Etisalat lays off over 800 expats in the last two years

​The company also hired over 650 people during the same time period



United Arab Emirates telecoms operator Etisalat laid off hundreds of expatriates staff over the last two years as it streamlined operations, according to its chief executive officer.

A total of 806 expatriate employees and eight Emirati staff were made redundant between 2014 and 2016, the company told the Federal National Council, reported The National.

In a written response to questions from the FNC, Etisalat CEO Saleh Al Abdooli said the Emiratis were let go for “misconduct, not obliging with the company’s rules and their job requirement.”

Some of the Emiratis resigned because they received offers from other companies owing to their high qualifications, he added.

However, he also clarified that during the same period between 2014 and 2016, the company hired 653 people including 218 Emiratis and 435 expatriates “in specific fields that require certain types of skills and expertise.”

“In order to keep up with the rapid growth of the telecommunications sector, it became necessary to designate a number of international foreign experts in this field,” Abdooli said.

Etisalat, which posted a 6.7 per cent year-on-year drop in net profit for 2015, is currently undertaking a group restructuring.

It made a net profit after federal royalty of Dhs 8.3bn last year, compared to Dhs 8.9bn in 2014. Annual consolidated revenues for 2015 rose to Dhs 51.7bn from Dhs 48.8bn in 2014.

Abdooli was appointed as its CEO late last month after former chief Ahmad Julfar resigned for personal reasons.