Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, the Emir of Dubai, has sacked a bunch of senior staff and ordered a major shake-up of the way the city is run after visiting government offices at 7:30 on a Sunday morning and finding that many staff were not yet at work.
The Sheikh made an unannounced trip to a government office in Dubai, the city known for its huge skyscrapers and crazy wealth, this past Sunday — which is a normal working day in the United Arab Emirates — and seems to have been disappointed by the lack of staff present.
After the visit, his government posted a video of him making the trip and finding the office empty on Instagram, an exercise which a Dubai media official said was intended to “send a message” according to Reuters. You can see the video, showing al-Maktoum inspecting an empty office, below:
Soon after the visit, al-Maktoum announced the forced retirement of nine of Dubai’s most senior officials, all from the Dubai Municipality’s executive management, including directors and assistant director-generals in departments such as legal affairs and planning, the United Arab Emirates’ state news agency WAM reported, according to the Mail Online. He thanked the officials for their services, but said that the Emirate needs a new generation of leadership going forward.
Along with the trip to the office buildings, al-Maktoum also visited Dubai’s international airport to carry out a similar inspection. This visit was also posted on Instagram:
While the number of absences from the office early in the morning are likely to have influenced the Sheikh’s decision, the restructuring is also part of a broader movement within the Middle East to cut down on the number of bureaucratic staff employed, Reuters reports. This is being undertaken as a means of coping with persistently low oil prices, which have severely impacted on the government finances of Gulf nations in the past year or so.
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