UAE to continue with sponsorship system

UAE to continue with sponsorship system

UAE Labour Minister Saqr Ghobash Saeed Ghobash has supported the sponsorship system, saying that he has not seen a country which did not have a sponsorship system for foreign workers.

"I don't support the idea of abolishing the system (of sponsorship). What we need to look at are amendments to practices (surrounding it)," Gobash said.

Under the sponsorship rule, foreigners need the approval of their local sponsors to enter, work in the country or switch jobs.

Kuwait and Bahrain recently scrapped the traditional sponsorship system.
Gobash said the government is open to improve the system and change policies to boost the local economy.

Meanwhile, a recent study has revealed that hosting 4 million foreign workers costs the UAE about 50 billion dirhams per annum.

Despite these costs, hiring foreign workers is an economic advantage to private companies and the UAE economy when compared to the workers' productivity levels, the study said.
"We looked around and found that no country in the world has no sponsorship for foreign citizens on its territories. The UAE is one of the countries that (applies) a sponsorship system," Gobash said on Tuesday.

He said that his ministry has been trying to improve the sponsorship system and will continue to do so whenever it sees benefits from modifying the rules.