UAE Ministry of Labor releases Labor Report 2007

ABU DHABI, UAE (26 April 2008) – The Ministry of Labor has released detailed labor report 2007 to highlight respect for labor rights and meet challenges being posed by the economic boom and demographic structure changes.

As a member of the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the Arab Labour Organisation, and other labor-focused multilateral organizations, the UAE deals transparently and objectively with all its international labor obligations and view reasoned and rational internal and external criticism as constructive and helpful.

The UAE labor report 2007, outlines and clarifies specific measures that have been undertaken and that are being undertaken by the UAE government. As with any complex society, new challenges and new problems are constantly arising, especially as demographics change. As such, the report is both a progress assessment and a blueprint for ongoing action.

For the UAE, respect for labor rights is thus a matter of both fundamental morality and economic self-interest. It is also a matter of accountability, a responsibility that the UAE welcomes and accepts.

This report provides a synopsis of the positive changes that UAE leaders are taking to achieve goals and objectives designed to manage, enhance, and broaden the laws and policies needed to provide a nationwide system of labor rights.

As the UAE acknowledges there is much more to be done to expand the capacity to enforce labor laws and fully protect the rights of workers in the country, current progress needs to be viewed in context and scope by all who have an interest in this issue. For example, expatriate labor in the UAE is exceptionally large and culturally diverse, accounting for more than 90 percent of the private sector labor force. Ministry records show that a total of 3,113,000 foreign workers are employed by approximately 260,000 establishments. Meeting the challenges presented by such numbers takes diligence, time, and both fiscal and management resources.

The UAE labor progress report reflects the country's full engagement in providing quality labor rights. Moreover, the report illustrates that there is unequivocal commitment to enhancing the existing legal framework to mandate and support labor rights throughout the UAE. The report highlights an enforcement regimen that is able and willing to take the many steps needed to defend labor rights for all who work in the UAE.

The UAE is nonetheless committed to preserve its national identity, further the interests of those who live and work in this country, and continue the expansive economic growth at all levels. The government continues to administer the UAE labor environment in compliance with international law and international labor standards and the private sector understands that all laws in the UAE are being and will continue to be strictly enforced.

By harmonising all of these components, the UAE intends to be a model for all countries, in the GCC region and beyond.