We’re creating a scene

Dubai is a great city. We’re focused on making it greater, and we’ve made a good start. Our destinations, neighbourhoods and attractions have elevated Dubai’s status among global cities – as one of the world’s most desirable places to live, work and play. But we’re not done there.

  • More than meets the eye
  • More than meets the eye

    Our journey from a developer to a connector is enabling us to diversify operations and expertise into a growing number of sectors, from retail to food, leisure, entertainment, hospitality, healthcare and technology.

  • Ideas that are larger than life
  • Ideas that are larger than life

    We’ve worked with some of the brightest minds in the business for over a decade to create a lifestyle that appeals to a global audience and a city that people want to be a part of for generations to come.

  • A labour of love
  • A labour of love

    By contributing to an urban culture where the next generation of ideas led by businesses, start-ups, small and medium entities and entrepreneurs can take root, our destinations and attractions welcome millions of visitors.

Our Leadership


    Group Chairman

    Abdulla Al Habbai is the Group Chairman of Meraas. Under his visionary leadership, Meraas has established itself as a key innovator by introducing new businesses that redefine the sectors in which they operate and in creating integrated master-planned communities in the UAE that are held as global benchmarks for quality.

    He is also the Chairman of Dubai Holding and Chairman of the Engineering Office a post he has held since 2004.

    Abdulla Al Habbai has more than 25 years of experience in the property and real estate sector. He was also mandated by Dubai Municipality, where he spent 18 years of his career, to oversee and translate the Emirate’s vision for Urban Planning.

    Al Habbai is a board member of several leading private and government entities in Dubai, including: 

    1. Dubai Real Estate Corporation (DREC);
    2. Museum of the Future;

    Abdulla Al Habbai is also the CEO of Shamal.



    Chief Human Resources Officer

    Amal Haliq is Chief Human Resources Officer at Meraas. As a member of the management team, she is responsible for developing and implementing a comprehensive human resources strategy capable of supporting and sustaining the achievement of commercial objectives, with a focus on enhancing talent management and employee engagement throughout the company. 

    Amal has more than 24 years of experience in the human resources industry, managing budgets, planning resources, overseeing complex compensation and benefits programmes and enhancing employee performance. Her in-depth knowledge of the industry and ability to bring out the best in people has also earned her a reputation as a leader within the sector.  

    Prior to joining Meraas, Amal founded AHHR Human Resources Consultancies, a UAE and UK-based human resources and management solutions organisation that develops bespoke solutions to business challenges for a variety of clients in the Middle East, Europe and the United States.  

    She has also worked with some of the largest companies in the region, including Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority, Dubai Ports Authority, Kodak (Near East) Inc., Tamweel PJSC, SAMBA Bank, Meraas and Majid Al Futtaim.

    Amal Haliq holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Information Systems, as well as various management certifications from Harvard Business School and The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) a professional association for human resources management professionals.





    Chief Hospitality Officer

    Cherif Hosny is the Chief Hospitality Officer at Meraas. A core member of the management team, Cherif oversees the expansion of the company’s portfolio in the hospitality sector. As part of this mandate, he is also responsible for identifying growth opportunities and partners and the development of new projects.

    A veteran of the leisure and hospitality industry with more than 30 years of experience, Cherif specializes in hotel management, property portfolio expansion and business development. His expertise includes hotel startups, property renovations, contract negotiations and due diligence.

    Prior to joining Meraas, Cherif was Senior Vice President – Development at the Jumeirah Group where he was responsible in the expansion of the group’s portfolio in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia regions.

    Cherif joined the group in 2005 as General Manager for Operations primarily in charge of new hotel openings. During his tenure, he was instrumental in negotiating operating and management contracts and securing agreement deals for more than 50 properties in the, GCC, wider Middle East, South Asia, CIS and African regions.

    Earlier, Cherif has held senior executive roles with Le Meridien and Movenpick in Middle East, Africa, Europe and United Kingdom.

    Cherif Hosny holds a bachelor’s degree in Commerce from the Cairo University.




    Chief Operating Officer

    David Trench is the Chief Operating Officer at Meraas. In this role, David has primary responsibility for leading the day-to-day operations of the business to drive productivity, enhance value creation and to activate and develop Meraas destinations cohesively. His remit covers the complete suite of Meraas businesses in real estate, hospitality, leisure and entertainment, retail, food and beverage, healthcare, technology and joint ventures.

    As a senior executive on the management team, David is a member of the Strategic and Investment Committees for the Group.

    Highly skilled in operations management and strategic deal making, David has a wealth of experience approaching two decades with a focus on strategic, commercial and operational excellence. Through this experience David has delivered across the operational value chain including design, construction, operations, business turnaround and business development activities on multi-billion dollar projects around the world.

