The British chief executive of Dubai developer ASGC Real Estate has left the company after it shelved all new developments for at least a year.

George Grant was hired to launch ASGC Real Estate in July last year by parent company Al Shafar General Contracting (ASGC), one of the largest UAE contractors.

Grant, who has worked in the UAE for 15 years and previously led Currie & Brown’s operations in the region, has moved to contractor Drake & Scull International as operations director of infrastructure, water and power in the Middle East and north Africa.

Grant said he left ASGC Real Estate owing to “a difference of opinion over the way forward” in the slowing market in Dubai. ASGC said it had now closed the real estate division, although it will keep going with four existing schemes and plans to return to developing in a year or two. The parent company also said it had cut 370 jobs. Grant said the strategy was “understandable but it’s not what I think they should be doing”.