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Mon 13 Oct 2008 11:41 AM

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Labourers to get free sim cards from du

Telecom firm unveils joint initiative with Permanent Committee of Labour Affairs in Dubai.

Dubai construction workers will get free sim cards in a new joint move by the Permanent Committee of Labour Affairs in Dubai and telecoms company du.

“This is a corporate social responsibility initiative from du to design a customised communications tool that will directly benefit the large expat workforce,” du CEO Osman Sultan said in Dubai on Monday after launching 'Alo'.

The sim cards will have 10 dirhams credited to them when labourers receive them.

Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Co, known as du, was licensed in 2006 when the UAE moved to liberalise its telecoms industry.

The company’s stock has lost about 19 percent this year. Emirates Telecommunications Corp, or Etisalat, is the largest telecoms company in the UAE. Its stock has lost about 14 percent this year.

The Permanent Committee for Labour Affairs was established in 2005 to intervene in labour disputes in the emirate. The UAE is home to at least 700,000 foreign construction workers who earn as little as 700 dirhams a month.

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George 11 years ago

The WHOLE of 10 dirhams??? WOW! Why not the cheapest phone and 100 dirhams credit? The guys can at least phone home once.

Jeremey Morahan 11 years ago

This just sounds like a sales ploy to me. Give the labourers du sim cards with virtually no credit on it. Hopefully they will then spend money buying phones and more credit. If du really cared about the expat workforce they would open up skype etc.

Raj 11 years ago

Not a good idea, the labourers will end up spending substantial amounts from their meagre salary on unnecessary phone calls due to desolation. A real solution would be free limited air time slots at the labour camps through land lines or even free public phones with special phone cards that would have at cost tariffs.