Many outdoor workers in the Middle East are being forced to rest in the shade for hours each day this summer to escape the oppressive summer sun and heat, The Associated Press reports.
The annual government-imposed midday work ban lasts two to three months and became effective June 1 in Kuwait and Oman and June 15 in Qatar and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). It will take effect July 1 in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.
The midday ban ranges from five hours in Qatar to two and a half hours in the UAE.
Government inspectors in those countries strictly enforce the ban, making thousands of visits to work sites to ensure companies comply. It is intended to protect the many migrant workers vital to big construction projects in the Gulf Arab states. Many of those workers come from Yemen, Egypt, and South Asian countries like India and Pakistan, often to work under awful conditions.
Companies violating the summer bans, which began in the last decade, face temporary suspension or fines of thousands of dollars.
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