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Taqdeer Award to include 340,000 workers in Dubai free zones

Award that recognises firms for good labour policies aims to include 1 million workers this year

Image Credit: Atiq ur Rehman/Gulf News
Maj-Gen Obaid Muhair Bin Surour Our target is to reach 1.5 million workers in Dubai
Gulf News

Dubai: Organisers of the Taqdeer Award programme hoped all companies and factories operating in Dubai would participate in the award to reach better environment for all workers in the emirate. In fact, the award will include all companies and workers in the free zones in the emirate in this year’s edition, a top official of the award told Gulf News.

Though more than 9,854 factories and 282 companies operating in the construction sector will participate in the second edition of the Taqdeer Award programme, the award want all companies to be able to participate.

The award is given annually to firms who implement best global practices in safeguarding labour rights in their workplaces.

“The first edition included 500,000 workers and the second edition will cover one million workers and our target is to reach 1.5 million workers in Dubai. We hope and expect all companies in Dubai to participate in the award in the near future for better environment and condition for the workers, as our aim is to protect workers’ rights in their accommodation and workplaces,” Major-General Obaid Muhair Bin Surour, deputy director-general of the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) in Dubai and chairman of Taqdeer Award, told Gulf News in an exclusive interview.

He said the award has been expanded to include 34,000 companies in the free zones in this year’s edition and workers in factories will be included in the third edition. More than 340,000 workers in the free zones will be part of the award this time.

“We contact all companies in Dubai asking them to participate in the award and then we conduct workshops for representatives of the companies to explain what award is all about and the benefits of participating in it. Many companies want to participate in the award and we are looking to put all companies and factories in the UAE under the umbrella of Taqdeer Award,” Maj-Gen Bin Surour said.

“We decided to expand the award this year to include workers and companies in the free zones which has over 34,000 companies and 340,000 workers. The award will also include 9,854 factories and 282 construction companies all around Dubai. We expect the second edition of the award to be even more successful in enhancing the UAE’s regional and international reputation in the field of worker welfare,” Maj-Gen Bin Surour said.

Labour rights

He said there are nearly a million workers in the construction sector and the award will ensure their rights are protected in accordance with international conventions and according to the highest local and international standards.

“We have awards for best worker and best worker’s supervisor to encourage the workers. The award will help companies to have brilliant feedback for their companies and where is the weak and strong points in his company and which areas need to be enhanced,” Bin Surour.

In the first edition, the companies were recognised for adopting best practices for their work forces. They were selected based on Taqdeer points, which recognised excellence in labour welfare practices.

The Taqdeer Award, launched by Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, in October 2016, is the first of its kind in the world that seeks to recognise companies for their labour policies and efforts so as to inspire them to improve their labour practices.

Maj-Gen Bin Surour expressed his gratitude to Shaikh Hamdan for his strong support and for launching this award with the aim of building fruitful and successful work partnerships between employers and employees; ensuring their respective rights; and motivating companies to strengthen the pillars of decent living for their workers, taking care of them and protecting their rights.

Ratings

In the first edition of the award, participating companies were given ratings ranging from one to five stars by the judging committee, based on the number of points they received in an evaluation.

Earlier, Maj-Gen Bin Surour said that companies which received a high rating will now enjoy priority in government projects and will have a competitive advantage in bidding for international contracts.

“The companies can even benefit from the award outside the country because when they apply for projects outside the UAE, then they will have advantage on winning bids because of their participation in Taqdeer award,” Maj-Gen Bin Surour explained.

“We have 100 assessors to check and make assessment of the applicants’ submission documents. It is the only government award in the world to protect workers’ rights.”

The deadline for the companies to submit documents will be the end of August and the results will be announced in November this year.

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