Dubai metro era

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    By Conrad Egbert   www.constructionweekonline.com 

    I got back from my holiday only to be faced with a building collapse, a labour protest and of course the build up to the opening of Dubai Metro. This has got to be the most excitement we’ve had in over a year.

    The most important of these, hands down, has to be the building collapse that, strangely enough, wasn’t as much of a surprise as it should have been, which in itself speaks volumes.

    The building collapse is clearly a matter that the authorities need to deal with severely. The quality of construction in the region hasn’t exactly been a selling point and disasters such as these only underline what many have been saying over the years – that quality and safety are issues in need of desperate attention.

    If any faith in the construction market here is to be revived, the authorities have to crack down on quality with an iron hand.

    Then there was last week’s labour protest, by workers from Al Habtoor Engineering, which seemed to have missed the point a little.

    According to the local news agency WAM, acting director general of the UAE Ministry of Labour Humaid bin Deemas said, “An inspection of the company records clearly showed that it has been paying the wages of the workers without delay or deductions.”

    Weren’t the protesters shouting “low wages” rather than “no wages”? No one said Al Habtoor did anything wrong, but the workers did say their wages need to be raised.

    Also this week, we’ll see the much awaited Dubai Metro make it’s first official run down the Red Line. As our team spoke to various people in the industry, we learned that despite all the doubt over the RTA’s plans for the metro, people still believe in Dubai’s transport system and are looking forward to using it.

    The CW Awards nominations deadlines has been extended to September 15, in order to honour requests from the many firms wishing to enter the awards but who were unable to meet the previous deadline.