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A nautical soap opera
A Supreme Court has ruled that Ras al-Khaimah cannot host the 33rd America’s Cup. Unfortunately, the emirate has already spent $120 million preparing for the race.
October 28, 2009 4:42 by Dana El Baltaji
The judge is allowing SNG to appeal the ruling, claiming that time is running out, and “the race is being endangered.”
SNG’s decision to choose RAK sparked a legal tiff with its competitor, American challenger BMW Oracle Racing.
Oracle contested SNG’s choice in court, claiming it has “grave safety concerns” about RAK due to its proximity to Iran.
The Ras al-Khaimah Investment Authority and SNG argued their case in court, and insisted the emirate is neither unsafe nor unprepared for the race.
Khater Massaad, the CEO of the RAK authority, said in a court filing that “If we perceived even the slightest threat to the security and success of the 33rd America’s Cup, we would not have pursued this opportunity, as RAK stands to lose the most were there to be any disruption to the event.”
He also claimed that the emirate had spent $120 million on infrastructural work to host the event, and that RAK officials were “surprised and offended” by BMW Oracle Racing’s “attacks”.
But now that the race is unlikely to be held in RAK, the emirate’s officials must be livid with the court ruling. If SNG’s appeal isn’t successfully, RAK would’ve thrown away $120 million on a dud event. That’s a lot of money.
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