22 March 2016
Dubai's construction sector to set exemplary standards in labour practices

283 companies, more than 500,000 workers in construction sector

More than $ 390.8 billion worth of projects under construction or in pipeline in Dubai

Dubai - Construction companies in Dubai are keen on setting exemplary international standards in labour practices.

Executives from the companies, who attended the Awareness Training Workshop for the construction sector conducted by Taqdeer Award, said participating in the Award will not only inspire them to further enhance their labour welfare measures but also ensure that every aspect of worker-related practices is taken care of.

The special training workshop was organised at the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) in Dubai premises, as a part of its efforts to generate awareness about criterion for participation in the Award.

The Taqdeer Award, launched under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council, is the world's first points-based award programme for recognising excellence in labour welfare practices and seeks to promote international best practices in labour welfare and enhance relationship between companies and workers.

The Award is targeted at Construction Sector in its first cycle.

According to the latest Deloitte and MEED Projects report, over $ 390.8 billion worth of projects are under construction or in the pipeline in Dubai and the construction sector has a significant contribution in Dubai's GDP (nearly 8 per cent) and employs 500,000 workers.

Fawzieh Shahrour, Trainer, Team Power International, who conducted the training, said: "The assessment criteria are quite comprehensive and cover several aspects of labour practices in an organisation. The assessment team will evaluate the companies on Essential Fundamentals such as labour policies, facilities, health and safety, labour security, recruitment and wages; Culture and Work Environment which includes transparency, innovation and creativity, labour relations, communication and feedback, administration, and labour perceptions and feedback. The training workshop is aimed at helping companies understand details of each of these aspects so that they can understand areas they can improve upon."

The training workshop was attended by around 30 representatives from different companies.

Redha Ghanim, Senior Manager, Al-Futtaim Carillion, who attended the training session, said: "We believe that in order to continue improving and excellence, there should be challenges. The Award comes before us a challenge and we are very keen, we would want to ensure we get the highest ranking."

"Our company is very active in taking initiatives for the benefit of our workers, and our effort is to go an extra mile and give them more than expected. We have, for instance, a clinic within the company premises and many other facilities. The Taqdeer Award presents before us another challenge to further enhance our services. We are very keen on setting high standards which will be an example on international level," he added.

The Award will benefit both workers and employers in Dubai as it keeps interests of both parties, said the participants.

Ahmad Ataya, Administration Manage, Belhasa Six Construct: "Taqdeer Award focusses on the welfare of workers, which will improve their performance and, in turn, benefit the companies. The award will benefit both employers and workers. The Award will also further enhance the image of Dubai on international level as the companies, such as ours, will get recognition for their labour welfare measures."

Participation in the Award will help companies identify areas where they can take extra measures, as well as give recognition to those who are already implementing the best practices, said the representatives from companies.

Karim El Shennawy, Business Development Manager, Al Shafar General Contracting (ASGC), said: "Our company has clear labour welfare policies. By participating in the award, we will be able to assess if there are any areas we need to pay special attention to. This will help is ensure that there are no gaps in implementing labour welfare practices."

The Award will inspire all companies to achieve the highest ranking and excel and will benefit both workers as well as companies, said the participants.

Bianca Wilton, Employee Relations Manager, Al Futtaim Carillion, said: "As the construction sector employs a very high number of workers, we believe the Award rightly focuses on this sector in the first phase. The Award will inspire all companies across the UAE, it will raise awareness on enhancing labour welfare measures."

Serin Matheew, Assistant Manager, HR Operations, Chicago Maintenance & Construction Co., said: "As an ISO-certified company, we already have sound policies and practices in place. Taqdeer Award participation, I feel will help us focus on areas that need to be paid attention to, it will help us excel."

Daq Tanvir, Group Human Resources Manager, Dutco Balfour Beatty Group, said: "The Award will help us benchmark against the industry and see where we stand. It will be a recognition for us on what we do and help us understand where we stand in the industry. The award is in line with the vision of our wise leadership to ensure happiness for all, promote mutual understanding and ensure the happiness of both employers and workers."

Companies in the construction sector in Dubai involved in civil, electrical and mechanical work that have been operating for at least two years and have executed a minimum of two projects in the last two years are eligible for applying to the Taqdeer Award. In the first year of the Award, only companies involved in the construction of buildings, roads, bridges, tunnels, plumbing installation and power generation plants are eligible for applying. The companies can participate in the Award by submitting a comprehensive submission document, which will be thoroughly evaluated by a Judging Committee. The companies will be awarded the ratings from one star to five stars.

Winners of 5 and 4-star ratings will receive a certificate, enjoy priority in government projects, and will be honoured at an award ceremony. These top ratings will give companies a competitive advantage in bidding for international contracts.


© Press Release 2016