Dubai’s Jumeirah Group may take legal action over India’s mini Burj al Arab

Dubai’s Jumeirah Group may take legal action against a homeowner in India who has built a miniature replica of the Burj al Arab hotel without first seeking permission from the luxury hotelier, who owns the copyright to the landmark’s design, reported Arabian Business magazine.

Images of the farmhouse, which is a scaled down version of the Dubai hotel, were circulated on social media sites in recent weeks. The building is believed to have been build a number of years ago and is reportedly located in Punjab in northwest India.

Jumeirah Group, which opened the 280 metre tall landmark hotel on a manmade island off the coast of Dubai in 1999, owns complete copyright of the building’s design. While the hotelier’s official spokesperson declined to comment, it is believed the Indian homeowner did not seek approval before the house was built and Jumeirah’s legal department have been made aware of the situation.

Two years ago, Gerald Lawless, president and CEO of Jumeirah Group, told Arabian Business the group has been approached in the past, specifically from developers in Las Vegas, with requests to construct replicas of the Dubai landmark.

“We have often had [approaches]… We own the design rights and architectural design rights to the Burj Al Arab. So you can’t just go out and build one… Prior to the financial crisis, yes there was talk about doing something… [However] there was also a body of opinion that we should keep the Burj Al Arab unique,” Lawless said.

Words by Shane McGinley