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A year on, we look back at SIRA

Last year marked the official formation of the Security Industry Regulatory Agency in Dubai, and security firms have had a year to get to grip with its new directives

The UAE employs thousands of security personnel that work  to ensure its residents safety.
The UAE employs thousands of security personnel that work to ensure its residents safety.

The Security Industry Regulatory Agency (SIRA) was officially launched at Intersec, almost a year ago. At a forum during the tradeshow, industry leaders discussed the new security law (12) 2016 related to the regulation of the security industry in Dubai.

Brigadier Khalifa Ibrahim Saleis, SIRA’s director general, provided an overview of the formation of the regulatory body and the issuance of the ‘Regulation of Security Industry Law’ in Dubai (Law No. 12 – 2016).

At Intersec 2017, Saleis said SIRA was formed by the Dubai Government with a wider remit than the Department of Protective Systems (DPS) it replaced, continuing all the licensing and regulatory functions held by DPS, but broadened its work further into research and development.

One of the first directives of the government body was to raise the minimum wage of security personnel, Mahmood Amin of World Security told fmME in the October 2018 issue.

That decision alone gave a major boost to those working in the sector. “It gives them an added incentive, and instantly gave them a higher morale,” Amin told fmME. Under Law (12) 2016, basic monthly salaries increased by about $136 (AED500).

According to a federal law passed in 2008, security guard's salaries in Abu Dhabi and other emirates had risen to AED2,800, which attracted security guards working in Dubai.

However Saleis was quoted stating the endeavour was to increase the level and standard of security in the emirate ahead of the Expo 2020 in Dubai as well.

He said SIRA’s Law No.12 repeals Law No. 24 (2008) regarding security services providers, but the current technical regulation provisions of Law No. 24 remain in force and are currently being reviewed and updated.  “The key element of the powers granted to SIRA is that such regulations can be amended without recourse to primary legislation,” he added. “This will make the process of adapting to progress in technology more nimble and timely where necessary.”

Along with better pay packages, security companies are also expected to offer better training facilities and procedures.

Technology continues to play a significant role in the safety and security space, and several industry players have acknowledged its growing importance in the sector. G4S is a global operator in the safety and security space. The company’s aviation solutions general manager Waqar Mohamed said: "There have been several advancements beginning with technology. From a security point of view, it’s an ever-evolving sector. Our joint MSS — man security and electronic security — is a powerful combination when they come together,” he added.

This year marks the 20th edition of Intersec (to be held from January 21-23 in Dubai) addressing the global security, safety and fire protection sectors.

The 19th edition of Intersec saw 1,304 exhibitors particiapte from 58 countries and welcomed 32,750 visitors coming from all over the world. Its organiser, Messe Frankfurt, is forecasting a larger number of both visitors and exhibitors this year compared to last.

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Construction Week - Issue 761
Mar 21, 2020