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Bridge collapses in Dubai marina

Friday, November 9th, 2007

A bridge under construction has collapsed in Dubai, killing seven workers and injuring 15, police said.

The bridge was being built in Dubai Marina, a new development in the United Arab Emirates city which is a regional business and tourism hub.

A large number of ambulances were driving to the scene of the accident.

Dubai’s economy has boomed in recent years, fuelled largely by a construction industry reliant on low-paid workers, many from South Asia.

More than 40 labourers were working on the bridge at the time of the collapse, police said.

This is a shame. You have sooo much construction going on in Dubai and such poor standards that things like this happen far too often. Add in the fact that the workers often get paid late or not at all, and precious little in the first place while paying an agent an exorbitant fee to get them a visa and a job in the first place. Then they find that they don’t get paid what they were told and owe a hefty sum while the contractor holds their passport, so even if they could scrape up the money they couldn’t leave.

Dubai has many things going for it, but humane treatment of the workers building it sure isn’t one of them.

Hola De Mexico!

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2007

We are in Mexico right now. We had to leave the country before spending too many days in the USA, because then we would lose the “working and living outside the country” tax exclusion, which would cost many thousands of dollars in taxes.

So far, we have gone cave diving, skycycled over the jungle and through some caverns, swam with dolphins, paid entirely too much for the picture and DVD package of that, snorkelled (swam, really) through more underground caverns and rivers, seen jaguars, pumas, iguanas, birds of all colors, met some Turkish people who’d lived in Dubai, done some ziplining, rappelling (a short one, to be sure), visited Mayan ruins by the sea,…well, it’s been a fun trip.

Interestingly enough, this is our first actual vacation in the Western Hemisphere. I don’t really count the 2 previous trips to the USA as they were more like visiting home than doing anything new or unusual. Though I guess you could say visiting home has become unusual.:lol:

Bye Bye Dubai

Thursday, June 14th, 2007

Well, that day has come. The apartment is empty and the bags stuffed full. We’re on a plane tonight…for about a 24 hour travel cycle. We’ll stay on the move with mere 2 hour layovers in London and Chicago. We enjoyed our time here and it was a very good experience, and I’m a more well-rounded person because of it. (It was a desk job.)

Heading to France and Italy

Thursday, May 17th, 2007

Well, we’re taking advantage of one last vacation before this job evaporates. They won’t pay for airfare since I won’t be back the requisite 60 days, but at least I get the vacation time and travel days. We’re going to fly out tomorrow morning at 1 AM and at 6 AM land in Paris. We’ll spend about 5 days there and on day trips near it, before taking the night train down to Rome. We’ll be there 3 days and then spend 4 days in the Naples / Sorrento area, and one last day in Rome again, followed by a flight back home to Dubai. After we get back, Dubai is only home for about 2 more weeks and then we’ll start another chapter in our life.

Immigration Type Thoughts

Thursday, May 17th, 2007

Last Tuesday, Guli and I traipsed on down to the US Embassy in Abu Dhabi, which is about an hour or so away from Dubai. As my tenure here is ending, it was about past time to put in for her residency for the USA. As a side note, I’d like to point out that the embassy is a really bizarre semi-triangular shape that looks like the bow of a sinking ship poking out over the water. It’s very strange. After several rounds of showing paperwork and waiting again, they told us that it’d have to go to USCIS for approval, which is going to be around 4 weeks probably, but if we haven’t heard from them in 6 weeks to check in. That sounded quite doable. (more…)

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