Our bodies are now safely back home but our minds are still swirling with thoughts about Dubai. I think it’s because when you’re there so much is happening around you, your eyes see things you just don’t have time to really process. I’m going to post some images that have stuck in my mind and made me think.
In the early evening the Deira creekside came alive with all kinds of people. This group of workers were happy to be out and indicated they wanted me to take their photo. Of course, I obliged. They represent to me all the workers who have left their homes and families to come and work in Dubai so they can send money back home.
Most of the construction workers seem to be Pakistanis, the hospitality workers Filipinos, Abra drivers Bangladeshi and Indian, young Pakistani and Indian men work in the Souks alongside Arabic traders. The workmen you see about the streets during the day all seem to have mobile phones and I think many wait each day for an offer of a day’s work. Loading and unloading the cargo boats would need more than just the crewmen so many would be employed doing that.
The men we’ve spoken to haven’t seen their families for 2 years, one was looking forward to going home for a holiday next year and another was giving up on Dubai and going home on May 2nd this year. He said he was working 12 hours a day driving a taxi but the rules were very stringent and fines extremely high, he didn’t get paid a wage and had to reach a quota before he made any money.
Life is tough for the itinerent workers and I wonder how many of them realize their dream of a better life for themselves and their families.