Emaar Development appointed Emirates airline executive Adnan Kazim as its new chairman of the company's board of directors as part of an ongoing shake-up of top-flight positions at the group.
The decisions follow a change to governance rules of public companies by the UAE's markets regulator, the Securities and Commodities Authority, which states that company chairmen should not hold executive positions.
The group's founder and former chairman Mohamed Alabbar, will "continue to be devoted to the executive management matters and the day-to-day affairs of Emaar", the company said in a statement to the Dubai Financial Market, where its shares trade. He will continue as an executive board member.
Aisha Bint Butti Bin Bishr was appointed as the company's vice-chairman.
A similar change took place at parent company Emaar Properties last week, which saw Mr Alabbar elected as managing director, Jamal Bin Theniyah appointed as chairman and Ahmed Jawa as vice-chairman.
Emaar Properties closed 1.4 per cent higher on Sunday at Dh3.57 per share. The company has fallen in value by 12 per cent since the start of the year, slightly outperforming an index of listed Dubai real estate stocks that has declined by 14.4 per cent, according to a report on the GCC real estate market published by Kamco Invest on Sunday. An index of Abu Dhabi real estate stocks, by contrast, is up 38.1 per cent this year – the strongest performer in the region, buoyed by a 40.1 per cent jump in Aldar Properties' shares.
A Refinitiv GCC Real Estate Index measuring the total return offered by shares in the sector fell 31.6 per cent between January and March 23 as markets globally witnessed a sell-off due to the economic shock caused by Covid-19. However, the index had recovered all of its losses by the end of last month and is now up 5 per cent for the year-to-date.
"Developers in the region are reconsidering certain key projects in the light of the current weak demand environment and making supply-side adjustments, which should help in providing cyclical stability for the sector," the report said.
"We therefore expect performance to continue to remain stock-specific for real estate-linked securities, as the market focuses on project IRRs [a measure of profitability] and cashflow visibility," the report said.