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The dark side of Dubai Jun 28

I have been to Dubai a couple of times now and when we went there the first time (see trip report from 2002) I thought it was great. When I returned in 2009 the place had changed quite a lot as they have added some of the most amazing structures on the earth in the city (Burj Dubai, the palm projects, the World etc etc). But I also came across some articles that worries me. Check this article from The Independent . It seems like many of the construction workers face slave like contracts and conditions. Human Rights Watch has also made reports from Dubai like this one called Building Towers. Cheating Workers. So are we supporting “slavery” by visiting Dubai and spending money there?

From VBS.TV and a BBC report

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4 Responses

  1. 1
    Paul Currie 

    I think that no-one is forcing these workers to work in Dubai, and I believe that they earn far more than they could in their own country. Although it may be poor by our standards, by theirs they are earning good money which they then send home to families.

  2. 2

    It is true that no one is forcing them to work there but if you read the entire article in The Independent you will see that there are some things that are not right…for instance that they are given a smaller salary than agreed upon to start with, their passports are being taken from them upon arrival, that the companies are holding back salaries in order to prevent workers from running away, lack of reporting for safety issues etc. It might not be slavery but based on the articles it certainly seems like the workers are being exploited. I just think it is important for people to be aware of this. But Dubai has lost a bit of its appeal to me…it is not that cheap there any more, there are issues with the quality of the water on the beaches, it is expensive to eat and drink at the hotels…are there that many reasons left for visiting Dubai?

  3. 3
    Paul Currie 

    I guess I am looking at it through rose tinted spectacles, having been there on the honeymoon of a lifetime. I fully accept that the issues mentioned in the article are not acceptable, and should not be allowed, and the workers that are there are almost certainly being exploited. However these conditions are fairly common knowledge and those that choose to go to Dubai should have some sort of expectations prior to going, such that the conditions should not be a complete surprise to them. However that does not make it right, and certainly those in charge should look to improve the conditions for those out there.

  4. 4

    Yeah, Dubai is a great playground for us that have the money to enjoy it ;-) I also had a nice time there in May and it is a “Las Vegas” in the middle east I guess. The working condition might be common knowledge for us…we have the power of the internet. But for a guy from the middle of nowhere in e.g. Bangladesh I’m not sure that this is common knowledge – I guess they just trust the people that are recruiting them to the job. Well, I think we agree…but maybe it is not possible to achieve such amazing buildings and structures without either exploiting people….or going broke ;-)

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