Dubai Holding CEO and vice chairman step down

The chief executive and vice chairman of Dubai Holding have left the company, it said on Thursday, continuing a string of high-profile staff changes at the investment vehicle of the emirate’s ruler.

The departures come a few days after Abdulla al-Habbai was chosen as chairman of the investment conglomerate by Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, giving him responsibility for a $35bn portfolio of assets in more than 20 countries.

Dubai Holding chief executive Fadel al-Ali and vice chairman and managing director Ahmad Bin Byat had decided to “step down” from their positions, the company said in a statement.

“Both of them have played an exceptional role in building the business and have been instrumental in making Dubai Holding the globally recognised investment conglomerate and national champion that it is today,” the company said.

Al-Habbai, who is also chairman of real estate developer Meraas Holding, will oversee the business, Dubai Holding said without elaborating.

Dubai Holding’s previous chairman, Mohammed Abdullah al-Gergawi, resigned last month, having headed the company since it was founded in 2004. Gergawi said he wanted to work full-time for the United Arab Emirates government, where he is minister of cabinet affairs and in charge of strategy development.

Outgoing CEO al-Ali, who is believed to be in his early sixties, has been with the company since 2005 and was described as “very hands-on” by a source familiar with the matter, helping to steer the company’s investment firms through restructurings after the global financial crisis.

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He is also chairman of Dubai Properties, Dubai International Capital and Dubai Group, according to the Dubai Holding website.