Middle East Laborers Are Being Forced To Rest For Hours Every Day

Middle east midday work breakAPThis sign reminds outdoor workers in the United Arab Emirates when they must take their two and a half hour break in the shade.

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.

Middle east midday work breakAPLaborers nap around a fan during the midday break from construction work on a mall in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

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.

Middle east midday work breakAPMany of the Dubai workers use cardboard for cushions and their helmets for pillows.

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.

Middle east midday work banReutersThese workers sleep on wooden boards in the shade beneath their Dubai construction site.

Companies violating the summer bans, which began in the last decade, face temporary suspension or fines of thousands of dollars.

Midday work ban qatarReutersLaborers helping to build infrastructure ahead of the 2022 World Cup soccer tournament in Qatar rest during their midday break.

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