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Tue 10 Mar 2015 11:38 AM

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Riot police called to Downtown Dubai as labourers protest over bonuses

Roads closed in area near the Burj Khalifa and The Dubai Mall

Riot police called to Downtown Dubai as labourers protest over bonuses
Twitter Photo: @sanamshantyaei

A dispute by labourers over payment of bonuses led to riot police on the streets of Downtown Dubai earlier this morning.

Dubai Media Office posted a tweet confirming that Dubai Police had “resolved the issue of Fountain Views workers gathered in Boulevard demanding bonuses” within an hour of the strike taking place, but not before it had resulted in massive traffic delays for commuters in the area, which is home to Burj Khalifa and The Dubai Mall.

In response to the hundreds of striking workers who had gathered on the Festival Road and Boulevard area of Downtown Dubai and had blocked traffic, Dubai Police deployed a large number of officers to the scene on Tuesday morning, many of whom were in riot gear.

Heavy traffic delays were reported by many drivers in the area, with motorists backed up on the roads in and around the Downtown area.

The Address Residence Fountain Views, launched in 2013 in Downtown Dubai by Emaar Properties, is a three-tower complex overlooking Burj Khalifa and The Dubai Fountain.

It is believed the dispute involves a contractor working at the Fountain Views site and talks have begun between labourers and management.

Update 14:45: An Emaar spokesperson issued the following statement: “Emaar works with established and large contracting companies that have a good track-record and strong organisational structure for our projects. We have clear guidelines for our contractors to ensure that they follow industry best practices. We have stipulated strict measures in terms of health, safety and worker conditions that not only comply with the UAE government regulations but also to international standards in the construction industry. Emaar is taking this matter seriously and have highlighted the incident to the senior management of the contractors to ensure that matters are resolved at the earliest possible.”

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Marc Z 5 years ago

Earlier this week it was reported that The Fountain had paid for itself many times over. If so, why are these workers not being paid a fair share of bonus?

Non-Muslim 5 years ago

Why did the labourers strike? For what bonuses - promised by whom and why not paid?

Speetaman Arjani 5 years ago

All those who had gone on strike should be sent back home and their visas cancelled immediately. This will teach them a lesson that this is Dubai and not India and Pakistan

Khalid 5 years ago

I witnessed it first-hand. They made a 200 strong circle around the traffic lights and shouted at any car asking permission to pass. Never seen anything like it in Dubai before. Eventually I had to take a right turn where the circle was weakest towards the Zabeel area and make a loop around town to get to work. Unprecedented.

Qazi 5 years ago

This is bound to happen, UAE govt has to take a serious not of why this is happening and this is not the first time that companies have reaped millions and given nothing to workers, but UAE image in the world may get hurt, and they would try to push all this under the carpet and slowly pin point the main character's in the laborer's and then deport them!! this they had been doing for years, so its nothing new for them!! they increased the minimum wage for their nationals but for workers who built this country they don't care as they know fresh stock of laborer's will be ready to come to UAE to work!! they will not suffer, only the worker's and their families suffer!! UAE has to stand up and show that they do care and genuinely do something for the worker's in UAE

DXBHeadhunter 5 years ago

An educated guess would be these chaps are protesting over unpaid wages or unpaid overtime which is very different to unpaid bonus payments. These are not high earning staff with performance related bonuses...

Daniel Perry 5 years ago

Send them home, no room for behaviour like that in Dubai.

mary 5 years ago

well all of us get a major share of every thing.....it is a hypocrite world..these labors get paid merely few hundred dirhams a month and those few hundred we spend in few days or maybe hours only.
we need to understand what is the problem and compensate these poor labors properly...however a proper channel needs to be introduced to avoid such issues to arise which may impact the country image. The countries lack community feeling results in such actions. I wish all success to management to manage these issues well.

AS30 5 years ago

They are referring to The Fountain View, which is a residential tower under construction, not The Dubai Fountain.

Anna 5 years ago

Perhaps before jumping to conclusions and criminalizing this act of dismay by jailing the workers, cancelling their visas and kicking them out of the country, we should first hear as to what was this all about, why the bonuses are in question, who did not pay whom and for what reason. Yes, that's right! This is Dubai and not India and Pakistan and so I like to think that this dispute will be settled fairly without blame and punishment to the downtrodden.