January 21, 2020 / 10:48 AM / a month ago

Dubai state fund chief to chair developer Nakheel

DUBAI, Jan 21 (Reuters) - The chief executive of Dubai’s state fund, Mohammed al-Shaibani, has been appointed chairman of Nakheel, the state property developer said on Tuesday, replacing Ali Rashid Lootah, who oversaw the firm during a debt restructuring a decade ago.

Lootah joined Nakheel as chairman in 2010 after the company was pushed close to default following the emirate’s 2008-2009 property market crash.

Nakheel, which restructured its debt in the fallout of the crash, paid back its outstanding debt four years early in 2014.

Shaibani, also a Dubai government official, will have to navigate a new challenge - an extended downturn in Dubai’s property market which is a key contributor to state revenues.

The real estate sector slowed for most of the past decade as demand for residential housing has significantly fallen, causing prices to fall by at least a quarter since 2014.

Nakheel has focused on increasing recurring revenue in recent years through its retail and hospitality assets.

Shaibani will be joined on an expanded Nakheel board by former chairman Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, who is the chairman and chief executive of port operator DP World, as well as Khalifa al-Daboos and Issam Galadari.

Lootah is joining the board of Dubai World, Nakheel said. (Reporting by Alexander Cornwell; Editing by Mark Potter)

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