Dubai: Building her wealth on an inhumane and evil system of exploitation of Asian immigrants – Sam Webb for Mailonline

December 4, 2014

Asia & Oceania, The Middle East

Eight years ago, my spouse and I decided to visit Dubai by spending three days on our way to visit our kids in the UK.  It was during the Ramadan and we had gotten a very good deal on a nice hotel room with balconies on two sides and a view of the Gulf albeit from a distance.

What struck me on the very first night after a day when we discovered Ramadan in a Muslim country meant restaurants did not open for lunch – the reason for the promo – was not the Vegas-in the-Middle-East template of Dubai but the lights from a giant construction site right across from the hotel where we stayed.  Being someone who would wake from the thinnest streak of light, I stood no chance of sleeping through the halogen-lit night into day construction site at which what must have been scores of Asian laborers across from The Grosvenor all night.  

That trip piqued my interest when I saw the title below, but the one above, as well as the captions under the couple of photographs used, are mine.

What is going on in the Middle East as regards labor treatment is worth the attention of the world.


The side of Dubai that they DON’T want tourists to see: Photos show desperate conditions endured by migrant labourers forced to work in 50C heat for a pittance

  • Photographer Farhad Berahman’s striking photos document the lives of South Asian labourers who travel to Dubai
  • They live in squalid conditions, work in searing heat and often cannot leave as their employers keep their passports

An Iranian photographer has captured the harsh lives endured by the migrant workers building Dubai's ever-growing skyline. Pictured is a huge dirty kitchen at the Sonapur camp where many of them live. The gas pipelines were built by the labourers and not subject to safety laws

Grim living standards: Jahangir, 27, from Bangladesh, has worked as a cleaner for the past four years. He earns 800 AED (£139) a month and sends 500 AED (£87) to his family. He uses the rest of the money for rent and food

A Bangladeshi – perhaps contemplating a dream-turned nightmare in his room at Dubai workers’ camp
Every evening, the hundreds of thousands of young men who build the city are driven to vast concrete wastelands to work
Laborers on way back from their labor, weighed down, perhaps less from the 14-hour labor day than the thought of going back to 12′ x 12′ rooms for eight people.

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 4, 2014.  8:30 A.M. [GMT]

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