ITP Media Group switches to a three-day working week on coronavirus concerns

The UAE company said the temporary working structure will run from April 12 until June 30

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES. 12 MARCH 2020. 
ITP Media Group.
(Photo: Reem Mohammed/The National)

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ITP Media Group, the publisher of Arabian Business, is moving to a three-day working week to offset the economic effects of coronavirus, the company said on Thursday.

The UAE-based company, which has a portfolio of 75 brands, said the temporary working structure will begin on April 12 and run until June 30 when the company plans to resume normal working hours. It is unclear whether the move will affect staff salaries.

“The impact of coronavirus has led to a significant decline in the global economy; as a major media house serving a number of significant verticals including tourism, business, hospitality and travel amongst many others, this decline in economic activity has had a significant effect upon all aspects of our business, and ultimately upon the company’s revenues in all its offices around the world,” Ali Akawi, chief executive of ITP Media Group, said in statement on Thursday on the Arabian Business website.

Mr Akawi said the company’s priorities remain the same “to ensure the well-being of our staff” and to serve its audience.

The postponement of a number of industry-leading events to later in the year “would result in an extremely busy final third of the year”, he added.

A number of key events have been cancelled across the globe as economies grapple with the effects of the coronavirus. The annual New York International Auto Show was postponed from April to August while the Geneva Motor Show was cancelled for the first time since the Second World War.

Here in the UAE, numerous events have been postponed until later in the year. The Retail Summit, for example, which was set to go ahead this month was put on hold until November 2020

Mr Akawi said ITP's "temporary measure reflects these unprecedented, current, short-term realities and allows us to retain talent and react rapidly once the threat of the virus has been lifted".

"The UAE, GCC and our wider region is a vibrant and versatile economy and we are anticipating a strong recovery in the second part of the year in the lead up to Expo 2020 and the busy event schedule tabled for the latter part of the year," he added.

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