Dubai's government said today that Sheikh Ahmed will replace Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, who oversaw the construction of palm-shaped islands off the emirate's coast, Bloomberg News reported.
Dubai World took on $40 billion of debt as it became the world's fourth-largest port operator and took stakes in big-name companies such as luxury retailer Barneys New York Inc.
Now, Sheikh Ahmed and a new board will try to push the company towards new success.
"The moves are absolutely necessary and should have been done a year ago," Christopher Davidson, a professor of Middle East studies at Durham University in the U.K., told Bloomberg News. "Sheikh Ahmed is a solid player in Dubai's economy, having built Emirates up over many years."