Until only a few months ago, many executives from developed economies viewed the Gulf as a bolt-hole to ride out the global economic storm.

Now, the axe is falling heavily on the staff of Dubai real estate companies as the six-year property bubble finally bursts, while similar cost-cutting measures are sweeping through the investment banking community.

Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse and Goldman Sachs have already laid off around 10% of their regional staff as the prospects for next year’s fees dim with the oil price slump.

Big real estate companies are slashing up to 15% of their workforces. Nakheel, the governmentowned offshore developer, this week said it was paring back high-profile projects such as the Trump Tower on Palm Island, while also making 500 staff redundant.

Financial Times