Container ships at the Khalifa Port in Taweela during the commencement of commercial operations by Abu Dhabi Ports company. Image Credit: ABDUL RAHMAN/Gulf News Archives

Abu Dhabi: The Abu Dhabi Executive Council on Wednesday announced it was rolling 11 government entities into a single holding company.

The entities are Abu Dhabi Ports; Abu Dhabi Airports; Musanada; Twofour54; Abu Dhabi Media, Abu Dhabi Health Services Company; Modon Properties; Daman; Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Company; Abu Dhabi Sewerage Services Company and Zones Corp.

These companies and agencies will come together under Abu Dhabi Development Holding Company (ADDHC), according to the announcement.

ADDHC was created in 2018 with a capital of Dh500 million and Mohammad Hassan Al Suwaidi is the chief executive officer.

“ADDHC will monitor and guide these companies, enabling them to achieve excellence in terms of performance, productivity and quality in line with the Abu Dhabi leadership’s vision,” a statement on Wam said.

A new board of directors for twofour54 was also announced, with Mohammad Khalifa Al Mubarak as chairman and Maryam Eid A lMheiri as deputy chair.

Falah Mohammad Al Ahbabi will be the new chairman of the Abu Dhabi Ports Company. The latest development comes as Abu Dhabi undertakes reforms to boost the economy and diversify it away from oil.

Abu Dhabi’s growth is expected to average 2.5 per cent through 2019-22, S&P Global Ratings said in a recent report, while affirming a AA/Stable/A-1+ credit rating.

“The exceptional strength of the government’s net asset position provides a buffer to counteract the effect of oil price swings on economic growth, government revenue, and the external account, as well as increasing geopolitical uncertainty in the Gulf region,” S&P said in the report.

Abu Dhabi currently derives 50 per cent of its real GDP and more than 90 per cent of central government revenue from the hydrocarbon sector.

Previous mergers

The Abu Dhabi government has completed a number of previous mergers, including the merger of International Petroleum Investment Company (Ipic) with Mubadala to create Mubadala Investment Company, one of the top investment firms in the world with total assets of $125 billion.

There was also a three-way merger of Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB), Union National Bank (UNB) and Al Hilal Bank to create the third largest UAE bank with a total asset size of Dh420 billion earlier this year.

First Abu Dhabi Bank was created after the merger of National Bank of Abu Dhabi with First Gulf Bank.

Other initiatives

Last week the Abu Dhabi government announced a series of measures under Ghadan 21 initiative to accelerate the growth of the economy including discounts on electricity tariffs, instant licensing procedures, funding support for small and medium enterprises and creation of Dh4 billion fund for research and development in private companies.

Ghadan 21, also known as the Abu Dhabi Government Accelerators programme, was launched in 2018 with a stimulus package of Dh50 billion to boost the emirate’s economy in the next three years.