Friday, November 9, 2007

Construction Destruction in Dubai

Dubai is a United Arab Emirate's city wonderland with a bustling commercial port, vast wealth defying the imagination and out of this world real estate ventures involving construction of the world's tallest skyscraper and expansive bridges. Yesterday, a bridge connecting developments in the Dubai Marina, collapsed killing at least 7 workers. Dubai relies heavily on procuring manual labor from other nations. Most of the Wade Adams Group workers that perished in this accident were from India. Fifteen other workers have light to severe injuries.

"We tried to put a huge piece of metal in a wall when it collapsed," said Muthu Raj, one of the workers interviewed by the media

"I saw colleagues trapped inside, but I managed to jump back and stepped on the road."

The bridge was being built over a small canal in the man-made marina complex, which is close to the showpiece Palm Jumeirah resort, a massive artificial palm-shaped island.

A spokesman for the Wade Adams Group, NM Naushad, told the Associated Press that the company would compensate the families of the dead with a total of 10 years wages each.

He estimated the workers earned on average 9,600 dirhams ($2,615; £1,240) a year.

Dubai's ongoing labor issues are causing project delays and cost overruns, even at the record setting Burj skyscraper. The government is ordering its own ministers and construction companies to review and adopt minimum wage guidelines and other safety measures for its laborers. South Asia is a popular recruiting region for low wage jobs in Dubai, the fastest growing city on earth. Strikes are becoming more prevalent and lasting longer as wages shrink and on the job safety risks expand.

The 40,000 Asian workers vowed not to leave the 26 labor camps scattered around seven semiautonomous Emirati states until their salaries are raised by at least $55 a month. The company pays unskilled workers $109 a month while skilled ones get $163.

The workers also complain of delayed salaries and randomly deductions from their pay for transportation, vacation or sick days.

"We are fed up with these conditions. We need an immediate pay raise," said Mohammed Aslam, 28-year-old worker from Bangladesh.

Dubai is built on the coast and surrounded by a blazing hot blowing desert sands with no natural body of fresh water. It is now an ultra chic Middle Eastern luxury resort fulfilling the needs for indoor skiing, manmade urban developments in the sea that are seen from space and outdoor air conditioned frolicking spots without peer in many developed nations. Tourists flock to the city to see the famous sailboat hotel and wealth on display in vast sums. Into that comes a desperate worker not understanding why the wealth is not shared with those who risk life and limb to do the work that makes Dubai possible.

Dubai's amazing architecture is on display on the cover and images contained in this excellent design and history book from daab entitled, Dubai: Architecture & Design. It captures the history of design in the Middle East. The cover is from the famous hotel buit in the form of a sailboat that is even more impressive in person - but have a megaton of cash with you. The indoor fish tank is well, spectacular.

1 comment:

Amina said...

Dubai constructions are rising day by day in a very fast way.
Construction companies have many projects, and they cope with these tasks very successfully.
Dubai property is a really profitable one.
But the question is do construction companies suggest their employees normal work conditions. It seems not. People ought to go to strikes, cause their work conditions is so hard, salaries are too low. Construction companies have to think about it very carefully.