The dark side of Dubai

Dubai has always been known for its glitz and glamour. A priceless asset to the United Arab Emirates, this city is a concrete jungle on sands and boasts about its tourism, booming industry and of course it’s entertainment. Listed in one of the top cities of the world , is this just a rosy picture? Is all not well in Dubai?This article might show you Dubai from a completely different angle.

The tallest building in the world ie-the Burj Khalifa and Dubai’s other man made marvels very obviously did not rise up on their own. Labourers from all over the world toil day and night to see this dream become reality.And after an entire day of sweat and filth, they go back home to a rubble as good as their construction site.Sonapur is a labour camp that houses about 150,000 worker  mostly from places like  India, Pakistan, Nepal  etc. The camp consists of jointed square blocks where a room measuring 12×11 inches can accommodate with a staggering 14 more other people !With living conditions equivalent to a slum and earnings of Dhs4( About Rs.45) per hour, for a worker,Dubai is not exactly what he dreamt it would be.What shocked everyone was the leak of news that a group of workers , mostly Indians , were secretly arrested and hidden when they began protesting about their squalid conditions.Moreover the public news of an Indian worker jumping off from the 147th floor of the Burj Khalifa because he didn’t get a leave gave the whole workers scenario a sadder coat.

It is not only people from the lower wrung of the society those are suffering but also expatriates from the U.K , U.S.A , Canada working in various multinational companies. Living the life initially they were shocked when they were being punished and jailed for trivial reasons that included even bouncing of a cheque.There are stories of expatriates living in their cars because of the inability to pay off debts.

The famous “Dark side of Dubai” was a blog post by Johann Hari where such stories were brought up.He was even awarded the Orwell Prize. However this was taken back when he was accused of plagiarism. The situation of the people suffering in Dubai was over exaggerated and he even confessed to creation of some facts.

But through eye witnesses and first hand stories , we see that situations like expatriate woes and horrible labour conditions do exist. However we must also realize that U.A.E is a country with very strict cultural rules and public guidelines. 20% of the British expatriate cases have been due to cultural misconduct. If we’re given a place in another country, we might as well follow their rules and regulations.There is however no excuse to the miserable plight of the labourers.



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