10 July, 2010

Emaar sued for torture and false imprisonment

"Dubai based Emaar Properties best known for building the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, has been sued in California for torture and false imprisonment by American businessman Lionel Lombard. United States District Court, Eastern District of California, Case 2:10-at-00928 LOMBARD v. EMAAR USA et al.

Lombard a former partner in a Dubai public relations firm complained about Apartheid and treatment of foreign workers at one of Emaar’s flagship properties, The Springs. Lombard, an American citizen, was repeatedly harassed by Emaar’s security guards because of his stance. After he took his case directly to Emaar’s chairman, Mohammed Ali Alabbar, Lombard was imprisoned for almost two years, beaten and tortured in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

All charges against Lombard were dropped in February 2010 without explanation. Non citizens are often imprisoned in Dubai at the whim of officials or due to business disputes. Despite attempts by Dubai to portray itself as a progressive business and tourist destination, the reality is that hundreds of non citizens are jailed each year due to minor civil disputes. Emaar and Alabbar became incensed at Lombard after local media picked up his story."

More here: Builder of World’s Tallest Building Accused of Torture & Racism (Peace FM Online)

(link via secretdubai on twitter)


Seabee said...

Sam, on a similar note Herve Jaubert (the submarine man) says that yesterday a "US Federal judge denied Dubai World’s motion to dismiss my claims against them for fraud, defamation and abuse of process, the case goes on and my claims will go to trial."

Radha Stirling said...

Now that jurisdiction can be established outside of the UAE, Companies will need to keep this in mind when bending rules and ethics. Retribution can be achieved through international courts.

Anonymous said...

Emaar?! I thought their business was real estate. Makes you wonder, hmmmm ...

unJane said...

Why can't I find this story on any mainstream news sites?

Anonymous said...


Radha Stirling said...

The story is currently being explored by news publishers and I imagine will be out there very shortly.

Anonymous said...

Reuters reporting on it today:


B.D. said...

Hmm... here we go again. Judicial/ police abuse in the UAE. One more example of how human rights are not respected or protected in the UAE.

But then again apartheid? I haven't heard that one before. Could this be the case of an American citizen interpreting things in the black/white prism that relates to the legacy of slavery and discrimination in America?

I mean, some African Americans are hypersensitive to the extent that any untoward action or gesture toward them is interpreted as evidence of racism.

Then again, I know some degree of racism does exist here. One former colleague, a Brit of African descent, commented on how she was regularly passed up or treated rudely by cab drivers, presumably because she was black.

Anonymous said...


This is now a feature story in the New Orleans Times newspaper.

This story will only get bigger as others come forward with similar stories.

dubai property said...

There must be a fair and transparent investigation of this matter as Emaar is really a big group and such news would bring a bad name to Dubai property and construction industry. It's hard to believe for me that Emaar would do anything like this with any of its employees or partners. It's not a small issue and this must be taken as serious.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm, this does not surprise me. You should see what he did to my girlfriend when she worked over there for him.. She would not do it, so he had her blackballed - tapped her phone and the guys phone she was seeing, etc.... typical and after all things she told me, I totally believe this story from this guy. My friend to had to look for work in Abu Dabi eventually after he blocked her visa.

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