In any organization or economy, human resource plays a significant role in ensuring that goals and objectives are achieved. The human resource of any country is its most significant assets as the workforce is required for the exploitation of natural resources as well as the potential of the economy (Das, 2015). In that sense, the human resource of any nation should be well maintained for their effectiveness. In normal circumstances, various factors affect the human resource in any country or organization setting. For a region like the UAE, such factors include different aspects such as the leadership style in place, motivation by the employers, government regulations and laws as well as the level of education for the workers (Al-Sayyed, 2014). As much as this may be the trend, the environment, to some extent, also play a role in workforce productivity. The environment, in this case, is in the form of high temperatures. With temperatures at sometimes reaching up to 51C, such extreme temperatures make it difficult for workers to be effective in the region (Al-Serkal, 2018). Despite numerous measures in place in dealing with such extreme temperatures, the effects are still felt, which in occasions leads to deaths.
The UAE is one of the best performing regions in the world based on its Gross Domestic Product. The Gross Domestic Product of the UAE has mostly relied on oil production, is one of the OPEC third largest contributor to the world's oil reserves (Omar, 2019). The reliance of oil, together with the emergence of tourism as one of the major sectors in the region, has witnessed the GDP rise to billions of dollars. With the well-performing economy, the UAE is among the best locations for most individuals seeking employment. The region employs millions of workers in different sectors with the construction sector, having the majority of the workforce (Puri-Mirza, 2019). The workforce in the UAE is also characterized by diversity in its constitution. The diversity in the workforce is due to the reliance on expatriates and foreigners is some of the sectors of the economy. The UAE reliance on expatriates is because of the different skills the various individuals bring to the UAE. Expatriates from countries such as the United States and the United Kingdom bring managerial expertise while individuals from low-income nations are more useful in sectors such as constructions, services industry, and other semi-skilled sectors of the economy (Waxin & Bateman, 2016). Given the different aspects of the human resource in the UAE, high temperatures present some challenges to the human resources in the region.
Some of the limitations that high temperatures have to the workforce in UAE is decreased productivity. Most of the individuals affected by extreme temperatures in the UAE are manual laborers. Laborers do not enjoy the comfort of sitting in the office with an air conditioner. Laborers are exposed to the high temperatures for hours a day, which increase the chances of the adverse effects of high temperatures. It is estimated that nearly ten laborers daily collapse at the workplace during summer (Arabian Business, 2015). Such a number means that thousands go through the phenomena in a year. The high numbers affect their productivity in the workplace, which, to some extent, hinders the effectiveness in the economy. The breaks also contribute to the decline in productively during normal working hours.
Besides the workforce in the UAE experiencing collapse during regular working hours, there are also cases of people losing their lives from heatwaves. Heatwaves come as a result of the high temperature in the region. Individuals have been dying from heatwaves in different countries in the region. The effect does affect not only the human resource but also the GDP in the UAE. It is estimated that by 2030 the region will lose nearly two percent in gross domestic product from the extreme heat. The decline in GDP will be attributed to deaths in human resource as well as the loss of working hours (Khalife, 2019). Given the effects of extreme temperatures in the UAE, various measures have been put in place. Safety in the Heat program is one of the initiatives that was developed in response to the adverse effects. Some of the objectives of the program are to create awareness of the effects of high temperatures (Joubert, Harrison & Thomsen, 2011). So far, the program has made it possible for individuals to gain the proper knowledge to deal with the effects of high temperatures. The situation is set to become worse in the future. Different studies indicate that the heatwaves will get intense than they are at the moment (Gulf News Report, 2015). By the situation getting worse, the GDP is set to decline further as the possibility of more working hours set declining.
In summary, the UAE is one of the regions in the world that employs millions from different parts of the world. The human resources in the UAE contribute significantly to the gross domestic product in the region. Despite their contribution to the economy in the region, certain factors affect their productivity. Among the most important factors include the high temperatures in the region. The high temperatures have been the reason for the deaths of many workers as well as the loss of working hours. Policies must be in place to deal with the matter as the extreme temperatures will become worse in the future.
Al-Sayyed, N.M. (2014). Critical factors affecting human resource development in the Arab world. Life Science Journal, 11(4), 113-123.
Al-Serkal, M.M. (2018). UAE hits 51C, hottest day of the year so far. Gulf News. Retrieved from https://gulfnews.com/uae/weather/uae-hits-51c-hottest-day-of-the-year-so-far-1.2250245
Arabian Business. (2015). Dubai medics say 10 labourers a day collapsing from heat exhaustion. Arabian Business. Retrieved from https://www.arabianbusiness.com/dubai-medics-say-10-labourers-day-collapsing-from-heat-exhaustion--591755.html
Das, R. (2015). Importance of human resource development. The Morung Express. Retrieved from http://morungexpress.com/importance-of-human-resource-development/
Gulf News Report. (2015). Gulf will be too hot for humans by 2070: Study. Gulf News. Retrieved from https://gulfnews.com/uae/environment/gulf-will-be-too-hot-for-humans-by-2070-study-1.1608055
Joubert, D.M., Harrison, O. & Thomsen, J. (2011). Safety in the heat: A comprehensive program for prevention of heat illness among workers in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. American Journal of Public Health, 101(3), 395-398.
Khalife, L. (2019). In June, Bahrain recorded its hottest month since over 100 years ago. Step Feed. Retrieved from https://stepfeed.com/in-june-bahrain-recorded-its-hottest-month-since-over-100-years-ago-8104
Omar, A.A. (2019). U.A.E. Central Bank more pessimistic on 2019 than IMF. Bloomberg. Retrieved from https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-05-28/u-a-e-central-bank-slashes-2019-economic-growth-forecast-to-2
Puri-Mirza, A. (2019). Number of employed persons in the United Arab Emirates in 2017, by economic sector (in 1,000). Statista. Retrieved from https://www.statista.com/statistics/638515/uae-total-number-of-workforce-by-economic-sector/
Waxin, M. F., & Bateman, R. (2016). Human resource management in the United Arab Emirates. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing Limited
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