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At the launch ceremony of one of the new buses with high-tech features. Image Credit: Supplied

Ajman: In a pioneering initiative, workers belonging to a UAE-based company will now be able to enjoy free WiFi and watch videos on screens onboard the buses that transport them to their worksites and back to their accommodations.

World Star Holding, that has diversified verticals in manpower, contracting, facilities management and real estate, said that the first-of-its-kind initiative was taken to improve the welfare of blue-collar workers and reduce their mental stress.

Announcing the initiative as a New Year gift to workers today, Haseena Nishad, managing director, World Star Holding, said: “During the commute to and from the construction sites, workers can make video calls to their families from the bus and also enjoy music videos played on television screens. We hope this will help them happier and better workers.”

She said the initiative would help the workers get time to contact their loved ones even on busy work days.

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Workers will have access to free WiFi while travelling on these company buses. Image Credit: Supplied

Phased rollout

In the first phase, the company has outfitted six new air-conditioned buses for the workers with high-tech features.

Nishad Hussain, chairman of World Star Holdings, said the company, which has about 5,000 employees, would roll it out on all the buses by 2025. Currently, the company uses around 200 buses for workers.

Haseena said the company would also consider the suggestion to offer books for workers to read during their commute.

‘Will save time, money’

During the flagging-off ceremony held in Ajman, a group of workers was accorded a red-carpet welcome to the first set of high-tech buses. Kishen Indradev, a mason, said the workers were happy to get free WiFi during their daily commute. “We spend around 40 minutes to one-and-a-half hour on the bus, depending on the location and traffic. Usually, we get bored during commute. Now we can call home and save time and money. We can concentrate on cooking once we reach our accommodations.”

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The buses are fitted with monitors to display videos. Image Credit: Supplied

Mohammed Rashid, a painter-cum-plumber, said his shift ends late and sometimes his family goes to sleep by the time he gets back to his accommodation. So he does not get an opportunity to connect with his family on video calls during most work days. “Now, I can call while on the bus,” he said.

The workers said they have access to free WiFi at their accommodations.

Awareness videos

The company already runs an extensive facility in Sharjah’s Al Sajja area to provide training and classes to upskill workers. From now on, the top executives said, the high-tech buses will also display awareness videos on worksite safety and hygiene protocols.

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Shajahan Ibrahim, the company’s manager, said the quick reminders would stay fresh in workers’ minds and would make their life safer.