Saadiyat workers sign up for English lessons

The master developer of Saadiyat Island has begun holding English literacy classes for labourers living at its Construction Village.

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ABU DHABI // The Tourism Development and Investment Company (TDIC) has started teaching labourers English in an effort to promote workers' rights and well-being.

The classes, at Saadiyat Construction Village, began earlier this year.

Students sit quietly in their seats, listening and taking notes as the teacher writes on a board at the front of the room.

"I want to be able to speak in many different situations," said Hayath Khan, 33, an Indian security guard who began speech lessons as part of the inaugural English literacy programme in February.

Sheikha Mahra Al Qassimi, the deputy director of corporate communications at TDIC, said: "These classes were organised as part of our ongoing commitment to encourage a community spirit at Saadiyat Construction Village.

"We are very proud of all the various activities and programmes running in the village, be it recreational or educational, and we are delighted to be able to enhance the welfare and lifestyle of those construction workers."

The 40-hectare Construction Village houses more than 10,000 labourers from 18 different countries.

Nearly 90 students signed up for the English lessons.