Skip to content Skip to Search
Skip navigation

Khalaf Al Habtoor escalates dispute with Lebanon

Khalaf Al Habtoor's group says it has invested close to $1bn in Lebanon Reuters/Ashraf Mohammad
Khalaf Al Habtoor's group says it has invested close to $1bn in Lebanon
  • Alleges breach of UAE-Lebanon treaty
  • Transfer of $44m ‘prevented’
  • Invests in Hilton-branded hotels

Emirati businessman Khalaf Al Habtoor has escalated his feud with the Lebanese authorities by launching an investment treaty dispute against the country.

The legal notice of the dispute alleges that Beirut’s treatment of his conglomerate, Al Habtoor Group, breaches the investment treaty between the UAE and Lebanon.

Under the 1999 agreement, Lebanon committed to protect Emirati investments in its territory, according to an Al Habtoor statement on Wednesday.

An investment treaty dispute allows foreign investors to pursue a claim against another country’s government.

“Lebanon has breached its obligations under the treaty towards Al Habtoor Group. In particular, Lebanon and its Central Bank have imposed restrictions preventing Al Habtoor Group from freely transferring its funds amounting to over $44 million from the Lebanese banks,” the statement said.

AGBI has contacted the Lebanese authorities for comment, but did not immediately receive a response. 

The Dubai-based property conglomerate, which is being represented by law firm White & Case, said it had “incurred and continues to incur significant losses and damages” as a result of the alleged breach.

Its investments in Lebanon include Hilton-branded hotels, a shopping mall and a 100,000 sq m entertainment and leisure destination called Habtoor Land. The company said it had invested almost $1 billion in the country.

The formal notice of the dispute automatically triggers a six-month cooling-off period. 

“If the dispute is not resolved within six months and the Al Habtoor Group claims are not settled, it will be open to Al Habtoor Group to commence appropriate local and international legal proceedings against the Lebanese Republic in accordance with the treaty,” the statement said.

Latest articles

Opec Secretary General Haitham Al Ghais says peak oil 'is not on the horizon'

Upstream oil and gas ‘needs more annual investment’

Annual capital expenditure for exploration and production in the upstream sector of the oil industry needs to increase by 22 percent by 2030 because of growing demand and cost inflation, experts say. A cumulative $4.3 trillion needs to be invested between 2025 and 2030, according to a report by the International Energy Forum (IEF) and […]

Rothschild Saudi

Edmond de Rothschild to run funding vehicle for Saudi projects

The Edmond de Rothschild Group is establishing a funding vehicle for infrastructure projects in Saudi Arabia along with the local firm SNB Capital, as part of a deal in which the Swiss investment bank will set up offices in the country.  Saudi Arabia’s massive economic diversification programme has run into financial obstacles as it faces […]

2KEY8G1 Emirates Airline Airbus A380 aircraft landing. Aerial view of Emirates Airlines A380-800 airplane. An Emirates plane coming in to land at LAX; a spokesperson for Emirates said the contraventions were for safety reasons

US fines Emirates for operating in prohibited airspace

Emirates has been fined $1.5 million by the US Transportation Department for operating flights carrying JetBlue Airways’ JBLU.O designator code in prohibited airspace. The transportation department said that between December 2021 and August 2022, Emirates operated a significant number of flights carrying the JetBlue Airways code between the United Arab Emirates and the United States […]

Egypt will use the US funding across a range of sectors including agriculture

US allocates $130m development funding to Egypt

The US has allocated funding of $130 million for a range of developmental projects in Egypt, it was announced on Thursday. In a press release published by the US Embassy in Cairo, ambassador Herro Mustafa Garg said that the money would go towards “advancing Egyptian efforts to achieve a brighter, healthier, and more prosperous future […]