Midday work rule broken as Metro deadline looms


    www.arabianbusiness.com  by Soren Billing

    Some contractors building Dubai’s Metro stations are breaking the Ministry of Labour’s summer midday work ban as they scramble to meet the September 9 deadline for the city’s automated rail system.

    An investigation by Arabian Business found that labourers working on the flagship Rashidiya Metro station, as well as the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) station, were working in direct sunlight between 12.30-3pm on two separate days when we visited the sites.

    Both stations are believed to be among the stations that are being fast tracked for a phased opening of the Dubai Metro, which will see some of the Red Line’s 29 stations open.

    The Dubai Metro has not been granted an exception from the ban, a source familiar with the situation said.

    A Ministry of Labour spokesperson was unavailable to comment on the findings of Arabian Business.

    Less than three weeks before the inauguration, only one station has been handed over to Serco, the British company responsible for operating the Metro, UAE weekly Xpress reported on Thursday.

    The UAE’s midday work ban is effective between 12.30-3pm from July 1 through to August 31 and the Ministry of Labour (MoL) is employing 70 inspectors this year to ensure that the rules are followed.

    Persistent offenders can face increased charges for government services such as administration and visa fees.  In severe cases, companies can also face being denied the right to obtain work permits for at least six months.

    A consortium led by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries is responsible for building the Dubai Metro.

    A spokesperson for the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) did not return calls made by Arabian Business.