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Mon 8 Jul 2013 12:21 PM

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Abu Dhabi gov't unit said to cull expat jobs

Sources say most expat staff dismissed from admin arm of General Secretariat of the Executive Council

Abu Dhabi gov't unit said to cull expat jobs
(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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Kaptain Saif 7 years ago

Welcome to the UAE, expats..!!

DNS 7 years ago

First the over-exploit them.. then they sack them...

RAH 7 years ago

Welcome back to your loving country, UAE citizens.

nicola 7 years ago

No comment necessary but some expats have been milking the ''cow'' for long enough and ensuring knowledge and skills transfer doesn't happen thereby ensuring the ''status quo'' and leading many highly motivated and skilled Nationals to either fight it or become a self fulfilling prohecy.
All expats who do this know very well who they are.

Billy 7 years ago

I think you are using a very tiny minority to make a sweeping general statement that in reality is just not true. Yes I am sure there are some ex-pats "milking the cow" and I am just as sure there are some Emiratis doing the same. But the vast majority of expats here are hardworking, put in long hours for lower pay levels than their Emirati counterparts and are happy to train new employees, passing on the knowledge they have accumulated. It is right that the government wants only its own citizens in companies like the GSEC but such a move does not address the real issue for Emiratis......training themselves to be competitive in the private sector. Only when that happens will the real unemployment problem for Emirati's be solved. Bashing the private sector into submission is not the right path. Emiratis themselves need to take up the challenge, gain appropriate education and conform to the rules of business in the private sector. Long road I fear.

whonext 7 years ago

to be expected really, after all it is a Government unit.

Quality service levels, customer experience expectations, monitoring of performance etc. are not enforced and salary levels are hugely out of reality to the job based on nationality, as we all know only too well.

Now the ones that remain, have to deliver.
Nothing will change, but they will have to deliver.
Be interesting to see where this all ends up.

Abdul Jaleel 7 years ago

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

JPW 7 years ago

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.

ANTONY 7 years ago


UAE Expat 7 years ago

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.