Hotel companies & migrant workers in Qatar and Dubai

News & Developments

Background

International standards on responsible business – including the OECD Guidelines on Multinational Enterprises and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights – call on companies to have policies and systems in place to avoid, mitigate and remediate harmful human rights impacts. 

Spurred by the concerns of owners, investors, customers and civil society, the hotel industry has made great strides in integrating sustainability and due diligence into their operations. However in some jurisdictions key challenges remain.

The legislative environment and workforce composition in the Gulf States pose significant challenges for companies to protect their workforce from exploitation. The appalling working and living conditions faced by migrant workers have been well documented by the press and in NGO reports.

Companies can find themselves inadvertently complicit in this abuse, which may have serious operational, legal, financial and reputational consequences. As international scrutiny of businesses increases in the lead up to the 2022 Qatar World Cup and World Expo 2020 in Dubai, responsible action from companies will help them to avoid these risks as well as contribute to rising standards of worker welfare. 

Given the documented risks facing migrant workers in these countries and the growing hospitality markets, we set out to survey hotel companies on the steps they are taking to prevent harmful impacts.

The page below summarises the results of our 2017 pilot survey of companies. For the results of our 2018 survey of hotel brands and the accompany analysis, click here.

What did we ask companies?

We approached the companies with 20 questions on their approach to human rights, with a specific focus on migrant workers in Qatar and/or Dubai. The questionnaire is available below:

Qatar Survey | Dubai Survey

How did companies respond?

 
Company Survey response
Accor Yes
Radisson Yes
Four Seasons Yes
Hilton Yes
Hyatt Yes
IHG No
Marriott Yes

The Indian Hotels Company

No
Whitbread Yes
Wyndham

No

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