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2 May 2022

Isabel Debre, AP

Dubai delivery drivers walk off job in rare protest over pay

Food-delivery drivers protesting wage cuts and grueling working conditions went on an extremely rare strike in Dubai over the weekend — a mass walkout that paralyzed one of the country’s main delivery apps and revived concerns about labor conditions...

Strikes remain illegal in the United Arab Emirates... The Dubai government did not immediately respond to a request for comment...

Dozens of drivers parked their bikes by various Deliveroo warehouses in protest, according to footage widely shared on social media. Some shut down their apps. Others rested at their accommodations. Others went to restaurants and urged fellow couriers to stop mid-shift...

“We know the rules, we know it’s sensitive, this is not against the UAE,” said a 30-year-old Pakistani driver named Mohammed, who declined to give his last name for fear of reprisals.

But he said he also risks his life each day, zipping around Dubai’s dangerous roads without accident insurance.

“We are human,” he said as he mounted his motorbike, returning to the grind in downtown Dubai, where delivery workers rushed in and out of restaurants and apartment towers in the languid Gulf heat. “We are not robots."

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