Dubai: A Dubai-based developer has had a multi-million dollar investment in Egypt overturned by an Egyptian court.

Damac Properties and its founder Hussain Sajwani have been fined around $45 million (Dh165 million) as part of a case that saw former Egyptian tourism minister Zuheir Garranah jailed for five years.

The court alleges that since the deal was inked with the former regime and its disgraced tourism minister, it should not stand.

The court also jailed Sajwani, a UAE national, in absentia for five years.

Damac has taken Egypt to the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes, an international court set up to settle arguments between nations.

Guilt by association

Branding the arrest ‘politically motivated', the developer said that it had been pronounced guilty by association. "Damac Properties alleges that the Arab Republic of Egypt is responsible for a series of blatant violations of the 1997 bilateral investment treaty between the UAE and Egypt," the statement said.

"Because the 2006 agreement for the sale of land at Gamsha Bay was executed under the direction of former Minister Garranah, Sajwani and Damac have been implicated by association in Egypt's on-going efforts to criminally prosecute and convict former members of Mubarak's government."