Thousands of Laing O?Rourke employees face redundancy

One of the UK?s largest construction companies, Laing O?Rourke, has cited a decline in Middle Eastern operations as the reason for cutting its workforce by almost half.

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One of the UK’s largest construction companies, Laing O’Rourke, has cited a decline in Middle Eastern operations as the reason for cutting its workforce by almost half.

Reports in The National say revenues have declined 14% and in response the workforce will be cut from 35,753 to 18,222.

The company’s main project in the UAE was the Al Raha Beach development, for which is teamed up with Aldar Properties in 2006. The US $18 billion joint venture, made under the Aldar Laing O’Rourke brand, but had to be downsized in January 2009.

Ray O’Rourke, the chairman and chief executive, said: “The year proved our most challenging ever with a significant number of people leaving the group as we took decisive action to align business costs with current and anticipated workload.”

“The majority of this decline was directly attributable to the removal of work associated with the Aldar joint venture in Abu Dhabi and the steep decline in the Dubai market, where many projects were operationally paused.”

The developments are still progressing, with Aldar pledging to continue working on the partnership.

In the news report, an Aldar spokesman said the developer was committed to its partnership: “Our joint venture with Laing O’Rourke remains in place and this relationship is an important one for both parties, particularly in the final delivery of the HQ commercial office building and Al Bandar residential development, as well as ongoing work at Al Zeina.”

The first residents of Al Raha Beach are expected to arrive by the end of 2010.


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