Atkins is to make more than 200 staff redundant following a major slowdown in its work in the Middle East, it announced today.

The firm said that 210 mainly building design roles would be affected – 170 in Dubai and 40 in Manila in the Philippines – and that it had begun consultation with the affected staff.

Atkins said the move was in response to the freezing of projects, including two of its Dubai projects – the 125-storey Anara Tower for developer Tameer, and 62-storey Trump tower for Nakheel – as well as evidence that the global recession now looked like being “longer and deeper” than previously anticipated.

A spokesman said: “Atkins is a well managed organisation which has been performing very well. Our prudent management, quality of people, geographic diversity and breadth and depth of what we do means we are more resilient to economic slowdown than many of our competitors.

“We are not immune to this, however. We are taking action from a position of strength to ensure the future success of the group.

“Roles will be made redundant in those parts of the group which are experiencing increasing uncertainty and worsening market conditions and we have deferred our annual salary review for six months.”