Despite Warnings of Problems, Dubai Reports Low Construction Accident Rate

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Robison Wells
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At Expo Dubai, construction officials reported a 0.03 accident frequency rate (contrasted against 0.1, The United States latest numbers); this came amid adverse working condition reports. More than 25 million visitors have visited The Expo Dubai, a massive undertaking similar to the World's Fair. Construction for the Expo began more than six years ago.

Some scrutinize the use of low-paid migrant workers on these massive projects, including the Expo and Qatar's buildup in preparation for the 2022 World Cup. But Expo officials reported only three deaths out of the 200,000 workers who put in more than 247 million hours. Seventy-two workers suffered severe injuries (classified as needing more than three days off).

"We are committed to the high standards we have set for ourselves and our contractors and remain firmly focused on working together to improve continually," Expo 2020 said.

Low-paid foreign workers make up the bulk of the laborers in Gulf Arab states. Last month, the European Parliament condemned the Expo, citing "inhumane practices" and the "systematic persecution" of human rights defenders. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) rejected the statement as "factually incorrect."

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian personally inspected the Expo. He said: "Our relationship with the United Arab Emirates is a strategic one. It's very close." He indicated that if France had concerns, it would raise them privately. France maintains a naval base in the UAE; they didn't support the European Parliament's resolution.

Although Dubai's colossal construction projects like The Expo Dubai and Qatar's buildup inspire awe, The United Arab Emirates falls under scrutiny for alleged poor treatment of construction laborers, even with a report of low worker fatalities.

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