Unveiling the Dark Side of Dubai

This article is a summary of the YouTube video ‘The Darkside Of Dubai – What They Don’t Tell You’ by Interesting Flow

Written by: Recapz Bot

Written by: Recapz Bot

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Dubai: Lavish lifestyle, shopping, oil; refuge for Arabs; migrant worker abuse; rising suicide; modern-day slavery; wealthy, rich, and poor classes; government hides exploitation; expats ignore reality; Emirati millennials rewarded; need for change.

Key Insights

  • Dubai is known for its lavish lifestyle and world-class shopping, with tall buildings and valuable oil deposits.
  • The city serves as a refuge for Arabs fleeing authoritarian regimes in their own countries.
  • Many skyscrapers in Dubai are built by migrant workers, mostly from South Asia.
  • Migrant workers are promised a better quality of life, but they end up working long hours for low pay, living in poor conditions, and having their passports taken away.
  • The government does not intervene in pay regulation or establish minimum working standards for these workers.
  • Migrant workers face oppressive heat, with temperatures exceeding 50 degrees Celsius, and are required to work in these conditions even when tourist attractions are closed.
  • The suicide rate among migrant workers in Dubai is rising, and the government and locals seem indifferent to their plight.
  • Dubai's population is divided into three classes: wealthy Emiratis, rich foreign workers, and poor foreign workers who face exploitation.
  • Modern-day slavery is evident in Dubai, but the government hides it behind propaganda and tourism campaigns.
  • Expats in Dubai live in luxurious environments, but they choose to overlook the harsh realities of the area.
  • The government rewards Emirati millennials with privileges and a lavish lifestyle.
  • Dubai is a must-see destination, but it needs to change its treatment of workers.

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Transcript

In today’s video, we’ll talk about the dark side of Dubai. Dubai is a refuge for a lavish lifestyle and world-class shopping, in addition to having the world’s tallest building and valuable oil deposits.

A typical Emirati lifestyle might include having the privilege of driving a Ferrari and having at least one maid per household.

Furthermore, Dubai serves as a safe haven for Arabs fleeing authoritarian regimes in their own countries. However, there is a terrible reality hidden behind this dazzling exterior that the rest of the world may not be aware of.

Thousands of skyscrapers in Dubai are constructed by migrant workers. Over the 2014 Christmas holiday, something interesting happened. Etihad Airways had a glitch fare from the States to Abu Dhabi for $230 round-trip. People all over the United States texted, tweeted, and called everyone they knew sharing the deal, which resulted in a mass exodus of Americans headed to the United Arab Emirates.

Arriving in the Abu Dhabi International Airport, many guests opted to take the complimentary hour-long Etihad luxury shuttle to Dubai, where they were greeted with towering modern skyscrapers, a vast highway filled with every luxury automobile imaginable, and twinkling lights that filled the city. Naturally, it was an array of visual stimulation, as Dubai is instantly entrancing.

From the hotels to the restaurants, and of course, the shopping, Dubai is a luxurious modern oasis in the middle of the desert. It’s hard not to fall in love, but behind the amazing service and awe-striking architecture, there’s a darker side to Dubai that’s not in any brochure.

Among other documentaries about Dubai’s not-so-glamorous uprising, BBC’s Ben Anderson spent months in Dubai trying to infiltrate the community of expatriate workers who were putting them up. According to Vice News, quote, what he discovered when he eventually got in was that the gem of the Arab world is almost entirely built on imported slave labor, end quote.

Expats from Bangladesh and India are drawn to Dubai by promises of a better quality of life, greater income, and limitless chances. Workers are compelled to work 12-hour days for very little pay six days a week after paying high-priced illegal visa fees and then being stripped of their passports. Their living conditions are terrible, and they’re trapped on the gloomy outskirts of the new, world’s most dazzling metropolis.

Expats from all over the world, especially from South Asia, make up more than 95 percent of Dubai’s population. The majority of people have moved to Dubai with the hopes of a better future. However, their passports may be seized by airport security or companies upon arrival in an attempt to prevent them from leaving, and migrants are transferred to Sonopore, on the outskirts of Dubai, far from the city’s flash and gloss.

In the most basic accommodations, more than five people live in a tight room with limited access to power. Workers frequently become ill since the water supply in the camps is not purified. In addition, the rooms are typically plagued with rodents and insects due to a lack of ventilation.

Employees have been obliged to accept whatever wages they are paid by their employers as a result of the government’s refusal to intervene in pay regulation or establish minimum working standards for migrant workers. There isn’t even a bureau where they can file complaints, and refusing to work might lead to deportation, or worse, jail.

Migrant workers are also compelled to work in oppressive heat, with temperatures regularly exceeding 50 degrees Celsius. The government closes down tourist attractions during excessive heat, but workers are required to continue working. As a result, it is unsurprising that the suicide rate among the Asian community in Dubai has been rising in recent years. On average, there are roughly two occurrences of suicide per week, all of which are committed by migrant workers.

