Dubai’s ruler has ordered a shake-up of the city state’s management, including the retirement of nine senior officials, a day after he conducted a surprise spot check of government offices and found a significant number of employees absent. On Sunday, his government posted a video on Instagram of him making an unannounced visit to a government office and finding it empty, an exercise which a Dubai media official said was intended to ‘send a message’.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum casually wandered around the deserted office with empty seats, picking up an employee’s book and flicking through it.
Governments around the Gulf are trying to make their bureaucracies more efficient as low oil prices pressure state finances, and the move by Sheikh Mohammed is one of the most dramatic efforts in that direction so far. Sheikh Mohammed ordered the retirement on Monday of nine members of Dubai Municipality’s executive management, including directors and assistant director-generals in departments such as legal affairs and planning, the United Arab Emirates’ state news agency WAM reported.
Some of those sacked include Abdul Qader Al Jasmi, director of legal affairs, deputy director general Eisa Al Maidoor and assistant Director General for corporate support Mohammad Abdul Karim Julfar. On Monday, Sheikh Mohammed thanked the nine retired officials for their service but said he wanted to allow a new generation of young leaders to take control and provide top-quality services to the public, WAM reported.