Dubai government splits CEO, chairman roles for state-backed companies: ruler

DUBAI (Reuters) - The roles of chief executive and chairman will be split in government and semi-government companies in Dubai as part of a corporate overhaul, the Dubai government said on Tuesday.

The decision was made by the newly formed Dubai Council, which also called on the boards of state-backed companies to form committees to evaluate investment and risk management, the emirate’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum said in a tweet.

The council was recently set up to oversee economic and social governance in Dubai and draw up a vision for the next 50 years.

Dubai, one of the seven territories of the United Arab Emirates, has a more diversified trade and tourism economy, but in recent years has suffered from stagnant growth in the real estate and retail sectors.

Listed companies face tough governance standards such as a division between the chief executive and chairman, similar to those applied in the United Kingdom.

The Dubai government and Sheikh Mohammed’s investment vehicle, Dubai Holding, own a large number of unlisted companies, especially in the real estate, hospitality and aviation sectors.

In late 2019, Dubai’s ruler appointed the chairman of Emirates airline to temporarily oversee his investment vehicle as well as property firm Meraas.

Reporting by Nafisa Eltahir and Saeed Azhar, editing by Ed Osmond