A giant labour camp that aims to raise the standard of living for workers in Abu Dhabi could house up to 10 people in rooms with a floor area of 30 square metres.
The NBB Workers City will be home to 30,000 people when it opens in June, 65km west of Abu Dhabi city.
The project’s developers say they are aiming to provide residents with “the best services possible”, but according to the company’s website, the city will include 2,304 rooms with a floor area of 30 square metres, which will house up to 10 people.
Another 504 studio units will accommodate up to eight supervisors and technicians on a total floor area of 53 square metres.
“At the end of the day we are renting the city out, so...if the room can fit ten people and the contractor wants to put ten people in it, there is nothing we can do to prevent them from doing that,” said Ayman Al Humoud, general manager of facilities management at NBB.
Demand for labour accommodation remains strong in Abu Dhabi and the company has received requests for more than 30,000 labourers at different companies, he added.
UAE labour law stipulates that each resident must have a minimum of three square metres of living space.
“We are going in parallel with the Abu Dhabi Vision 2030 to improve workers’ accommodation,” Al Humoud said.
State of the art catering and laundry facilities will be provided for all residents, but paying for these services will be optional for employers.
If the employer does not pay, there will be no facilities available for workers who want to cook their own food.
NBB Workers City will cover an area of 122,500 square metres and will include two shopping malls, a cinema and a 1,500 square metre recreational area.
Al Humoud described the city as “spacious”.
“When we are talking about spacious we are talking about the facilities and the city’s perimeter,” he said.
NBB is currently in negotiations to provide a shuttle link between the camp and Abu Dhabi city.
However, Al Humoud said he thought there would be limited demand for the service due to the facilities available within the Workers City.
ZonesCorp, an Abu Dhabi backed corporation that operates specialised economic zones, has been charged with providing homes for 800,000 workers in the emirate by 2012.
A BBC documentary’s claims over living conditions at some of Dubai’s labour camps prompted the UAE’s Ministry of Labour to launch an investigation earlier this month.
On Tuesday the government said that new accommodation criteria would be circulated to all municipalities in the country, and that they would be strictly enforced.
After speaking to Arabian Business, NBB Group said it was revising the maximum number of workers permitted in each room.