The uncertain economic outlook for Dubai worsened yesterday as Nakheel, the government-owned property developer, said it was cutting 15% of its workforce and it emerged that Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse also are shedding regional staff.

Falling property prices and disappearing credit lines have caused developers to trim back real estate plans, while investment banks are preparing for tougher times as the oil price slump helps to rein in breakneck growth across the Gulf.

Nakheel, which last month held a star-studded opening party for the Atlantis hotel on the reclaimed Palm Jumeirah, said it had made about 500 staff redundant in response to 'current easing market conditions'.

The developer, which is building five other offshore reclaimed projects and last month unveiled plans for a record-breaking kilometre tall skyscraper, also said it was 'scaling back work on some of its projects', without elaborating.

Financial Times, The Times