    Prior to joining Meraas, David held the executive role of General Manager Commercial and Deputy Country Chairman at the global oil and gas company Shell, where he recently led a major new market entry in the Middle East. In addition to his core business development responsibilities across the energy value chain, David was also responsible for venture set-up and establishing end-to-end business functions in country, from finance to legal and human resources, while ensuring compliance and handling risk management. Prior to this David held senior management positions as Head of Strategy and Venture Planning in Dubai and Iraq, Business Development Manager for Asia Pacific, as well as Commercial Manager for Australia and Southeast Asia. This was preceded by technical and operational roles in Australia, USA and Trinidad.

    David holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Harvard Business School and a Bachelor of Engineering degree with First Class Honours from the University of Western Australia.




    Chief Legal Officer

    Edward Sunna is the Chief Legal Officer at Meraas. Edward was responsible for the set-up of the complete legal function of the Meraas Group and leads the Meraas Legal Department in supporting the strategic business goals of the wider group.

    Edward has in excess of 20 years experience in legal matters related to construction, engineering, utilities, infrastructure, real estate development, corporate, commercial, capital markets, banking and finance, international trade and arbitration.

    Prior to joining Meraas, Edward led Al Tamimi & Company’s construction practice in Dubai and acted for various UAE government bodies, foreign institutions and publicly listed corporations both locally and internationally.

    His international trade and disputes work is recognised internationally. He is a Chartered Arbitrator and fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators; he is on the panel of some of the leading arbitration centres including the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA), the LCIA-DIFC Arbitration Centre, the Dubai International Arbitration Centre and the Singapore International Arbitration Centre.

    Edward is a former part-time member of staff at Heriot-Watt University, Dubai Campus; he is an advisor with the Dubai Real Estate Institute and the author of numerous real estate publications.

    Edward Sunna holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science and Industrial Relations from the University of New South Wales in Australia. He also has a Bachelor of Law with Honours from the University of Technology in Sydney, Australia, and is admitted as a barrister of the High Court of Australia and also admitted as a legal practitioner of the DIFC Courts in Dubai.




    Chief Audit Officer

    Islam Hamdalla is Chief Audit Officer at Meraas. In this position, he is responsible to oversee and verify the adequacy, effectiveness and accuracy of the internal control system and compliance through improving controllership, risk management, accountability and governance while leading Meraas’ internal independent appraisal function. He is also in charge of the Risk Management & Governance framework member of the Group.

    With more than 20 years of industry experience, over a decade of which was spent in one of the Big Four public accounting firms, Islam has a solid technical knowledge of financial, operational, IT and compliance processes and audits.

    Prior to joining Meraas, Islam was Senior Manager within Ernst & Young’s Business Risk Services Practice in New York.

    In an earlier capacity, Islam served at Ernst & Young in Dubai and later Jordan, where he successfully established and managed profitable Business Risk and Technology & Security Risk service divisions. He has also worked with Arthur Anderson in Kuwait and Dubai and is credited with expanding the firm’s risk service practice within the UAE, Lower Gulf, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Lebanon.

    Islam Hamdalla majored magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration and a minor in Computer Science from the American University of Cairo. A Certified Internal Auditor (CIA), a Certified Information System Auditor (CISA) and Certified Information System Manager (CISM), he is a member of the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) and the Information Systems Audit and Control Association.




    Deputy CEO

    Mukesh Sodani is Deputy CEO at Meraas. He is responsible for leading and directing a broad portfolio of commercial operations and investments. Mukesh has 27 years’ experience overseeing finance, human resources, procurement, legal, performance improvement and productivity and internal auditing activities for public and corporate organisations in Dubai and the Middle East.

    Prior to joining Meraas, he was an integral part of the executive management team at flydubai where he held the strategic position of Chief Financial Officer for 7 years. During this time, he developed financing and investor partnerships across the region and internationally. His experience also includes working with global auditing firms in Kuwait and Dubai, as well as a separate two-year period of employment with Meraas.

    Mukesh holds Chartered Accountant qualification from India, a diploma in Business Finance from the Institute of Chartered Financial Analysts in India and qualification as a Certified Public Accountant and Certified Internal Auditor from the US.




    Chief Financial Officer

    Paul Gyles is Chief Financial Officer at Meraas. In this role, he is responsible for the company’s financial management and business support services. A key member of the management team, Paul works closely with the C-suite team of the organization providing operational financial leadership and business support.

    Paul holds 29 years of experience in financial management.His areas of expertise include operational financial management, performance improvement, working capital management, and financial management of start up’s and fast growth organizations.

    Paul has worked in the Middle East since 2003. Prior to joining Meraas, he was Chief Financial Officer for ISG Middle East. In his previous executive roles, he has worked with Tatweer, a division of Dubai Holding, as Group Finance Director, and with Johnson & Johnson Middle East as Finance Director.

