Abu Dhabi, 2/22/2015 11:00:00 PM - Abu Dhabi, February 23, 2015 – Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC) hosted a delegation of ambassadors and diplomats based in the UAE on a tour of Saadiyat island. The high profile visitors had an opportunity to witness the progress on Louvre Abu Dhabi’s construction site including the major milestones that have been achieved recently, and to visit the Saadiyat Accommodation Village (SAV), the award winning fully-equipped residential facility that is mandatory for all construction workers employed on TDIC projects, including the museums of Saadiyat Cultural District, to live in it.
The tour was followed by a meeting with H.E. Dr. Anwar Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, where he provided the delegation with a comprehensive overview on the progress and achievements that TDIC has accomplished on the subject of workers welfare and the company’s on-going efforts as evident in the latest published annual independent monitoring report by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).
H.E. Dr. Gargash told the ambassadors that TDIC has come a long way in establishing a benchmark in the construction industry for workers welfare for the entire region. He explained that the issue of workers’ welfare and rights is an ongoing one which requires constant attention and updates.
Dr Gargash said: “We pride ourselves in the level of progress and regulations that have been put in place by TDIC to ensure that construction workers on Saadiyat’s world-class projects are working and living in best standards and are always treated fairly. Undoubtedly, there are challenges in the industry, but they’re challenges that we are constantly working with the various parties in charge to overcome. We are satisfied with what have been achieved and remain committed to keep this topic as a high priority for us.”
Ambassadors representing the following countries: United Kingdom, United States of America, France, Germany, Italy, Austria, Holland, Switzerland, Belgium, Sweden, Portugal, Denmark, Norway, Pakistan and India, as well as senior diplomats from the Irish, Canadian and Australian embassies participated in the tour.
His Excellency Ali Majed Al Mansoori, TDIC’s Chairman of the Board, said: “This visit was an opportunity for the ambassadors to see first-hand the workers’ lifestyle and they expressed positive feedback by the end of the tour.
“It is important to inform officials and the public of the work that is being done for worker welfare on Saadiyat. We are proud of what has been achieved and are determined to continue to provide a high quality life for workers both on-site and off-site,” he added.
During their visit, ambassadors were able to learn more about the workers daily life at the Accommodation Village as well as the various events and the sporting and entertainment activities they enjoy. These include regularly scheduled sporting tournaments and English literacy classes, which are led by TDIC volunteers.
“It was good to see the kind of facilities that is there. India is a major source of labour for the UAE and a large number come from India, so it’s good to have an opportunity to see the conditions in which they work and live,” said T.P. Seetharam, Indian Ambassador to the UAE. “It’s good to see that conditions are improving and that progress is being made.”
“The amount that has been done to try to improve the conditions for the construction workers is impressive. It was interesting and encouraging also to hear the Minister say that it is a continuous work in progress and there’s always more that can be done,” said Philip Parham, British Ambassador to the UAE.
The diplomatic representatives were also given the opportunity to discover the diverse facilities offered to residents, including well-equipped gyms, indoor and outdoor sporting areas, free video-conferencing facilities to call their families, multi-lingual libraries, access to medical care on site, foreign exchange facility to send funds back home, free laundry services, free transport to be able to spend time visiting sites in Abu Dhabi and more.
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