Establishments with 50 or more workers, where the wage of each worker is less than AED 1,500 per month, must provide accommodation for its workers. Accommodations must be well-lit, air-conditioned and well-ventilated. Each person should be allocated at least 3 square metres of space. Guidelines from the ministry provide detailed for bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchen and dining room. There should be a medical service room, prayer room and laundry room too.
Ministerial Resolution No.44 of 2022 Regarding Occupational Health and Safety and Labour Accommodation (PDF, 265 KB) mentions that establishments with 50 or more workers, where each worker earns less than AED 1,500 per month, must provide accommodation for its workers.
Further, establishments must register in the Labour Accommodation System of MoHRE and ensure the validity of the information entered.
The accommodation must comply with the requirements of labour housing specified in the Cabinet Resolution No. 13 of 2009 Regarding the Guidelines to General Standards for Collective Labour Housing and its amenities and Ministerial Decree No. 212 of 2014 Approving the General Standards Manual for Group Labour Accommodations Housing less than 500 Laborers (PDF, 54 KB).
Site and construction standards
The objective of these standards is to maintain the health and safety standards for the workers living in the housing accommodation. The standards are as listed below:
Here are the specifications relating to ventilation and air-conditioning:
All rooms, kitchens, dining rooms, corridors, offices and lounges must be provided with ventilation systems and central air-conditioner.
An exhaust hood must be installed to pull air from bathrooms.
A window in the lower part of each bedroom and bathroom door must be installed for ventilation.
Bathrooms, stores, photocopying rooms, computer rooms, kitchens, toilets and other areas of probable contamination must have efficient ventilation systems.
Temperature, humidity and air speed must be controlled in all air-conditioned places.
Relative humidity must range from 30 to 60 per cent in all air-conditioned places.
Here are the specifications relating to lighting:
All lighting units fixed in occupied areas and other areas must provide the minimum limit of lighting as mentioned in the guideline.
All lights must be power-saving.
The external lights must enable pedestrians to identify corridor borders, turns, crossroads and any other obstacles or potential risks.
All potential risk places must have a level of lighting higher than corridors.
Lampposts should not block pedestrian traffic.
Housing units should be designed and equipped in a way that guarantees an acceptable level of comfort and safety.
Here are the specifications relating to bedrooms:
The area allocated for each person should not be less than 3 square metres.
Maximum number allowed for one bedroom ranges from 8 to 10 persons, while maintaining the commitment to the area allocated to each person.
Bedroom ceiling height should not be less than 7 feet.
A bed space should be available for each worker, even during working hours.
Each worker must be provided with a bed, side table and a lockable cupboard of 2 m height.
Distance between each bed should not be less than 36 inches from all sides. The height of the bed must not be less than 12 inches. In case of bunk beds, the distance between each bed from all sides should not be less than 48 inches from all sides, provided that the distance between the upper and lower beds is not less than 27 inches. Three-bunk beds are not allowed.
Shoe racks must be fixed at the entrance of each room, so that workers can keep their shoes outside the bedroom.
Stoves and washing machines are not allowed to be used in bedrooms.
Sanitary facilities (bathrooms)
Here are the specifications relating to bathrooms:
Access to sanitary facilities must be easy and without need to move from one bedroom to another.
In case of shared bathrooms, one toilet must be allocated for each 8 persons. Number of toilets should not be less than 2 in each shared bathroom.
One urinal must be allocated for each 25 persons. Urinals must have sufficient quantity of water required for flushing and cleaning purposes.
There must be one place for bathing and one washbowl for each 8 persons.
Hot and cold water must be available in bathrooms.
There should be sufficient quantity of tissues in each toilet.
Bathrooms and toilets must be kept clean and sanitary. They must be cleaned at least once a day. Sterilisers must be used for sanitisation.
Here are the specifications relating to kitchens:
Each housing unit must have a kitchen according to the sanitary standards and technical specifications declared by the competent authority.
The kitchen must be managed by a licensed company or by the food staff of the housing unit.
The kitchen must have washable tables.
The kitchen must have drainage system, ventilation hole and/or chimney. The chimney must be 2 metres higher than the nearest building.
Gas cylinder must be outside the building and protected from sunlight.
The kitchen must be equipped with pest control tools.
The kitchen must be kept clean.
Here are the specifications relating to dining rooms:
The dining room must be near the kitchen and equipped with tables, chairs, cooler, washbowl (supplied with hot/cold water, liquid soap and tissue).
An area of 1.4 square metre should be allocated for each person in the dining room (and restroom). It must be designed to accommodate one third of the total staff staying at the housing unit.
Notices of meal times must be fixed at the entrances of the dining rooms.
The dining room must be kept clean at all times.
A restroom must be available for workers in the housing unit. It should be equipped with convenient seats and a TV.
Medical service room
Each housing unit must have a first-aid room with a nurse. This room should be equipped with requisite furniture, tools and a medicine box. There must be a quarantine room equipped with requisite furniture and tools.
Here are the specifications relating to laundry services:
Laundry services can be outsourced to an external company.
If laundry services are not outsourced to an external company, the management housing building must:
provide laundry services according to a schedule set and declared for this purpose. Somebody should be appointed to manage this service.
must be provided with common laundry utilities.
Common laundry utilities must be at the ground floor of the housing unit.
Common laundries must be designed according to the technical specifications of the local authority.
Common laundry must be provided with all services, including hot and cold water supplies, ventilation holes, air-conditioners, drainage networks and lighting.
Each housing unit must have a prayer room. If it has a barber shop, the employers will pay to get barber’s service. If the housing unit has a grocery, perishable food is not allowed to be sold by the grocery. It is not allowed to prepare and package food in the grocery.
Disposal of waste
Here are the specifications relating to disposal of waste:
Waste disposal mechanism must be compliant with the environmental and health conditions set by the authority concerned.
Sealed waste containers must be provided in sufficient numbers.
At least one waste container must be provided and mounted onto a wood, metal or concrete base. It must be kept clean all the time.
Waste containers must be cleaned and emptied daily.
Housing units must be cleaned daily.
Pests affecting public health
Here are the specifications relating to pest control:
Effective procedures must be taken to prevent existence and reproduction of pests, insects and rodents.
A company specialised in pest control must be appointed to practise pest control activities in the housing unit according to approved scheme/s. That company must be licensed by the competent authority and must keep all records and reports on its activities in the housing unit.
Here are the specifications relating to rest at the site of work:
Canopies must be provided at the site for workers to have their meals and take rest in the afternoon.
Food and drinking water must be provided at the site and kept in suitable healthy conditions.
Bathrooms must be near to the work site.
Suitable sanitary tools must be provided inside the rest area.
* Text provided by MoHRE