Dubai using ‘smart’ devices to inspect worker housing

System enables inspectors to instantly send photos and videos to Labour Ministry

PHOTO: There are more than 569,000 unskilled labourers working in Dubai, according to the Permanent Committee for Labourers’ Affairs. Credit: Shutterstock

The Ministry of Labour is using ‘smart’ devices to inspect workers’ accommodation in Dubai to gather more accurate information about living conditions, a senior official said.

The devices will enable inspectors from the Permanent Committee for Labourers’ Affairs (PCLA) in Dubai to send instant feedback to the ministry about the number of workers housed in a facility and the conditions of the accommodation, enabling quicker action, according to media reports.

Major-General Obaid Mohair bin Surour, deputy director of the General Directorate for Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai and chairman of the PCLA, said the UAE was working to ensure worker welfare through the smart inspection system.

“The new [smart] inspection… system allows inspectors to send instant details from the site directly to the head office [including] instant photography and videos,” he said, according to the state news agency WAM.

Authorities conducted 5,537 inspections last year in labour accommodation facilities in Deira and Bur Dubai, where 569,128 workers were housed. Fourteen such units were found to have poor facilities.

“We want to guarantee a decent life for workers through the application of specific criteria,” bin Surour said. These include the need for a bed for each worker, separate shelves for clothing and shoes, water coolers and the need for a doctors and a clinic.


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