• The Unfinished Dream


    Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
    An endless parade of anonymous figures move through the city’s spaces, wrapped in sweat and dust and reflective uniforms. The promise of employment has attracted thousands of men to the United Arab Emirates, drawing resources from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Thailand. For many, the life waiting for them in Abu Dhabi fails to live up to the promise sold to them in their countries of origin. 

    Transported from their accommodation by shuttle bus each morning, workers spend an average of 12 hours on the construction site every day, labouring under oppressive heat and extreme humidity. After completing a day’s shift they are returned to their accommodation, often a temporary camp on the outskirts of the city. Yet despite the local government’s attempts to address a number of issues affecting the lives of migrant workers, such as improving living conditions and access to health care, abuses still continue and the reforms have failed to address some fundamental cases of worker exploitation.

    Abu Dhabi is a vibrant, luxurious city with a deep, resonant heartbeat. Two cities occupying the same space: one floating forever on the horizon, living on the continued promise of its beautiful completion, just out of reach… its dark twin tethering this dream to the reality of the workers. The heat, the pressure and the exhaustion.