ABU DHABI // The Government has invested Dh20 billion in 23 labourer cities in the emirate to ensure better living conditions for workers.
The new cities will be able to accommodate 385,000 workers, nearly double the current occupancy.
They provide sports and social activities, parks, markets, mosques, cinemas, internet and cable television services.
There will also be clinics and hospitals, and food and security services.
The cities will be in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain industrial zones, on 21 plots of land set aside in 2005.
One was inaugurated in Al Ain last month. It has 5,690 residents, and can be upgraded to house more than 10,000.
Mubarak Al Dhahiri, under secretary at the Ministry of Labour, said the camp was the first permanent centre of its kind in Al Ain. There are about 160,000 labourers in the Eastern Region.
The Government is also making strides in ensuring camps are clean. About 5,470 companies were fined between June 2010 and last month, and 648 were ordered to take action to ensure compliance with the health rules.
Routine inspections will continue and those found to have breached regulations will be cited.
Abu Dhabi has also brought in regulations that require companies to transport workers between worksites and the labour cities, and forbids them to accommodate labourers on building sites or in other crowded places.
The emirate wants to comply with international laws and regulations regarding health, psychological and social conditions for workers.
Catering companies provide workers' meals to avoid unsanitary preparation that can cause food poisoning or similar ailments.
To ensure consistently high standards, the Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority directly supervises daily meals and conducts inspections.
Permits to proceed with work are only granted if the companies are in compliance with environment, health and safety standards.