Issue No 291 - 18 Nov 2008
Emaar reviewing jobs to 'tackle new realities'

Dubai's Emaar Properties, the developer behind the world's tallest tower, said on Thursday it was reviewing its jobs policy in light of the global financial crisis after other developers shed jobs.

'It is now crucial that we use efficiency and maximize productivity, which includes revisiting our recruitment policies and optimizing human resources,' Emaar said in a statement responding to a Reuters question on potential job cuts.

Emaar, the Gulf region's largest property developer by market value, said it would it would look to reorient its growth strategies to 'tackle new realities.'

The company did not give further details on the extent of the job review or specify if any jobs would be cut.

Emaar shares, down nearly 80 percent this year, were down 6.82 percent to 3.14 dirhams a share at 0647 GMT.

'This will help the company ... as it will save on overhead costs,' said Hamood Abdulla Al-Yasi, general manager at Emirates International Securities. 'That is their intention and they are not the first ... They are adapting to the bad situation.'

The UAE faces a slowdown in loan growth and real estate activity as it grapples with the fallout from the global financial crisis.

Emaar's possible cuts come after Damac Holding, Dubai's largest property developer, said on Tuesday it would axe 200 jobs due to the worsening global economic outlook and expectations the emirate's thriving real estate sector may have hit its peak.

Omniyat Properties, another Dubai-based developer, will also make staff redundancies as it rethinks the timing of new project launches, Abu Dhabi-based The National reported earlier on Thursday. Citing sources close to the company, the paper said the firm would cut 60 jobs.

Lloyds TSB Middle East said in a statement on Monday that it had stopped granting mortgages for apartments in the UAE and would require a 50 percent down payment for villas due to 'exceptional market conditions'.

Emaar Dubai chief executive Issam Galadari told Reuters last Friday it was giving customers more time to repay mortgages.

Galadari said liquidity constraints at local banks had exacerbated the problems of securing home finance.

Mohamed Alabbar, Emaar's chairman, said earlier this week that growth in the emirate's real estate sector could slow to 9 percent from 13 percent due to the global downturn and that the Gulf's commercial hub had set up a committee to boost confidence in the real estate market.

Source: Trade Arabia News

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