The Business Year

Ahmad Bin Byat

UAE, DUBAI - Economy

The Portfolio

CEO, Dubai Holding


Ahmad Bin Byat has been the CEO of Dubai Holding since 2009. He is also the Founding Chairman of the Emirates Integrated Telecommunication Company PJSC (du), a Member of the Board of Trustees at the Mohammed Bin Rashid School of Government, and Director General at Dubai Technology and Media Free Zone Authority. He was also the Executive Chairman of TECOM Investments from 2007 until 2012.

How has Dubai Holding supported Dubai’s growth since its establishment in 2004? We are proud to be one of the engines driving the development of the non-oil sectors in Dubai. […]

How has Dubai Holding supported Dubai’s growth since its establishment in 2004?

We are proud to be one of the engines driving the development of the non-oil sectors in Dubai. Through our different specialized business parks run by TECOM Investments, we continue to provide a platform for many companies from different sectors including media, technology, bio-technology, light industrial manufacturing, education, and design, to grow and expand their presence regionally from within Dubai. These business parks have played an instrumental role in establishing Dubai as a knowledge-based economy and a manufacturing hub. There are currently over 4,000 companies based out of these business parks, and they have attracted over 45,000 knowledge workers and students. Through Jumeirah, we have supported the growth of the hospitality sector, which in turn has supported tourism and Dubai’s status as the destination of choice when it comes to family tourism and, increasingly, shopping and medical tourism. Currently, we operate eight luxury hotels, a water park, a serviced residence, and many restaurants in Dubai aimed at addressing the needs of tourists. Through Dubai Properties Group, we have created highly desirable communities for the residents of Dubai. We have delivered over 31,000 residential units to the market, offering a full range of products addressing each segment of the residential market. Lastly, Dubai Holding has also been instrumental in improving the level of telecommunications services in Dubai and the UAE. As you are aware, du was launched and spun out of Dubai Holding, and we are extremely proud of its success achieved within a very short period of time. Overall, through our diversified portfolio of businesses, Dubai Holding has contributed to cementing Dubai’s position as a leading global business hub.

How is the Holding positioned to help develop different sectors of the economy in the Emirate? What values are reflected in the company’s philosophy?

Dubai has established itself as the region’s financial, business, and tourism hub, and Dubai Holding is definitely at the heart of that development. Through our different portfolio of companies, we cover all key growth sectors, namely hospitality, business parks, real estate, and telecommunications. Dubai, and the UAE in general, encourage innovation and recognize excellence, and these two values are at the core of our philosophy. At the same time, we are also measured in our approach and carefully study each opportunity before acting on it. For example, we are currently establishing Dubai Design District, which will develop the country’s luxury, design, and fashion sectors. We have spent a lot of time studying this, and are confident that we will be able to deliver a truly unique project aimed at establishing Dubai as a hub for these sectors.

In which sectors is Dubai Holding seeing the most growth?

Positive indicators and trends in Dubai are illustrating the Emirate’s resilience and, in turn, the outlook for Dubai Holding, the businesses of which show considerable promise. Over the past year, Dubai has witnessed growth in a number of sectors that are central to the Emirate’s economy and development. These include real estate, hospitality, and telecommunications, all of which are sectors that we, Dubai Holding, are involved in. In addition, we are also seeing growth in the end-user markets for our business parks such as technology, media, and education, all of which have shown very steady growth over the past year. We are also registering very strong growth in the light industrial manufacturing sector through Dubai Industrial City. As you may be aware, this sector is now the second largest contributor to Dubai’s GDP, having posted growth of 13% in 2012.

How do you collaborate with government authorities to sustain growth within Dubai?

We coordinate very closely with Dubai’s government though various channels, for strategic directions, as well as in operational matters. For example, in June 2013 we signed an Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the General Secretariat of the Executive Council of Dubai to create and develop Dubai Fashion 2020, which is a strategic plan that will support Dubai’s and the wider region’s design and fashion industry. Dubai Design District will be the cornerstone of this plan. We also work closely and regularly with other government authorities like RTA, DEWA, and Dubai Municipality to ensure the smooth delivery and management of our projects.

What is the outlook for the Holding?

Over the past few years, we have focused our strategy on driving revenue, improving operations, and boosting profitability across all of our businesses, as well as addressing our financial commitments. The results of this strategy are increasingly evident in our financial performance, and are testament to the group’s overall recovery. We will continue supporting our business lines, all of which are progressing positively in the strengthening market environment. We are ardently looking forward to what lies ahead and have many exciting plans in the pipeline.



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