UAE amnesty beneficiary recalls big mistake

Worker was new to UAE when he acted as guarantor for colleague in court case

Image Credit: Supplied picture
Subhash came to the UAE from India three years ago to work as a mason at a construction company.
11 Gulf News

Dubai: “My father was buried before I could see his face for one last time…I was stuck here, unable to travel. That is my biggest sorrow,” lamented a young expatriate as he used the amnesty to leave the UAE a few days ago. The Indian national told Gulf News he had no option but to stay illegally in the country for months because of his predicament.

Subhash, 29, said his troubles began when he agreed to his employer’s request to pledge his passport as a guarantee for another employee who was under arrest for a work site accident. “Beware about pledging your passport as a guarantor for someone else. I was still new to the UAE and naive, that is why I did it. Otherwise, things would have been different,” he said.

Subhash came to the UAE from India three years ago to work as a mason at a construction company. He hails from Varkala in Kerala.

“I went through hell,” he said, narrating his harrowing experiences of staying and working illegally in the UAE.

His story should serve as an example for other illegal immigrants to make use of the amnesty period, which ends on February 4, he said.

Subhash said that, more than a year before he was hired by the company, a worksite accident occurred while the company was carrying out maintenance works at a villa, and a Bangladeshi worker was killed.

The case was going on and the passport of a foreman, also from India, was under the custody of the court in connection with the accident.

“A while after I joined, I was told by the managing director of the company that the foreman had to travel back home urgently as his mother was unwell and was hospitalised in a critical condition,” Subhash recalls.

“He also told me the foreman was pleading for help and had promised to return within 15 days,” he said.

Since the owner of the company was the one who put forth the request, Subhash said he agreed to stand in for the other employee.

But weeks turned into months and there was no word from the foreman. Subhash kept enquiring at his office but did not get any helpful response. Meanwhile, work dried up and his company stopped paying wages. “The company would pay us and take it back from us, so that labour authorities didn’t come to know. We were helpless; if we didn’t support the company that way, we knew the company would collapse, so we held on. The situation went from bad to worse when the company was ordered by the court to pay Dh200,000 as blood money for the worker’s death,” he recalls.

“The next thing we heard was that the owner fled the country. Everything came to a standstill. There was no food, no electricity, and we were on the verge of being thrown out of the company accommodation in Ajman due to non-payment of rent.”

That is when Subhash took up a job illegally and decided to stay on by evading the authorities. “With the company no longer existing and my passport kept as guarantee, I didn’t know what else to do.”

The decision proved terrible for him, he said, but he only realised it when he was unable to head home when his father died. At times, when he was out of work, he had to beg for money. On other occasions, he had to do menial jobs for very low wages without any assurance of safety or any other benefits a legal employee would be entitled to.

“My mother is unwell now and I have to support my sisters as well.”

Subhash himself had himself begun facing health issues and was only thankful for the UAE government’s amnesty that allowed him to head home.


  • carlos leitao

    Jan 23, 2013 6:17

    All i can say say is may ALLAH BLESS HIM AND HIS FAMILY AND DEPARTEDSOUL OF HIS FAMILY. Allah bless you buddy

  • Craig

    Jan 23, 2013 5:50

    Dear UAE Rulers, I thank you for making me feel at home while i am awayfrom home. I dont think i would like to stay in any other country otherthan UAE and in particular the beautiful city of Dubai whose ruler isShaikh Mohamed.

  • Amer Wisal Mohammad

    Jan 23, 2013 3:52

    Words cannot express how grateful & generous is the authorities are over here in UAE.


    Jan 23, 2013 3:10

    It happent to me as well, I helped a friends whose boyfriend was behind bars. To release the case from the bank I stood as guarantor, I signed a cheque in good faith for them to start a new job and I didnt even thinkthat they would do something stupid as they ask for help in a good way. Although I didnt know the guy much, when his girlfriend crying and begging me to help them, as human i helped with open arms without hesitation. Things changed when the guy left the country, the bank filed a case against me, I lost my job and I couldnt send money to my family. My life has become totally miserable, my reputation has been ruined, people who dont know what really happened criticize me, talking bad behind my back. it's very painful that you help them but in return it's as if theydidnt know you! I tried to speak with this woman who asked for help on what they planned for the trouble they had because of me, but instead all i got was insult and neglect. for all had happen I tried to get back on myfeet, starting all over, picking up the pieces of my ruined life. I HAVE LEARNED A BIG LESSON!

  • Richard

    Jan 23, 2013 2:33

    I have been working for several countries, But for the past 7 years I amhere in Dubai... Amazing country... Most secured and Not much racism...Until we are good people and govt is good with us... The head of thecountry is good... that's why people & govt employees are good..Love you UAE ....

  • Karim

    Jan 23, 2013 2:12

    Salamalekum, Thanks to UAE government for providing such good opertunityfor those people who are realy in problem, God bless UAE

  • emirald

    Jan 23, 2013 12:39

    It's good part of UAE Govt decision on Amnesty. People like Subash andmany others are benefitted.

  • NS

    Jan 23, 2013 12:37

    Reading these stories of illegal expats in UAE breaks my heart. Rules and regulations are supposed to make lives better and safer but when such unfortunate circumstances make the same rules as traps for innocent people - it really breaks my heart. I wish something can be done for such cases - whether communities raising money for them in a united wayor governments looking into each case, etc.


    Jan 23, 2013 10:54

    We salute you the UAE government for the amnesty showing towards the poor labors.

  • Raghu

    Jan 23, 2013 10:42

    May God bless this country and the authorities for helping those who need help, and really it's great of Gulf News to publish these articles to understand predicament of the people. Thanks Gulf News Team. God bless all to whoever help's the poor and needy.

  • Load more

Latest Comment

All i can say say is may ALLAH BLESS HIM AND HIS FAMILY AND DEPARTEDSOUL OF HIS FAMILY. Allah bless you buddy

carlos leitao

23 January 2013 18:29jump to comments