Abu Dhabi gov't unit said to cull expat jobs

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(Credit: Bloomberg News)

(Credit: Bloomberg News)

The administrative arm of Abu Dhabi's top government department, the General Secretariat of the Executive Council (GSEC), has dismissed most of its expatriate employees, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

It was not clear exactly how many employees were affected, but the sources said the number could be around 40-70 people. The sources declined to be named because the decision has not been officially announced.

The GSEC declined to comment when contacted by Reuters. Abu Dhabi is the largest and wealthiest emirate in the United Arab Emirates; the GSEC is the administrative body which develops and executes Abu Dhabi's strategic plans and policies.

Many countries in the Gulf, which have relatively small populations of local citizens, rely heavily on expatriates to fill large parts of their bureaucracies as well as key posts in national airlines, banks and the media industry.

But there is growing political pressure in many places to reduce the expatriate workforce in favour of employing locals, in order to reduce unemployment.

The prime minister of the UAE, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, said earlier this year that finding jobs for UAE citizens was one of the government's top priorities. The government has estimated the jobless rate among locals at 14 percent.

The sources told Reuters that the Abu Dhabi government had offered severance benefits to dismissed employees.

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Posted by: RAD

If the UAE wants to be a true global player it needs to stop making distinctions based on nationality. Hire the best person for the job, regardless of where they are from. Competition in the job market has always worked to allow the cream to rise to the top, as long as the HR departments are allowed to do their jobs unhindered by these biases.

Posted by: UAE Expat

Highly politicized move at the perfectly WRONG time. The global economy is teetering while Abu Dhabi is repositioning to become a diversified economy. The massive quantum of funds flowing through GSEC on the myopic pretense of economic diversification will now get rubber stamped by the remaining local staff, most of whom are largely incapable of synthesizing the highly complex issues with hundreds of billions of dihrams at stake. This will result in GSEC reverting back to a rubber stamp institute, recharging the legacy multi-billion dollar disasters of pre-2008. Talk about milking the cow, this cow is about to get milked into oblivion as the vulture contractors and consultants swoop in and start feasting.

Posted by: Ronald

Exactly! Contractors and consultants will smell this opportunity immediately, come back and let the locals pretend to be doing the work when all the energy and expertise is hidden in dark rooms beyond the gaze of reality. Some of us call it "mentoring" and we make great wodges of splonga as a result.

Posted by: Bingo

The only comment that makes sense. Don't forget the increase in corruption that will result.

Posted by: ANTONY

IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN DONE BUT AFTER REVIEWING EACH POST. SOME OF THOSE TERMINATED ARE NEEDED.
THIS WAS DONE THREE YEARS AGO AND THIS SENDS A WRONG MESSAGE TO ANY ONE WHO THINKS ABOUT COMING TO ABUDHABI. THIS IS WHY DUBAI HAS BEACOME A GOOD EXAMPLE.

Posted by: JPW

I think this is a great move by the GSEC!

Why not train and employ your own people first and help eliminate unemployment with-in your own country.

If someone is unhappy about losing their job and forced to move back to there native country and can not find work there; don't blame the UAE, speak to your own Government about employment issues.

Posted by: Abdul Jaleel

I really welcome the action. The country must give priority for their human resources and slowly try to be self sufficient. As Nicol said the right word and the reality.

Abdul Jaleel

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