Dubai property owners, who have been left totally at sea about the potential for having their properties completed at any stage, will not be happy with the news that one of the Emirate's main builders, Nakheel, is believed to have let go as many as 650 staff in the past week leaving the company now employing an estimated 240 people.
Nakheel, the property unit of Dubai World, was responsible for some of the more newsworthy and largest developments in Dubai such as the three Palm developments as well as Dubai World. It has announced the redundancies in a fresh round of job cuts according to Arabian Business magazine, but it was very reluctant to put a figure on the staff reduction.
Nakheel claims that the bulk of the redundancies affected administrative posts, but this is the latest in a string of cutbacks for the developer, which laid off 500 staff in November 2008 at the peak of the global financial crisis, and a further 400 in June 2009.
Dubai World, and therefore Nakheel, is a state backed group which has restructured $10.5bn in financial liabilities, asking trade creditors to wait five years to receive full payment having fallen behind on its repayments. Its owners, the Dubai government, said it would put $8bn in cash into the indebted property unit in March to help it pay contractors and suppliers and complete its projects.
The recent redundancies, in what is the biggest developer in the Emirate, will call into question whether much of the property that was sold in the boom will ever be built. This will, of course, come as quite a setback to the many Irish investors who have sent money to the Emirate. The quandary is whether they now write off their investment to date, contemplate legal action or live in hope that the Emirate can turn around its fortunes and build the properties that have been sold.
Get the full story in the Arabian Business magazine.