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Dubai World shifts executives and assets between subsidiaries

In a bid to re-jig embattled real estate company Nakheel Holdings, Dubai World is moving senior staff and assets, including the W Hotel in Washington, to sister company Istithmar World.


Dubai World, the state’s main umbrella investment vehicle, is relocating senior executives and swapping real estate assets from one of its real estate investment companies to another.

According to multiple reports, Nakheel Holdings, the developer behind the world famous palm-shaped island off the coast of Dubai, is to move staff and assets to Istithmar World, as Dubai World seeks to rehabilitate the former.

Among the executives moved will be Hamza Mustafa, who joins Istithmar as managing director of real estate. He will be responsible for the assets, which include some large hotel investments, which have been transferred.

Other executives include Andy Watson, Binod Narasimhan and Sandesh Pandhare, who have taken the roles of chief investment officer, chief financial officer and managing director of private equity, respectively.

All will report to David Jackson who is to remain as chief executive of Istithmar World however, Joe Sita, the chief executive of Nakheel’s hotels division, has left the company.

The W Hotel in Washington and the Turnberry Resort in Scotland are among the assets to be moved over.

Middle East news source The National branded the exercise as “a rare public sign of the root-and-branch restructuring” of Nakheel, a company which has faced financial difficulties of late in line with many Dubai-based real estate organisations.

The restructuring would need to involve “balance sheet adjustments between the two entities”, a report by The National said. This would include Istithmar paying for the assets and perhaps taking on any refinancing situations faced by the assets transferred.