Sultan Al Suwaidi has been appointed to another term as Central Bank Governor, allowing him to continue with reforms of the financial system.
Mr Al Suwaidi was reappointed in September, a source at the Central Bank said yesterday.
The decision ends speculation about his future at the helm of the regulator after his official term as governor expired in July, with no announcement about a renewal. A former banker, Mr Al Suwaidi has already served more than two decades as governor and helped steer the UAE through the storm of the global financial crisis.
"Mr Al Suwaidi is an experienced figure so it's difficult to find anyone who could replace him. It is a relief that he will serve for another four years," said Mohamed Al Ansari, the chairman and managing director of Al Ansari Exchange and the industry body, Foreign Exchange and Remittance Group, who has known him personally for more than 10 years.
Mr Al Suwaidi will serve under a new chairman following the appointment of Khalifa Mohamed Al Kindi as chairman, according to a press release from the regulator on Monday. The managing director of Abu Dhabi Investment Council, Mr Al Kindi has a wealth of experience in the emirate's financial scene having also served as chairman of National Bank of Abu Dhabi and worked at Abu Dhabi Investment Authority).
Mr Al Kindi succeeds Khalil Foulathi, whose four-year term as chairman of the Central Bank also expired in July. Hamad Mubarak Buamim, the director general of Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, was also appointed to the board.
While the chairman heads board meetings and oversees policy decisions, the governor handles the bank's daily operations and represents it at events and meetings.
Under Mr Al Suwaidi's stewardship, the regulator bought Dubai's US$10 billion (Dh36.73bn) bond in February 2009 as part of a $20bn package. Since then, the Central Bank has worked to push through reforms to reduce risks within the financial system at a pace that has sometimes sparked resistance from banks.
Last year, it brought in rules to curb personal lending and cap retail banking fees. More notably, this year it has introduced limits on the amount local lenders can offer government-related firms.
"We welcome the re-appointment," said Jaap Meijer, the director of equity research at Arqaam Capital.
"Under Sultan Al Suwaidi's leadership, the UAE Central Bank has become a stricter and more active regulator of the UAE banking sector."