27 February 2017
Mohammad Al Gergawi on Sunday resigned as Chairman of Dubai Holding after heading it for nearly 13 years in order to focus on his role in government. (Read more here)
Gergawi, in his 50s, wears several hats including Minister of Cabinet Affairs, Chairman of The Executive Office of the Government of Dubai, Founding Chairman of the Young Arab Leaders, Chairman of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation and head of UAE Federal Government Strategy.
Gergawi's career took off when he launched an office district on the outskirts of Dubai, persuading a foreign bank to lend him $55 million, according to Fortune. That project brought him close to Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who chose him as one of a small group of executives to develop the emirate's economy.
Sheikh Mohammed said in a statement on February 25 that Gergawi was chosen 18 years back through a number of secret shoppers who were following his performance. He moved up in the career ladder after successfully tackling challenges and responsibilities assigned to him by the Dubai ruler. (Read more here)
Gergawi was instrumental in diversifying Dubai Holding with a $35 billion portfolio of assets in a wide range of sectors in more than 20 countries. He helped steer the group out of the 2009 financial crisis by refinancing debt and selling assets.
“We started at Dubai Holding 18 years ago in rented offices with used furniture and with a small loan," Gergawi said in the same statement. "When we first started, we were faced with a challenging situation, as we only had one remote piece of land in Dubai and only AED 200 million loan. Today the Group’s assets exceed AED 100 billion across different sectors.”
Under his leadership, the group established a number of mini-cities which lured multinational firms to the emirates, such as Dubai International Academic City, Dubai Healthcare City, Dubai Media City, Internet City, Studio City, Industrial City, Dubai Design District and Knowledge Village. He also helped establish Jumeirah Group, Dubai Properties Group as well as Dubai International Capital. (Read more here)