Burj Dubai workers strike for pay in the United Arab Emirates, 2007
In 2006, countries in the Persian Gulf region were experiencing an economic boom, including Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates. The total value of new construction exceeded $200 billion in that year alone. In order to sustain such rapid growth, 10 million migrant laborers lived and worked in the region, coming from Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Nepal. Working conditions were poor. Construction work was dangerous, employers would take workers’ passports, and minimum wages were often not paid in full or were withheld entirely.