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.