Aldar Laing O’Rourke, a joint venture between Abu Dhabi’s largest property developer and a UK construction company, will lay off more than 200 employees in a move to “realign” the company to the changing economic environment.

'In an environment like this, you have to be lean and agile,' said Christopher Wilkinson, the company’s managing director. 'We’ve got plenty of work, but we don’t think we are going to have the dramatic growth we were expecting.'

The announcement is a sign that property firms in Abu Dhabi are starting to be affected by the global crisis. In Dubai, the impact has already hit home. Several signature projects have been shelved and more than 1,000 employees laid off.

The National