Finance: Ex-Goldman banker to run Dubai’s $35bn investment firm

Dubai Holding LLC named Edris Alrafi chief executive officer as the investment company owned by the emirate’s ruler seeks to grow after years of restructuring, according to Bloomberg.

Alrafi, formerly chief commercial officer at government-backed property developer Meraas Holding LLC, replaces Fadel Al Ali. He joins as Dubai Holding “focuses on a new organizational structure and debt management program to achieve a stronger balance sheet,” according to a statement late Monday.

Dubai Group and Dubai International Capital LLC, units of Dubai Holding, reached an accord with creditors to restructure about $8.5 billion of liabilities in 2012 and 2013.

Dubai Holding, which owns Dubai Properties Group LLC and hotel operator Jumeirah Group LLC, is one of three main state holding companies with about $35 billion of assets, according to its website. During the boom years, government entities amassed overseas assets such as luxury retailer Barneys New York Inc. and U.S. hotel and casino group MGM Resorts International. Many assets were then sold during the financial crisis.

New Direction

The company will now follow a “new strategic direction aimed at boosting its future growth as a stand-alone entity,” the statement said. Last month, Abdulla Al Habbai was appointed chairman after Mohammad Al Gergawi stepped down.

“Dubai Holding is in a significant phase of its corporate evolution as it addresses legacy liabilities and reshapes its business model to drive further growth,” Al Habbai said in the statement.

Alrafi also worked as head of United Arab Emirates client coverage at Goldman Sachs Inc. and has more than 13 years of finance and investment banking experience, according to the website of Emaar Industries & Investments, where he is a board member.