In a dramatic turn of events, DIFC Courts has issued a court order prohibiting the owner of the Viceroy Palm Jumeirah Dubai hotel, Kabir Mulchandani, from taking any further actions to prevent Viceroy Hotels and Resorts from exercising Viceroy’s exclusive authority to manage and operate the hotel.

In a statement, Viceroy confirmed that it requested the DIFC Courts’ assistance following the actions taken by the hotel’s owner on Monday, June 19, when it announced the purported takeover of the hotel by Five Hotels and Resorts, a company affiliated with the hotel’s owner, and took steps to attempt to remove Viceroy from the property. The release adds that the owner’s actions were a breached the existing hotel management agreement. Viceroy is currently taking steps to ensure that the hotel’s owner complies fully with the terms of the court order and the hotel management agreement.

Bill Walshe, chief executive officer of Viceroy Hotel Group, commented: “Contrary to the hotel owner’s statements and subsequent media reports, Viceroy has always been, and remains, the legal operator of the Viceroy Palm Jumeirah Dubai.

“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,” he added.

Walshe continued, “Viceroy is immensely proud to contribute to Dubai’s dynamic hospitality landscape with the opening of our Palm Jumeirah hotel on 31 March 2017. We are committed to supporting Dubai’s Vision to be a leading tourism market and will strongly resist any attempts to threaten this.”

On June 19, announcing the takeover Aloki Batra, CEO of Five Hospitality LLC 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.”

This occurred just days after the hospitality group unveiled its new corporate identity, based on the five elements. The firm’s new name reflects the group’s continued ambition to grow its current property portfolio of US $2bn.

Viceroy Hotels and Resorts signed a long term hotel management agreement to operate the Palm Jumeirah hotel in 2013. The resort officially opened on March 31, 2017.

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