Expat workers on strike in Dubai

Hundreds of construction workers, mostly from India and Pakistan, blocked a main road in Dubai, demanding unpaid wages.

Rush hour traffic was brought to a standstill by the strikers who were protesting over their missing salaries for the months of May and June and the fact that they did not have clean drinking water or water in the bathrooms of the camp in which they were housed.

A senior administrator of the company that hires the workers, who declined to be name, denied the claims by the strikers saying that the Jebel Ali camp where the workers live had clean drinking water. "We will pay May's salary this week and June's salary next week. But the workers do have clean water and modern bathrooms," the administrator was quoted as saying on Gulf News.

This is not the first time that these expat workers have protested against their working conditions. Hundred of workers spontaneously rushed onto the same main Dubai street, Shaikh Zayed Road, last November to protest their company's apathy after a fire ravaged their compound in the camp.

Despite isolated incidents of industrial unrest, mega deals involving multi-billion dollar construction projects continue to be struck in Dubai.

Cityscape 2005, an international property investment and development event, is currently being held in the city according to the Arab News daily it has attracted a record 300 exhibitors from 51 countries around the world.

"Dubai has now joined the ranks of Hong Kong, Shanghai and other rapidly growing areas," said the report which cited a number of leading construction firms acquiring large plots to build 5-star resorts, office buildings and residential units in Dubai in developments that cost billions of dollars, the AKI reports.

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