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Page last updated at 06:20 GMT, Monday, 6 April 2009 07:20 UK
In pictures: Dubai's 'slumdog' workers

Dubai construction workers

Dubai's incredible growth would not have been possible without the million plus immigrant construction workers, many of whom work in shifts round the clock, often on salaries of less than 120 a month.

Construction site in Dubai

It is difficult to stand anywhere in Dubai and not see a building site. The workers, in coloured boiler suits, often leave for work before dawn, and do 10-12 hour shifts.

Dubai workers on beach near high rise buildings at dawn

Some workers get a rare chance to see the Dubai that Westerners are familiar with - although they could not even dream of eating in the restaurants here, or living in the luxury apartment blocks.

Worker in front luxury yachts

This juxtaposition is everywhere in Dubai - the world's most expensive luxuries right alongside low paid work forces. Average salaries are 120 a month for a six-day week.

Masked worker in Dubai

Despite being visible everywhere, the workers lead a ghost-like existence in Dubai. Nobody seems to speak to them, pay any attention to them, or see how they actually live.

Ben Anderson sitting with Dubai workers

Panorama reporter Ben Anderson went to one "labour camp" where 45 workers lived. It was actually a small outbuilding, hours outside Dubai. The Indian agent who took us there said: "You wouldn't keep cattle in this building."

Workers in their bunk room

Many workers sleep eight or more to a room, sometimes on the floor. Their personal space is the patch of wall next to their beds.

Dubai worker stands in front of washing and cooking facilities

The men wash their clothes in small plastic buckets. The charred bricks in the background are for cooking dinner. The workers have two beaten up old hobs for cooking, but are not given any gas.

Dubai worker having hair cut by fellow worker

Many workers Panorama spoke to took out loans to pay huge, illegal fees to get to Dubai. Paying off these loans, eating and sending what they can home means there is nothing left for things like haircuts.

Dubai workers

Some of the workers describe their lives as prison sentences - they are just trying to get their two or three years out the way, and know they face returning home with nothing.

Ben Anderson

Reporter Ben Anderson discovers that behind the glossy sales brochures is an army of construction workers living in appalling conditions. Panorama: Slumdogs and Millionaires, BBC One, 8.30pm, Monday 6 April.

Slumdogs and Millionaires
Monday, 6 April 2009, 06:20 GMT |  Panorama
Dubai: From riches to rags
Monday, 6 April 2009, 06:19 GMT |  Panorama


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