Bahrain’s Sheikh lands in UK court after not upholding deal to meet Bollywood stars




LONDON: In a very interesting and equally peculiar case, a Bahraini member of the royal family Sheikh Hamad Isa Ali al-Khalifa has been sued by an Egyptian businessman Ahmed Adel Abdallah Ahmed for £42.5 million over a fall out of an agreement to meet some of the prominent Bollywood stars including Shahrukh Khan.

The court drama is taking place in London as the venue where the trial is set for early next year. The international Egyptian businessman, Ahmed, who also runs an event management company by the name of CBSC had agreed with Sheikh Hamad to arrange one to one meetings with a list of 26 Bollywood stars which he claims Sheikh Hamad gave it to him as his desire to meet them.

Over the years, foreign cases are being tried in London mainly due to the centrality and certainty of the English laws. Many foreigners see London as a neutral venue with strong English legal system that may provide them better recourse and relief than in their homeland. The deal of facilitation was confirmed on January 2016 over a telephonic conversation. Ahmed claims in the court case that this deal and arrangement came with exclusivity for him and his agency.

According to the deal, Sheikh Hamad would spend 15 to 25 minutes with each of the star and in return Ahmed will get £ 1.5 million for each meeting with a bonus £ 3.8 million for every third meeting.

Ahmed arranged for a meeting with a handful of stars including Shahrukh Khan, Salman Khan, Ranveer Singh and Aditya Roy Kapoor, after which he lost interest and refused to meet more despite two more meetings being already arranged.

Even though the fan boy moment did not last long, Ahmed alleged that the payments were still pending.

Sheikh Hamad has denied any fee payment and exclusivity in this regard. As far as the case drama unfolds he has made all attempts to move the case to Bahrain but Judge Jeremy Cooke on this case has ruled. “…the proceedings ought to be permitted to continue here, without a stay in favour of proceedings to be pursued in the Courts of Bahrain”.

Ahmed alleges that due to the Sheikh being a cousin of King of Bahrain, the justice system there will not be fair.

According to Ahmed, it was only in April 2016 that Sheikh Hamad refused to attend any of the meetings he had set up and instead found another person to introduce him to 13 more Bollywood stars.

Mr Ahmed’s counsel, Stephen Nathan QC, instructed by London based law firm Zaiwalla and Co, has claimed his client was deprived of earnings worth $42.5 million for making arrangements for meeting with the remaining 22 film stars on the list.

Apart from the fact this case spills wealth everywhere due to the ostentatious whim of the Sheikh, the drama gets more absurd when he is sued for that very desire he was trying to reach to. Is that an obnoxiously heavy price to pay for the grandiose and willful desire he was trying to seek, we will have to wait and see how the drama unfolds legally at the Court.