gold and jewellery refining and production complex located in the Dubai Metals and Commodities Centre.” Sources in ARY claim they have legal rights to the land and would resolve the issue with the authority concerned.

Recently, Pakistan’s information minister Marriyum Aurangzeb had accused the group of illegal deals with the state broadcaster using the previous PTI government’s influence and causing huge losses to Pakistan state television. The Government of Pakistan also recently accused ARY of taking billions in illegal tax fraud cases that it influenced during the previous government. The alleged tax fraud included faking the export of TV dramas to Dubai illegally and importing them back via illegal tax exemptions.

Government officials also claim that billions of rupees of land was also given to ARY without a bidding process and any transparency in return for political favours in media coverage. Mariam Nawaz, PMLN vice present, accused ARY of doing traitor themed campaigns on politicians on behalf of the PTI.

ARY claims its innocence and says everything was done as per the rule of law and its news coverage is completely unbiased and fair to everyone.

The ARY group has a history of losing serious defamation cases in the UK where it doesn’t operate anymore under its original brand name ARY.

ARY News content in the United Kingdom has regularly been found to be in breach of UK libel laws or media rules. ARY Digital went into administration and was liquidated by its creditors in 2011 after defaulting on millions of pounds. Its new company called ARY Network Limited (ARY Network) lost one of the biggest defamation cases to Jang and Geo Editor-in-Chief Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman in 2016. Since then, Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman has won another defamation case against ARY in the UK in early 2022. He also won Ofcom victories against ARY content in January 2019; and another case in the same month of 2019.

The others who have won cases against ARY in the UK include renowned industrialist Mian Mansha; Jahangir Siddiqui of JS Bank; reporters Murtaza Ali Shah and Ahmed Noorani in 2019; Dr Syed Alam Shah defamation case victory in 2018; former finance minister Ishaq Dar’s defamation case win in 2021; PMLN leader Nasir Butt’s defamation case victory in 2021; solicitor Amjad Malik’s win; Malala Yousufzai’s father Ziauddin Yousafzai win in 2016; former federal minister Chaudhary Berjees Tahir’s Ofcom victory in 2016.