International City Abu Dhabi labour camp houses 26,000 workers

International City Abu Dhabi in Mussaffah was built three years ago as a superior destination for labourers and about 26,000 workers live there.

Anwar Ahmad

ABU DHABI // There are thirty labour camps across the emirate housing hundreds of thousands of workers.

International City Abu Dhabi (Icad) in Mussaffah was built three years ago as a superior accommodation for labourers.

About 26,000 workers live there, most of whom work for industrial companies and hotels.

Residents do not typically pay rents for their accommodation, which is arranged on a company-to-company basis.

Saqr Ghobash, the Minister of Labour, visited insidethe camp last March accompanied by Ahmed Louqman, director general of the Arab Labour Organisation.

“This is one of the best that I have seen,” Mr Louqman said.

“It is clean and the standard for the labourers is very high. I am very impressed with the standard and quality of the food.”

Abu Dhabi Municipality said responsibility for the surrounding areas of camps lies with the Higher Corporation for Specialised Economic Zones.

While this organisation did not respond to requests for comment from The National, the municipality said it would raise issues, such as hygiene and health and safety outside the camps, with the corporation.

“Although we are not fully responsible for that area, I’ll raise it with their [manager] in order to take necessary action,” a spokesman for the municipality said.

“We will take up the matter with the concerned officials.”

Department of Economic Development also said the corporation was responsible for the camps.

It is thought that there are about 300,000 labourers in the emirate, although exact figures have not been released.

Many of the labourers come from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

About 2.2 million Indians live and work in the UAE, 1.25 million from Pakistan and 700,000 from Bangladesh, with another million from other Asian countries.

Published: May 24, 2014 04:00 AM