Holding company for metropolis

15 October 2004
Dubai Crown Prince & UAE Defence Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum announced on 10 October the creation of Dubai Holding, a separate entity charged with managing some of Dubai's largest developments. The new company, headed by Mohammed al-Gergawi, chief executive officer of the Dubai Development & Investment Authority (DDIA), will now oversee the management of various high-profile projects including Dubailand, the Jumeirah Beach Residence and developments currently managed by the Dubai Technology, e-commerce & Free Zone Authority (Tecom). The new firm, which will have capital of $25,000 million, will also focus on researching and identifying future investment opportunities in the emirate and throughout the region, particularly in the media, health, tourism and energy sectors.

However, much like the launch of the third Palm project in Dubai's Deira district last week, the announcement has caught various entities within Dubai Holding by surprise. 'Dubai Holding is still in its infancy,' says a source from one of the main projects. 'The details on how this will affect us have still not been circulated and at this stage it would be unwise to speculate.' One question that will need to be answered is the role of Ahmed bin Bayat, director-general of Tecom. With Tecom now falling under Dubai Holding, his role in the future company will need to be defined.

In essence, Dubai Holding has created a clearer management structure under two main players. While the company now falls under Al-Gergawi's beat, the three Palm islands, the World, Dubai Maritime City, the Jebel Ali Free Zone and the Dubai Metals & Commodities Centre (DMCC) remain under the auspices of Nakheel'schief Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem.

The biggest projects not covered by these is the airport expansion under Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed al-Maktoum, president of Dubai's Department of Civil Aviation, and Emaar Properties'developments, which remain under Mohammed Alabbar, director of Dubai's Economic Department. The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) remains under the chairmanship of Sheikh Mohammed.

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