Al Shafar General Contracting admits overstaffing to cater for expected growth

A Dubai construction firm is planning to lay off up to 1,000 jobs in the first couple of months of next year.

Al Shafar General Contracting admitted it had taken on more recruits than it needed because it was expecting the market to continue growing.

But Dubai has been at the forefront of the slowdown in the Gulf in recent weeks which has seen a number of high-profile projects in the emirate delayed or mothballed. Local developer Nakheel recently announced a series of big job losses as well.

Al Shafar chief executive Bishoy Azmi said the firm had been expecting “aggressive expansion” and added: “We can manage ongoing work without adding new staff. The amount of new projects has significantly reduced.”

The job cuts will be made in the next two months, Azmi added. The firm employs around 15,000 people and has around £1.1bn worth of projects up and running.

Elsewhere in Dubai, one firm has said it has begun discussions with developers to slow down the rate at which buildings go up.

Arabtec Construction chief executive Riad Kamal said the company was talking to clients about extending the timeframe of some projects.

He added: “There was no reason for projects to be implemented at the speed at which they were.”