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Thu 3 Dec 2015 08:44 PM

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Qatar inks first deal to build 'cities' for 180,000 migrant workers

Seven sites could be in operation within two years and will house many labourers working on Qatar 2022 projects

Qatar inks first deal to build 'cities' for 180,000 migrant workers
Foreign workers have lunch at the cafeteria of the new labour city in Doha. (AFP/Getty Images)

Qatar reportedly signed on Thursday the first contracts on a project that will eventually house almost 180,000 migrant workers in seven "cities".

According to AFP, the seven sites could be in operation within two years and are in addition to the $825 million Labour City, which opened earlier this year with a capacity for 70,000 workers.

Many of the labourers who will be housed on the sites will be working on infrastructure projects directly or indirectly related to the 2022 World Cup, AFP said.

Qatar has been criticised by rights groups and unions for providing sub-standard and squalid accommodation to labourers.

It added that the contracts signed on Thursday are between government officials and members of the private sector for the first accommodation centre, which will be located in Umm Slal, north of Doha and will house around 24,000 workers.

All seven sites will be built through public-private partnerships and will be built across Qatar incorporating facilities such as cafeterias, television rooms, gyms, mosques and other religious centres.

AFP quoted Jamal Shareeda Al-Kaabi, a director of the Central Planning Office, as saying the aim of the project is to place labourers closer to their place of work as well as to improve accommodation standards.

"Basically we're trying to facilitate a proper housing accommodation that meets the standards and requirements of the state with the best practice."

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