Dubai residents marked International Labour Day by stepping into the shoes of construction workers in the UAE.
Around 40 volunteers of all ages took on the role of construction workers for two days in a bid to show their appreciation and gratitude for the work they put in. The group completed maintenance work on a mosque in Deira.
The construction workers were present to guide the group in their work.
Nashama UAE, which organised the event, aimed to highlight the challenges these workers undergo while constructing a building.
A YouTube video captures the volunteers’ experiences, and how it was life-changing.
Twenty-four-year-old Ibtihal Omar claims it has been a big revelation. “I knew that workers go through a lot of struggle, but until I experienced it, I didn’t understand the gravity of the situation.
“I felt extremely tired, and found it tough to complete the two days of work. That made me wonder how these workers do it, day in and day out.”
Ibtihal, who hails from Yemen has made UAE her home for the last 30 years, is currently working at the Sharjah Finance Department. “This experience has completely changed me. I request everyone to take a few moments to applaud the work these men are putting in. Even giving them something to drink, when they work in the sun, will go a long way in motivating and supporting them.”
The UAE Ministry of Labour has announced plans for a 10-day celebration to mark International Labour Day on May 1.
Thirty-year-old Emirati Zayed Almamari added he was indeed lucky to be part of the team. “We always see these workers sweat it out in the sun, but we never understand how tough it is until we step into their shoes.
“The whole experience has taught me to be more patient, and how it’s important to work as a team.”
Zayed, who works as a paramedic in Dubai Ambulance, added the city is built by these workers, and they are doing a great job. “They have left their loved ones, and travelled so far away from their homes, to come build our city. The least we can do is support them.”
He added that the construction workers were extremely happy to welcome the volunteers into their world.
“I look forward to doing more such work in the future.”