Orient Insurance fails to reclaim $340m for Address Downtown fire

Orient Insurance, part of UAE’s Al-Futtaim Group, has lost a claim case to recover the amount it paid to Emaar Properties for losses resulting from the fire that broke out at the Address Downtown hotel.

Following the blaze that broke out at the Address Downtown Hotel on New Year’s Eve in 2015, Orient Insurance has paid Emaar AED1.24 billion (USD340 million) as part of a settlement for the massive fire that engulfed the 63-storey hotel.

After the settlement, Orient Insurance lodged a civil case at Dubai Courts requesting that contractors who worked on the design, construction, and maintenance of the hotel pay back the amount it had paid to Emaar Properties.

The insurance company asked for the Dh1.24 billion to be repaid to them, plus 9 per cent interest from the date the case was lodged on November 30, 2016.

A ruling in favour of the contractors was upheld by the Dubai Court of Appeal, citing reports by a seven-member expert committee that concluded the fire was caused by an electrical short-circuit housed within a spotlight.

The case involved contractors including Atkins, Belhasa JV, Arabtec, Mirage, GAJ Construction and Alec Engineering and Construction.

The advisors

OGH Legal is representing ALEC Engineering and Construction, one of the contractors in the case. The team was led by founders & co-managing partners Mohamed ElGhatit and Sherif Hikal.