Mohamed Alabbar, founder of Dubai’s largest developer Emaar Properties PJSC, is stepping down as chairman to comply with regulatory requirements and will continue running the government-backed company as its new managing director.
The company, which built the world’s tallest tower, cited a regulatory rule that bars combining the position of chairman and any executive role in publicly listed companies. Jamal Bin Theniyah, who had been vice chairman, was appointed chairman, and Ahmed Jawa, a board member, was named vice chairman.
Alabbar, who had served as Emaar chairman since July 1997, will be “devoted to the executive management matters and the day to day affairs of Emaar,” the company said in a stock market filing published on Sunday. He now occupies the most senior executive position in the company, Emaar said later in an emailed statement. Amit Jain continues to serve as group chief executive officer, according to Emaar’s website.
Alabbar is one of the top lieutenants of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai who helped shepherd the emirate’s emergence from a small fishing town into a global metropolis. Alabbar founded Emaar in 1997, building thousands of homes, offices and malls and creating landmarks including one of the world’s largest shopping centers.
Emaar has temporarily halted new projects amid a property glut that, combined with the coronavirus pandemic, has shaved nearly a third off house prices in the past six years.
(Adds Emaar statement in third paragraph.)