TDIC chief 'proud' of Saadiyat labour village
Developer was blasted by rights body last year over worker conditions
Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC) has held up Saadiyat Island’s labour village as a benchmark for the region to follow.
During a ministerial tour of the Saadiyat Construction Village, Mubarak Al Muhairi, managing director of TDIC, declared himself “proud” of the facility and held it up as a “regional benchmark for the level of housing and associated facilities provided for construction workers across the UAE.”
Only last year, Human Rights Watch blasted the conditions of workers on the island in a report that was rejected outright by UAE authorities.
The Saadiyat Island Construction Village is a 21 hectare site, which offers three types of accommodation blocks ranging from two to six bedrooms.
According to TDIC, the accommodation blocks are built around a communal recreational facility, which includes a dining hall, library, games room, Internet cafe, supermarket, gymnasium and TV rooms.
By June 2010, it should have a four hectare, floodlit, multi-purpose grassed sports oval.
More than 4,500 construction workers live on the campus.
Amongst those present on the tour of the village and island were Saqr Gobash, Minister of Labour, and Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid Al Qasimi, UAE Minister of Foreign Trade.
Following the tour, Minister Gobash said: “We are pleased that developers are paying increased attention to the quality of life for the labour force and were pleased to tour Saadiyat Construction Village, which is regarded to be in full compliance with labour accommodation standards that were recently passed by the UAE government.
“We believe this facility will encourage many other developers to follow suit, and strive to achieve similar standards.”
Saadiyat Island covers 27 square kilometres, and will be developed in phases up until 2020. Over 160,000 people are expected to live on the island once work is complete.