Dubai: Chief executive Jose Silva defended his decision to make a number of Emirati employees redundant in a recent interview, saying that is was simply “strategic”.

Only a matter of months in to his tenure as CEO of Dubai’s state-owned hotel group, Silva was hit by a number of accusations on social media platform Twitter about his approach to management.

In early April, several individuals claimed on Twitter that the company had fired a number of Emiratis, including two directors. The posts were written in Arabic.

“Whenever you take leadership of an organisation, you reassess the leadership. We have made some difficult decisions,” Silva said.

As a result of the company’s plans for international expansion, and its aim to compete as one of the top five hotel companies in the world, Silva said that he wanted “to have the expertise that has operated those brands, and also has operated globally.”

Nevertheless, the company has not stopped recruiting Emiratis. “Just last year we hired 80 Emiratis ... and eventually they need to move into leadership,” Silva said.