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Bangladesh - 2 weeks ago

Emirates labor market becoming attractive

Rabiul Haque: United Arab Emirates is one of the richest countries in the Middle East. Like Saudi Arabia, this labor market is also becoming attractive to Bangladeshis. There are enough job opportunities in the country. The highest remittances in the recent financial year came from the Gulf country. However, experts see the danger of shrinking the market if workers are sent without following the rules in this potential labor market.
Recently, State Minister for Foreign Employment Shafiqur Rahman Chowdhury had a meeting with Abdullah Ali Al Hamoodi, Ambassador of United Arab Emirates appointed in Dhaka. It was decided to send Bangladeshi workers to the country again. Besides, Hamudi also assured Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in a courtesy meeting that manpower will be taken from Bangladesh by ensuring jobs or employment.
1300 workers to be sent this year
According to the Ministry of Expatriate Welfare, a government-owned company in the United Arab Emirates will hire 2,000 motorcycle riders and taxi drivers from Bangladesh every year. The recruitment process has already started. A discussion was held with Ambassador Hamoudi on this matter. 1,300 workers will be sent this year. This number will be increased gradually.
Regarding sending new workers to this labor market, officials of the Expatriate Welfare Ministry said, it is a new opportunity for Bangladeshi workers. Educated people will have more priority here. It will create new employment and more remittances will come from the country.
Govt cost of going to UAE Tk 1.07 lakh
Gazi Shahed Anwar, Deputy Secretary of Ministry of Expatriate Welfare said, ‘This new company is very good. We hope that those who go on this visa from Bangladesh will benefit. Employees will go through recruiting agencies after getting permission from the ministry. As far as I know Annas overseas agency has got some jobs to recruit this time. At present, the official cost of going to the United Arab Emirates is Tk 1 lakh 7 thousand.
Second highest number of workers from Bangladesh is now in Emirates
The number of Bangladeshi workers in the Emirates is gradually increasing. A total of 26,192 Bangladeshis have crossed the country till April this year. The UAE stopped accepting Bangladeshis in September 2012, citing irregularities in the recruitment process. The Arab Emirates took that step after Bangladesh voted for Moscow (Russia) instead of voting for Dubai in the 2012 poll in the race to host the World Expo-2020. After that, the country recruited workers from Bangladesh again in 2020 through negotiations between the two countries.
A review of Bureau of Manpower Employment and Training (BMET) data shows that 1,822 workers went to the country in 2020. Then in 2021, 29,202 workers migrated. In 2022 and 2023, about two lakh Bangladeshis went to work in the United Arab Emirates.
Statistics on BMET’s website show that since 2004, 21.58 lakh workers have gone to the UAE, which is the second highest number of workers from Bangladesh. In the first place is Saudi Arabia, the country has 38.85 lakh workers since 2004.
Experts warn to keep market in order
Experts feel that it is necessary to take some precautions in sending people to this potential labor market. They said, we should follow the rules in sending workers. At the same time care should be taken to ensure that their salary is commensurate with the local cost of living.
Baira Secretary General Ali Haider Chowdhury told, “After the state minister went to Dubai, there has been a good demand for staff.” We have the ability to fulfill that. If the workers there are good, work according to the contract, pay them properly, it will be a good labor market. But currently the cost of living in Dubai has increased a lot. It will not be right to go there on previous salary. The salary of new employees should be increased.
Refugee and Migratory Movements Research Unit (RAMRU) founder chair Tasnim Siddiqui told, “Dubai is an important labor market for Bangladesh. But our recruiting agencies are sending so many people to this market, my fear is that this labor market should not be destroyed.
She said, our agencies are not sending people within the rules. One thing to be noted here is that additional workers should not be sent, otherwise it will be mismanagement. In that case, they will be advised to send according to the rules.
UAE tops Saudi Arabia in remittances
Despite being the second highest labor market for Bangladeshis, the UAE topped Bangladesh’s remittance flow in the last financial year. Remittances came to $365 million.
Bangladesh Bank’s data review shows that in the financial year 2023-24, the expatriate income from the UAE was $4.59 billion, which is $1.56 billion more than the previous financial year. In the financial year 2022-23, expatriates sent $303 crore 38 lakh 50 thousand from the country.
This remittance flow is providing additional benefits amid the country’s reserve crisis for two years.

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