“If we build, it they will come,” is a motto of the Abu Dhabi and Dubai developers. One of the ambitious projects in the United Arab Emirates (the UAE)is to bring art treasures to the region by collaborating with the small museums like the Louvre, Getty, and the Guggenheim in hopes of attracting more travelers and capitalizing on tourism.
The trouble with building the wonders of the world is that the working conditions are typically appalling. To ensure compliance with basic workers’ right and safety measures, the leadership of the Board of Trustees of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation issued a statement in support of the recent appointment by the Abu Dhabi Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC) of PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) as an independent monitor to ensure that the contractors and sub-contractors working on the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi construction site comply with UAE labor laws and TDIC’s Employment Practices Policy.
Some of the issues of concern are timely payment of wages, accommodation conditions, working hours, withholding personal documents, recruitment fees, contracts of employment, workplace standards, and the ability to report grievances.
The statement included the following: “We look forward to a continuing dialogue with TDIC and recognize that these issues are complex. We remain committed to the workers on the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi construction site, to maintaining the integrity of our joint project with TDIC and to establishing a truly international museum that will reflect and celebrate the cultures of the Middle East while fostering an atmosphere of open, intellectual exchange.”
For the full statement, visit Guggenheim Foundation site.