In support of Abu Dhabi’s economic development and the growth of the emirate’s industrial ecosystem, has developed a new transparent classification system for residential accommodations to help companies efficiently select tailored housing solutions for their employees.
The Star Rating Programme, a high-quality accommodation benchmark introduced by Abu Dhabi Ports standardises the evaluation metrics for employee residential communities, enabling companies to make accurate data-driven decisions.
The first-of-its-kind in the UAE, the programme assigns five, four, three, two, and one-star ratings to communities under Abu Dhabi Ports’ supervision, based on the amenities available to residents, including services, catering facilities, places of worship, recreation facilities, access to internet, health services among others.
His Excellency Mohammed Ali Al Shorafa, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Worker Committee said: “The economy of Abu Dhabi has occupied an outstanding position and has attained a high level of competitiveness across many sectors, thanks to the excellent performance delivered by the non-oil economy, which now contributes more than 50 percent to the emirate’s GDP.
“Over the past five years, increasing numbers of the world’s leading businesses are selecting Abu Dhabi, which is now rapidly becoming a regional and global hub of industry and trade. Our partners, Abu Dhabi Ports, have been key contributors in achieving this accomplishment by introducing programmes such as the Star Rating Programme that reflect the preparedness of the emirate to develop innovative initiatives that ideally complement the needs of business.”
Formed in April 2020, the Abu Dhabi Workers Committee is tasked developing and implementing inspection programmes for all private sector facilities to ensure they comply with UAE’s labour legislations. The body is also responsible for overseeing workers’ rights, verify that payments for work are facilitated, while also ensuring valid work contracts are issued.
Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, Group Chief Executive Officer, Abu Dhabi Ports said: “Employee wellbeing drives productivity, performance and output, which is why companies need to be able to make decisions related to employee accommodation with confidence. This new Star Rating Programme provides our customers clear and transparent information to aid their decision-making.
“This programme will serve as an important benchmark, classifying a full range of services to support the requirements of companies and their employees, ultimately increasing returns for the emirate’s industrial and commercial businesses, and leading to the growth and expansion of Abu Dhabi’s economy.”
Industrial enterprises in the emirate have grown significantly over the past five years as a result of the Government of Abu Dhabi’s strategic efforts to create enhanced indigenous industrial and manufacturing capabilities. In 2020 alone, 51 new industrial establishments were registered in Abu Dhabi despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Of these, 35 were set up in Abu Dhabi city, 11 in Al Ain, and 5 in Al Dhafra.
Mohamed Al Khadar Al Ahmed, Chief Executive Officer, ZonesCorp said: “The Abu Dhabi Ports’ Star Rating programme will annually evaluate all communities and improve on their standards to help positively impact the productivity of employees across the emirate, ultimately generating more income for businesses to enable them to elevate the emirate’s overall economic output.
“ZonesCorp’s experience garnered with more than 40 employee residential communities over the past 15 years provides clarity for tenants and customers alike on the expected standards and quality to be received”.
This momentum of growth is driving the influx of skilled and specialised employees as well as service providers to the emirate, which in turn, has led to a surge in demand for suitable living accommodations.
ZonesCorp, part of the Industrial Cities & Free Zone Cluster of Abu Dhabi Ports, oversees the largest portfolio of employee accommodations in the emirate with more than 40 fully developed communities providing full amenities, facilities and services to residents in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain. These communities have the capacity to host almost 500,000 residents, and currently house employees working in hospitality, aviation, oil and gas, metals, food and beverage, chemical and construction industries.
For more than 15 years, through its partnership with government and private bodies, ZonesCorp has continued to support employee welfare and wellbeing through cultural, sport, health, and innovation programmes. During the COVID-19 pandemic, ZonesCorp, in cooperation with the Community Development Authority in Abu Dhabi, launched a mental health wellbeing campaign with a hotline in multiple languages to provide employees access to professional support around the clock.