About 250 construction workers employed by Sharjah-based Al Khatri Building Contracting Est have resumed duty in Qatar, following the settlement of dues by the company, an official said.

They are part of the 600 workers who had gone on strike in Qatar's first official labour dispute since the state amended its labour law last year.

Nurul Ameen, general manager of Al Khatri Building Contracting Est, told Gulf News yesterday, "There was some delay in payment from the main contractors, Darwish Engineering and Contract, to us. As a result, we could not pay our workers in time. However, last week we received the payment and sent money from here to complete the workers' payment. The matter has been resolved and our workers are currently working at the site."

Al Khatri was sub-contracted by the main contractors for projects in Doha's Education City, currently under construction.

Four other private Qatari companies are also involved in the dispute.

The labourers, mainly from India, Pakistan and Nepal, stopped working four days ago in protest at their salary and living conditions, embassy and company officials said yesterday.

In 2004, Qatar became the third country in the region behind Kuwait and Bahrain, to allow workers the right to strike and form trade unions.

One of the workers, 36-year-old Pakistani electrician Abdul Aziz, said he had been promised a salary of 1,000 riyals per month but that he was receiving only 600 riyals.

"Payment delays for a month or two are not uncommon in this part of the world. Some elements encouraged the workers to seek the embassy's intervention and force a strike. However, things are normal now," he said.

With a flourishing domestic economy fuelled by high oil and gas prices, Opec member Qatar has witnessed a construction boom over the past two years.

Like all other Gulf countries, much of the construction work is carried out by cheap foreign labour.