The Labour Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA) has entered into an arrangement with VIVA Bahrain to offer complimentary, pre-paid connection for new foreign workers arriving at Bahrain International Airport. This unique service will enable overseas workers who are new entrants to Bahrain’s workforce to be in constant touch with the authority and receive regular updates on the status of their work visa. The introduction of this new service was announced at a joint press conference held at the headquarters of LMRA, which included signing of the Memorandum of Understanding with VIVA Bahrain. Commenting on the launch of the service, Ausamah bin Abdulla Al-Absi, LMRA CEO said, "This unique service will be available from 1st January 2014, and allow foreign workers to stay connected and updated with regards to their work permit and legal status in the Kingdom through text message updates from the LMRA." He continued, "As part of the service, the LMRA through VIVA will provide a free number for each new Permit-holding foreign worker arriving into the Kingdom, The mobile number will serve as a point of contact for the authority to provide workers with regular updates." Adding further Mr. Al-Absi said, "This project comes within the framework of the authority’s efforts to empower foreign workers and keep them informed of their obligations and rights relating to the rules and regulations of Bahrain’s labour laws. Most importantly, it protects them from being victims and is part of our commitment to upholding workers’ human rights." Al-Absi added, "The joint project with VIVA is part of the LMRA’s initiative to combat illegal, and combat human trafficking, by informing workers of their rights and duties. We welcome such initiatives from the private sector that aim to support projects initiated by LMRA that help expatriate workers understand the importance of adherence to labour laws in Bahrain and allows us to effectively communicate with them." Commenting on the project with LMRA, Ulaiyan Al Wetaid, VIVA CEO said, "We are delighted to join hands with the LMRA for a community uplift program involving foreign workers. Through this unique partnership - the first of-its-kind in the GCC - VIVA will assist the LMRA in easing foreign workers mobility and support the government in its protection of overseas workers rights and duties." He further added, "This initiative reiterates our commitment to invest and support Bahrain in creating a conducive work environment for Expat workers, who serve as an engine of growth and development for various sectors and contribute significantly to the economic viability of the Kingdom." Previously, LMRA launched a service in mid-June 2009 to help companies enquire about the working status of the foreign workers via SMS. The service was beneficial to companies and business owners in keeping up-to-date on renewal process of work permits of their employees. To date, nearly 124,000 expatriate workers have benefitted from the SMS service; additionally this service is available to any one through the LMRA website and personal contact through the call center or visiting the LMRA offices VIVA Bahrain is a fully owned subsidiary of the Saudi Telecommunications Company (STC) and launched its commercial services in March 2010 with the aim of transforming the telecommunications landscape in the Kingdom of Bahrain. Backed by unrivalled experience, knowledge and vision, VIVA has experienced phenomenal growth in its first three years of operations and continues to perform exceptionally well. VIVA moved from being a third entrant challenger in Bahrain’s telecom market to becoming the market leader in mobile broadband and voice. VIVA has positively impacted the telecommunications market by changing the way it does business and has been at the forefront of innovation by launching the latest high-tech devices first, along with having introduced a comprehensive Wholesale and Enterprise portfolio with national and international services.