reply to post by ladyinwaiting
Also not wanting to derail the thread or go off topic.........
Slavery is probably a bit of an exaggeration, but yes, the vast majority of the construction workforce in UAE (labourers) are from the India/Pakistan
area. They do get bussed around (large, white, old buses that you and i would fear to ride in!), and don't earn very much at all (average wage
probably 800 dirhams per month, = €130 = $200, approx). They live in "labour camps", often on the outskirts of the urban area, and some of these
camps leave a lot to be desired in terms of facilities and cleanliness. Some come here via a labour agency, that does promise big earnings
(comparatively speaking), and yes they can often be misled. But generally, although they earn very little compared to westerners, they are still
earning far more than is possible "at home", and still manage to send money back for their families.
Some of the larger constructiuon companies do provide far better facilities - for example one developer has an operatyives village (camp) that houses
something like 30,000 workers. They have their own dedictaed mediacl centre, sports facilities, a cinema, and even a cricket pitch with granstands!
They get their meals every day, and have laundry and washing facilities on hand. But i would say that is the exception, rather than the rule.
It can be very difficult to see these workers when you first come here, and it does look like slavery, but once you have been here a while, you begin
to understand that it's the way of the world, and that that they are happy to be here.
In fact, you mention blue overalls - It's almost a part of the local culture now, to see so many indians wearing blue overalls! They even feature in
the opening title video for the local news programme every day.
Historically. Indians and Pakistanis have always travelled to the UAE, as it is so close, and has always been a trading hub for the area. It used to
be pearls and gold, befcore oil was discovered. Now it is still the trading hub, but is also building for the future with infrastructure, buildings,
[edit on 22-10-2009 by BlueOrb]