In 2007, NYU and the Government of Abu Dhabi set out to create an outstanding new liberal arts research university, an institution that would have the highest academic standards, draw in the finest students, and recruit the finest faculty. 

NYU and its Abu Dhabi partners also established a set of labor standards, built upon UAE law and market-leading practices, designed to ensure that the institution’s commitment would extend to those who were building and maintaining the University’s facilities.

Compliance and Risk Management

NYU Abu Dhabi's Office of Compliance and Risk Management assists the University, as an international center of scholarship, teaching, and research, to carry out its academic mission with integrity and in accordance with the University’s legal, regulatory, and ethical responsibilities.

Supplier Code of Conduct

NYUAD and its government partner are committed to ensuring fair working and living conditions for employees of service providers and contractors who work at the NYUAD campus. NYUAD and its government partner developed a Supplier Code of Conduct, (SCC), which is generally based on UAE law, to reflect and uphold that commitment.

The SCC sets contractual requirements for those companies providing services on the NYUAD campus. These standards address hiring practices, working hours and overtime, accommodations, personal documents, and non-discrimination and protection from harassment.

As part of the University’s Compliance and Risk Management Program, NYUAD conducts routine labor standards monitoring. The Office of Compliance and Risk Management also oversees the University’s Compliance and Risk Reporting Line, which provides a mechanism for all members of the University community to report concerns anonymously, including contracted staff.

Social Responsibility Initiatives

NYUAD’s Office of Social Responsibility offers a comprehensive program of educational opportunities that has met the expressed educational and social needs of contracted staff employed by NYUAD and domestic workers employed by NYUAD community members. English in the Workplace serves as the pillar of our programming and has taught over 1,600 community members since 2012.

Each year, NYUAD expands adult education offerings across an array of subjects that enable contracted staff and domestic workers to develop their professional and personal skills so that their time spent at NYUAD not only provides them with an opportunity to support their families, but also builds their capacity as contributing members of the NYUAD community, the UAE, and their communities at home.

A trio of proud NYUAD contracted staff show off their newly earned adult education certificates.

Certificate Programs

Program Description Provider
English in the Workplace After an initial English assessment, participants are enrolled in a ten-week course aligned with their language ability, ranging from beginner to advanced. Eton Institute
Arabic Comprehensive practice in all areas in the Arabic language.
Eton Institute
International English Language Testing System Standard English proficiency exam taken by those who wish to study, work, and settle in an English-speaking environment. Eton Institute
Introduction to Computers Topics include introduction to computers, the intranet, and Microsoft Office. NYUAD IT
Cybersecurity and Google Applications Topics include ways to protect data and prevent cyber threats, google applications and their usage, and other tools. NYUAD IT
Excel Basic formulas, common functions, and pivot tables. NYUAD IT

Preventative Health Workshop

An overview on the importance of annual physicals, self-check, vaccines, cancer awareness, mental health, cardiovascular disease and more. Re:Set
Public Speaking Series How to reduce speech anxiety and structure engaging and persuasive speeches. Karl Kalinkewicz, NYUAD  Senior Assistant Director and Head of Graduate Recruitment
Professional Development Series Interviewing skills, CV and cover letter writing, how to build a LinkedIn profile, and workplace personality tests. NYUAD Career Development Center
Financial Literacy Workshop Best practices and pitfalls to avoid in banking, investing, insurance, and estate planning. Covering topics like debt management, budgeting, and saving for the future. Steven Downey, Senior Portfolio Manager
Theater Workshops Certificate programs which function as short introductions to acting, to develop personal skills such as good storytelling, spontaneity, and confidence. NYUAD  Theater Department
Coursera Online certificate classes that offer specializations, and degrees from top universities and organizations around the world.  
Mental Health Workshops Certificate programs designed to educate on mental health and wellbeing. Programs also include sound healing, breath work and other mindfulness workshops. Re:Set

Community Initiatives for Contracted Staff

Year-round extra-curricular activities for contracted staff are organized by Social Responsibility and ADvocacy Student Interest Group.

Initiative Description
Appreciation Day Biannual two-day event to celebrate contributions by contracted staff to NYUAD.
Global Collection Created in collaboration with the NYUAD Library, the Global Collection features books in the top-most spoken languages by our contracted and domestic worker colleagues.
Intramural Sports League A range of fun sports games and tournaments on campus, including gully cricket (offered by NYUAD Athletics).
Le'Naktashif Al-Emarat Arabic for Let's Explore the Emirates. Group trips around the UAE that foster a greater sense of cultural understanding.

Success Stories

"Learning Arabic is Very Helpful for Our Jobs"

Emilita Bonio is a security guard from the Philippines. At NYUAD, she has taken English, Arabic, and French classes. Arabic is her favorite.

Teaching People to Plan for Their Futures

NYUAD and Careem teamed up to offer financial literacy workshops that help migrants to the UAE learn to save money and invest their earnings.

News Articles

NYUAD Office of Social Responsibility | Shortlisted
Outstanding Contribution to Regional Development
Time Higher Education Awards MENA Region 2023 | November 2023

Making Workplace Wellness Count: The How-To
Behind the scenes of Re:Set's first-of-its-kind employee well-being program at New York University Abu Dhabi. 
Entrepreneur Middle East | September 26, 2023

Well-being as an important part of education outreach
Learning from the pandemic organisations can do well to serve the mental health needs of employees and a wider community
The National | December 16, 2022

UAE: From cleaner to a team leader, how NYUAD's free education changed Indian expat's life
University's social responsibility program offers free education, cultural courses to contract workers
Khaleej Times | June 26, 2022

Re:Set x NYUAD Develop First-Ever Regional Multilingual Mental Health, Preventative Health Resources
The leading platform for mental health, well-being, growth and inclusion, collaborates with NYU Abu Dhabi to provide weekly resources in eight languages, for its domestic workers and contracted staff.
Dubai Chronicle | June 14, 2022

Re:Set x NYUAD develop first-ever regional multilingual mental health and preventative health resources
To provide weekly mental health and preventative health resources in eight languages, for its domestic workers and contracted staff
Zawya | June 6, 2022

Community unites in desire to learn Arabic
New York University Abu Dhabi offers free language courses to community members.
Gulf News | October 20, 2019

Brendalle Belaza Brings the Life of a UAE Nanny Into Focus
The National | June 27, 2019

Filipina domestic worker turns lecturer
With photography as one of her main hobbies, Brenda Belaza — who works as a domestic worker for her day job — conducted a two-day workshop at New York University Abu Dhabi.
Gulf News | June 14, 2019