Working and Building and Hoping… Abroad


Who would have thought! I’ve been working away from home for a number of months now, after experiencing some terrible times at home. I know one would assume that Dubai is the place to work. I can tell you single handedly that it certainly is not!

I am speaking on behalf, of course, of the huge population of Indian, Pakistani, Sri Lankans, Bangladeshis and Filipino construction workers over here. Construction workers are paid around AED700 per month (approximately €140). Every single penny (or fils in UAE’s case) is counted for these guys. They work 6 day weeks on minimum of 10 hour shifts. They are transported around in huge buses, something like you’d see in a 3rd world country – not in one of the richest cities in the world! It’s ironic really, these guys are the ones that construct the so many beautiful buildings around the city and surrounding Emirates yet they are not the ones that get any thanks or praise for it.

Unfortunate and all as this is, there are no labour laws to address the situation in the UAE. From what I have witnessed over my short period of time here in Dubai, the situation remains the same. The workers will work minimal salary for minimal benefits. What I find really bizarre is all of the publicity that film star, Tom Cruise was seen dangling off the top of the World’s Tallest Building (Burj Khalifa) in late December – dangling around the glass windows of the tower and then sitting on top of the building – the highest point anyone can physically sit in the world! His stunts got worldwide reach and was being monitored almost everyday by various media houses but what amazes me is the laborers that were forced up there in the blistering heat during the summer months in the building of the amazing structure, got no publicity and are more than likely working just as hard on one of the other hundred current building projects ongoing in Dubai at the moment.  

Every structure will continue to amaze our thousands of tourists coming to Dubai. It’s a fantastic achievement and I do hope the construction continues long into the future, given that tourism accounts for an enormous amount of GDP for the country. Furthermore, what this City needs is a solid tourist base, not just Hotel Concierge’ but a sole authority responsible for tourist satisfaction. Not only will it add to the vibrancy of the City, it will add so much more value to the thousands of buildings, that in all honesty, deserve more attention than they currently receive – with everything from the architecture to the interior design.

I hope to see this change and happen somewhere in the near future, but for now it’s back to watching the construction workers labor away up in the air…

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3 thoughts on “Working and Building and Hoping… Abroad

  1. Interesting take on the situation. You forgot to mention the warm bed policy that most endure!

    I had people working with me that made only a little more when I was in dubai and they were ferried round in busses too!


  2. this city is fake in culture and hasn’t its unique characters,not really diversity, i don’t even can’t have a pavement i fancy, the more i go to dubai mall the more i miss macy’s in NYC, all the mall seems like the same thing and most of us waste too much time in those malls but no choice, what a damn hot summer outside, i feel i am almost melting when i wear the uniform walking to bus station 😦

    but anyway the development of dubai really created lots of jobs particular for some countries due to currency exchange rates reason, for me, work and live here it a great class of learning how to face loneless 🙂


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