Westin Dubai lays off 90 staff

Poor yield leads to widespread redundancy at Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi

The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina
The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina

More than 90 employees have been laid off at The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina as the hotel undergoes a “soft restructuring”.

The redundancies were made at all levels and were necessitated purely by market conditions, according to complex general manager Peter Alatsas.

“Occupancy has been very strong; that’s been very pleasing, but the yield is not as good as previous years; that’s pretty prevalent throughout the sector,” said Alatsas.

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Alatsas claimed the hotel had been “quite generous to the individuals concerned” having offered them a three-month pay package, and said the group had been able to reposition some employees in other Starwood hotels.

However, this was not the opinion of one HME reader who commented on the website: “the new management's [that came into operation around five months ago] plan is to get rid of these loyal, hard-working people so they can rehire new people at the end of the summer”.

Alatsas responded saying there was "no specific mandate to do one thing or another in that sense, it's purely reading the business climate and doing what's appropriate".

Whether the company will rehire in the near future “depends on the circumstances. Nobody knows when business picks up. We were told there's a recovery going on but the recovery could take months or years so it's anybody's guess,” he said.

In spite of the redundancies, Atlasas estimated occupancy at the Westin Dubai to be around 70% and said it “has been doing quite well considering it's a new hotel that only entered the market a year or so ago.

“We don't have any advantage of being here for 10 years like most hotels so if we look at it in perspective; we’ve been doing very well,” he added.

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