Maj Gen Obaid Muhair Bin Surour inspecting the facilities at the Jafza service centre on Monday. Image Credit: Pankaj Sharma/Gulf News


Thousands of workers on Monday attended a training programme to learn about their rights and responsibilities and UAE traditions and social aspects.

Major-General Obaid Muhair Bin Suroor, Deputy Director-General of the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) Dubai, and Chairman of the Permanent Committee of Labour Affairs in Dubai, said that 40 per cent of workers in Dubai had become more aware of their rights and responisibilites and the country’s social aspects since they started the educational programme two years back.

He said that they train about 250 workers every day in special sessions run by 12 trainers.

“Last year we trained more than 20,000 workers in one centre. Now we have another centre in Jebel Ali Free Zone to educate thousands of workers. The awareness programme concentrates on raising the knowledge of workers about their rights and responsibilities as per the laws and regulations in the UAE,” Maj Gen Bin Suroor said.

The lectures are presented in Arabic, English and Urdu at two medical centres in Al Qusais and the Jebel Ali Free Zone centre.

“About 2,500 workers went through sessions in Jebel Ali center within last ten days. It is essential to raise workers’ awareness. UAE, and Dubai in specific, has been eager to put the best practices and practical expertise into use in order to raise the cultural and awareness levels of migrant workers,” Maj Gen Bin Suroor added.

Lectures topics were as diverse as from how to cross roads from designated areas to educating workers about the country traditions.

“We educate them that consuming alcohol in public is forbidden. Gambling also is forbidden by laws. That’s helped to decline violations by workers. We want the workers to know how to avoid legal problems. We want them to feel welcome in their second country,” Maj Gen Bin Suroor said.

In addition, Dubai provided two interactive kiosks in Al Quoz industrial area to educate more workers about the country laws and traditions.

“We will have more kiosks in the future. Any worker who passes the training sessions can spread awareness among other workers.”

Meanwhile, Mohammad Al Muallem, CEO of Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority (Jafza), backed the efforts of raising awareness among workers about their rights and obligations in accordance with UAE laws.

“These awareness sessions will help more than 150,000 employees sponsored by Jafza. It will enhance relationships and help to resolve differences. Helping workers was one of the key values of our founding father, the late Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and as a nation we have made progress in this area by creating a legal framework in accordance with international practice,” Al Muallem said.

Al Muallem said the free zone has adopted a number of worker initiatives, including the adoption of the Wage Protection System which ensures the payment of salaries on time.

“We have about 60,000 workers living in Jafza. But we have not had any strikes as we have a system which ensures that a company respects their workers’ rights.”