Modern facility for 650 workers built by Fujairah Municipality

The municipality is to stop issuing new tenancy contracts for Asian workers in residential areas where workers are concentrated, including Merashid, Al Fusail, Al Bidya, Al Bithna and Masafi.
A watchmen sorts through his stock of keys outside one of the labour accommodation buildings in the Al Hail area of Fujairah. Antonie Robertson / The National
A watchmen sorts through his stock of keys outside one of the labour accommodation buildings in the Al Hail area of Fujairah. Antonie Robertson / The National

FUJAIRAH // Three entertainment areas, prayer rooms and an outdoor garden are among the facilities at a new camp for 650 labourers in Fujairah.

Local authorities built the compound in Al Hayl, an area recently designated for the establishment of a village for workers.

“We started by building a labour accommodation for the municipality workers to set an example for other companies,” said Mohammed Al Afkham, the director general of Fujairah Municipality.

The three-storey building has 27 rooms on each floor, three entertainment rooms, prayer rooms, a garden, bathrooms and fully equipped kitchens. It will be ready to house the workers in the next few weeks, and the area has shops to meet workers’ needs.

Companies are expected to house their workers in similar accommodations in Al Hayl.

Mr Al Afkham said the municipality had decided to build the camp after many complaints that workers were renting old houses and were inconveniencing the locals.

When construction of the camp is completed, the municipality will ban labourers from living in residential areas, he said.

Last week, the municipality said it had stopped issuing new tenancy contracts for labourers in areas including Merashid, Al Fusail, Al Bidya, Al Bithna and Masafi.

Workers living in those residential areas have mixed feelings about the plan.

“I live in this area with six workers under the same roof, sharing the rent,” said Noel, a 27-year-old Filipino living in Merashid, one of the oldest and most conservative neighbourhoods in Fujairah.

“I heard that the Government was planning to establish a new compound for Asian workers and I think it will take time. I heard the same news when I first arrived, and that was almost four years ago and nothing happened.”

Others welcomed the initiative.

“When I first came here I had some difficulties finding a place to live,” said Akram, a 34-year-old Afghan labourer. “Nobody allowed me to rent a flat because of my nationality. Therefore I stayed with my friend until now in Al Mahatta, sharing the rent.

“We renewed the contract recently and the landlord didn’t mention anything about moving out.

“But I do like the idea of moving to a compound – especially for us, it would be more convenient.”

Aazim, a 31-year-old Bangladeshi worker, agrees. He lives in Rugaylat, near Merashid.

“I live in a one-bedroom flat with four others, our company doesn’t provide us with accommodation,” he said.

“Therefore I don’t think that they [the company] will invest in these compounds, although it would be more comfortable for us.”

The municipality said it would make available 44,000 plots on a 317,000-square-metre piece of land in Al Hayl to developers.

It plans to house 40,000 workers there.

newsdesk@thenational.ae

Published: May 28, 2014 04:00 AM

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