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Tue 22 Nov 2011 06:42 PM

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Abu Dhabi’s Masdar cuts 9% of workforce

State-owned energy company trims staff numbers in bid to create leaner organisation

Abu Dhabi’s Masdar cuts 9% of workforce
Masdar is the cornerstone of the UAE capital’s ambitious clean energy plans
Abu Dhabi’s Masdar cuts 9% of workforce
Masdar is the cornerstone of the UAE capital’s ambitious clean energy plans
Abu Dhabi’s Masdar cuts 9% of workforce

Masdar, Abu Dhabi's state-owned renewable energy company, has trimmed its staff numbers by nine percent as it seeks to create a leaner organisation, the company said Tuesday.

The redundancies followed a company-wide review of the $22bn venture, amid wider spending reductions in Abu Dhabi prompted by the global financial crisis.

“Masdar… has identified ways to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the organization. Through this exercise, staffing levels have fallen by nine percent,” the company said in an emailed statement to Arabian Business.

The company’s long-term vision and goals remained unchanged, the statement said.

Masdar, the cornerstone of the UAE capital’s ambitious clean energy plans, said in October it had scrapped plans for Masdar City to be carbon-neutral from its launch and had pushed back the city’s first phase by two years to 2015.

The company said in 2010 it had shaved $3.3bn off the cost of building the clean-energy city, as construction costs plummeted following the sharp correction of the UAE’s property market.

Masdar in June said it had made a round of job cuts to eliminate an overlap of roles.

The news follows an emirate-wide slowdown of large infrastructure projects, as Abu Dhabi scales back its projects in line with current economic realities.

At least nine Abu Dhabi-controlled companies have seen top managers exit this year, including investment vehicle Mubadala and developer Aldar as the government seeks to rein in costs.

TDIC, Abu Dhabi’s tourism arm, said on Oct 29 that it would delay the completion of the Zayed National Museum and branches of the Louvre and Guggenhem due to the “magnitude of work”.

“It is a prudent strategy by Abu Dhabi,” said David Butter, regional director for Middle East and North Africa at the Economist Intelligence Unit. “

“Masdar indicated a year ago it had stretched out its main targets. There has always been a tendency of Abu Dhabi to be more cautious on its high-profile spending.”

The oil-rich emirate is exposed to the sovereign debt crisis in Europe and the slowdown in the US economy through its holdings, and may also be reining in spending in preparation for a tough 2012, he said.

“Clearly, on some high level, steps are being taken to reappraise everything across the board. Abu Dhabi is of course a long way away from being in trouble, but it may be looking ahead.”

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ahmed 7 years ago

This whole concept looks like a white elephant to me...how can they talk about clean energy/green energy/renewable energy...when there is criminal waste of power on street lights...wastage of water on landscaping...it seems senseless tome

Suleyman 7 years ago

Well said Ahmed. There is a big disconnect between the "talk" and the "do".

Kaptain Saif 7 years ago

Outsourcing heritage and culture will always bring undesirable results. Ownership of every level of the society is crucial and fundamentally very important to capitalise and maintain the local identity.
Till Project finalisation everything is in the news - when it comes to maintenance - its always left to the expats to do it, which doesn't give results. Ownership..!!

David 7 years ago

No one seems to care Ahmed. My own company can save about 40% of the energy required to power street lights without having to change bulbs, wiring, timing or lux and yet people are still constantly prevaricating. Water is another issue; in each high rise building in the city pure, usable water is being tipped down the drain to the tune of about 400 litres per day per building, this is from the condensate from the a/c plants which is easily recyclable. Furthermore, more efficient toilet flush systems are available which use 80% less (YES, 80% LESS) water than traditional flush systems and are far more hygienic yet no one is installing them. These also vastly reduce the amount of effluent flowing to overburdened treatment plants. In short, solutions exist but finding the man to enact them is nigh on impossible.

sonnydubai 7 years ago

Absolutely - when Emiratis are being given such low rates of water and electricity compared to expats things will never change here

telcoguy 7 years ago

I can not understand what you wrote. The people doing the maintenance are the same (expats) who built them in the first place.
The quality of craftsmanship is low, true, but also the cheap materials and the poorly thought design decisions contribute to run maintenance.
Not sure how you can turn this into an expat vs local question.. in any case responsibility ends (for the hiring and material decisions) at the large construction firms, that last time I checked were mostly local.

Tim 7 years ago

Its so sad to see to a rich country that is capable of doing almost anything, not implementing such technologies as stated by David...and showing the way to the rest of the world. Y only Masdar? These things can be done on existing buildings, street lights?
I remember seeing a campaign about installing a device to reduce water in all homes...what happened to that?
I ve been in the UAE for 32 years and this is home for me....n i wish something will be done...
God Bless and guide us all

UAE 7 years ago

Since Masdar has come to life, I yet have to see any other news that didn't concern job cuts. This venture is created to only showcase that Abu dhabi is doing somthing different.

Ystrad Paul 7 years ago

David. Please let me know how I can install the toilet system you mentioned. My DEWA bills have doubled (plus a bit more) with no change in consumption! I know many others have as well. Strange. It is a shame that some sections of the community are given subsidised, or free utilities, which breeds wasteful habits.

GZBqoUOsfIjTp 7 years ago

Superior thinking demonstrated above. Thanks!