Qatar Opens ”Labor City”

Qatar officially unveiled the world’s largest workers’ accommodation camp on Sunday, with enough room to house nearly 70,000 laborers.

Labor City contains two police stations and Qatar’s second-largest mosque, and cost some $825 million to build.

The site is currently around 60% full, with laborers coming from countries including Nepal, India, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam.

The Qatari Prime Minister, Abdullah Bin Nasser Al Thani, and the Qatari Labor Minister, Abdullah Al Khulaifi unveiled Labor City in a ceremony on Sunday.

Al Khulaifi has said that Qatar plans to model several more such “cities”, to house almost 260,000 laborers in the future.

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

This reform is meant to guarantee laborers get paid on time with salaries electronically transferred to their bank accounts.

Last week, Qatar was again harshly criticised after announcing “inadequate” changes to its “kafala” labour system for foreign workers, which places restrictions on when workers can leave the country and switch job contracts.