Deal between governments could see number of Chinese migrant workers in UAE rise to 200,000 workers in next two years

The UAE and Chinese governments have signed a memorandum of understanding on workers rights in the Emirates after increasing concerns over conditions faced by migrant workers in the region.

The UAE hopes to increase the number of Chinese workers employed in the country to 200,000 over the next two years, from a current total of 80,000, in a drive to support the region’s expansion. However, last week migrant workers involved in the country’s massive construction programme, predominantly from Asia, went on strike over working conditions and wage issues.

In the memorandum on labour and development this week, UAE’s labour minister Ali bin Abdullah Al Kaabi and Chinese minister for commerce Bo Xilai agreed to urge Chinese companies to act as coordinators between workers’ agencies and UAE firms.

The Chinese minister emphasised the need to protect workers’ rights in the country.