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Pragma Group Dubai and Pragma Investments Management legit?
Pragma Group Dubai and Pragma Investments Management – are they legit? Closed businesses, broken websites, fake reviews, false claims...
Is Pragma Group Dubai legit? Closed businesses, broken websites, fake reviews, false claims, outdated information and lack of any credible online presence would suggest that these companies are ones to steer clear of. They claim an impressive portfolio of business investments across marketing, hospitality, entertainment, venture capital, investment management and communications.
However, even a cursory flick through the purportedly impressive projects throws doubt on the Group’s management arm. As does the fact that the official website link to pragma-group.com shows a 404 error, eventually redirecting to Pragma Investments Management
Here’s a quick rundown of the businesses the group claims, many of which are in partnership with leading brands, and whether they’ve achieved sustainable success.
Big claims of $650 million revenue can’t be corroborated as the sources linked show only errors and are dated more than 12 years ago. However, according to the listed information, Pragma Group took a start-up called in 2003. Pluto Games and “transformed it into the leading distributor of digital gaming software products in the Middle East and North Africa”.
All source links are broken, as is the website purporting to link to Pluto Games and their own social media. The most active social media channel is Facebook, and the latest post by Pluto Games is dated 17 September 2009.
It appears that this company no longer exists. Its website pluto.ae redirects to a spend management platform with zero mention of Pragma.
Apparently, another technology company, LS2 appears to be defunct with a broken website and the only source also broken.
Cavalli Club and Cavalli Caffe non existent and closed down? In 2009, Pragma Group announced a supposed high-profile collaboration with Roberto Cavalli to launch a ‘new lifestyle club concept’ in Dubai. Located on Sheikh Zayed Road, the club apparently opened in May 2010.
An online source stated CNN recommended the Cavalli Club in an article from 2017. However, the link provided shows no mention of this brand at all. A hunt through TripAdvisor reviews for the Dubai club shows that it apparently closed down sometime in 2021.
There’s a mention from 2011 about Pragma Group involvement in establishing a Cirque de Soleil residency in Dubai. And while this continues, there is no corroboration of the Group’s involvement, financial or otherwise.
This apparently globally prestigious brand also claims partnerships and investments with Flavio Briatore’s Billionaire Mansion, Epicure Catering and the400 Nightclub, Le Talleyrand restaurant, Bo House café and Health Factory.
Of those that have active websites, there’s no mention of Pragma companies’ involvement. Others, such as Health Factory have broken links, unsecured websites and very little evidence focusing on any partnership with Pragma Group Dubai and Pragma Investments Management.
It’s worth noting that all of these mentions date back to pre-2015 at the latest, and there are no viable sources over the last eight years or so. However, perhaps that because at some point Pragma morphed into Pragma Investments Management. Let’s take a closer look at them.
A search in Google shows uncategorised pages or pages which are in need of an update. The homepage of their website doesn’t say much beyond a link with “investment management opportunities”. There are a lot of buzz words underlining what appears to be their mission and values, such as “good energy, good business”.
Further scrolling reveals that they deal in Real Estate investment and Private Equity investments. There seems to be no link to Pragma Group Dubai and Pragma Investment Management and with leading brands and partners in the lifestyle industry sector mentioned in the press by CEO Joseph Tabet.
The only link appears to be the regional market and the chief executive officer, which is Joseph Tabet.
According to their website, the real estate investment company prides itself on its… “… integrity, consistency and slick operations, delivering results across a wealth of industries, from the well-established to the up and coming to create a new tomorrow.” Many of the webpages now appear to be incorrect or defunct in Google search
Clicking on the About Pragma Investments Management page leads to another service previously not mentioned – microfinancing companies. This appears to be about investing in SMEs to “allow them to grow and thrive, leading to lasting and holistic development and transforming communities.”
There’s very little information on exactly what the company does (angel investment? Financial engineering?) and no details of clients or partners.
At first glance the Google reviews look positive, until we drilled down into the numbers.
There are a total of 18 reviews as of 14th May 2023, which isn’t a lot for a business of this magnitude. Furthermore, they mostly appear to have left by Local Guides rather than clients or partners of Pragma Investments Management.
These reviews are mostly four and five star, but there are few comments or details and there is nothing at all after 2020. This calls into question the validity of these Google review ratings and gives us no more information on the quality of services that this organization provides. One of the reviews *the 6th review in image below) appears to have been left by the Pragma Group IT manager as found on LinkedIn – also posing as a local guide and posting a 5-star review 5 years ago.
Confusingly, there is a LinkedIn page for Pragma Group, which refers to the lifestyle brands of years ago. Its website redirects to Pragma Investments Management, which actually has a separate page.
The latter has only 17 followers and five employees listed, and it’s About section says that it was launched by Joseph Tabet, which is the date given for the launch of Pragma Group. There is no content or interaction.
The Pragma Group Dubai page claims 3,508 followers and 40 employees, with a further claim that the business has between 1,001 and 5,000 employees
The last entry on the Pragma Group LinkedIn page is a link to Forbes Middle East with a comment from Chairman Joe Tabet on Hospitality in the UAE. This was posted nine years ago and leads to a broken link.
The same Forbes Middle East link (broken) is the last post on the Pragma Group Facebook page, which also has seven reviews with no details. This means the last time this page was updated was 2014. There was minimal interaction with followers.
There appears to be no Facebook page for the private equity investments and microfinancing companies.
The listed Chairman of both companies, and presumably still of Pragma investments management is Joseph Tabet.
After searching, it appears that the latest interview with him is the same one that was last shared on Pragma Group’s social media channels.
In the article from Forbes Middle East, it appears that Pragma Group worked across two essential areas = hospitality and technology.
The Pragma Hospitality brand included the Cavalli lifestyle venues, the bespoke Cirque le Soir International, and then the restaurants and culinary businesses described above, such as Epicure Catering, Health Factory, Le Talleyrand and Lina’s Café.
Joseph Tabet previously stated that Pragma Group Dubai was worth $52 million in 2013 (this advertorial was written in 2014) and projected to be worth $193 million by 2016.
Given we can find no trace of the business after 2014, and instead it has been rebranded as Pragma Investment Management, this doesn’t seem to have happened.
He mentioned plans build luxury hotels in Dubai and the rest of the region, followed by opening more across all kinds of destinations frequented by tourists. These included Istanbul, Los Angeles, Sao Paulo, Las Vegas and more.
Additional claims made by Joseph Tabet included the company being on target to become a billion dollar company, launching an IPO and a licensing deal with Italian designer Cavalli in 2010
It’s difficult to say if any of these claims became true.
In summary there seem to be a lot of unanswered questions and in short would you trust these companies with your money. It doesn’t add up, closed businesses, broken websites, fake reviews, false claims, outdated information and lack of any credible online presence would suggest that these companies are ones to steer clear of.