Coronavirus Pandemic

Combating coronavirus: Abu Dhabi launches survey for expat employees over 50 who want to go home

Ismail Sebugwaawo /Abu Dhabi Filed on April 17, 2020 | Last updated on April 17, 2020 at 07.05 am
coronavirus, covid-19, abu dhabi, expats, home country, repatriation


This is provided that the company will pay the costs incurred as well as grant indefinite leave.

A survey asking companies for details of employees over the age of 50 who wanted to travel to their home country has been released in Abu Dhabi as part of protection for workers' rights under the current Covid-19 situation.

"With a view towards protecting the labour rights in the emirate of Abu Dhabi and providing support to the same in the present circumstances due to the repercussions of the coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis, the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (DED) is pleased to coordinate with entities looking to send the workers whose age is over 50 years and registered with your company, provided that you will pay the costs incurred by their travel to their home country," said a statement issued by DED.

To facilitate and expedite coordination, DED asked the firms to access this link and fill out the detailed information related to the workers they have nominated for travel.

Companies have also been asked to grant the aged employee indefinite leave during the present conditions so that authorities can enumerate them and determine their travel destinations to their home countries.

The first page of the survey website which requires firms to add all data from the workers aged 50 and above has seven questions or areas to be filled with details of the company before proceeding to other pages. These include the industrial license number, company name as per the industrial license, contact person name (company manager, owner), contact person mobile number, contact person direct land line number, contact person e-mail address.

Commenting on the initiative, Bangladeshi expat, Khalid Muhdeen, 52, working for a facilities management company in Abu Dhabi, said his family stays back home and he was planning to travel home for holiday during March.

"I am happy with this new initiative. I was meant to go home towards end of March. But I couldn't travel because of the current Covid-19 situation as all international flights had been suspended," said Muhdeen, adding that he has spent almost two years without going back home to see his wife and children.

Another expat, Mohammed Rafiq, a Pakistani national working for a contracting firm in Musaffah industrial area, also welcomed the initiative.

"Some expats have families and other obligations back home. They would like to travel to their countries but it is not easy given the current situation," said Rafiq.

"I believe this government initiative will benefit many expats."


Ismail Sebugwaawo

A professional journalist originating from Kampala, Uganda, Ismail is a happy father with strong attachment to family and great values for humanity. He has practiced journalism in UAE for the past 13 years, covering the country's parliament (FNC) and crimes, including Abu Dhabi Police, public prosecution and courts. He also reports about important issues in education, public health and the environment, with a keen interest in human interest stories. When out of reporting duties, he serves the Ugandan community in Abu Dhabi as he wants to see his countrymen happy. Exercising and reading are part of his free time.

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