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Qatar opens 'Labour City' for 70000 migrant workers

Qatar announced new projects to provide better accommodation for nearly one million migrant workers [AFP]

Date of publication: 2 November, 2015

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A vast complex just outside the Qatari capital, Doha, 'Labour City' can accommodate some 70,000 foreign workers, and has cinemas, cricket grounds and improved housing units.
Qatar officially opened the country's biggest workers' accommodation camp Sunday, with enough space to house almost 70,000 labourers.

"Labour City" which also contains two police stations, Qatar's second largest mosque and cost some $825 million to build, will house 68,640 workers when it reaches full capacity.

The entertainment and business district includes a commercial centre, a market with 200 shops, a cricket ground, a theatre capable of accommodating 17,000 people and four modern cinema halls.


The city also has an integrated network of surveillance cameras connected to the two police centres, which will provide security.

It was unveiled by Prime Minister Abdullah bin Nasser al-Thani and the Labour Minister Abdullah al-Khulaifi in a ceremony in the capital Doha.

The site is currently around 60 percent full and houses workers from various countries including Nepal, India, Sri Lanka and Vietnam.

Mohammad al-Maraghi, a manager with the Naaas Group, which is overseeing the site, said "Labour City" was the "model" for other camps and bigger sites may follow.

Khulaifi has said Qatar plans to build seven "cities" to house almost 260,000 labourers, brought to work on major infrastructure projects, notably for football's 2022 World Cup which the country is hosting.

The decision to build more modern facilities comes after constant criticism of the squalid and crowded accommodation provided by Qatar for the vast numbers of migrant workers in the country.

Each room at Labour City should accommodate no more than four workers and daily inspections will be carried out to ensure that number is not breached, officials said Sunday.

The unveiling came the day before a major labour reform -the Wage Protection System - comes into force.

This should guarantee labourers get paid on time with salaries electronically transferred to their bank accounts.

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