Surprisingly – or unsurprisingly – Yahoo has announced that it will shut down its Dubai office by the end of April 2016. There have been talks of the company shutting down its Middle East operations since January 2015 when it cut its staff down by half. However, when TRENDS’ sister publication Communicate reached out to Yahoo, we were told: “The Middle East and North Africa region continues to be an important market for Yahoo. Yahoo Maktoob’s operations continue to be supported from our regional office in Dubai and from other locations.”
Yet, over the year, the company has closed its offices in Jordan and Egypt.
Following the new announcement, we reached out to Hussein Freijeh, managing director of Yahoo. However, he refused to comment, as he wasn’t authorized to do, and instead directed us to Yahoo’s PR company, who only reiterated the following statement: “Yesterday we informed our Dubai-based employees that we’ve made the difficult decision to close the office by the end of April as a part of Yahoo’s effort to streamline our business and set the company up for long-term growth. We are incredibly grateful for our employees’ hard work and contributions. We will continue to provide our suite of consumer services in Arabic and English and our advertising inventory through Yahoo marketplaces and other advertising exchanges.”
While the company chooses to remain mum, one can’t help but wonder how wiping out its presence in the MENA region is a good strategy “to streamline our business and set the company up for long-term growth”. Or is it just us?