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Business Home > Opinion Analysis
A time for reflection

Renan Bourdeau (Property Focus) / 22 July 2012

First of all, Ramadan Kareem to each and every one of you. For those of us who live in the Middle East Muslims and non-Muslims alike there is no doubt that this is a special month, one that offers the chance to connect with friends and family and set aside time for some honest reflection.

For our friends and colleagues who will be fasting, I can only stand in admiration at their devotion and true spirituality to go through such a hot month with happiness and calm. The team at propertyfinder.ae has kicked off a month-long project that will hopefully also reflect the spirit of the season. We will be supplying and distributing free Iftar meals to labourers, in partnership with Volunteer in Dubai, generously paid for by some of our real estate broker partners.

In an era when it is all too easy to be cynical about the motivations of big business, we have been delighted by the goodwill of the property industry in the UAE — because of their donations our team of volunteers will be able hand out meals to around 4,000 labour camp workers across the emirate.

As I mentioned, Ramadan offers a time for reflection. And as someone who has witnessed Dubai’s unbelievable transformation over the last 10 years from the centre of things in the property industry, I think we should all take time to think about just how much we owe these hardworking guys who have literally raised a world class city from the sand. Their sweat and dedication has meant we all enjoy working and living in some of the most beautiful buildings in the world.

Take a moment to consider the 828-metre (2,717 feet) high Burj Khalifa.

There is no doubt that this structure represents a unique creative vision, a feat of architectural design and amazing engineering skill. But to actually build this huge skyscraper metal piece by metal piece, bolt by bolt, almost defies belief. During peak construction, it is estimated that 12,000 labourers were working on the site.

And this is just one of the many landmark buildings and developments that grace our home town, so just think how many pairs of hands it has taken to bring the whole city to life. It is almost impossible to guess.

That is why we feel it is so important to give something back, even a token gesture, to our comrades out in the field. And it is good to know, judging by the donations and offers of volunteer time, that plenty of other people feel the same way too.

Building a dream city that has become an inspiration across the globe has been a team effort — so this Ramadan, let’s all try and give something back where we can.


The writer is the managing director at property portal www.propertyfinder.ae. The views expressed are his own and do not reflect the newspaper’s policy


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