Evaluations of construction companies in Dubai begin for Taqdeer Award recognizing excellence in labor welfare practices

The management of the Taqdeer Award, the world’s first points-based award program launched by the Dubai government for promoting employee welfare, will start assessing construction companies that have applied to participate in the award.

A 32-member team of certified assessors have been assigned to execute this task, which began at the beginning of August.

The assessors include managerial-level experts from different nationalities that have experience associated with assessment procedures. The Taqdeer management has divided the assessors into 10 groups of three to four members each. Each of the assessors underwent special training to carry out the assessment procedure for the award.

“The process of evaluating the applications, termed ‘Desktop Evaluation’ started from the first week of August,” Major General Obaid Muhair Bin Suroor, deputy director general of the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) Dubai and chairman of Taqdeer Award, told the Gulf News Journal. “This includes verifying the documents submitted by the participating companies, checking their eligibility to participate based on the criteria set by the award management and ensuring that the documents are complete in all aspects.”

This will be followed by onsite evaluation wherein the assessors will visit the companies to verify the actual implementation of the measures being adopted as mentioned by the companies in the applications. During the onsite evaluation, the assessors will check the facilities being provided to workers, such as accommodations, safety measures on the site as well as the supporting documents.

The Taqdeer Award has been launched in line with the directives of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE’s vice president and prime minister and ruler of Dubai, under the patronage of Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, crown prince of Dubai and chairman of the Dubai Executive Council, to ensure the happiness and welfare of the people of Dubai regardless of religion or nationality and to realize Dubai’s vision of becoming one of the world’s best places to work and live.

Taqdeer, named after the Arabic word for appreciation, is the world’s first points-based award program for recognizing excellence in labor welfare practices and seeks to promote international best practices in labor welfare. It will also be instrumental in raising awareness among workers about their rights.

In its first cycle 2016, the award is focusing on construction companies and will be expanded to include both the free zones and manufacturing companies.

The winners of the first cycle of Taqdeer awards will be announced in a special ceremony to be held in November.

“Winners of five- and four-star ratings will receive a certificate, enjoy priority in government projects and will be honored at the award ceremony,” Bin Suroor said. “These top ratings will give companies a competitive advantage in bidding for international contracts.”

With the launch of the Taqdeer Award website, construction companies can also submit their applications online, which implies that the Desktop Evaluation will check documents whether the companies have submitted hard copies or online. This will be followed by an onsite evaluation.

"There are around 282 companies in this sector in Dubai, providing jobs for more than 500,000 workers, and the award will target those companies employing more than 100 workers,” Bin Suroor said.

The launch of the Taqdeer Award comes at a time when Dubai’s construction sector remains strong as stated by latest Deloitte and MEED Projects report, with projects under construction or in the pipeline in Dubai estimated at over $ 390.8 billion. The construction sector has a significant contribution to Dubai's GDP (nearly 8 percent).

“The award will have a strongly positive impact on more than 500,000 workers in the rapidly growing construction sector and with Dubai implementing major projects in conjunction with Expo 2020, the benefits of the award will spread across other sectors in the economy as well,” Bin Suroor said.

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