Is Dubai Port Opting for Bosaso over Berbera?

According to our information, the Emirates port operator DP World appears to be poised to abandon the Berbera project.

It is virtually game over for Bashe Awil Omar, Somaliland’s representative in Dubai and the son-in-law of President Ahmed Mohamed Mahamoud, known as Silanyo, and first lady Amina Mohamed Jirde. According to our information, the Emirates port operator DP World appears to be poised to abandon the Berbera project. The reason? The increasing political instability in Somaliland as Silanyo’s term draws to an end. But another factor is that P&O Ports, a subsidiary of Dubai-based DP World, has obtained a concession to manage the Port of Bosaso in Puntland (Somalia) for a period of thirty years (IOL 783). The agreement was concluded in April by the President of Puntland, Abdiweli Mohamed Ali Gaas, and the CEO of DP World, Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem.

This serious setback for Somaliland sheds a different light on comments made in early June in Buro by the leader and presidential candidate of the country’s ruling Kulmiye party, Musa Bihi Abdi. He voiced his reservations to senior party officials over the idea of an Emirates military base being established in Berbera (ION 1455).

Source: ION, September 08, 2017.


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Bosaso Port

Bosaso Port

Peter Gray, the financial wizard of Dubai’s ruling family

The United Arab Emirates firm Kingsgrove Partners headed by British lawyer Peter Gray is emerging as the financial architect of the Al Maktoum clan’s most important deals.

As boss of Kingsgrove Partners, Peter Gray, a former rising star of commercial law, now serves as the interface between the United Arab Emirates port operator DP World and the breakaway region of Puntland in Somalia. Kingsgrove negotiated the contract between the two sides that provides for DPO World to build and equip the future port of Bosaso in the Gulf of Aden. Penned in early April, the contract is worth an estimated $336 million.

DP World is a unit of the sovereign Emirati fund Dubai World controlled by Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, uncle of the current leader Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. Another member of the Al Maktoum clan, Saeed bin Ahmed Al Maktoum, was already represented by Kingsgrove when he founded a branch of his equity fund, The Private Office of Sheikh Seed Al Maktoum, in London at the end of last year. The subsidiary is co-owned by Kingsgrove and controlled by the sheikh’s private holding, Seed Group. It is run by Gray’s younger brother, documentary film producer Andrew Gray.

Founded in Dubai in 2015, Kingsgrove counts consultant Ahmed Warah among its staff. Of Somali origin, Warah served for years as operations director for the Kroll investigative concern in Saudi Arabia. Kingsgrove has joined forces for its operations with the firm Al Bawardi Critchlow. Set up in Dubai in 2016 by lawyer Julian Critchlow, the commercial law concern has an influential partner in the country, Juma Butti Al Bawardi. An Emirati lawyer, he is former chief of staff to Sultan bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, half-brother of the powerful defence minister and crown prince of Abu Dhabi, Mohamed bin Zayed al Nahyan.

Kingsgrove Partners Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard Dubai, United Arab Emirates Peter Gray Partner. Before joining Kingsgrove Partners, the British lawyer Peter Gray served as a partner in the firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher between 2012 and 2015. At the time he worked with Charles Falconer, a former lord chancellor and junior minister for constitutional affairs, to represent Djibouti’s government in a case in London that pitted it against Abourahman Mahamoud Boreh, a businessman who had broken with the regime. Boreh was suspected of siphoning off money when the Emirati port operator, DP World (see opposite) won a concession. Gray is himself the subject of a current disciplinary investigation in the same affair. He’s suspected by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) of supplying fake evidence that led the court to freeze Boreh’s assets (see The Indian Ocean Newsletter, ION 1445).

Source INTON, May 24, 2017.


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