Ramona Scheffer

Explore Lab

The Workers Madinat - Housing for Migrant Workers in Oman

The insufficient living conditions migrant workers are facing in the Gulf States became more apparent than ever during the COVID-19 pandemic. In Oman and throughout the country, isolated from the local population, hundreds of thousands of low-skilled migrant workers from mainly South Asia live in partly inadequate conditions in so-called labour camps. This project combines a new remote digital ethnographic research approach, including social media and online maps as main sources, to document the current living conditions of migrant workers in Omani labour camps with a policy proposal to rethink their accommodations. In order to break with the radical social segregation and to build the backbone of a more sustainable urban development in Oman, I took inspiration from the vernacular Omani architecture that responds to the hot and arid climate and combined it with smart prefabrication methods while considering future adaptations for higher income groups.