State-controlled investment group Dubai World said on Oct. 15 it has cut back its worldwide workforce by 15% to below 70,000 because of the global financial crisis.
The job cuts were greatest in the United Arab Emirates itself at 25% because of the downturn in the regional real estate market, Dubai World said .
The restructuring operation will result in a saving of more than $800 million over the next three years.
Dubai World is a major operator of ports across the globe, and its subsidiaries include property division Nakheel, investment business Istithmar World and newly-created retail management arm Retailcorp World.
"Each Dubai World division is now more appropriately sized for the current market while at the same time well placed to take advantage of the eventual economic recovery," the statement said.
In March port operator DP World announced a 48% growth in profits in 2008 over the previous year, despite declining business in the final quarter because of the global financial crisis.
One of the largest marine ports operators in the world, DP World announced in January that it was reviewing expansion plans and freezing recruitment faced with a slowdown in the container terminal industry.
Credit ratings agency Standard and Poor's Corp said that state-related companies in Dubai are due to repay nearly $50 billion in debt -- 70% of the Gulf emirate's estimated GDP -- within the next three years. Among those companies, the likelihood is "very high" of DP World needing support from the government of the Gulf emirate, the agency said in a report, adding that three other Dubai state-linked businesses also have a "very high" or "almost certain" prospect of needing state help.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009