Emirates Leaks

Expo Dubai, an example of constant violations of workers’ rights in the UAE

Human rights organizations confirmed that the Dubai Expo scheduled for this year is an example of the constant violations practised against workers’ rights in the UAE.

Reports revealed the extent of violations of workers’ rights in the UAE, which it is committing against migrant workers, which contradicts what the UAE promotes to the Gulf and the world.

According to reports by international human rights organizations, Abu Dhabi practices inhumane practices against workers’ rights in the Emirates, knowing that they constitute 80% of the country’s population. These violations increased during the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic.

There are many aspects of violations of workers’ rights in the UAE, including freedom of expression, laying off dozens of workers in its companies, and reducing the salaries of the rest of them.

Human rights organizations, including Amnesty International, assert that during the Coronavirus crisis, workers’ rights in the UAE faced violations of laws that obligate the employer to pay the expenses of recruiting the worker, issuing travel visas, and the costs of post-arrival procedures such as medical examinations. Issuance of a special residence permit.


With the coronavirus outbreak and its ensuing economic repercussions, companies under government cover began a massive wave of layoffs of migrant workers, who were besieged by disease, delayed salaries, and unable to afford travel expenses.

Companies in the UAE laid off thousands of expatriate workers and reduced the salaries of the rest of them. In contrast, significant companies at the same time cut employment at the maximum pace.

This prompted forming a coalition of human rights organizations and trade unions, including Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and others, to criticize the Abu Dhabi government.

The organizations also strongly criticized the UAE Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation decisions, which authorize companies affected by the Coronavirus to reorganize the work structure through steps including granting unpaid leave, reducing wages temporarily, and reducing wages permanently.

New reports reveal the UAE’s involvement in violations of workers’ rights in the Emirates from another angle against foreign workers during the Dubai Expo 2020, which will be held next October for 2021, with the participation of about 190 countries.

A leading rights group has also condemned the company that runs the German pavilion at the upcoming Dubai Expo 2020 for working with an Emirati company accused of severe abuses against migrant workers.

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