A labourer praising working conditions in Dubai’s construction industry is the star of a new advertising campaign for Emirates Airline.
In the campaign, 24-year old Sudakhar Golem is shown near the top of the world’s tallest skyscraper, the Burj Dubai, with a panoramic view of Dubai in the background. Championing the quality of life in the emirate, Golem says in the airline's Open Skies magazine: “We have fixed hours, a time for lunch and breaks, and a time to finish work. Working with people from other cultures has taught me a lot.”
The Burj Dubai is being built by Arabtec, which last month faced allegations in a BBC TV documentary that its labour camps were filthy and overcrowded.
Following the programme, Arabtec CEO Riad Kamal told Arabian Business that he was satisfied with working conditions for labourers, adding that the basic monthly wage of an unskilled labourer, based on an eight-hour day (six days a week), started at $177, with skilled workers' wages starting at $225.
However, the Emirates “Meet Dubai” campaign focuses on Golem’s positive experiences in Dubai.
In the interview with Open Skies Golem says he was 20 years old when he left his village in India and began working as a hoist operator on the $4.1bn superstructure.
Four years later he has advanced to become the supervisor for all the hoisting cranes on the tower’s site.
“What comes to my mind when I go up the tower is that I’m lucky as so many people want to go up the Burj Dubai, yet I’m here and I can see the whole city,” he explained to Open Skies.
“I like the Chicago hotel where I relax with my friends and I like Safa Park and Jumeirah Beach. Deira is very nice as well,” Golem said.
The campaign seeks to showcase the diversity of Dubai’s population and also includes Freej creator Mohammed Saeed Harib, the vice president of Dolphin Bay at the Atlantis Hotel and a professional kite surfer.
It was created by Leo Burnett Dubai in cooperation with the Emirates corporate communications team.
“The main objective of the campaign is to generate demand for travel to and through Dubai. We are inviting existing and new visitors to discover an arguably overlooked aspect of Dubai's amazing story - its residents,” Emirates said in a statement.
The first phase of the campaign is appearing in international magazines and newspapers including Time, Newsweek, the Financial Times, National Geographic and the Wall Street Journal.
The airline is also running it locally in countries such as Australia, India, South Africa and New Zealand.
The wider campaign will include press, online, TV, radio, cinema, in-flight and outdoor advertising and will reach over 300 million households across 6 continents, Emirates said.