Al Sawadi Beach Resort in Barka has announced its closure, leaving more than 70 workers, including 30 expatriates from Egypt, Morocco, India, Sri Lanka, Philippines, Bangladesh and Pakistan, stranded with no pay, food or electricity, local media has reported. The workers have reportedly not been paid their salaries since November 2015. However, a local trade union has come to their rescue.
Mohammed Khaldi, a board member of the General Federation of Oman Trade Union (GFOTU) said the workers were left without electricity, food or water at their accommodation.
“We reached the location that night itself to help them,” he told local press.
“Our aim is the welfare of workers. We don’t differentiate between them as nationals or expatriates. Workers are workers,” Khaldi was quoted saying.
Oman is only the second country in the GCC, after Bahrain, to have a general federation of trade unions. Expatriates are also allowed to join the trade union in Oman.
The GFOTU has begun procedures for lodging the workers’ grievances and the complaints will be filed to the court soon.
A former executive of the resort was quoted by local press as saying: “Since the hotel closed on March 17, I am ashamed to say that we have been living like beggars. Electricity supply was cut off for three months until it was restored last week with the help of the trade union association. We did not have water for the majority of that time. During this time, we were forced to sleep outside our rooms because they were just too hot. There are mosquitoes, snakes, scorpions and stray dogs in the area. We would be able to get some sleep only just before dawn when the temperature was cooler.”
The executive also said that they were able to eat thanks to the support from their respective embassies, trade union associations, former Omani colleagues and their families, and villagers and fishermen of Sawadi.
However, Syed Asad Ali, director of Al Tatawur Development, the company that operates and manages Al Sawadi Beach Resort and Spa, reportedly confirmed with the local media that the hotel was closed.
“We’re finalising negotiations to get a partner on board. We plan to reopen the property in three to four months, after renovations and upgrades,” Asad Ali was quoted saying.
Al Sawadi Beach Resort’s website is still functional, but no details of the closure has been mentioned.
It was also reported that the hotel was still receiving walk-in guests and internet bookings. However, when Y tried to contact the helpline, the line was down.