Publishing firm to close at the end of April

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JOB CUTS: Dubai-based DIT Group is to close its magazines by the end of the month, says a senior source.

JOB CUTS: Dubai-based DIT Group is to close its magazines by the end of the month, says a senior source.

Dubai’s DIT Group on Monday confirmed the publishing house will close down all its operations at the end of April.

Rumaiz Mohideem, acting general manager and head of finance at DIT Group, told Arabian Business all 40 of the firm’s employees were laid off on Sunday.

“We are ceasing operations in total across the whole group, the entire thing; the publishing, the events and the online operations completely,” he said.

The move confirms DIT Group, the publisher of Forbes Arabia, as the first significant publisher in Dubai to shut its doors amid the global downturn.

The details of employees’ redundancy packages were yet to be confirmed by DIT’s parent company, Dabbagh Group, Mohideem said.

“Nothing has been confirmed yet [on redundancy deals]. Our parent firm is planning a compensation package, but that’s a head office decision.”

Mohideem said low advertising sales were not wholly to blame for the firm’s closure and hinted the move was part of a wider shake-up at DIT’s parent firm Dabbagh Group.

“The decision came from our head office. It [advertising] is not the only reason, in terms of the economy, that is not the real reason.

“Head office is part of a large group, so it is their decision to close shop at any of their firms.”

A source at DIT said that staff had known redundancies were likely, but were surprised to see the firm fold completely.

“We knew that it had been in the works for quite some time,” the source said. “It’s not a massive shock but it is unfortunate as we felt the magazines were doing quite well in the market.”

The news follows a string of job cuts among UAE publishers, many of which have been linked to the region’s weakened advertising market.

Emap Middle East, the owner of MEED and AME Info, last month laid off 19 of its 160 employees, while ITP cut 60 jobs earlier this year.

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Posted by: Barney Stinson

...is that 80% of the publications out here don't focus on the reader, and making the best read possible, they focus on making as much money in the short-term as they can. Magazines are vastly understaffed and have to work with tiny freelance budgets so you can't expect the quality that the titles and readers deserves.

Posted by: mn

Another mediocre publishng company shuts down. In the bid to copy paste everything written in international magazines and securing mindless advertising, the editors of the these magazines forgot one thing, attracting readership!

Posted by: gregm

It is unfortunate when any businesses in our industry fail. Especially the workers and their families. Forbes Arabia was a good title. Any word on who will be picking it up? Greg Millard

Posted by: Al

The company was run down by a string of lousy clueless managers. One of the company's short-lived GMs ripped off the company dearly in the early 2000s, another doubled salaries while the company was laughingly under performing in the 1990s. Indeed it should have been shuttered before 2000. Their accumulative losses must have exceeded Dhs 70 million by now.

Posted by: Faisal Al Hammadi

For me DIT was not doing well for the last few years. for example PC magazine (Arabic) became an outdated in addition to uncountable spelling mistakes. In the other hand, FORBES is unlike PC magazine, and I hope it will continue with another publisher very soon. Hope that all staff will have another chance and challenge and hope to them successes in managing them self and their families.

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