Concern as UAE halts Bangladesh recruitment

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has stopped issuing visas to workers from Bangladesh, recruiting companies said Monday (August 27th), in a move that threatens to strangle vital remittances for the impoverished country.

 The UAE has emerged as the biggest recruiter of Bangladeshi labourers in recent years, accounting for about 50% of all overseas employment opportunities after jobs dwindled in Saudi Arabia, the AFP reported.

“Since last week we haven’t had any working visas issued from the UAE,” said Shahjalal Majumdar, president of the Bangladesh Association of International Recruiting Agencies.

There has been no official confirmation from the UAE, but Bangladesh’s Overseas Employment Minister Khandker Mosharraf Hossain told reporters Sunday that the UAE government had “scaled down” manpower imports from several nations.

Money sent by Bangladesh’s more than eight million migrants has been the key driver of its economy ever since the country started sending workers to oil-rich Middle Eastern nations in 1976.

Migrant workers sent home a record $12.85 billion in the fiscal year ended in June, accounting for 12% of Bangladesh’s gross domestic product, according to official figures.

“We warned the government that too much dependence on a single market could be a big source of vulnerability,” said Tasneem Siddiqui, who heads the Refugee and Migratory Movements Research Unit, a local think tank.

Source: Khabar South Asia