UAE | Housing & Property

Cosy home for Saadiyat workers

Abu Dhabi National Hotels operates complete housing and leisure facilities

  • By Iman Sherif, Staff Reporter
  • Published: 00:00 March 16, 2011
  • Gulf News

Chill out time
  • Image Credit: Abdul Rahman/Gulf News
  • Reception personnel hand out billiards equipment to workers who live in the Saadiyat Island Construction Village in Abu Dhabi.
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Abu Dhabi: Around 10,500 workers of 20 nationalities are housed in the Saadiyat Island Construction Village.

The Tourism Development and Investment Company (TDIC) has required contractors working on the Saadiyat Island project to house their workers in the Construction Village.

Operated by Abu Dhabi National Hotels (ADNH), "the village was built in accordance with the UAE Labour Law and Human Rights. The facility covers 40 hectares and contains secure accommodation, health and entertainment facilities," Ali Al Hammadi, Senior Director, Special Projects and Government Relations, TDIC told Gulf News.

The project's first phase, which was completed in December, has four clusters, each with a capacity of 5,000 workers. The second phase can house another 20,000 and will be built when the need arises.

Full capacity

"We expect the first phase to reach its full capacity by the first quarter of this year," Al Hammadi said.

Workers register at the reception where they are welcomed by a team.

Workers meet regularly to ease their integration. New workers also receive an orientation about the building, regulations and hygiene rules. Rooms vary in size and can accommodate up to six persons in three double-bunk beds sharing a bathroom.

All rooms contain private lockers, personal lights and power sockets, windows with fly screens, air conditioning fixed on a set temperature and smoke detectors. Each cluster carries a colour which reflects in the internal decoration and an electronic tag access system to facilitate accounting in case of emergency.

The village has sports and recreational facilities. A supervised multi-use sports facility with courts for basketball, badminton, volleyball and tennis. Sports equipment can be also checked out free of charge. They can also practice martial arts.

Each cluster has with a courtyard with a video screen showing a movie per day, each day in a different language. News programmes are shown in six languages.

A large prayer room with copies of Quran are available along with facilities for ablution. Alignment in the pavement indicates Makkah's direction to allow large groups to pray during Ramadan.

An indoor recreational building includes a mini-market where drinks, cigarettes, toiletries and other items are sold.

There is also an internet café with 20 computers where workers can communicate with their families whether through chat or by making calls. Internet service is provided for Dh2 per 30 minutes.

Welfare of labourers

As part of Tourism Development and Investment Company (TDIC) ongoing commitment to safeguard the rights and welfare of workers on its projects, the company has announced that it is broadening its existing independent monitoring programme and is in process of hiring a reputable independent consultant.

This company will monitor the performance of contractors on Saadiyat Island through the Employment Practices Policy (EPP), a document that sets out workers rights and employment practices and standards, and the results of the report will be published on an annual basis.

TDIC has always worked with an independent monitoring consultant, who provides regular reports on contractors' performance. So as the Saadiyat projects continue to grow, the appointment of a dedicated independent consultancy company is a natural enhancement of the current system.

Comments (2)

  1. Added 17:35 March 16, 2011

    It's wonderful to see workers being treated fairly since they do so much for us.

    Jasmine Terry, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

  2. Added 17:12 March 16, 2011

    I'm glad to see that the laborers are finally getting the humane treatment they deserve. Hoever, why just Abu Dhabi? Why can't we have clean and secure conditions for workers else where? Even if they provide the basic amenities like water, electricity and good quality shelter, it would be a great improvement from what they have to settle with at present. The wages of the labourers should also be looked into by the ministry.

    Hira Jafri, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

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