March 09, 2011 / Abu Dhabi / (Rich-Joseph Facun / The National) An overview of  the commons area at Saadiyat Construction Village, Wednesday, March 09, 2011 in Abu Dhabi. The complex can house up to 20,000 laborers and is comprised of four clusters of housing units.
The common area at the Saadiyat Construction Village, which is designed to house up to 20,000 labourers.

Developer invites artists to inspect worker conditions on Saadiyat

ABU DHABI // The developer of Abu Dhabi's Guggenheim museum has responded to artists' protests over worker conditions at the construction site by inviting them to conduct a first-hand inspection.

More than 130 prominent artists and curators pledged to boycott the Guggenheim this week in protest at worker conditions on Saadiyat Island, the site of the museum. However, the Tourism Development and Investment Company (TDIC) said yesterday it had a long-standing and deep commitment to protect workers' rights.

"TDIC has always welcomed dialogue regarding its practices with the artists and those who are also committed to constructive dialogue about protecting workers' rights, and we will continue to have this policy as work progresses on Saadiyat," the company said in a statement.

TDIC also said it planned to invite artists to the island development to tour worker facilities and witness conditions for themselves.

In a petition addressed to Richard Armstrong, the director of the Solomon R Guggenheim Foundation, the artists called on the museum to safeguard the rights of thousands of migrant labourers working on Saadiyat Island.

"Human rights violations are currently occurring on Saadiyat Island, the location of the new museum," the petition reads.

"In two extensive reports on the UAE, Human Rights Watch has documented a cycle of abuse that leaves migrant workers deeply indebted, poorly paid and unable to defend their rights or even quit their jobs."

Saadiyat Island, one of TDIC's flagship projects, is the future home of Abu Dhabi branches of the Louvre and the Guggenheim museums and is eventually to house an estimated 145,000 residents. It is expected to be completed by 2020.

Thousands of labourers from an estimated 18 countries working for more than 40 contractors live on the island in a TDIC-developed Construction Village.

Last week, the company said it planned to expand its independent monitoring programme, which assesses labourers' rights and the welfare of workers at the island site.

A dedicated monitoring consultancy is to be named by May.

The petition's signatories said their "cooperation with the Guggenheim in Abu Dhabi (and, for many of us, at other Guggenheim locations) will not be forthcoming" until labour reforms are enacted.

The Lebanese multimedia artist Walid Raad, one of the signatories, said: "Artists should not be asked to exhibit their work in buildings built on the backs of exploited workers. Those working with bricks and mortar deserve the same kind of respect as those working with cameras and brushes."

In a 2009 report, Human Rights Watch accused the UAE of exploiting workers by allowing unlawful practices including the use of recruiting fees and a sponsorship system that gives employers virtually complete power over workers.

The boycott effort, led by a coalition of international artists that includes Raad and the Ramallah-based artist Emily Jacir, began last year when an initial letter with more than 40 signatories was sent to the Guggenheim Foundation.

After meeting with Mr Armstrong, Human Rights Watch and other officials, the group decided not to make the letter public and agreed to give the museum time to develop employment policies, according to a schedule of events posted on the group's website.

In 2010, TDIC released its employment practices policy, which outlines protections related to health and safety, accommodation, insurance and wages for workers.

But, the artists' group said, "The released documents failed to address a number of issues such as the absence of independent monitoring of employers' compliance with human rights standards, and about the lack of an effective enforcement mechanism."

TDIC said the petitioners' letter did not take into account the recent moves by the company to safeguard workers' rights.

"TDIC has in place a robust mechanism to ensure workers do not pay recruitment fees to work on Saadiyat," its statement said. "TDIC recently expanded this to include that contractors must reimburse workers for any recruitment fees they might have paid."

The artists said the efforts are too little, too late.

"By March 2011, we noted little progress on the issues we raised, even after TDIC announced that it is committed to the appointment of a dedicated independent consultancy company sometime soon," the group's statement reads.


Director: Yasir Alyasiri

Starring: Baraa Alem, Nour Alkhadra, Alanoud Saud

Rating: 3/5

Which products are to be taxed?

To be taxed:

Flavoured water, long-life fruit juice concentrates, pre-packaged sweetened coffee drinks fall under the ‘sweetened drink’ category

Not taxed

Freshly squeezed fruit juices, ground coffee beans, tea leaves and pre-prepared flavoured milkshakes do not come under the ‘sweetened drink’ band.

Products excluded from the ‘sweetened drink’ category would contain at least 75 per cent milk in a ready-to-drink form or as a milk substitute, baby formula, follow-up formula or baby food, beverages consumed for medicinal use and special dietary needs determined as per GCC Standardisation Organisation rules


Everton 4

Richarlison 13'), Sigurdsson 28', ​​​​​​​Digne 56', Walcott 64'

Manchester United 0

Man of the match: Gylfi Sigurdsson (Everton)


Perera (capt), Mendis, Gunathilaka, de Silva, Nissanka, Shanaka, Bandara, Hasaranga, Udana, Dananjaya, Dickwella, Chameera, Mendis, Fernando, Sandakan, Karunaratne, Fernando, Fernando.

