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Hyder cuts Dubai staff to restructure operations

Hyder Consulting is involved in many big projects, including Reem Island in Abu Dhabi. (SUPPLIED)

By Joseph George

Hyder Consulting, one of the leading engineering, environmental, planning and management consultancy companies, has terminated staff from its Dubai office as part of its restructuring plan.

A senior Dubai-based official confirmed to Emirates Business that several of its staff have been asked to leave. However, the company was not willing to release figures of the exact number.

The company in an interim management statement said that a small number of projects in Dubai have been cancelled although its business in the region is performing well.

"The group's business in the Middle East is performing well, benefiting from our long-standing presence in the region. In Dubai, the recent slowdown in the property market has led to a small number of project cancellations, and some delays in contract payments. Elsewhere in the region, we have substantial operations notably in Abu Dhabi, Qatar and Bahrain, and remain confident of further growth," said the statement. Hyder Consulting has been present in the Middle East for 45 years and has offices spanning the UAE, Qatar and Bahrain and is involved in some of the major projects in the region, including Burj Dubai in Dubai and Reem Island in Abu Dhabi. Last year, the company opened a new head office in Dubai Healthcare City as part of its regional expansion.

The company recently announced that it plans to cut almost eight per cent of its global workforce following a slowdown in the construction sector. It said that it has seen some slowdown in the United Kingdom and Australia with delays in government expenditure on infrastructure projects and a lower workload in the property sector.

"In the UK, we are closing some of our smaller satellite offices and, as in Australia, reducing our overhead costs. Following a review of our operations by the new executive team, we are restructuring in order to streamline and better align our service offerings with the markets and sectors in which we operate," said the statement.

"In addition, we have responded to market conditions by reducing our headcount and overhead expenditure. As a result of these initiatives, headcount will reduce by eight per cent and one-off, exceptional costs of £8 million (Dh42.4m) will be incurred in the second half-year, leading to an anticipated annual cost savings of some £4m. The board will remain vigilant in managing the group's operations through the current global downturn," it added.

The company also said added that its order book had grown to almost £400 million due a contract with the Abu Dhabi Sewerage Services Company for consultancy services for design and construction supervision of sewerage schemes and a contract for master planning, design and construction supervision of primary infrastructure for PK Resort, Bahrain.