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
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)