Saturday, May 23, 2009

Dubai Boot Camp for unemployed

With sweat pouring down her face, Kate Shannon is first to cross the line. There are cheers and hugs from her teammates, before she collapses onto the sand to catch her breath. It is only 9am but already 38 degrees Celsius. This is a warm-up with a difference. This is the Bad Times Boot Camp. Kate is one of about 30 unemployed expats who sweat it out on Dubai's Jumeirah Beach three times a week.

In the shadow of the iconic Burj Al Arab hotel, they jog and sprint, do press-ups and sit-ups and occasionally an odd star jump or two. And in their colorful t-shirts, they are a diverse group. Young and old, men and women and a whole host of nationalities. But there is one thing they do have in common. They have all lost their jobs in Dubai in the last few months.

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