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Security regulators ramp up guard training

Security Industry Regulatory Agency oversees higher training of 23,119 security guards in Dubai since mid-2017

Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News
Visitors at Intersec 2018 being briefed about the Security Industry Regulatory Agency’s services.
Gulf News

Dubai: With more than 33,000 security guards employed in Dubai, the industry is a thriving and integral part of providing a high degree of safety and security for the residents.

Across the spectrum, from residential buildings to offices, government and industrial premises, the deployment of security personnel is a norm of high value and contribution to social welfare in the UAE.

security guards are employed in Dubai by various companies

A highly trained industry, it calls for all security guards to undergo training sessions to obtain a certificate which allows them to work in the sector.

And now, a raft of new training and operational measures for the security industry in Dubai will ramp up protection services across the emirate as clients call for a higher degree of safety and assurances, say industry regulators.

A regulatory agency is working to improve all facets of the industry.

The Security Industry Regulatory Agency (Sira) told Gulf News that better trained, better-equipped security guards backed by the latest in high-technology surveillance tools will improve safety wherever security staff are deployed be it residential, office or government premises.

Khalifa Ebrahim Saleis, Sira’s director-general, said the regulatory agency was formed by the Dubai Government with a wider remit than the Department of Protective Systems (DPS) that it replaces, continuing all the licensing and regulatory functions held by DPS, but broadening its work further into research and development.

 Training for security guards includes a rigid fitness regimen and an understanding of basic police, civil defence and first aid operations.

“The Sira will more actively monitor service providers and set new general policies in Dubai’s security industry. It will also set down the specifications and standards which must be followed, and has the ability to update these as required, without the need to pass fresh legislation on each occasion when a revision is required,” he said.

The agency is placing high emphasis on training, he said.

For example, Sira has a centre to provide training to new security guards both in English and Arabic and immerse them in intensive sessions to develop skills necessary to handle all threats and emergencies.

Training is mandatory for security guards to secure a security licence to begin a guarding career.

Each session is approved jointly by major, specialised international companies in the security sector.

Saleis said Sira has trained 23,119 people since July 2017 to meet strict regulations for the people working in the security industry.

The licensing authority

Sira provides security licences for the following:
Event security guard
Cash in transit guard
Security guard
Security systems controller
Security systems technician
Security systems engineer
Security auditor
Security consultant
   * Security Industry Regulatory Agency


Training includes a rigid fitness regimen and an understanding of basic police, civil defence and first aid operations.

Among the challenges facing the industry of late were demands to increase security guards’ salaries. The regulatory agency said that it approved a 40 per cent increase in basic salary of security guards in Dubai effective January 2018.

All security companies registered in Dubai will follow the decision.

The cost of hiring a security team of professionals can be small compared to the relatively hefty losses that can be incurred by companies that attempt to protect their own interests with unqualified staff, the agency said.

Growing demand

The UAE will see a growing security industry in coming years, the US Commercial Service of the US Department of Commerce said in a 2016 report on the sector.

“The country’s safety and security sector continues to be propelled by a growing and diverse array of initiatives including the launch of its civilian nuclear energy programme, the scaling up of hydrocarbon extraction activities, the ongoing rollout of mega-projects such as the Midfield Terminal Complex at Abu Dhabi International Airport, and high profile events such as the Dubai Expo,” it said in an online post.

“The UAE’s intensified focus on security is reflected in its spending and legislation. Economic growth, bolstered by continued activity in the commercial, shipping, property, financial and tourist sectors, means security budgets should continue to be robust. The country is expected to nearly double homeland security spending over the next decade, from $5.5 billion to more than $10 billion.”
   — Staff Report