Nakheel ex-boss appointed CEO of Emaar Development

The appointment of Chris O’Donnell comes as Emaar prepares to list 20 per cent of its development unit

Emaar Development, set to launch Dubai’s first initial public listing in nearly three years on Thursday, has appointed the former boss of developer Nakheel as chief executive, it announced on its website.

The appointment of Chris O’Donnell comes as Dubai’s largest listed developer, Emaar Properties, prepares to sell 20 per cent of its Emaar Development unit.

O‘Donnell was CEO when a collapse in property prices forced Nakheel into a $16bn restructuring during the global financial crisis.

He left Nakheel in 2011 after five years in charge and later took over as head of Dubai’s Al Futtaim Real Estate Group.

Emaar, whose interests span hotels, entertainment and shopping mall operations, previously spun off its malls business.

Emaar Malls was floated in 2014, valuing the business at Dhs37.7bn ($10.27bn).

Emaar plans to sell 800 million shares of Emaar Development, starting on Thursday.

Dubai’s last IPO was by DXB Entertainments, which began trading in December 2014.

Emaar Development has also appointed Sunil Grover, who previously worked at Emaar Properties, as its chief financial officer and John Carfi, previously of Australian developer Mirvac, as chief executive of development and projects.