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‘Hospitality, tourism and construction to benefit most from UAE’s new labour rules’

October 2015

October 22, 2015 | 13:00 | Dubai

The new UAE labour rules by the UAE Ministry of Labour promulgated through three decrees last month are likely to benefit the three sectors most, namely hospitality, tourism and construction, according to an expert. “In terms of attracting more migrant workers to the UAE, the hospitality, tourism and construction sectors are likely to benefit the most from the new regulations since the huge infrastructure investments relating to Dubai South and Expo 2020 Dubai are creating lots of new job opportunities in those sectors,” John Martin St. Valery, founding partner of Links Group, UAE-based provider of commercial facilitation and advisory services, told Wealth Monitor.

With the UAE taking a leading role to protect migrant worker rights, this will help to attract more expatriate workers to these particular jobs, he added. The three resolutions will come into effect in January 2016 and they aim to improve transparency of job terms and employment contracts, outline how contracts can be broken, and could make it easier for workers to change employers.

Asked whether UAE should abolish the sponsorship system (kafala system) for migrant workers to bring more flexibility in private sector employment, he said, “While the Kafala system has come under criticism, it is important to recognise that for a country like the UAE, where the migrant workforce significantly outnumbers the national workforce, there needs to be a system in place that allows the government to monitor the movement of non-national residents. This is what a sponsorship system enables.”

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