45°C – Modern Slaves of Dubai – Design You Trust

45°C – Modern Slaves of Dubai

“Higher, greater, more luxurious. If it was after Sheik Muhammad bin Rashid al Maktoum – and it is – Dubai will become the world metropolis of architectural wonders and records. This is only possible to achieve with the sweat of a gigantic labour army from abroad. Hundredthousands of these foreign workers labour on the constructionsites for very low vages, live pent-up in tiny barracks and seperate from their families for many years.”

This is a photographic documentary, made by photographer Florian Büttner, is about the everyday-life of the men with the unity-coloured overalls. The men outside the lap of luxury, who exist in the shadows of the skyscrapers.

“They have been the cheapest on the market and the ones most driven to abandon their rights to make a living. Circumstances made them to what they are in my eyes. Modern slaves. Not taken by force like in the old days, but forced by their lives in the arms of the highest bidder for human resources. From roughly 1 million people living in Dubai, around 800.000 are or were foreign workers. This is a new dimension in the history of foreign labours and shows one aspect of globalisation.”

Click images to view in full size!


The workers are waiting for the bus to bring them back to the camp after a hard day of work in the heat of Dubai.


This man waters the imported palm trees in front of Burj Dubai construction site. Every day, all year long.


Sheik Zayed Road, the main traffic vein through new Dubai, is beeing expandet to 10 lanes.


Habil comes from Pakistan, he doesnt know yet how long he will stay. He dreams of buying a house and a car, once he gets back home.


There is not much space for individuality.


The nearly finished Palm Jumeirah in 2007.


Where there is over 50.000 Dollar-millionaires among 200.000 locals, the average income of a construction worker is 180 Dollars a month.


Which they built for years, will be closed for them as soon as the workers are done.


The Burj Dubai in 2007. 3 Years later, it becomes the highest building in the World, with over 800 Meters.


On they day off, thousands of workers stream towards the Dubai Creek and to the Old Dubai to shop, call home and transfer money.


The rising of Dubai Downtown in 2007.


The bus that brings the men back to their camp. Outside of Dubai at the edge of the Desert.


Dubai is dominated by red and white.


If one building is done, the next one is allready started.


Most of the men I talked to feel alien in this city. They call Dubai the city without soul.


Advertising worlds at Downtown. The rulers know how to stage themselves.


End of workday at Dubai Marina.


G.S. Rajans thoughts are often back home. In the last 12 years he only got to see his family 5 times. Though their exinstance depends on Rajans work.


The bus that was ment to pick them up an hour ago is stuck in traffic, like every day.


Burj Dubai at night, driving on Sheik Zayed Road.


These Pakistani men sit down for a dinner after a day on construction site. They share one small apartment with 12 people.


The city is covered in big advertising banners, which look like pure ironie next to the workers lifes.


Assaia comes from Afghanistan and works as a mechanic in a truck repair-shop. The Container in the background is his home he shares with 6 men.


The sight of Dubais skyline from the Emirates Highway.


If you want more awesome content, subscribe to 'Oh, Design You Trust,' our brand new Facebook page! Trust me, you won't be disappointed.

More Inspiring Stories

Italy-based Artist Cristina Guggeri Shows World Leaders Pooping In New Series Of Images Called “The Daily Duty”
Nostalgic Photos Of American Teenage Girls At Texas Beaches During The 1980s
Gun Series Project by Toronto-based Photographers
Natural Beauty Photo Series Challenges Restricting Female Body Hair Standards
Photographer Took Photos Of Pan Bottoms, Which Are Visually Similar To A Planet’s Surface
"A Journey Guided By The Elements:" Surrealistic Reality In Photographs By Benjamin Everett
It's Ginkgo Time
"The Devil's Advocate": Keanu Reeves Photoshoot by Lance Staedler for Premiere Magazine, 1997
UK Picture Editors’ Guild Awards 2013 Finalists
Beautiful Female Portrait Photography By Andre Nguyen
Melting Greenlandic Aerial Patterns By Daniel Beltrá
Frame and Glory: Artist Captures Improvised Goalposts Around the World
This Greek Man Living in Malta Has Been Posting Photos of His Forehead on Instagram for Six Years
2019 Australian Geographic Nature Photographer Of The Year Winners
New York Through The Lens Of Weegee
Bizarre Hospital Images From A Very Strange Cache Of Japanese Stock Photos
Photographer Daniel Sachon Imagines What Marilyn Monroe Would Be Like Today
Angelina Jolie at 1995 Marcel Indik Photoshoot
This Is What Happens When Barbie Faces The Struggles Of Living In NYC
Powerful Photos Document Poor Housing Conditions And The Lives Of People Living In Slums In Glasgow In The Early 1970s
Let's Enter A New World: Photography Masterpieces Of Vitas Luckus
Radical Beauty Project Is Challenging Misconceptions Around Down Syndrome Through Conceptual Beauty Shoots
Discover The Relics Of Hungary’s Industrial Past With The Photographer Peter Trembeczki
30 Best Wedding Photos Of FdB Photography Awards