US architect blames need for cost-cutting measures on slowdown in Dubai

The US architect that designed the Dubai Motor City scheme is laying off more than 100 staff in the Gulf following a review of the business.

Burt Hill, which is based in Pittsburgh, has two offices in the region in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

The firm said the 111 job losses would affect its Dubai office which it opened in 2003. It has more than 500 employees in the UAE.

It said the cuts had been made in response to the slowdown in the Dubai property sector. This was also blamed for cuts made at its Pittsburgh office earlier this month, when 50 jobs were axed after projects in Dubai were put on hold.

Burt Hill had already indicated a switch in emphasis in the UAE when it recently announced it was looking to get involved in designing hospitals. According to the Abu Dhabi chamber of commerce, medical tourism will be a growing business in the region over the coming years.