x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Dubai Holding executive shuffle paves way for Emaar merger

The appointments lay the groundwork for a planned merger of Dubai Holding's property interests with Emaar.

Dubai Holding, one of the Dubai Government's three main asset management firms, has named two executives to helm a property division created as part of a reorganisation announced two weeks ago. Hashim al Dabbal, who had been executive chairman of the Dubai Property Group (DPG), also owned by Dubai Holding, was appointed executive chairman of the new property division. Khalid al Malik,the former chief executive of Tatweer, a developer owned by Dubai Holding, was named chief executive.

The appointments lay the groundwork for a planned merger of Dubai Holding's property interests - DPG, Tatweer and Sama Dubai - with Emaar, the Dubai-based property giant. With Dubai Holding's property companies consolidated into one division, the merger, which is reportedly close to being finalised, would be easier to complete, according to a source familiar with the matter. Dubai Holding announced two weeks ago that it was realigning its business to "streamline its operations" in the wake of the economic downturn. It said it would create a property division, a business parks division, an investments division and a hospitality division. Dubai Holding owns a diverse range of companies in all of these sectors, including the hotel operator Jumeirah Group, the free-zone operator TECOM Investments and the Dubai International Capital, a private equity firm.

"The realities of the global economic climate have made it necessary for us to look at our portfolio in a different way," Ahmad Bin Byat, the chief executive of Dubai Holding, said on announcing the reorganisation. Saturday's appointments of Mr al Dabbal and Mr al Malik made them the first people named to head Dubai Holding's new divisions. The appointments follow the formation of the property and business parks divisions a week ago; the company has yet to formally launch the investments and hospitality divisions.

Dubai Holding also announced a reshuffling of executives who formerly held high positions in its three property companies. Ahmad Sharaf, previously the chief executive of Tatweer Investments, has moved to the Dubai Holding corporate strategy office. Mohmaed Binbrek, the former chief executive of DPG, was also moved to Dubai Holding's corporate offices to head up a new infrastructure operation. Muhadditha Al Hashimi was named acting chief executive of Tatweer.

Mr Bin Byat praised Mr al Dabbal and Mr al Malik yesterday, calling the two men critical to the success of the company. The naming of Mr al Dabbal, he said, "will enable us to drive the necessary reliagnment of our property business to ensure the long term growth and profitability of the group". @Email:afitch@thenational.ae