UAE – 2000 EMPLOYMENT VISAS CANCELLED DAILY
Uncertainty among Indian expats in the UAE is reaching maddening heights as jobs vanish by the day. An average of 1,500 to 2,000 visas are cancelled in the white collar sector every day, according to an analyst with a leading Dubai firm.
Schools are flooded with applications for transfer certificate as families get ready to return home. There would be an exodus to India by March.
Though there are only a total of 3,200 declared job losses by seven companies in Dubai, estimates from market sources put this at 20,000.
Unofficial figures hint at 30,000 white collar jobs lost in the past three months. This is in addition to the tens of thousands of labourers rendered jobless every week.
Sudhir Kumar Azhakath, Partner & Head of Corporate Communications and Public Relations, Morison Menon Chartered Accountants, a leading audit firm in the West Asia, told Express that companies were re-evaluating strategies and restructuring resources to cope up with the global and local challenges.
Most of the companies have stopped giving pink slip figures as it might land them in trouble with the Ministry of Labour.
Emirates NBD (merged entity of Emirates Bank International and National Bank of Dubai) had fired 1,800 employees.
Another 1,700 pink slips are in the pipeline.
This means 32 percent of a total workforce of 11,000 would be jobless in what the company terms ‘shedding of extra fat.’ Standard Chartered had cut 500, HSBC 250 and ADCB 750.
One major Indian school has a got transfer certificate applications for 900 students till last week, which is 10 percent of the school’s student population.
There are more than 10 major Indian schools in Dubai alone.
This is due to various reasons including job loss, high cost of living and tuition fees and high rentals.
The proposal to raise the minimum salary to 10,000 Dirhams for family visa status would make it impossible for a large chunk of expatriates to retain their families in the UAE. A recommendation to this effect has already gone from the Federal National Council to the Federal Government.
Sudhir Kumar warned that by March/April there will be a huge flow of Indian expatriates. “Out of this 70 percent will be Keralites going back for good or deciding to stay alone and send their families for good.
And there are a lot of other expatriates who will also be moving out – Pakistani, Egyptian, Sri Lankan, UK, Germany etc. Recently 70 UK expatriates left their luxury cars in the airport and left the country. And more than 100 expatriates from India and other countries left similarly.
It is officially estimated that Dubai’s 2008 population of 1.3 million will come down by 8 percent this year. But according to me it will go down by more than 25 percent.”