Local Emiratis have gotten numb to these catastrophes, according to a reporter for The Guardian. Ignorance of the harsh working conditions of expatriates makes Dubai look like it has no compassion for the Asian migrant workers. It seems now that economic expansion is the sole priority for this capitalistic society, as behind the facade of elaborate buildings, there lies the hidden horror of the reality of the migrant workers, which may as well be classified as modern-day slaves.

This is the deplorable truth that Dubai has been desperately trying to whitewash ever since. Dubai is like an unpredictable Tinder date in real life. It’s on its best behavior at first. In a gleaming red sports car, it will speed you through the majestic 12-lane Sheikh Zayed Road. The Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, and the magnificent version of Las Vegas’ Bellagio Fountains will subsequently be shown to you. You might even get to swim with a shark in a hotel aquarium if you get a third date.

However, until you move in, the real Dubai will remain concealed. The secrets will slowly reveal themselves after you have the keys to the door, making you feel uncomfortable, bewildered, and genuinely upset, just like the integrity of the city and its inhabitants.

Dubai’s past has also been buried under all the sand, metal, glass, and steel, literally. Dubai Museum, now the oldest standing institution in the city, lives two levels below the ground, and it’s the only architectural structure that narrates the true tale.

When the British left in the late 60s, United Arab Emirates had just started to discover gold and oil in its land. The locals at the time were camel dwellers, clueless, and uneducated about what to do with the literal pot of wealth. To fix this remarkable confusion, one Emirati among them, hailed as Sheikh Maktoum, ambitiously decided to invite foreigners from neighboring countries and have them make UAE more livable.

He promised a tax-free lifestyle in a desert in exchange for an image makeover and has since managed to convince generations of non-Emiratis to call Dubai home. Emiratis make up only 11% of the population of the UAE as it stands now.

Dubai’s population has gotten significantly more complex as a result of decades of inequity. The city is divided into three strata, each of which is profoundly dependent on the other. The first is the idealistic class, which consists of inexhaustibly affluent local Emiratis. If you see a polished metal jaguar with a fluffy pet jaguar in the front seat, you’ve seen one. Exotic animals as pets are forbidden in the United Arab Emirates, but they are a regular sight among the wealthy.

Then come the second layer of rich foreign workers who are the brains of the nation. The CEOs, bank managers, project heads who will sit at sports bars to discuss their home country’s failed political scenario, and then follow it with shots of tequila on a Tuesday night.

The third layer is of the poor foreign worker who nobody wants to discuss. They do 12-hour shifts at a construction site in the middle of the desert on a 50-degree Celsius day. Their living conditions are overwhelmingly controversial, with four to five workers sharing a shoebox-sized space in the name of a home, yet they are the men who have given Dubai its gleaming glory. Scrub the sheen off the glass in this concrete jungle, and the truth will melt in your hands.

The modern-day slavery in the UAE is painfully obvious, but the propaganda-style tourism videos and Instagram handles will tell you otherwise. The expats are still doing all the work to present the ruler of Dubai with his vision for the country, but the government won’t let you believe that.

You’d be standing in a posh outpost of a British restaurant in Dubai Marina, elegantly sipping your $38 glass of Bombay Sapphire garnished with Lebanese cucumber, and you’d have uninterrupted views of construction workers tiptoeing atop a crane. You wouldn’t be able to buy alcohol bottles at any supermarket, Islamic country laws, but hotel bars would serve $1,000 worth of champagne on tap. The motto in this town? Don’t talk about it. Don’t question any hypocrisy. Don’t write about it. Isn’t it true that if you don’t see something, it doesn’t exist? When you first start experiencing the truth in Dubai, the expat community will teach you this.

People are so obnoxiously inebriated in their own safe havens of seven-star hotels, Friday alcoholic brunches, and ladies’ nights that they forget about the realities of this area of the world. This is the adult version of Disneyland. If you can’t play with toys in your native nation, make a home base within its superficialities where you’ll never have to doubt its virtue or your own conscience.

A generation of millennial Emiratis is being rewarded for existing in between the breezy white robes and the dark burqas. The government pays for your schooling if you’re a young local. When you marry, you are granted a mansion. The abode is accompanied by an army of helpers, maid, chef, nanny, driver, personal trainer. All of your vacations will be paid for. From rotating hotels to flying taxis, Dubai cannot be stopped with its daily announcements of how can we do this better than anyone else.

There is no doubt that Dubai is definitely a must-see destination, but their methods of attracting and retaining workers must change. Have you been to Dubai? Tell us about your experience in the comments below. If you enjoyed this video, please push the subscribe button and hit the notification bell for you to be updated with our new video.

This article is a summary of the YouTube video ‘The Darkside Of Dubai – What They Don’t Tell You’ by Interesting Flow