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Dubai companies now have to ‘think global’
BY MARK T. TOWNSEND (Business Editor)
3 March 2008
DUBAI — Marking the inaugural event of the Investment Corporation of Dubai (ICD), the ICD Chairman’s Awards were launched…
on Saturday under the patronage and in the presence of His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai and Chairman of Investment Corporation of Dubai.
The Chairman’s Award is the world’s first initiative that recognises outstanding economic value creation and corporate excellence through good governance.
Shaikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, Shaikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, Shaikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Emirates Group, and Ministers of the UAE Cabinet were among the invited guests who attended the special ceremony at Emirates Towers Hotel.
The event was also attended by Prof. S. Jayakumar, Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister, and Co-ordinating Minister for National Security and Minister of Law, and the heads of various ICD portfolio companies.
The first Prime Minister of modern Singapore and Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew was invited to present the Chairman’s Award to the winners.
Shaikh Mohammed bestowed the ICD Global Value Creation Award, a lifetime achievement award, on Lee Kuan Yew for his remarkable contribution towards international business and finance.
Details of the portfolio companies were shown in an elaborate presentation representing some of Dubai’s most valuable and well-known corporate assets.
ICD has effectively become Dubai’s Sovereign Wealth Fund and the most visible example of the emirate’s astonishing success.
Speaking on behalf of Shaikh Mohammed, Mohammed Al Shaibani, Director-General of The Ruler’s Court and Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of ICD, said: “Dubai and our companies now have to think global. In the past we have competed locally to set new standards of excellence. Now we have to collaborate so that we can succeed globally. That is why I created the Investment Corporation of Dubai. ICD will pool the energies of our winner companies … bring best practices in corporate governance… so that brand Dubai becomes the new standard of excellence around the world”.
The mandate of ICD is to ensure the future of Dubai and seeks to achieve this by sharing best practices across the portfolio companies, assist in globalisation and privatisation and optimise risk management. ICD will also assist in shaping efficient industry structures and undertake new investments to further diversification objectives. ICD is an enabling organisation and its strategic goal is to ensure that the portfolio companies become outstanding examples of business excellence and good corporate governance.
Speaking on the occasion, Lee Kuan Yew said: “We applaud the visionary leadership of His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid for establishing the ICD as a separate and professionally-managed investment agency that will ensure that the government’s accumulated assets are properly invested for good financial returns. I congratulate the Dubai government and ICD and wish you all the best as you face the challenges ahead and decide on the model that is appropriate for your success.”
ICD was established in May 2006, following the transfer of Dubai Government’s portfolio of investments from the Department of Finance’s Investment Division.
Its portfolio comprises all wholly or partly-owned government businesses in Dubai, including Emirates Airlines, Dubai Aluminum, Emirates NBD, Borse Dubai, Shuaa Capital, Dubai Islamic Bank, Emaar, Dubai World Trade Centre and Jebel Ali Free Zone amongst many others.