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Many Indians jobless in Dubai
Dubai, DEC 9 (Agencies):
Published on 10 Dec. 2008 12:17 AM IST
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Until recently it was easy to find a job in the Gulf and especially in the boom town of Dubai, but not anymore. The heady days of Dubais hiring spree are over. With the financial downturn forcing developers to scrap recruitment plans, more people are being fired than hired. And probably at least 50 per cent of them are Indian expatriates. In the past month alone, more than 1,000 jobs have been shed across the sector, with thousands more expected to be lost in the coming months, the National daily said. Among the companies to have been hit by the slowdown are Damac Properties, the emirates largest private property developer. The company cut 200 jobs last month as a result of slowing sales. ‘’I was told the phone never stopped ringing, which is why they needed more sales staff,’’ said one former sales agent, who asked not to be named. He had quit his job in Britain to join Damac. But he lost his job in only three months. ‘’I answered three calls in three months and been told I have to repay my visa costs,’’ he said. Damacs job cull was swiftly followed by other top developers including government owned Emaar. Recruitment experts predict that the downturn could lead to as many as 5,000 casualties. The job cuts have mainly hit sales and marketing teams, although human resources, project management, development and back-office functions have also been affected. One executive who was sacked said he expected a salary reduction of about 10 per cent in his next job. ‘’I might need to do that just to pay the bills,’’ he said. Since the redundancies, recruitment agencies have been inundated with CVs like never before, leading to a situation of ‘too many people for too few jobs.’ This follows at least five years of rampant hiring, where property firms were fighting each other for staff, fuelling salary increases. According to Duncan Murray, a consultant at Duneden Recruitment, it could be early 2010 before companies start to think seriously about hiring again. ‘’People will just have to go to places like Qatar and Saudi Arabia if they want to work,’’ he said. ‘’It will be a lot harder for families, but people cant afford to be fussy and they will also need to be more flexible and accept pay cuts.’’ Developers also say more jobs will be lost if the market worsens. ‘’We had to rationalise costs and let people go,’’ said Hussain Sajwani, the founder and chairman of Damac. ‘’If the market gets worse, we will have to let more people go, but this is just business.’’

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