Sheik Mohammad The shakeup has begun.  Sheikh Mohammed has dismissed a number of high profile individuals, and replaced them with members of his family and his inner circle.

On Friday, the Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, Ruler of Dubai and Prime Minister of the UAE, fired Omar bin Sulaiman from his position as governor of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and replaced him with Ahmed Humaid al-Tayer.

On Thursday, Sheikh Mohammed removed Mohammed al-Gergawi, Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem and Mohammed Ali Alabbar from the board of the emirate’s main holding company, the Investment Corporation of Dubai (ICD). The board will be chaired by the Sheikh Mohammed, with his son, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammad bin Rashid al-Maktoum, Dubai Crown Prince, as deputy chairman.

From Kipp Report: “It’s a family affair, for now”

The people that were replaced are three important figures in Dubai:

  • Sulaiman is chairman of Dubai World which is state owned and globally known for the Palm development by Nakheel, plus many other international investments. In South Africa, Dubai World bought the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town, Shamwari Game reserve in the Eastern Cape and the Pearl Valley Golf course close to Paarl. Flip Media designed and developed most of Nakheel’s websites.
  • Alabbar is the head of Emaar Properties – which also includes many other Emaar related companies such as Emaar industries, Mall & Retail and other international investments such as the Hamptons Properties (UK based property development company). Emaar has been a big key account for Flip Media which developed more than 300 projects for this client.
  • Gergawi is equally powerful as big boss of Dubai Holding, and I do remember the times when he was working at Emirates Towers at Sheik Mohammad’s office where I used to start up in Dubai with Impact Proximity, and at quiet a few occasions we would sit next to them during lunch at the Noodle bar :-). Today, Flip Media’s office is located in Al Soufah Tower which is owned by Gergawi.

So big changes in Dubai – and I hope they will be for the better for the city. All 3 ex board members in my opinion did contribute to the growth of Dubai a lot, and will most likely keep on playing a significant role within their respective companies. However, being pushed off the “Dubai Inc” inner circle means less access to support and one wonders if projects like the Palm Jebel Ali, Palm Deira and the World will be completed one day.

At the same time, a lot of work during this consolidation period within Sheikh Mohammad’s government and one hopes that now with tighter family control, the results will show rather sooner than later.

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