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Meraas, a diversified group and developer of some of the iconic and landmark projects, the name behind Jumeira Bay and La Mer, will be integrated into Dubai Holding, the investment arm of the Dubai government, the Dubai media officesaid on Tuesday.
The decision was taken by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
Since its establishment in 2004, Dubai Holding has continued to create positive strides aimed at fostering an innovation-driven knowledge-based economy. Dubai Holding lists Jumeirah Group, Dubai Properties and Tecom Group among its portfolio.
Meraas has launched several projects in multiple sectors including real estate, retail, hospitality, food and beverage, leisure and entertainment and healthcare. These include City Walk, Bluewaters Island, Jumeira Bay, Pearl Jumeira, La Mer, and Dubai Harbour,
The intention, according to a statement issued by Dubai Media Office, is to have a “unified and integrated vision that builds on gains, spors efforts and boost Dubai’s global competitiveness” in the global market.
“This strategic vision will provide an ideal platform to address the growing demand for specialised services globally… and seeks to leverage new opportunities and serve the global demand expected in the long-term.”
Meraas will join Dubai Holding to create a “highly diversified conglomerate” that specializes in spaces where it already has built sufficient exposure, such as creating full-fledged real estate destinations as well as on leisure and entertainment investments.
The merger comes as Dubai grapples with the economic downturn resulting from the coronavirus pandemic, which has hit business in the emirate and globally. The collapse in travel and tourism — and the slowdown in trade — have had a big effect on Dubai, which is the leisure and commercial capital of the Gulf (https://www.arabnews.com/node/1687346/business-economy).
The combined entity will continue to be run by Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, the ruler’s uncle, who is also head of the Emirates aviation group.
A closer relationship between Meraas and Dubai Holding had been expected for some time since Sheikh Ahmed was put in charge of both companies in an executive reshuffle last year, but could signal a new wave of consolidation in the region under pressure from the pandemic fallout
When COVID-19 struck and its effects started to show up in the local economic activity, Dubai Holding and Meraas jointly announced Dh1 billion worth of relief to clients across their portfolio. These businesses had to show that their operations were materially affected by the outbreak.