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Indians in UAE struggle to escape poverty

Dubai, April 11, 2005

Ranver hasn't been paid in nine months by his construction firm, but the Indian worker fears he could be deported if he complains to Dubai authorities as he also works illegally on the side.

His plight is shared by many of the tens of thousands of labourers, mostly from the Indian subcontinent, lured by promises of jobs in the oil-rich United Arab Emirates.

They are the foundation of a rapid development drive that has turned Dubai from a backwater desert state into a bustling metropolis with a futuristic skyline.

As contracting firms cash in on the construction boom in the Gulf's trading and tourism hub, many workers receive meagre salaries and sometimes go without pay for months, sparking occasional protests. (Reuters)



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