• Companies in Emirate starting to cut jobs amid slump in oil
  • Etihad Rail yet to award contracts for Stage 2 of project

Etihad Rail has cut about 30 percent of its workforce, as Abu Dhabi seeks to trim costs after the slump in the oil.

"We have introduced a restructuring initiative across the company to further streamline our operations as well as our internal procedures and processes," a company spokesman said in an e-mailed statement, without disclosing the number of dismissals. "These changes involve a number of staffing adjustments, as we move towards a flatter management structure."

The 40 billion dirham ($11 billion) Etihad Rail network, which will provide both freight and passenger services when completed, will eventually link the six Persian Gulf nations from the United Arab Emirates to Saudi Arabia through Ghweifat in the west and Oman through Al Ain in the east. Etihad Rail is expected to start awarding contracts for Stage 2 of the project, a 628-km stretch connecting Mussafah, Khalifa Port and Jebel Ali port as well as to Saudi and Oman.

"The rail links to Oman via Al Ain and to Saudi Arabia via Ghweifat remain within the scope of Stage Two, in line with the project mandate," Etihad Rail said in the statement.

The deadline to complete the Gulf Cooperation Council rail project by 2018 could face delays as some countries have yet to begin laying down track in their national network.

Several companies in the U.A.E. have already begun laying off staff amid falling oil and property prices. National Bank of Ras Al-Khaimah PSC is cutting about 250 staff, it said yesterday, HSBC Holdings Plc cut about 150 employees at its retail and commercial banking operations in the U.A.E., a person familiar with the matter said in November, while Standard Chartered Plc also cut several positions in the country as part of a global restructuring.

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