Limitless slashes 7% of workforce in bid to save cash in struggling Middle East market

Dubai developer Limitless delayed a key contract on its $60bn Arabian Canal project and cut 7% of its workforce due to the global downturn. The firm had invited tenders for phase two of the giant project but has told bidders the selection process is on hold. It said phase 1 of the project was continuing.

The second phase involved excavating around 300 million cubic metres of earth along an 8.5km stretch of the Canal’s route. In September 2008 Abu Dhabi-based Tristar won phase one of the scheme, which involved excavating over 200 million cubic metres.

Limitless said in a statement: “We have made a difficult but necessary decision in response to current market conditions. As a responsible developer, we must adjust to and work around the situation by prioritising our investments, reviewing the pace of our developments... Unfortunately, this means taking the painful step of laying off a small proportion of staff.”

The 38 redundancies follow a wave of lay offs in Dubai’s construction and property industry since November. At least 50% of projects in Dubai are on hold.

Besides the $11bn 75km canal, Limitless is master planning a $50bn, 14,000ha waterfront city for 2.5m people along the 30km inland stretch of the waterway.

Limitless added. “Downturns do not last forever. We remain committed to our projects and optimistic about the long term outlook for the real estate sector. Most of our developments are long term, large-scale projects, constructed over eight years, on average, so we can adjust the pace of development taking into account market conditions, which will inevitably fluctuate in that time.”