    Paul is a Chartered Management Accountant (CIMA) and holds a BTEC National Diploma in Business and Finance. He was awarded the 2016 CFO of the Year for the Real Estate and Construction sector.




    Chief Marketing Officer

    Rami is the Chief Marketing Officer at Meraas. He is responsible for leading the company’s engagement with a broad range of audiences through the creation of strategic experiences that increase awareness, reputation and market share. He oversees a broad portfolio of investments that comprises real estate, leisure and entertainment, food and beverage, hospitality, healthcare, retail and joint ventures.

    Having held several senior positions at some of the largest and most diverse companies in the Middle East, Rami has a wealth of experience in delivering major global, regional and local business strategies and commercial objectives. In addition to general management of advertising, communications, social media, branding, sponsorships, customer relations and insights, his role also supports sales and business development. Other areas of specialisation include product development, procurement and operations.

    Prior to joining Meraas, Rami was appointed Chief Marketing Officer at Emaar where he worked for Emaar Properties and Emaar Malls, handling the largest retail destination in the world "The Dubai Mall", as well as Burj Khalifa and Emaar International, among other prominent entities. During this time, his focus on technology led to the integration of virtual reality, 360° digital sales centres and 3D-mapping within a variety of pioneering international marketing initiatives. 

    In 2017, he was responsible for developing the ‘Light Up 2018’ New Year’s Eve celebrations in Dubai, which set a Guinness World Record for the largest light and sound show on a single building. 

    Rami holds an Executive MBA from the University of Atlanta. 




    Chief Commercial Officer

    Rasha Hassan is Chief Commercial Officer at Meraas. Mandated to oversee the company’s sustained growth trajectory, Rasha heads the Property Sales Department and is responsible for bringing new sales and product strategies to the market by engaging existing and potential customers with the aim of increasing market share.

    Rasha has over 14 years’ experience in the real estate industry, including managing residential and commercial property sales and leasing; customer services and property management.

    Prior to joining Meraas, Rasha was the Chief Commercial Officer at Emaar Properties, where she was instrumental in developing key projects such as the Burj Khalifa, Dubai Mall and Dubai Creek Harbour.

    Rasha has experience managing large teams, spanning property transfer, handover, alterations, and quality assurance; customer relationship management and contact centres, commercial sales and leasing, property sales, concierge, and property services company, Hamptons International.

    Rasha is an active participant and well-known figure within the real estate events circuit, and most recently participated in the 2018 Global Real Estate Internet Summit, in Beijing – a global event with participation from major global developers around the world.

    She holds a bachelor’s degree in Banking and Finance, as well as various certifications in management, banking and real estate.




    Chief Sales Officer

    Rashid Al Sharif is the Chief Sales Officer in Meraas and the General Legal Advisor to The Engineering Office (EO). He has key roles in both business entities; and has recently led the Sales Department to double the revenue and profitability margin; allowing him to bring added value to Meraas and a member of the Operations Committee.

    Rashid has 22 years of experience ranging from Legal, Human Resources and Sales responsibilities. Over the course of his career, he has also managed the Advisory, Corporate Governance department along with overseeing the Legal department in the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) for 3 years.

    Additionally,he has served 12 years in the service of Dubai Police on an operational and managerial scale. He dedicated his time for two years as a lecturer in Dubai Real Estate Institute.

    Rashid Al Sharif holds a Bachelor degree in Law and a Higher Diploma in Police Studies from Dubai Police Academy, as well as a number of Certificates from Dubai Government Office and an initial MBA from Sunderland University (UK).




    Chief Malls Officer

    Sally Yacoub is the Chief Malls Officer at Meraas. In her role, she is responsible for the leadership, management, and direction of the retail portfolio as well as managing local, regional and international retailers. Sally has more than 24 years of experience in the retail industry in the region, having managed malls as well as retail venues from start to finish.

    Prior to joining Meraas in early 2017, Sally held senior positions at leading malls such as; Emaar Malls Group where she was Senior Director and Head of Leasing for 12 years working on the set up of numerous retail projects during design phase up to completion and beyond opening.

    Sally also worked at Sahara Centre in Sharjah where she was Head of Leasing for two years, Bahrain Mall in Manama where she was the General Manager for two years and worked on the set up, leasing, marketing and operations of Qatar’s first shopping mall (The Mall) where she was Senior Manager for almost 4 years.

    Before moving to the Gulf region, Sally worked for the Hudson Bay company in Montreal as well as Le FouBourg Hotel in Down Town Montreal.

    Sally studied Public Relations Management at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec and is a member of The Middle East Council of Shopping Centres (MECSC) where she obtained certificates in leasing and marketing.




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