Spencer out as CEO of Dubai’s Leisurecorp

David Spencer, who helped direct the golf development explosion in the United Arab Emirates after his arrival there five years ago, has been removed from his position as chief executive officer of Dubai’s Leisurecorp.
 
Spencer reportedly is now on medical leave, though company officials said he will remain with the company as a consultant for the next few months. Day-to-day operation of Leisurecorp, which has been one of the key players in Dubai’s embrace of golf course development, has been taken over by its government-run parent company, Nakheel Development.
 
Spencer’s departure apparently is a reflection of the dramatic downturn in the international economy, which has brought the construction boom in Dubai to a standstill.  Leisurecorp’s most high-profile project, Jumeirah Golf Estates, has been scaled back. Two of the planned four courses there have been completed but officials said the others have been put on hold because of economic conditions.   
 
Under Spencer’s leadership, Leisurecorp agreed to sponsor the European Tour’s end-of-season “Race to Dubai” that will pay $10 million in prizes to the top 60 players on the tour. Over the next five years, Leisurecorp has guaranteed $178 million to the European Tour.
 
Spencer also spearheaded the company’s purchase of the Turnberry resort in Scotland, which will host this year’s British Open. He came to Dubai in September 2004 and previously worked for Troon Golf in his native Australia.     

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