Business | Economy

Job cuts on the rise in Dubai

Around 3,200 people, among a workforce of more than a million, have lost jobs in Dubai during the last three months as the impact of the global financial crisis bites deeper into the UAE economy.

  • By Suzanne Fenton, Staff Reporter
  • Published: 23:51 January 15, 2009
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: Asghar Khan/Gulf News
  • Labourers, going for lunch from a construction site, mirrored in a puddle of rain water along Shaikh Zayed Road.

Dubai: Around 3,200 people, among a workforce of more than a million, have lost jobs in Dubai during the last three months as the impact of the global financial crisis bites deeper into the UAE economy.

WS Atkins, a leading British engineering consultancy firm, have laid off 170 professionals, bringing the total number of redundancies in Dubai to well over 3,200.

"In Dubai there have been 170 redundancies, primarily from the building design team out of a total of around 3,000 in the region and 18,000 across the world. There have also been 40 redundancies from our Manila office among people working on Dubai projects," a spokesperson for WS Atkins, said.

The spokesperson said the figure of 170 "isn't material" in the context of a global workforce of 18,000.

Dubai Labour Supply Company (Dulsco) has laid off 800 workers in two batches, as supply orders continue to shrink due to weaker demand.

Mizin, a real estate development company under Tatweer have also allegedly made 50 people redundant and Universal Studios in Dubailand have also let go of as many as 50, sources told Gulf News.

Universal Studios was originally scheduled for completion in 2010, but it is now going to be complete in the first quarter of 2012 at the very earliest, a source said. Gulf News contacted both Tatweer and their spokespeople but received no comment.

A source from Dulsco, an HR solutions firm, said the company was letting go of 800 people in two stages.

The sting of the global financial crisis was first properly felt in November when master-developer, Nakheel, was the first to shed its human resources, getting rid of 500 people.

Developer Damac then announced it had let 200 people go, Omniyat 69 Tameer 180 and Better Homes made 50 people redundant.

Around 35 people had also been sacked from WSP and 15 from the Burj Dubai project at Hyder Consulting. Al Shafar General Contracting also shed nearly 1,000 staff members.

Nakheel is said to be laying off more people as it shelves a number of projects, merging teams.

"In keeping with our business objective of matching supply and demand in the most effective way, we have today announced the merging of various project teams under one management structure. This action has not resulted in any redundancies," a Nakheel spokesperson told Gulf News yesterday.

With around 3,200 people in Dubai now redundant, the financial situation has made its impact well and truly felt.

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