It was a disappointing 2009 for Dubai World and its chairman Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem. Once known globally as a government-owned behemoth remolding Dubai’s coastline, reordering the shipping industry and reinventing the UAE as a leading trade hub, Dubai World is now famous for its enforced restructuring of $26bn in debt.
In November 2009, the company’s announcement that it was seeking an extension on debt repayments shocked financial markets across the globe.
However under the leadership of Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, DP World has become the fourth largest port operator in the world, while the Jebel Ali Free Zone (Jafza) is now an unrivalled business park with a global arm, Jafza International. He is also responsible for Nakheel , investment house Istithmar , and Limitless , another real estate firm.