The UAE government has just announced that workers who earn less than Dhs2,000 a month must get free housing from their employer (provided that the employer has more than 50 employees). This housing cannot be taken from their salary, and has to meet certain standards.

The new rule was announced yesterday by the Ministry for Human Resources, and the ministry decided to pass the law after studying the living conditions of “low skill labourers”.

According to H.E Saqr Ghobash, Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation for the UAE, the decree will begin to be enforced from December this year.


The Ministry will carry out “regular inspectional visits to ensure housing standards are met” at all accommodation facilities too, and will take “legal action” against employers that don’t comply.

The standards they will be checking for were first introduced by the Ministry back in 2009 for employers of more than 500 people (but will now apply to those with more than 50 staff). The regulations require that accommodation be a safe distance from sources of environmental pollution and noise, and that they be built from concrete or brick walls.

It also requires that all accommodation has its own food shops and playgrounds, as well as medical clinics and clean kitchens. There also needs to be a clear space for each individual. 

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“Experts spent several months studying the living conditions of workers,” explained Ghobash.

The new law should help many workers who find that paying rent is a massive drain on their income, says the Ministry.

Here’s a video from Dubai One’s news channel about the new law:

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Image: Getty.