Time's up for staff at Emirates Business 24/7

The newspaper lays off 12 workers on eve of its final printed edition, with plans to relaunch as an online-only title.

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DUBAI // The newspaper Emirates Business 24/7 has laid off at least 12 staff as it prepares to close its print edition and relaunch as an online-only title. Staff at the newspaper have been told that today's paper will be the last, as the publisher Dubai Media Incorporated (DMI) looks to save printing and distribution costs at the title.

Ahmad al Shaikh, the director-general of DMI, confirmed 12 staff members lost their jobs yesterday, but said the company was looking to recruit experienced web journalists to prepare for its relaunch as a general news site. He said: "[We] will keep the people we want. We will try to find professional staff who know how to deal with the new [internet] systems. 24/7 needs more journalists. It was always a business [title] - now it's general news."

Mr al Shaikh said the company plans to relaunch the existing website by the end of July. "We will try to [relaunch] on 24 July because the name of the site is 24/7," he said. Staff say further redundancies are looming. "People have left from all departments - editorial, production and pictures," said one, who declined to be named. @Email:bflanagan@thenational.ae