Scores of Asian expats in Dammam took refuge in a public park after being left homeless. According to Al Arabiya, these workers spread out in the gardens in downtown Dammam for days under the blazing sun and dusty winds. Some of them had no choice but to drink water that is used to irrigate the flora in the gardens. Their meals came from kind Saudis and residents who graciously offered them food.
Battling the intense heat, hunger, and thirst, one worker cried bitterly saying that he just wished to return to his country. Another worker who suffered sunstroke had to be hospitalized.
Expats with illegal visa status were left without shelter after roommates requested them to leave the premises fearing repercussions of harboring such expats, Al Arabiya reported. These workers went to the Expatriates department at the Passport Directorate to exit the country, but were turned away as their sponsors did not accompany them. Repeated calls made to their respective sponsors went unanswered.
Meanwhile, an employee from the Expatriates department stated that all expatriates were welcome to regularize their visa status or leave the kingdom and that the presence of their sponsor was not mandatory.