All the returnees reached Islamabad today from Dammam, the capital of the eastern province of Saudi Arabia.
The plight of Pakistani workers, stranded for months in crowded dormitories at labour camps with no money and limited access to food, water or medical care, did alarm their home country but drew little attention from the government officials.
However, since the news started circulating in the mainstream media, ARY News worked day and night to help the trapped Pakistanis get back home at the earliest.
President and CEO ARY Network Mr Salman Iqbal said it was a great news that Pakistanis were finally coming back home.
Fearing a protest over government’s unsuccessful bid to help them fly back home, a majority of the workers were soon transported to their respective cities as soon as they reached Islamabad today.
The Saudi government tried to resolve the situation by giving the workers – who normally need their employers’ permission to leave the country – the right to go home and free transport back.
Saudi Oger, which employs some 30,000 workers, has built mega-projects including Riyadh’s palatial 500-room Ritz Carlton hotel and all-female Princess Noura Bint Abdulrahman University.
It is one of Saudi Arabia’s two most prominent construction companies, along with the Saudi Binladin Group. Both faced financial difficulties as the world’s biggest oil exporter suffered from the fall in the price of crude. Construction projects halted or slowed and revenue fell badly.