Middle East

Dubai ruler fires 9 after finding empty office during surprise inspection

Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid al-Maktoum in May.

Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid al-Maktoum in May.  (REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah, File)

Dubai's ruler, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid al-Maktoum, has reorganized the state’s management after a surprise inspection found several officials not in the office.

The awkward moment was caught on camera on Sunday as his government posted a video on Instagram of his announced arrival at a state office.

The royal was seen nonchalantly wandering around the empty office, flicking through employee’s books, after the impromptu visit at 7:30 a.m.

Governments around the Gulf are trying to make their bureaucracies more efficient as low oil prices pressure state finances, and the move by the UAE state’s Sheikh is one of the most dramatic efforts in that direction so far.

Yesterday following the inspection, Sheikh Mohammed sacked 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.

On Sunday, his government posted online the video 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”.

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.

This story first appeared in The Sun.