Stephane Lanoux – Featured IPA member

The Friday of Others

Dubai, the city of lights, famous for its rapid economic growth, has become a major tourist destination. But the city is overcast by shadows, including the living conditions of its labor force. This foreign underclass community builds this city and dedicates its life to it by working over 10 hours a day, 6 days a week and 11 months a year in difficult conditions while locals and western expats who seem ignorant of their living conditions look on.

Human rights are part of UAE laws, promising fair treatment of all people, regardless of race, nationality or social status, as per Article 25 of the Constitution. Despite this relative theoretical freedom, human rights organizations have complained about of human rights violations in Dubai. Human Rights Watch described foreign workers allegedly living in “less than human” conditions.

Every weekday evening, hundreds of thousands of young men who work on Dubai’s construction sites are bussed to and from their camps, where they live out of sight of the rest of the population. Labor camps such as Sonapur (« City of Gold » in Hindi), represent approximately 8% of Dubai’s population (over 200,000, 99% male) in only 5.5 square kilometers.

Friday is not like any other day for them. It is usually their day off. A day of prayers for Muslims. Another day far from their homes and families. A day where the various Dubai communities each follow their own rituals and sometimes cross paths, sharing their religious beliefs, but without any real contact or communication.


Stephane Lanoux was born in 1973. He is a passionate amateur photographer for over 20 years in Paris, France. His skills have developed over time and thanks to his travels in Europe, Asia, North America, Africa and Middle East where he lived for over 3 years and where his humanist approach through street photography was born.

He exhibited first in Dubai at the Dubai Photography Festival 2014 along with other shortlisted amateur artists. His recent work can be found on

One Comment on “Stephane Lanoux – Featured IPA member

  1. Pingback: Stephane Lanoux – Featured IPA member | IPA

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