Days of cheap labour gone from UAE : study

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Dubai, March 14 (UNI) The days of cheap Asian labour are gone and the Gulf is going to be hit by an acute shortage of up to five million workers in the next five years, a study has stated.

As a result the construction sector, which has 1.9 trillion dollar worth projects, will be hit, Gulf Daily News reported quoting a study presented at a forum organised by the Project Management Institute (PMI).

''The golden days of cheap labour from Asia for the Gulf contractors are gone,'' said Arabian Gulf Chapter Vice-President Abdulmajeed Al Gassab. With the Asian economy booming, especially in India, such workforces were paid heavily back home and were not keen on working in the Gulf, he added.

Mr Al Gassab said projects in the Gulf, which relied heavily on professionals and unskilled workers from Asia, were likely to see their costs skyrocket as competition heats up for the global workforce.

The US, Europe and Asia are also competing for skilled, cost-effective labour, according to Bahrain Petroleum Company (Bapco) Chief Executive Abdulkarim Al Sayed, which was making it harder for Gulf firms to retain talent.

''Coupled with the still common misconception outside the region, that the West Asia is a dangerous place to work in, it is somewhat difficult to attract foreign professionals to the region,'' Mr Al Sayed was quoted as saying.


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