Study: labourers better off financially in UAE than in India
Indian construction workers boost their salaries by between 70 to 300 per cent by working in the Emirates, a survey has found.
Research for a report entitled ‘The Effects of UAE Construction Jobs on Indians And Their Families’, which was funded in part by the UAE Ministry of Labour, found that migration to the UAE was a “powerful force” in reducing poverty and debt in south-east Asia.
The author of the report, Michael A Clemens, of the Washington DC-based Centre For Global Development, used records from major construction firms and the Ministry of Labour to locate more than 7,000 Indian construction workers in the UAE. He then hired a team of researchers to interview 4,000 of them.
Research found that families in India with a relative working as a labourer in the UAE were more likely to have been in debt in 2008 and 2009, but were less likely to be in debt by 2011 due to the remittances made by the migrant workers.
The researchers also discovered that the relatives back in India were 30 per cent more likely to own a family business.
However, it did recommend that authorities provide more information to labourers about salary expectations before they leave for a job in the UAE.
Workers at one Abu Dhabi construction site yesterday were largely in agreement with the findings of the report.
“We do not make much money here, but still it is better than in India,” said one labourer at the Corniche Road site.
“If I could work in India I would. We miss our families very much. Life here is very hard but there is no work for us in India.”