February 14, 2022

Key Differences Between Manpower Supply In Dubai And Abu Dhabi

According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused “one of the worst job crises since the Great Depression.” All over the world, laborers are adjusting to the new working conditions. Despite how different the situations of workers from different industries and countries may be, one thing is for sure — they are all struggling to cope up with the work demands and regulations imposed by their respective governments.

In the UAE, employers are also reportedly facing unprecedented challenges and are struggling with how they can manage their employees due to the ever evolving changes in employment regulations.

According to the International Labor Organization, UAE hosts the fifth largest migrant populations in the world. In 2018, two years before the pandemic, the labor force in the UAE was 7.384 million.

However, in 2020, travel restrictions all over the world have been implemented due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Even the UAE had border restrictions to protect its citizens from the virus and lessen the number of those infected. As a result, transportation and employment regulations have been modified, raising concerns to both employers and employees as these can affect the manpower supply in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

Considering the impacts of the situation, it is important for employers to understand how different the working conditions of workers are. This is essential in making decisions as to what employees are best for their projects.

Working Conditions: Dubai versus Abu Dhabi

As to the presence in public places, Dubai requires a two-meter social distancing among individuals. Upon entering a federal government department, unvaccinated individuals are required to present a negative RT-PCR test taken at most 48 hours prior. In all cases, people are required to have their masks on. On the other hand, Abu Dhabi requires a green pass to access public places. Its municipality implemented the green pass system, which required persons to undergo an RT-PCR test every two weeks. Nonetheless, face masks in Abu Dhabi are no longer required at all times.

As to access to public transportation, the Roads and Transports Authority of Dubai suspended intercity buses from 2020 until September 2021, but taxis were allowed to travel between emirates. In Abu Dhabi, public transportation vehicles can operate only at 75% capacity. For intra-emirate travel, Abu Dhabi also requires drivers to undergo scans for signs of infection and motorists are required to undergo checkpoints.

With all these regulations, workers may undergo situational changes which rarely occurred pre-pandemic, such as tardiness brought about by the limitations in public transportation and inability to come to work due to health reasons brought about by COVID-19. Nonetheless, employers in both Emirates are bound to observe the UAE Labor Law. They are obligated to provide workers “with adequate means of protection against hazards of occupational injuries and diseases that may occur during the work.” As a result, they have the duty to ensure the health and safety of their employees in the workplace as long as practicable, taking into consideration their unique circumstances.