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Building blocks

Building blocks

Eva Fernandes is pleasantly surprised by the impressive living conditions of construction workers residing at Saadiyat Island’s Construction Village and is hopeful for more of the same in the region.

March 16, 2011 3:33 by

Workers can also keep in touch with their family members at the internet café, where they can use the internet for 30 minutes at the price of $0.5 (Dh2) at one of the cafés,which has 20 computers.

Now, there’s a possibility that if I were to visit Construction Village, things are not going to be as rosy as things seem. But considering what other camps are like, I am confident I would still be impressed.

Consider, for instance, this description of an Arabteclabor camp from the BBC when it was in this part of the world poking about for stories: “Armed with a secret camera we sneaked into the camp to be met with the smell of raw sewage. Sewage had leaked out all over the camp, and workers had to create a network of stepping stones to cross it and get back to their accommodation blocks. One toilet block had no water supply and the latrines were filled with piles of raw faeces.”

Of course, that is quite an extreme, but a quick Google search of “Dubai labour camp conditions” will turn up pictures of crowded, unhygienic and unsafe accommodation workers are forced to live in.

The sad irony of the situation is that these construction workers fly down to the UAE to construct luxury projects but end up living in shanty-town-like camps. To say that Construction Village is a much-needed step in the right direction, is an understatement.

Here’s hoping that more of these projects to pop up in the near future.

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