As the Executive Chairman of DMCC, Ahmed Bin Sulayem has and continues to play a key role in establishing and positioning DMCC as a major international commodities hub for trade.
Under his leadership, DMCC has introduced a number of value-added products and services: this includes the establishment of the DMCC Free Zone, the UAE’s largest and fastest-growing Free Zone; the Dubai Diamond Exchange (DDE), the only diamond exchange in the Arab World affiliated to the World Federation of Diamond Bourses; the DMCC Tea Centre which offers a range of value-added facilities to the global tea trade and has contributed to the UAE becoming the world's largest re-exporter of tea; DMCC Tradeflow, a central registry of ownership for commodities stored in Dubai, stimulating commodity trade by offering enforceable collateral based trade finance solutions; as well as other services, such as gold refineries, gold and diamond vaults, as well as the UAE gold bullion coins and the Visions of Dubai gold souvenir coins.
Bin Sulayem joined DMCC in 2001 as a director, prior to the Dubai Government Authority’s official launch in 2002, and his responsibilities included overseeing the organisation’s operations. Today, he is the Executive Chairman of DMCC, as well as the director of Human Resources, Director of Dubai Shariah Asset Management (DSAM) and Dubai Commodity Asset Management (DCAM).
He has also played a leading role in reviving Dubai’s traditional pearling industry by launching the Dubai Pearl Exchange in 2007 and conceptualised the idea behind Almas Tower, the tallest commercial building in the Middle East, home to Dubai Diamond Exchange, the largest vault in the UAE, and DMCC headquarters. In July 2013, Bin Sulayem announced DMCC's plans to construct the tallest commercial tower in the world as part of its expansion plans. Currently in the concept design phase, the DMCC Business Park and the world's tallest commercial tower will cater to large corporations and multi-nationals that require significant floor space to buy or rent. The business park will comprise 107,000 square metres of premium commercial and retail space.
In April 2011, DMCC hosted the World Federation of Diamond Bourse's annual Presidents' meeting, an initiative spearheaded by Bin Sulayem. This event was the first of its kind to be held in the Arab world. In addition, on 15 August 2011, Bin Sulayem unveiled the prototype of the UAE's first gold bullion coin. The coin recognises the visionary leadership of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai. Designed by DMCC, the “Khalifa” coin features a portrait of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa on one side, and on the other, Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest tower.
Following the announcement of its first gold UAE bullion coin in August 2011, on 2 December 2011, DMCC released the first design impressions of the second UAE bullion coin as part of DMCC’s celebration of the 40th anniversary of the UAE and in recognition of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. Titled “Palm Jumeirah”, the gold coin features a portrait of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum on one side, and on the other, an image of the iconic Palm Jumeirah. The coin is the second in a series and follows the “Burj Khalifa” coin which was successfully launched last August, and paid tribute to His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE.
DMCC is also in discussions with the UAE Central Bank to designate the gold bullion coins as the first legal tender in the UAE and the Middle East as a whole.
In June 2012, Bin Sulayem received UN accreditation to represent Western Asia on behalf of CIBJO, the international jewellery confederation of national trade organisations. CIBJO has been a consultative member of ECOSOC, the United Nations Economic and Social Council, since 2006. ECOSOC is one of the largest agencies operating under the United Nations umbrella, and is a coalition involving government, civil society and the business community.
In June 2013, he received the Crowe Horwath Award for 'Government Personality of the Year'. This was presented to Bin Sulayem for his role in the expansion of the global commodities sector; his commitment towards establishing Dubai as the global gateway to trade; DMCC’s contribution to Dubai’s economy through the over 7,500 companies operating from its Free Zone; his efforts in developing Dubai’s Islamic Finance sector through pioneering products and services; and his social and philanthropic work focused on society, culture and heritage.
Also in June 2013, Bin Sulayem became recognised as a prominent fan of the LA Lakers due to the full page advertisement he took out in the LA Times paying tribute to Kobe Bryant. The ad thanked Kobe Bryant for his contributions to the LA Lakers and wished him a speedy recovery. In September 2013, Bin Sulayem hosted Kobe Bryant's first trip to the UAE as part of the DMCC Kobe Bryant Health and Fitness Weekend where he also presented Bryant with a DMCC Free Zone license.
Bin Sulayem is also the Chairman of the Dubai Gold and Commodities Exchange (DGCX), an initiative of DMCC, Financial Technologies (India) Limited and the Multi Commodity Exchange of India Limited (MCX). Since its inception, over 29.5 million contracts have been traded at a value in excess of US$ 1.18 trillion. DGCX has experienced strong growth in the first seven years of its operation, with year on year volumes increasing by 48% in 2007, 26% in 2008, 32% in 2009, 28% in 2010, 110% in 2011 and 137% in 2012.
In May 2006, Bin Sulayem was honoured by the Diamond Dealer’s Club in New York City, U.S, during its 75th anniversary, for his contribution to the international diamond trade. Prior to joining DMCC, he was a Director at Asteco, a leading real estate company in Dubai.