Dubai Immigrant Workers Dance “Happy”

For those of who have been to Dubai, you will have seen the gleaming towers, spotless streets, stunning shopping malls and clean hotels. Behind all of this are an  estimated 7.8 million immigrant workers- 75 percent of whom are from India, Bangladesh and Pakistan. There has been significant criticism of the working conditions of these workers.

Migrant Workers in Dubai

Migrant Workers in Dubai

A charity that works with these workers is Smartlife Foundation, has a mission to “uplift the non privileged members of our community“. I  was taken by a video of the people they work with dancing to Pharrell ‘s – Happy. It really humanises the people who live “behind the scenes” in that country.


In a film  that debuted in Dubai’s International Film Festival in December 2013,  directed by Lebanese born Mahmoud KaabourChamp of the Camp  new documentary seeks to everyday camp life is portrayed. The documentary looks at the singing competitions that take place in the labor camps which are organised by workers in the camp to express themselves. The competition now has 7,000 people participating.

These films give a very different view of the gleaming towers of Dubai. For more information and ways you can help: Adopt a camp Charity  and Smartlife Foundation.
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