Emirates boss Sheikh Ahmed to run $35 billion Dubai conglomerate

Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum

(Bloomberg) –Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, who steered Dubai through one of its worst crises 10 years ago, now has another hat to wear.

Dubai’s ruler on Thursday appointed Sheikh Ahmed as the temporary head of Dubai Holding LLC, the state conglomerate that manages about $35 billion of assets, and property developer Meraas Holding LCC. He replaces Abdulla Al Habbai, who held the top job at Dubai Holding for over two years.

“The move is part of a fresh strategy to explore new expansion prospects for both groups, and identify further opportunities to maximize growth by leveraging their diverse assets and investment portfolios,” according to a statement from Dubai’s media office.

Sheikh Ahmed, who is already the chairman of Emirates Group, Dubai World Corp. and Emirates NBD, takes over amid a slump in property prices. In 2009, he became the head of Dubai’s supreme fiscal committee that helped oversee restructuring of billions of dollars of debt.

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Dubai Holding last year reshuffled top management at its units after appointing a former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. banker as chief executive officer. The conglomerate owns companies including Dubai Properties Group LLC and hotel operator Jumeirah Group LLC, and employs about 20,000 people.

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