Sweet Tooth

Creator: Jim Mickle
Starring: Christian Convery, Nonso Anozie, Adeel Akhtar, Stefania LaVie Owen
Rating: 2.5/5

The specs

Powertrain: Single electric motor
Power: 201hp
Torque: 310Nm
Transmission: Single-speed auto
Battery: 53kWh lithium-ion battery pack (GS base model); 70kWh battery pack (GF)
Touring range: 350km (GS); 480km (GF)
Price: From Dh129,900 (GS); Dh149,000 (GF)
On sale: Now

Specs: 2024 McLaren Artura Spider

Engine: 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 and electric motor
Max power: 700hp at 7,500rpm
Max torque: 720Nm at 2,250rpm
Transmission: Eight-speed dual-clutch auto
0-100km/h: 3.0sec
Top speed: 330kph
Price: From Dh1.14 million ($311,000)
On sale: Now


Syria 1-1 Australia

Syria Al Somah 85'

Australia Kruse 40'


Centre Court

Starting at 2pm:

Elina Svitolina (UKR) [3] v Jennifer Brady (USA)

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) v Belinda Bencic (SUI [4]

Not before 7pm:

Sofia Kenin (USA) [5] v Elena Rybakina (KAZ)

Maria Sakkari (GRE) v Aryna Sabalenka (BLR) [7]


Court One

Starting at midday:

Karolina Muchova (CZE) v Katerina Siniakova (CZE)

Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) v Aliaksandra Sasnovich (BLR)

Veronika Kudermetova (RUS) v Dayana Yastermska (UKR)

Petra Martic (CRO) [8] v Su-Wei Hsieh (TPE)

Sorana Cirstea (ROU) v Anett Kontaveit (EST)

Confirmed bouts (more to be added)

Cory Sandhagen v Umar Nurmagomedov
Nick Diaz v Vicente Luque
Michael Chiesa v Tony Ferguson
Deiveson Figueiredo v Marlon Vera
Mackenzie Dern v Loopy Godinez

Tickets for the August 3 Fight Night, held in partnership with the Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi, went on sale earlier this month, through and

Need to know

The flights: Flydubai flies from Dubai to Kilimanjaro airport via Dar es Salaam from Dh1,619 return including taxes. The trip takes 8 hours. 

The trek: Make sure that whatever tour company you select to climb Kilimanjaro, that it is a reputable one. The way to climb successfully would be with experienced guides and porters, from a company committed to quality, safety and an ethical approach to the mountain and its staff. Sonia Nazareth booked a VIP package through Safari Africa. The tour works out to $4,775 (Dh17,538) per person, based on a 4-person booking scheme, for 9 nights on the mountain (including one night before and after the trek at Arusha). The price includes all meals, a head guide, an assistant guide for every 2 trekkers, porters to carry the luggage, a cook and kitchen staff, a dining and mess tent, a sleeping tent set up for 2 persons, a chemical toilet and park entrance fees. The tiny ration of heated water provided for our bath in our makeshift private bathroom stall was the greatest luxury. A standard package, also based on a 4-person booking, works out to $3,050 (Dh11,202) per person.

When to go: You can climb Kili at any time of year, but the best months to ascend  are  January-February and September-October.  Also good are July and August, if you’re tolerant of the colder weather that winter brings.

Do not underestimate the importance of kit. Even if you’re travelling at a relatively pleasant time, be geared up for the cold and the rain.

Indoor cricket in a nutshell

Indoor Cricket World Cup – Sep 16-20, Insportz, Dubai

16 Indoor cricket matches are 16 overs per side

8 There are eight players per team

9 There have been nine Indoor Cricket World Cups for men. Australia have won every one.

5 Five runs are deducted from the score when a wickets falls

4 Batsmen bat in pairs, facing four overs per partnership

Scoring In indoor cricket, runs are scored by way of both physical and bonus runs. Physical runs are scored by both batsmen completing a run from one crease to the other. Bonus runs are scored when the ball hits a net in different zones, but only when at least one physical run is score.


A Front net, behind the striker and wicketkeeper: 0 runs

B Side nets, between the striker and halfway down the pitch: 1 run

C Side nets between halfway and the bowlers end: 2 runs

D Back net: 4 runs on the bounce, 6 runs on the full

About Tenderd

Started: May 2018

Founder: Arjun Mohan

Based: Dubai

Size: 23 employees 

Funding: Raised $5.8m in a seed fund round in December 2018. Backers include Y Combinator, Beco Capital, Venturesouq, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, Paul Buchheit, Justin Mateen, Matt Mickiewicz, SOMA, Dynamo and Global Founders Capital

In 2018, the ICRC received 27,756 trace requests in the Middle East alone. The global total was 45,507.


There are 139,018 global trace requests that have not been resolved yet, 55,672 of these are in the Middle East region.


More than 540,000 individuals approached the ICRC in the Middle East asking to be reunited with missing loved ones in 2018.


The total figure for the entire world was 654,000 in 2018.

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