Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 5 April 2020

Etihad Rail cuts 30% of workforce in restructuring initiative

The tenders for the 628km second stage, which links Khalifa and Jebel Ali ports to the Saudi and Omani borders, are expected to be awarded soon.

Etihad Rail said it is streamlining operations including a number of job cuts as it seeks greater efficiencies.

The operator, which is developing the country’s Dh40 billion, 1,200-kilometre rail network,has completed the 266km first stage, with freight trains transporting sulphur from Shah and Habshan to Ruwais for export.

The tenders for the 628km second stage, which links Khalifa and Jebel Ali ports to the Saudi and Omani borders, are expected to be awarded soon.

“As we enter 2016, we have introduced a restructuring initiative across the company to further streamline our operations as well as our internal procedures and processes,” according to a statement from the company.

“These changes involve a number of staffing adjustments, as we move towards a flatter management structure.”

According to a Bloomberg report yesterday, Etihad Rail will slash almost a third of its workforce. The company did not confirm the figure when contacted by The National.

With oil prices below US$30 per barrel for the first time in 12 years, governments in the Gulf region are under pressure to rein in spending.

In October, the UAE announced a trimmed federal budget for this year and last month Ministry of Finance data showed that government spending fell by 21.6 per cent in the three months to September against the same period in 2014. And Saudi Arabia will this year cut spending on transport and infrastructure by 63 per cent in a bid to reduce its deficit.

The US$25 billion, 2,177km GCC rail project was initially slated to open in 2018, but there are expectations that it will be delayed.

selgazzar@thenational.ae

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Updated: January 17, 2016 04:00 AM

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