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Sun 26 Jan 2014 01:24 PM

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Al Ghurair replaced as chairman of Dubai's DIFC

Dubai bourse chief Essa Kazim to take on role of financial zone’s chairman

Al Ghurair replaced as chairman of Dubai's DIFC
Essa Kazim as chairman of Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC)

Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair has been replaced by Essa Kazim as chairman of Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Authority, the body that oversees the emirate’s tax-free financial zone.

A statement on state news agency WAM reported that the change had been ordered by Dubai’s deputy ruler and DIFC president Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed Al Maktoum.

Essa Kazim was appointed as governor of the financial hub from 1 January, taking on the position in addition to his responsibilities as governor and CEO of the emirate’s main bourse, the Dubai Financial Market (DFM), as well as CEO of Borse Dubai, the holding company behind DFM and smaller exchange NASDAQ Dubai.

Al Ghurair, chairman of Dubai bank Mashreq, was appointed chairman of DIFC in April 2012. He will remain as deputy chairman.

Essa Kazim was appointed chairman along with six new board directors, who include Emaar Properties deputy chairman and Noor Bank CEO Hussein Al Qemzi. Kazim and the board will serve a two-year term.

DIFC announced plans in October for AED15bn ($4bn) worth of expansion, as the tax-free business zone looks to attract more global firms.

DIFC Properties, which oversees the property development of the DIFC zone, is looking for investors to develop about 10m sqft of property through joint ventures.

The plan is to construct a mixed-use facility with about 65 percent offices, 20 percent residential and 15 percent retail. There are about 1,000 companies currently operating in DIFC.

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