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.
One of the fastest growing cities in the world, Dubai’s skyline an incredible, marvellous sight. What most didn’t know however, the forest of buildings are built by an army of foreign labour, most forced to live in horrible conditions.
What’s more saddening is that these workers are usually hidden from the tourists and citizens, they are usually transported to and back from work, with no way of telling their story to the outside world.
The photos below show how horrible are the living conditions of these labour workers, most of them responsible for building the magnificent skyline of modern Dubai:
Dubai A dozen Indian migrant workers share this room, sleeping on the floor without mattresses to save space and costs
Shahroukh, who enjoys a better standard of living than other workers, gets ready before heading out to work at a decoration company
The secret vegetable market within Sonapur is a cheap place for labourers to provide themselves with vegetable and fruits
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.
The labourers usually work 14 hours where in summer the temperature goes over 50C. Western tourists are told not to stay outside more than five minutes
Misery: Farhad explains that several workers have their passports seized at the airport, and are forced to work extremely long hours in blistering heat for very little pay. Sonapur is now home for more than 150,000 workers, mostly from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and China
Labourers seek to make extra cash at the weekends by setting up food stalls and trading with fellow migrants
Harrowing: Their accommodation is cramped, filthy, sweltering and often overrun with vermin. Yet many can’t leave.
A Chinese worker has written a message for his employer begging them to pay him and let him go home.
These labourers are working on luxurious boats in a shipyard in Jaddaf. These boats are used mostly for tourism and can fetch $3,755,000
Many outdoor workers in the Middle East are being forced to rest in the shade for hours each day this summer to escape the oppressive summer sun and heat
These workers sleep on wooden boards in the shade beneath their Dubai construction site.
Laborers helping to build infrastructure ahead of the 2022 World Cup soccer tournament in Qatar rest during their midday break.
Exploitation of migrant workers in the UAE still exists. Picture: Labourers take a rest during a break in a building under construction in Dubai.
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Many of these workers have their passports confiscated upon arrival, and had no idea when they are allowed to leave. Many has set up temporary shops and businesses to supplement their income.
Images from The Guardian and Daily Mail