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Wed 11 Jan 2017 02:09 PM

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UAE said to start background security check on expat workers

Cabinet decision will reportedly be issued soon in bid to ensure workers do not have criminal record

UAE said to start background security check on expat workers
Saqr Ghobash Saeed Ghobash. (ROMEO GACAD/AFP/Getty Images)

The UAE is expected to soon commence background security checks on expatriate workers, according to a media report.

Addressing the Federal National Council (FNC) session on Tuesday, Saqr Ghobash Saeed Ghobash, Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation, reportedly said conducting background security checks on foreign workers was approved by the cabinet in October 2016.

A panel comprising representatives of Interior Ministry, Foreign Affairs and Human Resources and Emiratisation has already been set up that will submit its findings to the cabinet in the next few weeks.

“We expect a cabinet decision to conduct security checks on all foreign workers will be issued soon,” Gulf News quoted the minister as saying.

According to FNC member Hamad Al Rahoumi, more than 4.5 million expatriate workers live and work in the UAE, but no background checks for any past criminal activity are conducted on them.

“Emiratis want to make sure every worker is free of a criminal record — regardless of wherever they come from,” he reportedly said.

In response to a question by Marwan Bin Ghalita, first deputy speaker of the House, Ghobash clarified the country was planning to increase presence of “highly skilled” workers to 40 per cent of the workforce in the country by 2021.

Nearly 79 percent, or 3.7 million, of the registered workforce falls in the fourth and fifth skill levels (limited/unskilled category), while only million workers come in the first, second and third level (skilled category).

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Red Snappa 3 years ago

This represents a gargantuan task for the government departments involved and potentially recruiting several thousand additional civil servants, given the number of different countries of origin involved in the expatriate community.

Also what about foreign investors that wish to invest multi-million dollars in property, as well as those setting up businesses, who have freedom of movement and potentially already own assets in the UAE.

A task that also depends on foreign governments having the manpower to cooperate with this initiative. All new recruits to produce a police report from their home country as part of the residence and employment visa approval process, as a start perhaps?

Veronica Chapman 3 years ago

What about people that are already living in the UAE, someone owes me 75,000 UAE dhs and still working in real estate,
I've had lawyers and been to the police......