Hamad Buamim, the long-time president and chief executive of Dubai Chambers, is stepping down as he seeks to pursue “new interests”.
Mr Buamim, who served for 16 years, will continue to support the organisation for another three months, Dubai Chambers said on Friday.
Hassan Al Hashemi, Dubai Chambers' vice president for international relations, has been appointed as acting president and chief executive.
“I thank the [emirate's] leadership and the Dubai Chambers team for their dedication and commitment to achieve exceptional growth and to widen our geographic outreach,” Mr Buamim said.
Dubai Chambers now serves more than 320,000 — up from about 270,000 at the end of 2021 — members in a wide range of economic sectors.
“This would not have been possible without the unwavering support of our leadership and the guidance of the Dubai Chambers board ", Mr Buamim said.
Mr Buamim, who took the helm of the then Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry in 2006, is credited for positioning Dubai as a “strategic hub for global trade and commerce”, Abdul-Aziz Al Ghurair, chairman of Dubai Chambers, said.
“In a remarkable career at Dubai Chambers, Mr Buamim not only accomplished several milestones that catalysed business growth but also sparked innovation across the organisation,” Mr Al Ghurair said.
In June last year, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, approved the restructuring of the chamber into three separate entities — the Dubai Chamber of Commerce, Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy and Dubai International Chamber.
The move, aimed at more focused approach mandates the three chambers to boost international trade, advance the digital economy, protect the interests of entrepreneurs and business owners, and support Dubai's ambition to establish “the world's best economic ecosystem”, official said at the time.
The three entities have aligned their initiatives to support emirate’s business community, Mr Buamim said last month.
Dubai's economy, which last year bounced back strongly from the Covid-19-induced slowdown, has carried the growth momentum into this year.
The emirate's economy grew 6.2 per cent in 2021, according to preliminary data from the Dubai Statistics Centre. In the first three months of this year, Dubai's gross domestic product expanded 5.9 per cent, according to government data.
Business activity in Dubai's non-oil private sector economy maintained a robust speed of expansion in June, improving at the quickest pace in three years, as new orders rose sharply despite inflationary pressures, S&P Global reported last month.
Mr Buamim was responsible for growing Dubai Chambers membership fourfold, making it one of the top 10 chambers in the world and the largest membership-based organisation in the Middle East and Africa.
He launched 12 international offices and focused on emerging markets, including Latin America and the Association of South-East Asian Nations, and was also instrumental in securing partnerships with African nations and positioning Dubai as a global gateway to the continent.
Mr Buamim is the chairman of the board of the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre and holds other leadership roles in a number of organisations in the emirate.