Dubai: From international trips to gala dinners and recreational outings, several employees in the UAE got pampered by their employers with various rewards on the International Workers’ Day today.
Globally observed on May 1, the day honours the contributions of all the working people, especially low-income labourers in some countries.
Companies and government entities in the UAE hosted various activities to celebrate the contributions of their employees in view of the day.
An Indian business couple in Dubai gifted an international trip to some of their workers on the occasion. World Star Holdings Chairman Nishad Hussain and Managing Director Haseena Nishad honoured 10 workers who performed the best last year with the status of ‘Superhero’ and gifted them with a four-day international tour.
They celebrated Workers’ Day in Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, which is rich in natural beauty. The snow-clad Gudauri hills and the green Tsalka valleys captivated them.
Dara Singh, who was chosen for the trip for working without taking any leave for the past two years, said he gained renewed energy from the unexpected trip. His colleague Ugrasen said: “We have only seen places like this in movies and we felt we were in heaven.”
Meanwhile, another worker, Balakrishnan, said: “I don’t use a smartphone. I managed to send home the pictures and videos of the trip from the mobile phones of my friends.”
Last year, the company had honoured some of its workers with two days of luxury. Workers travelled in a Rolls-Royce car, visited the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, and one of the world’s largest luxury hotels, the Burj Al Arab, and stayed at a five-star hotel for two days.
Nishad Hussain said: “Our company sees workers as heroes. Hundreds of our workers are working on many important construction projects, contributing to many revolutionary developments in the UAE. Their excellent support is the biggest strength of our company.”
Haseena Nishad, who recently received the Sharjah Government’s honour in recognition of her outstanding labour welfare activities, said: “We have always placed great importance on the happiness of our workers. Their well-being and satisfaction is the secret behind our success and I take a personal interest in ensuring that it is executed properly.”
Trips and treats
Another company, Dubai-based Blue Ocean Corporation, has a practice of sponsoring international trips and monthly team parties at luxury hotels or resorts for its employees.
“Tonight [Monday night] we are having a gala dinner at Taj, JLT, celebrating the contribution of everyone with the company,” Dr Sathya Menon, Group CEO of Blue Ocean Corporation, had said earlier in the day.
On the upcoming international trips sponsored by the company, he said: “Twenty-five of our employees are travelling to Thailand next week and 20 others will leave for Georgia next month at company expenses. We have Switzerland and Paris trips also coming up in the next three to four months.”
In January, he said, the company set a new milestone by marking its Annual General Meeting 2023 with a three-day company sponsored trip to Baku, Azerbaijan for all its employees.
“People feel included when they are treated equally and with respect. When it comes to driving high performance and retention amongst your employees, nothing works better than making them feel valued. We are proud that we have been the source of people’s happiness,” said Dr Menon.
He further added: “Travelling and vacationing can do wonders for the mind and body. We have been facilitating trips for employees for a long time now. Not to forget, travel broadens your perspective as well.”
Another company that organised a special dinner on the eve of the International Workers’ Day is EFS Group, known for its facilities management services.
The mega dinner organised by the group became extremely special as more than 1,000 senior staff and heads of departments volunteered to prepare and serve home-cooked meals to 7,000-plus frontline and blue-collar co-workers at their accommodations. The bosses took the opportunity to express their gratitude to the heroic frontline workforce for their unyielding efforts.
The Consul General of India in Dubai, Dr Aman Puri, who was the chief guest, said: “The world runs on your contributions. The dedication and tireless efforts of the workers are the backbone of not only EFS but of our community as a whole. On this occasion, on behalf of the Consulate General of India, I pay my tribute and respect to all workers, and I am also delighted to have been able to interact with them.”
Tariq Chauhan, EFS Group CEO, said: “This gesture of EFS is a beautiful way to celebrate May Day and show appreciation for our front-line workforce. Having the food cooked by EFSians and their families adds a personal touch and creates a sense of family spirit within the company. Recognising and prioritising worker wellbeing is always essential; this goes above and beyond to show that appreciation.”
The evening was further enhanced by a live musical performance and a painting exhibition of talents from EFS’ frontline workers.
Leading by example
Leading the UAE government’s celebrations of the day by example was Dr Abdul Rahman Al Awar, Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE). The minister paid a visit to workers at their respective workplaces in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
He was accompanied by officials from the Ministry on the visit to a construction site for Aldar Properties in Abu Dhabi, and to Dubai Refreshment Company.
Al Awar commended the companies on complying with regulations and providing a safe working environment for workers on site, as well as the necessary services and basic needs, including daily breaks.
The minister said: “Guaranteeing the rights of employees and employers equitably, which stabilises the employment relationship, is a priority at the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation, in line with the UAE’s commitments through international labour conventions. We are keen on constantly enforcing legislation and policies, and continuously updating them to maintain decent working conditions, strengthening the UAE’s position as a global destination to live and work.”
The ministry organised several activities, including honouring its support workers, and some of the longest-serving workers in the private sector. The Ministry also honoured workers of different skill categories, and a group of domestic workers. It also organised sports events, which gathered the participation of several workers.
In Dubai, Dubai Municipality organised a recreational trip to its workers to Atlantis, the Palm Resort. The civic body on Monday released a video on social media which showed dozens of workers enjoying the trip to the luxury resort.
The workers wearing white T-shirts bearing the logo of the Municipality are seen arriving in a bus. The video also captured workers having fun and frolic while trying out various water-based activities.
Meanwhile, Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) organised a recreational outing for 150 workers to the Global Village and offered them nol cards. Workers were delighted for the excursion and RTA’s efforts and care for their wellbeing and happiness including the Smart Safety License training programme aimed to offer participants a comprehensive understanding of work standards and the application of health, safety, and environmental practices.
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The Labour Standards Development Authority (LSDA) in Sharjah held a four-day celebration in Saja’a Labour Park, from April 28 to May 1, in cooperation with many institutions from the government and private sectors.
“The celebrations come in the light of the directives of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, and the direct follow-up of Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler of Sharjah and Chairman of the Executive Council, to have an attractive and decent work environment in Sharjah for both workers and employers,” said Salem Yousef Al Qaseer, chairman, LSDA.
The celebration included forming a human chain of thousands of workers of different nationalities, to affirm equality and fraternity among all nationalities and humanitarian dimensions. Interactive workshops and awareness lectures by a group of bilingual experts were held for workers on various topics related to health, safety, and labour affairs. Folkloric performances, yoga, and martial arts shows were also included.