Chief executive reveals work in the emirate has fallen from 70% to 20% of consultant's Middle East turnover in 18 months

Chris Cole, chief executive of consultant WSP, says work in Dubai has dropped from 70% to 20% of its Middle East turnover in the past 18 months.

Speaking after the company announced results for the six months to 30 June, Cole said: “The situation will only change in Dubai as liquidity returns. The $10bn (£6bn) bond issued by the UAE central bank in Abu Dhabi in February helped, but the second $10bn hasn’t arrived yet.”

Last week Dubai said it had begun the process of raising the second half of the money.

As a result of the decline, WSP has made 100 people in Dubai redundant and relocated another 100 to other parts of the region, leaving just 400 staff based in the emirate.

The company has made a total of 1,200 people redundant since November 2008, leaving it with about 9,000 staff. Cole said he did not anticipate further waves of job losses, as there were signs of stabilisation in its property-based markets.

He said: “You can tell from the mood and conversations that things are steadying but it’s the monthly revenue figures that show things have stabilised.”

In the six months to 30 June, WSP made a pre-tax profit of £17.2m (2008: £28.4m), which was hit by £4.1m of one–off redundancy costs. Turnover grew 4% from £363.5m to £376.9m.