x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 January 2018

Dubai Holding appoints bin Byat as chief executive

The move is part of an ongoing restructure of the commercial conglomerate.

Ahmad bin Byat has been appointed as chief executive of Dubai Holding as part of an ongoing restructure of the commercial conglomerate.

The appointment of Mr bin Byat to the newly created position was announced yesterday by Mohammed Abdullah alGargawi, the chairman of Dubai Holding. He already held chairmanships of several other entities in the group.

"I am confident he will have a significant impact on the future growth of Dubai Holding, especially during this important period," Mr al Gargawi said.

The announcement is the latest in a series of moves aimed at helping the state-owned Dubai Holding, one of the pillars of the emirate's commercial enterprise, weather a collapse in real estate prices and the global financial crisis.

Mr bin Byat is chairman of the Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (EITC), the Dubai Real Estate Corporation and the founding committee of Aswaaq, a new public joint stock company which is intended to become the largest chain of supermarkets in the UAE. He also serves as a member of the Zayed University board of trustees and is a member of the Supreme Telecom Committee, which supervises the telecoms sector.

"I hope these changes are not just another musical chairs, but are very real examples of consolidation efforts in response to global and domestic changes in business," said Ali Khan, a director at Arqaam Capital, a Dubai investment bank.

Wadah al Taha, an independent analyst based in Dubai, said the appointment was "a sign that the firm is directing efforts to meet the demands of the new business climate". 

Last month, Dubai Holding, which has a staff of more than 12,000, said it would merge the administrative and back-office functions of several entities, including Dubai Properties, Sama Dubai and Mizin, a subsidiary of Tatweer, to form "closer working relationships by realising efficiencies through the consolidation". Dubai Holding also said the move would not change the companies' "core activities" or have any impact on the legal relationships the companies have with their current partners, including their suppliers, contractors and investors.

Mr al Gargawi, a long-time senior aide to Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has spent less time in day-to-day management of Dubai Holding since he gained the federal position of Minister of Cabinet Affairs in 2006. The role has called on Mr al Gargawi to spend more time in Abu Dhabi, away from his offices in Dubai.

* With agencies