Dubai’s plan to build rest areas for delivery riders will ensure their safety and well-being on the road while also roping in the business community to play their part in workers' welfare. Adequate rest, refreshment and hydration are important for these riders as they traverse long distances to deliver products, documents and food on time.

Tenders have been floated for these facilities that would comprise restaurants, refuelling and maintenance centres, refreshment zones and even safety training areas. Of course, there will also be areas where these drivers can simply put their feet up and rest from the hard day’s (and night’s) ride under the scorching sun and while facing the headlights.

According to some estimates, the delivery sector has grown 48 per cent since 2021, and there are over 2,000 companies in the space. CSR initiatives by some companies last year helped ease working conditions for these riders but the exponential growth of app-based food and grocery services sector during the pandemic has necessitated a larger government role in not just oversight and regulation of the but also in showing how it can be done by involving the wider industry.

A public-private partnership of sorts is the way forward for the development and overall health of the delivery sector. The safety of drivers is paramount and this initiative will reduce road accidents while making the overall experience pleasant for both the customer and the delivery agent. The three such stops on the road are, therefore, a step in the right direction and could, perhaps, be a first for the region. These are part of wider reforms for the welfare of workers. Let’s make the ride safer as a community.

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