With its thriving economy, skyscraping towers, gold mines, oil wells and natural gas reserves, Dubai is often called the City of Gold. This is where the rich from all over the world flock.
But in the shadow of all the riches and glamor, this global city harbors a secret life that contradicts its out of control wealth and luxury.
Located on the outskirts of the metropolis, Sonapur is a labor camp of 150,000 where Indians, Pakistani, Bangladeshis and Chinese live. While the literal translation of Sonapur is also "the City of Gold," life in this crummy camp is anything but.
Their dreadful living condition is a far cry from the paradisiacal life that Dubai offers to its wealthy contingent of international expats.
Iranian photographer Farhad Berahman exposed Sonapur's slummy life in a photo series earlier this year. Check these:
It wasn't long ago that Dubai and the other six emirates of the UAE were nothing but deserts. With their financial resources and foreign work force, this barren piece of land has been transformed into an economic and tourism hub. While the locals have ridden this wave of mass development to fill up their pockets, the imported working class has gotten little out of it.
These workers are a shame for the class conscious elite of Dubai. Hence, their community is set up as far away from the city hub as possible. And media overtures to cover their plight are strongly discouraged. Even Berahman took his photos at night when the guards' guard was down.