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RMJM Middle East staff 'struggling to survive'

Ex-employee describes 'brutal' atmosphere within Scottish firm

RMJM has an enviable reputation for staggering projects like the Capital Gate tower in Abu Dhabi. Photo: Getty.
RMJM has an enviable reputation for staggering projects like the Capital Gate tower in Abu Dhabi. Photo: Getty.

RELATED ARTICLES: RMJM in US$12m bail out | RMJM capitalises on current market conditionsNew regional head for RMJM

Middle East staff at RMJM are ‘struggling to survive’ in the wake of the Scottish firm’s financial difficulties, sources have told Construction Week.

An ex-employee, who wished to remain anonymous, described the atmosphere within the Middle East office as ‘brutal’, just days after the RMJM announced a US$12m bail out by its lead investor and a week after a mass walk out at the firm’s Hong Kong office.

“It was very unpleasant. I think people are really struggling to survive,” he told Construction Week online.

The Scotsman revealed earlier this month that RMJM suffered a massive walk-out at its Hong Kong office – losing up to 80 staff, including 33 to the China division of engineering and architecture giant Aedas.

But due to the market in the UAE, where projects are lacking since the financial crisis, Middle East staff do not have it easy joining other firms.

“The market in China is booming whereas here it is much, much slower. The Middle East staff don’t really have any options,” the ex-employee told CW..

Speaking of the departure of key staff in China, he added: “All the key players have left, taking most of the business with them.”

RMJM recently won the contract to develop the Yas Southern Marina, as well as finishing Abu Dhabi’s Capital Gate. In a statement earlier this week, the firm’s CEO said that difficult years in the Middle East had an effect on the company’s business.

"After two very difficult years in the Middle East, the economy there is getting back on its feet and our US business is also starting to benefit from the recommencement of a number of projects which were put on hold during the height of the recession,” he said.

The head office of RMJM did not respond to an emailed request for comment this morning.

 

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Construction Week - Issue 746
Jul 20, 2019