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Thu 21 Jan 2010 10:24 AM

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AB Think Tank votes 9-0 against job cuts in 2010

Expert panelists say they ‘over cut’ last year to get rid of unwanted staff.

AB Think Tank votes 9-0 against job cuts in 2010

Arabian Business Think Tank (ABTT)

has voted 9-0 against further job cuts in 2010 as the Gulf region looks to rebound from the impact of the global downturn, which saw thousands of employees laid off.

ABTT panel

– comprising experts from sectors including media, construction, finance, property – all said
they would make “no further cuts”

this year.

Two members of the panel went as far as to say they would actually begin hiring again in 2010, while other panelists also admitted they had “over cut” in 2009 to get rid of unwanted staff.

“It’s no secret some of us did that. In my organisation we lost over 100 people but looking back, I think maybe only 80 of those had to go," said one panel member.

"The rest, well it was a good time to see the back of them. Now, especially in this market, I can start recruiting better people into those positions, and to be honest, probably on lower salaries,” he added.

The ABTT panel includes Arabtec CFO Ziad Makhzoumi; Omnicom Media Group regional managing director Elie Khouri; Fairmont Hotels vice president Philip Barnes; Gulf Research Centre chief economist Dr. Eckart Woertz; Deyaar CEO Markus Giebel; Kanoo Group deputy chairman Mishal Kanoo; ITP Executive managing director Karam Awad; Asda’a Burson-Marsteller CEO Sunil John and Crescent Investments CEO Badr Jafr.

The ABTT vote follows a survey published last week which showed that less than a third of employees in Dubai were concerned that they will lose their jobs as confidence began to re-emerge in the job market.

The poll carried out by recruitment Robert Half revealed that 20 percent more people felt safe in their jobs, compared to 2009 when the impact of the global economic crisis hit the emirate hard.

The survey also showed that more than a quarter of employees actually experienced a positive effect of the downturn, seeing an increase in their salary or benefits during 2009.

However, an Arabian Business online poll which asked the same question showed a majority of people were still concerned about their job prospects.

Each month the ABTT votes yes or no on key economic questions, though how individuals on the panel voted is not revealed.

Last November the ABTT voted 7-2 against any rise in UAE house prices during Q4 of 2009.

Arabian Business: why we're going behind a paywall

Cash Flow Messiah 10 years ago

Of course it made sense to get rid of all those employees (and their families) that were promised those jobs just a few months ago. So what if they were taken in on a hiring spree a year back; we all were in a 'boom' period then. Of course we knew they didn't deserve it; we were just filling in the space to show our bosses how well we could perform our jobs. And now that we have proven to be the 'deserving ones' to have stayed back, we are having a ball of time firing many of which would have proven to be a threat to our jobs; and hey our bosses are loving us even more now!! Great article AB! Brings out capitalism in UAE in it's true light!

Philbert Suresh, Academic Professional 10 years ago

It makes good reading of the economy and players, esp in the Middle East region. Confidence built on positive performance in a gloomy otlook - is most welcome sign anywhere.