In pictures: Louvre Abu Dhabi workers adapt to Ramadan
August 1, 2013
In a few hours, the dark will begin to dilute with the rising sun, and the meal hall will fill again for suhoor. Then the buses will arrive for the 6am shift. Like Ramadan, the building of the Louvre Abu Dhabi must follow strict timetables; one for God, t???
Outside, a pleasant green area surrounded by mature trees overlooks a beach on the western edge of Saadiyat, with views over the channel to Abu Dhabi, towards Reem Island and the distant towers of the new business district.
The village is a series of accommodation blocks, each with its own communal hall that includes everything from a library and computer room to a games area, laundry, several widescreen TVs and a barbershop, where a haircut costs just Dh5.
Now, though, it's fully dark, and the press of men heads towards the mosque, a low, white, domed building decorated with coloured lights for the Holy Month. So many have come for prayers that the congregation overflows to the surrounding paved area.
Serving the evening meal for about 4,000 workers - the village also houses workers for other projects - is the great challenge for Brookfield Multiplex, the Dubai-based company that runs the housing complex.
Amazingly, by the time that the call to prayer rises above the murmur of hundreds of voices, all but a handful are seated and ready to eat.
Amjad Ali, from India, Shafqatullah Gul Khan, from Pakistan, MD Masum Moijol Islam, from Bangladesh, and Mohammed Zafir, from Pakistan, pose for a portrait as they wait to break their fast for Iftar. The Accommodation Village is home to more than 2,500 wo???
Collecting a steel tray in exchange for a green meal ticket, they walk the length of the 60-metre hall to collect their food: some dates and fresh fruit, a serving of aromatic chana dal and water or a carton of laban. To one side, there are five huge tea ???
Through the open door of the cavernous dining hall in Saadiyat Accommodation Village, the ferocious August heat is falling very slightly as the light begins to fade with the setting sun.
It is still well over half an hour before sunset and the breaking of the fast, but the first workers are already filing in for the only food and drink they will have had for nearly 15 hours.
Most of those workers have risen early, first for suhoor, then to head out to the site before the heat of the sun hammers home. The combination of the summer midday break and the shorter Ramadan working hours means that they are back in the village by ear???
By sunset, they have changed from their blue boiler suits into neatly pressed jeans and shirts or more traditional shalwar kameez.
Less than 10 minutes after breaking the fast, the first workers are leaving the dining area, heading outside to begin their ablutions.
Some worshippers bring carpets large enough for a group, others lay out individual prayer mats, squeezing to the edge if a friend needs to share. The atmosphere feels relaxed and communal.