Abu Dhabi cracks down on worker accomodations

The Municipality of Abu Dhabi City, in coordination with the Ministry of Labour and the General Directorate of Abu Dhabi Police, is proceeding with a drive to combat the phenomenon of congested housing of workers, building annexes and partitions and construction of makeshift additions to villas and flats as well as residential and commercial buildings throughout Abu Dhabi city, without securing proper permits. The civic body has also stepped up efforts to remove these violations and take action against offenders.

The Campaign, which is launched in response to recurrent complaints received from residents inconvenienced by this phenomenon, is launched with the aim of providing suitable options at residential cities purposely built for labours in order to provide them with decent living and safe residence constructed at top class health, human and service standards.

Under the current phase, the campaign will be targeting Al Bateen and Al Zaafaraneh with the aim of combating the spreading of congested labour accommodation at residential areas as such practice has adverse effects not only on the social fabric but also in bringing huge pressure on the existing services and saddling the Emirate with an economic burden let alone the distortion of the appearance of the city.

The Municipality, in cooperation with the concerned bodies, is progressing ahead with the campaign to include in the forthcoming days both Shahama and Musaffah, besides enforcing judicial rulings against villas and residential buildings contrary to the conditions of the building permits across Abu Dhabi city, and taking other necessary actions including the demolition and removal of outlawed structures and unlicensed annexes.

 The Acting Executive Director of Municipal Services Sector, Uwaidah Al Qubaisi, said: "The Municipality of Abu Dhabi City is running this campaign out of its social responsibility and in response to the calls made by the inhabitants of those areas besides the need to maintain the health and safety of workers themselves, provide decent living from them, uphold the beautiful appearance of the city, and cement the communal and institutional interaction towards combating this phenomenon whether at the level of tenants themselves or investors and landlords. This can be manifested through highlighting the grave social and health impacts caused by the congested accommodation of workers at residential areas, and offering better social education to tenants through avoiding encouraging some investors who are seeking windfall profits at the expense of tenants by exploiting their dire needs for accommodation.

"The Municipality of Abu Dhabi City is endeavoring to intensify efforts and step up joint cooperation with other concerned bodies and companies operating in Abu Dhabi Emirate towards accelerating the transfer of labours from the disorderly accommodations to the new cities purposely built for securing proper and safe living for them at the highest health, human and service standards.

"Intensive-labour using companies, particularly contractors, maintenance, cleaning and building security companies, to expedite the transfer of their workers to the districts and cities designated for labour accommodation built by The Higher Corporation for Specialized Economic Zones (Zones Corp) and complement the provision of the best health, psychological and social living conditions for them rather than leaving them living in congested spots with inappropriate residential conditions.

"The Municipality is concerned with the provision of an ideal social environment for all segments of the community to ensure the stability and consistency of the social fabric. Companies are urged to support all efforts made to combat this negative phenomenon which is capable of undermining the culture of the community and disfiguring the general appearance of the city. Landlords and investors have a huge role to play in minimizing the spreading of accommodating workers at residential districts where buildings are converted into inhumane congested spots. All individuals are also urged to cooperate and take early action towards reporting any such phenomenon at their residential localities," said Al Qubaisi in a final remark.

It is worth-mentioning that the Municipality of Abu Dhabi City is continuously coordinating with Zones Corp towards the construction of workers cities; which have now reached five cities with a capacity to house about 300 thousand workers in an environment that meets the highest health and security specifications fitted with clean surroundings and a host of amenities including recreational outlets, health centers, malls, and sports clubs; which reflects favourably on their productive capacity and fosters a healthy and safe living environment.

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