Satellite technology to aid ministry in UAE

Satellite technology to aid ministry in UAE

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Abu Dhabi, UAE, 6 June 2006 – The new satellite imagery equipment acquired by the Ministry of Labour will help “fill a big gap” in the needs of an under-staffed inspection department, an official said.

The Labour Ministry recently announced it had signed an agreement with the Swiss-based firm Informap to use high resolution satellite technology to monitor construction projects across the UAE. Head of the Ministry Inspection Department, Mohsen Qahal said current problems monitoring all construction sites and labour camps in the UAE are expected to be greatly eased.

“The agreement has only just been signed so we haven’t been briefed on it yet but we are optimistic. According to Bin Qahal, there are currently only 20 inspectors responsible for inspecting around 70,000 building sites and labour accommodation premises in Abu Dhabi alone.

Speaking from Doha, Informap’s Regional Manager, Mohammad Ahmad told Gulf News the custom built equipment is the first of its kind in the world and took over a year to design according to requirements laid out by the Labour Ministry.

Ahmad said it had specifically been designed to monitor work flow and inspect sites for health and safety violations. Using high resolution photography a team will be able to monitor minute details on construction sites beamed back to the ministry by Digital Globe satellite technology also used by the US military. The Ministry of Labour says it will be compulsory for companies to pay fees for the satellite inspection services.