‘Reducing number of expats to have serious effect on real estate’

Shortage of workers tied to MoSAL’s decision

KUWAIT CITY, Feb 13: Real estate expert Abdul-Aziz Al- Dughaishem is of the view that reducing the number of expatriate workers will have serious repercussions on real estate activities in general, reports Al- Jarida daily. Al-Dughaishem added the policy will raise the cost of activities for investors and citizens, and delay the rate of executing projects.

He pointed to a growing number of non-professional workers in the area of construction and associated vocations such as electrical connections and plumbing, noting many of such casual workers destroy the market and buildings. He stressed the issue does not affect infrastructure in residential areas, because they are done through tenders and the contractors recruit workers from outside to perform the necessary tasks.

In his comment, Board Chairman of Capital Properties Company Mahmoud Al-Jumah stated the shortage of workers is due to the decision of Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor in rejecting visa applications for the recruitment of expatriate personnel. He explained the ministry became rigid about visa issuance to curtail excesses of the visa traders and recruitment of marginal workers who do not have any specialty and are of no use in the labor market. He declared, “We all support the idea of blocking visa trade but there should be a kind of resilience toward companies that have projects at hand, and the visas can even be linked to the duration of contracts. This means that workers should not be allowed to stay after execution of the projects”.

Lending his voice to the issue, Deputy Executive Director at Maidens Real Estate Company Faisal Al-Kanderi revealed that non-professional workers now charge KD 20 instead of KD 15, while the specialized ones collect up to KD 60 per day. He stressed that consumers are the ultimate victims, because they must bear the burden of extra charges paid to workers.

He corroborated the first respondent, saying it’s a major obstacle that slows down the execution of construction projects, noting any delay or failure to complete construction or residential projects have serious implications. “Kuwait is on the verge of executing a series of residential and construction projects, so all concerned authorities should coordinate in providing the required specialized workers for the purpose of building and development,” the expert real estate developer observed

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