Metro Red Line set for midday work ban exemption

EXCLUSIVE: RTA asks for summer work rules to be lifted in bid to meet Sept 9 deadline.

Dubai's Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has requested that the Dubai Metro’s Red Line be exempt from the UAE’s summer midday work ban, as contractors try to meet the project’s September 9 deadline.

Workers building the Dubai Metro’s stations may have to keep working in the sweltering midday summer heat after the RTA requested an exemption from the ban.

A senior RTA official confirmed that an application has been submitted to the Ministry of Labour (MoL) but said that a decision was still pending.

However, according to an internal e-mail sent out on Tuesday and seen by Arabian Business, an exemption from the rule has been granted for the project’s Red Line, which is due to open on September 9.

A ministry spokesperson was not available for comment.

Permission was granted “to expedite the completion of the project” on condition that contractors provide workers with water, oral rehydration salts, first aid kits, fans and enough ventilation, according to the e-mail.

The UAE’s midday work ban is effective between 12.30-3pm from July 1 through to August 31 and MoL is employing 70 inspectors this year to ensure that the rules are followed.

Persistent offenders can face increased charges for government services such as administration and visa fees. In severe cases, companies can also face being denied the right to obtain work permits for at least six months.

A consortium led by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries is responsible for building the Dubai Metro.

Also read : Dubai Metro reminds of Tata Nano story

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Posted by: Greer

In view of the timing of the work falling within the period of Ramadan fasting, it makes sense that if they really MUST have people working during the heat of the day, they should NOT be those who cannot drink water at that time. I am not agreeing with the exemption but merely saying that at least some common sense should prevail - even if only to that extent. The concept of paying the workers extra is actually quite fair too - under normal circumstances they would not be working at that time and would be paid the correct amount as per contract - therefore if they are expected to work during a time they would not normally do so, it must be considered as Overtime, and they must be compensated for it at the correct going rate. Otherwise I think the workers themselves should be saying a very clear "No!" - although in the GCC and as they are mainly poor labourers, I doubt they would ever do so..they will be herded around like so many usual...

Posted by: Repo man

To suggest their pay should be increased is just so GCC typical. It is either right or wrong that these people are working all day if they dont want to, its not about money. Its about right and wrong, remember morality....

Posted by: anthony

I think after 999 it would be better for the RTA to review the status of works of all the stations. What is written on the reports submitted to them are not consistent. It would be better to review the performance of the contractor. And also about the Blue and Purple Line the RTA should think twice about hiring more competent companies to do it. Anyway we have to learn through experience.

Posted by: Amira Smith

Are you serious? Have you seen the stations? Do they look like they have working air con? The fact you are semi-covered by a half-built station is little protection against the summer heat here. Stand in a covered car park for ten minutes and you'll see what I mean. And why are you "sure" that the RTA has made provision? You have absolutely no proof of that. Fasting means 'nil by mouth' - to abide by that, it means no water. Imagine working outdoors in this heat - at any point, not just at midday - without water. Of course it is dangerous to your health! And just how do you imagine the RTA is getting round this quandry? By petitioning for divine exemption. This seems much more like a means for you to look the other way without guilt then a rational argument.

Posted by: Angelo

The midday working ban finishes in three days - Now let us look at the other statements - Regarding the holy month of Ramadan Im sure that the RTA have done what other construction contractors do in that they make provision so that the faithful can as far as practicable keep to their fast without endangering their health. Guidelines have been sent out from Public Health and Research Dept. Health Authority - Abu Dhabi (HAAD) also teams are selected form those who are not followers of Islam to further achieve the reduction of heat stress during fasting. Since the majority of the work is at (inside) the stations How many are actually affected by the need work in the direct sun - I would suggest very few.

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