Documenting the Spatial Practices of Global Migration

Al Mafraq

Category : SPACES 01/14/2011

The past week visiting workers housing in Abu Dhabi was enlightening and overwhelming. Here a few first images taken in Al Mafraq outside of Abu Dhabi, where housing for 130,000 workers is under construction. Some tenants have already moved in.

workers have moved into the accomodation blocks, but the central square reserved for retail and recreation is still a gaping hole.

Interrupting their Friday afternoon cricket match for a group photo… These workers moved in a month ago and are happy about the new development. (primarily because food is included)

The cricket grounds are still somewhat improvised.

Housing for workers in this village consists of 3 -story prefab concrete buildings. There is a laundry facility within the grounds as well as mess halls. Workers are not allowed to cook there own food or do their own laundry (more on that later).

Al Mafraq is about 40 minutes away from Downtown Abu Dhabi and workers get bussed to and from the construction sites they work at.

The nearest town is Bani Yas. To get there, workers walk through this part of the desert or take a taxi for 3 dirham (80 cents). Transferring money home, going to the barber shop or the Friday mosque are some of the reasons for these trips. As the new development evolves more of these services will hopefully be added on site.


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