The Death of Development, Part II
Dubai master-developer Nakheel, which aimed for the stars with iconic projects, prepares for a dramatic restructuring, reports Trends. Part II.
January 13, 2010 4:01 by Edmund Sheen
“How could Nakheel justify spending millions on infrastructure and relocating staff to new offices after having fired 500 people?” asks one disgruntled company employee, who says he watched things go from bad to worse from close quarters.
“If they say it was planned earlier, then what is the difference between annulling contracts entered into with the contractors [for the party] and those signed to build an office worth millions?” he asks.
The company has also been blamed for what one source calls a “nepotistic nature of some appointments,” and “decision-making based on informal channels.”
A former official says he frequently saw junior consultants exert more influence with some of the directors than their more senior counterparts.
“The impression that I got through my four-year stint at Nakheel was that decisions were always based on informal relations. Naturally, cracks started to widen when things weren’t going well. That’s when people started asking why certain decisions were taken and looking for scapegoats,” he says.
Non-management of growth and the inability to put a proper functioning organizational structure in place stood out as Nakheel’s major problem. People who know the organization inside and out say whatever structure the company had in place was being constantly undermined by a parallel structure of consultant appointments.
“Blatant duplication of resources was the norm and consultants were appointed for every new project. This was causing confusion; everything was on ‘open budget’ and everything was being paid for by the same company,” says a source in the organization who was familiar with these matters.
The Nakheel Asset Management and Nakheel Design Group models were created, neither of which worked either.