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Residency rule should factor-in flexibility.

As of September 1, all employees of the Government of Abu Dhabi have been required to live in the emirate, lest they lose their housing allowance as part of their monthly salaries.

The need to live within Abu Dhabi was communicated clearly to all employees 12 months ago, allowing them ample time to make necessary arrangements. For those commuting from Sharjah or Dubai to work daily in the capital, the 12-month notice period in theory allowed them ample time to get out of existing rental leases and find accommodation in Abu Dhabi.

But there is also a reality that rents in Abu Dhabi are more expensive and there is a smaller housing pool in which to relocate. But the rules are also an issue when, for example, there is a couple where one person works in Abu Dhabi and the other in Sharjah. Dubai is the natural choice then to live in.

The regulations need to take into account individual circumstances that will impose hardships on employees -- a flexible review allowing for exceptions is needed.

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Geographic Code:7UNIT
Date:Sep 4, 2013
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