Indian and Pakistani laborers grab any chance to rest or cover themselves from the sheer heat. Working 13 hours a day, 6 days a week on two or three year contracts, they pay Labour Force companies about 1,500 USD for their initial visa and airline ticket and the chance to earn a minute 250 USD a month. There are about 200,000 Pakistani expats, and 300,000 Indian expats working in the construction industry in Dubai. Most work overtime to increase their monthly take by half or more. Their employers pay for their transportation to/from the construction site to their dormitory-style accommodation (NON air-conditioned buses). The accommodation has at least eight to a room, shared showers and toilets, no lap of luxury of any decent starred hotel - plus the food is not free. After their contract expires in two or three years, they get a return air ticket paid for, and at least 40 days home with their families.
The Ruler of the UAE has put in place strict laws to ensure they get proper medical and dental treatment, two hour breaks during the middle of the hot summer days, and to ensure they are not exploited. Next time you check into your five star hotel in the UAE, take a moment to reflect the hard work and the sheer effort put into making your stay comfortable...that someone who probably earns the same in a month as to what you may have spent in one night at your hotel stay...puts things into prospective.
Even though their wages are considered low in the UAE, they earn about FIVE times what they could back home. Working throughout the night, the cranes operated by an Indian or a Pakistani often are first ones to greet the morning sunrise over the Arabian Sea - in essence, they made Dubai and the UAE what it is today, and we must thank them for it.
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