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COVID-19: Al Naboodah Group Enterprises Response Measures

At Al Naboodah Group Enterprises, the health and safety of employees has always been a top priority. As a result, in response to the Coronavirus pandemic, the Group has taken a number of special measures to combat the spread of infection, and ensure the continuity of vital operations.

With over 10,000 employees, 6,000 of whom are accommodated in the Group’s own residential facilities, responding sufficiently to the health crisis has represented a significant logistical challenge for the HSE and Facilities Management teams.

In an exclusive statement to CBNME Swaidan Saeed Juma Al Naboodah, Managing Director, Al Naboodah Group Enterprises said: “At Al Naboodah Group Enterprises, we always place the health and well-being of our employees as a top priority, and during times of crisis this is no exception. The COVID-19 pandemic has created an unprecedented challenge for our HSE and Facilities Management teams, and they have responded accordingly with a comprehensive range of measures designed to limit the spread of Coronavirus and ensure the safety of our employees. 

Our Rapid Response Team has also worked tirelessly to implement our business continuity plans in order to ensure that we can maintain critical functions and operations. This includes establishing back-ups for essential skills and materials, and remote working protocols with secure access to our company networks and teleconferencing capabilities.

The teams rose to the challenge, with a COVID-19 Management Plan established on March 10th, and implemented within days across all of the Group’s offices, showrooms, yards, worksites, accommodation and facilities.

Concurrently, a Rapid Response Team was formed comprising representatives from departments across the entire Group, including Sustainability, HSE, Facilities Management, Group IT, and Marketing & Communications. Reporting directly to the Group’s Managing Director, the Rapid Response Team has been tasked with coordinating the response of the Group’s many businesses and departments to the crisis based on their individual needs, and ensuring that consistent and accurate messaging is conveyed to all stakeholders.

Almost immediately, remote working drills were conducted to assess the robustness of the Group’s VPN solution under heavy usage. After successful drills, senior management approved a work-from-home policy for staff deemed capable of working remotely.

 Additional measures taken so far within the Group include:

  • Issuing of regular communications on preventing the spread of COVID-19, including display of posters on noticeboards in multiple languages promoting good hygiene and guidance on steps to take in the case of a suspected infection.
  • Increasing cleaning and disinfectant regimens across all offices, showrooms, yards, sites and accommodations, paying particular attention to door handles, taps, keyboards, mouse, telephones, equipment, washrooms, and anywhere there is regular hand contact.
  • Deployment of hand sanitiser dispensers across all common areas and prominent places, along with posters encouraging regular use.
  • Deep cleaning and disinfecting of all staff and worker transportation after every journey, with particular attention to hand holds, handles, seats and seatbelts.
  • Extension of working hours of medical facilities and clinics within Employee Villages, with additional resources to respond to potential outbreaks where necessary.
  • Coronavirus isolation and observation areas established to quarantine those considered to be at risk of infection, with medical provisions and staff provided to constantly monitor and assess.
  • Separate catering provisions with increased health and hygiene measures to be provided to quarantine areas.
  • Routine screening of all employees with digital infrared thermometers and visual observation. Employees displaying any symptoms are isolated immediately.
  • Issuing travel guidelines restricting travel for all employees, and enforcing a mandatory quarantine period of 14 days for those returning from trips abroad.
  • Transportation arrangements to quarantine areas for the employees returning from leave and living in Employee Villages.
  • Suspension of all public gatherings, including group training and awareness sessions and all social events and activities.
  • Suspension of guest visits to accommodation facilities.
  • Closing of all common facilities including gyms, recreation rooms, education rooms, etc.

The Group’s various businesses and departments are reporting to the Rapid Response Team in real time, and adjustments are being made daily to respond to ongoing developments. It is also monitoring the websites of the Dubai Health Authority, the Ministry of Health & Prevention and the World Health Organisation, among others, to keep abreast of the latest news and information. These health measures and responses to the COVID-19 crisis may change based on new developments.

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