Investors demand money back on famous sporting names towers in Dubai

International property investors are demanding their money back from the investment company behind the Niki Lauda, Michael Schumacher and Boris Becker towers in Dubai.

These project may bear the name of three incredibly rich and famous sportsmen but those who have put up the cash for them are not happy as money due to be paid back to them in March has not materialised.

The investors paid about €150 million (Dh779.7 million) into funds to pay for the buildings. The investments were then to be repaid from the capital gains. Now they are consulting lawyers as they have not received the funds from Alternative Capital Invest.

Robin Lohmann, managing director of ACI said in a statement that the company has solid assets and the towers will go ahead. He admitted there was a problem as the global market slowdown meant that the money to repay investors was not available.

He said that they have been offered the choice of waiting until ACI's assets could be liquidated or the chance to take property assets owned by another company, Falcon International Investment Group, based in Dubai.

But some investors are concerned that if they accept the Falcon option, they may end up with additional risk and costs.

'Since I do not know the value of Falcon's properties nor what exactly the liabilities and commitments are according to Dubai law, I am extremely sceptical. We do not know exactly what they would be buying,' explained Hartmut Goddecke, a lawyer for several German real estate investors.

According to Martin Kraeter, a German business facilitator based in Dubai, the ownership of Falcon's assets is unclear, although it has links to ACI. 'Falcon only speaks about reservation contracts of different properties but a reservation contract is not a purchasing contract,' he warned.

'We have the ACI assets which are the Boris Becker Tower, the Schumacher Tower and all the rest and we also offer a security package through Falcon of fully paid assets worth about €100 million which is almost double what was due in March,' said Lohmann.