Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large

Workers asked 'to sit it out'

Construction workers are becoming more worried about how much money they can afford to send home.

ABU DHABI // Construction workers are becoming more worried about how much money they can afford to send home. "We have been arriving at our worksites for the past 20 days and have just been asked to sit it out," said Mohammed Alam, a carpenter from Bangladesh, one of a group of labourers in Musaffah. "We have been told that our company lost out on a small contract and are now in the process of bidding for a bigger one, so it is just a matter of time before we go back to work. But we are not sure of that."

Although Mr Alam has still been paid his monthly salary, he said the payments were erratic. "The best case is when we are paid on the fifth of the month, but sometimes that becomes the 10th or 15th. In that case what can you do? People at home depend on our money and if they don't get it, there is nothing that can be done. They just have to make do with the difficulty." Mohammed Ali, a Bangladeshi whose basic monthly pay is Dh800 (US$218), said he remitted his entire salary. He depends on overtime, Dh200 to Dh300 a month, to pay for his food, clothing and phone cards.

"You can't send only Dh100 home. It gets them nothing. So I have to send back as much as possible." Khurram Rashid, from Faisalabad, said he had dropped out of college in Pakistan after a relative, who had been supporting his family, urged him to help pay the bills. He sends money home through a transfer agency. "I call home after I send money and for some reason that I don't understand, the payments are always late, but I am just glad that for now I have a job and I can support them." * The National

Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

 Marina Square apartments Reem Island: Q1 2% rise. Studio - Dh65-68,000. 1BR - Dh75-95,000. 2BR - Dh110-145,000. 3BR - Dh170-190,000. Q1 2013-Q1 2014 no change. Sammy Dallal / The National

In pictures: Where Abu Dhabi rents have risen and fallen, Q1 2014

Find out how rental prices in the prime locations in Abu Dhabi have altered during the first three months of the year and the current rates you will pay according to data provided by Asteco.

 This comparison image shown on Reddit annotated the objects with vehicles from the movies.

What Star Wars fans say is going on in Abu Dhabi’s desert

We may still not know exactly what The National caught pictures of in the Abu Dhabi desert last week, but the online community has had plenty to say. Here are some of the best bits.

 Courtesy Al Ittihad

Time frame: It’s all going swimmingly

Built on what was originally a public park, Ain Al Faida - the flowing source - became one of the country’s first resort hotels when it opened in the mid 1970s.

 The iconic Kingdom Tower project in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Above ground work is set to begin on the tower which is expected to be taller than Dubai’s Burj Khalifa. Rendering courtesy EC Harris/Mace

Saudi’s Kingdom Tower set to go skywards as it aims for world’s tallest building tag

Above ground construction work due to start next week in Jeddah, after months of testing and preparation work.

 Jia Ruhan sings as a guest artist during a concert by the pianist Robert Wells concert in 2012. The Chinese soprano is being groomed by the government to become an international pop star as a way of increasing its global influence through ‘soft power’.

In pictures: Meet China’s Jia Ruhan, no ordinary pop star

Jia Ruhan is being groomed by Chinese authorities to become a global pop star as a way of expand its cultural influence worldwide.

 Screen shot from Vin Deisel's facebook page of he and Michelle Rodriguez in Abu Dhabi for the filming of Fast & Furious 7. April 2014

Fast & Furious in Abu Dhabi, a social media frenzy

Fast & Furious 7 wraps up an eventful and much-anticipated week of filming in the capital. Let's take a look at what went on via the key players' social media, while they were enjoying the delights of the desert.


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National