Success in DIFC CA

Judgment has been handed down dismissing the appeals of Dattani & Rahman v DAMAC Park Towers Co Ltd.  At trial both claimants (represented by Bushra Ahmed) established claims based upon the failure of DAMAC to comply with obligations to provide (in the Dattani case) an apartment and (in the Rahman case) a shop unit in a property development, each pursuant to contracts entered into while the development was under construction.

At trial the Chief Justice found as a fact that although the apartment was ready for occupation, the common parts were unsafe and so it could not be said that the apartment was “ready for occupation”. DAMAC sought to argue that this was an unwarranted construction of the contract and was granted permission to do so. The CA however regarded the Chief Justice’s decision as not only one that he was entitled to come to, but one that was inevitable. The ability to enter and exit the apartment was integral to its readiness for occupation.

The Chief Justice had found that although the state of the common parts meant that it was not possible to begin the “fitting out” of the shop unit and that this prevented it being ready for occupation. Although the matter was less clear cut, the CA again agreed. The CA also dismissed DAMAC’s argument that it had not had warning of the precise procedural basis upon which the Chief Justice upheld Mr Rahman’s termination of the contract. The CA held that DAMAC had made all the arguments that it would have made on the issue and that accordingly there had been no injustice.

 

William McCormick QC led Bushra Ahmed of KBH Kaanuun for both appellants