By Claire Ferris-Lay
Real estate services firm seen shifting its focus, staff to Bahrain in company revamp
& Wakefield has cut staff numbers in its Dubai office in a restructuring
that will see the international property consultancy shift its focus to
Bahrain, Arabian Business has learned.
headquartered firm, which has operated its regional headquarters from the
emirate since 2008, is understood to have made several redundancies and seen a
number of resignations after it announced plans to restructure.
company’s head of Middle East operations, Mike Atwell, is understood to have
relocated from Dubai to Bahrain under the revamp.
was hit hard by the global economic crisis, which saw property prices decline
by around 60 percent as banks curtailed their lending and speculators left the
half of construction projects in Dubai, the Gulf’s busiest builder until
late-2008, were cancelled in the wake of the financial crisis, forcing firms to
seek out work in new markets.
estate purchases dropped by 44 percent to 1,459 in the third quarter of this
year compared to the same period a year earlier, CBRE said last month. In the
third quarter of 2008, at the height of the five-year property boom, 4,059
transactions were made in the third quarter.
remain concerned that the estimated 33,000 new homes scheduled to hit Dubai’s
market by end-2012 could cause fresh declines in rental and sale prices. Rating
agency Moody's said last month that that house prices are unlikely to recover
& Wakefield said in an emailed statement it was shifting its focus to other
areas of growth in the Middle East.
“Cushman & Wakefield recently restructured its
Dubai office to primarily focus on servicing the needs of its corporate clients
in the Middle East region,” it said.
“Cushman & Wakefield continues to operate and
service clients from Dubai and also from Bahrain....Cushman & Wakefield is
currently exploring potential client-led expansion opportunities in other parts
of the Middle East region.”
The company is one of a number of international
firms to have trimmed back their workforces in Dubai in recent months.
International lenders Deutsche
Bank and Credit Agricole are understood to have withdrawn employees from Dubai
as deals dry up, revenue falls and lenders curb costs.
HSBC, Europe’s biggest bank, said last month it would stop
offering brokerage services to retail investors in the United Arab Emirates.
Exor, the investment arm of the Agnelli
family who also run the car giant Fiat, acquired a 71.5 percent stake in
Cushman & Wakefield in 2007, replacing the Rockefeller Group as a majority
It is hardly surprising that the advisories who tend to deal in the commercial property sector and also arrange investments for Middle Eastern money across the world should downsize and relocate. Bahrain is actually the investment gateway to Saudi Arabia and undoubtedly the Saudi financial muscle will want to see companies investing in Bahrain and supporting the economy. I bet you see more of that reverse commercial migration in the interests of doing business with Saudi Arabia.
The fact that commercial property is in such dire straits it also means that residential suffers, didn't they used to say for every 100 square feet of office occupied there is 1,000 square feet of residential bought or rented?
This is rather strange.
First they leave Dubai and then...... they move to Bahrain.
I mean, two wrongs don't make a right !
Unless they want to focus on the Saudi market and their Head of M.E prefers to live in Bahrain.
Deleveraging is here !!!
If the Government of UAE does not act quickly on reforms and transparency in Real Estate, Company law, Bankruptacy laws and residency issues, the out flow of corporates will soon become a tide !!
No!!! You got it all wrong. All Bahraini financial institutions are moving to Dubai heralding a new real estate bull market. I read it here less than 8 weeks ago.
I am so disappointed with your comment!
Now more seriously, people should realize that for many companies Dubai/Manama/Qatar/Abu Dhabi offer similar advantages. Not all of them can become regional East/West hubs for air traffic, nor for islamic financial services, nor any other activity.
Dubai had a headstart during a bull market that may take 20-30 years to come back (remember the 70s? the 30s?) We are now on a new normality and it is going to take much more than slick PR and shiny buildings to become a business hub. In any case, from my perspective competition is good, but clearly not all the cities/countries will reach their goals.