Saturday, March 19, 2011

Dubai on Empty

Vanity Fair on Dubai's artificiality and exploitation of its immigrant workers.

Dubai is the parable of what money makes when it has no purpose but its own multiplication and grandeur... Dubai is a place that doesn’t just know the price of everything and the value of nothing but makes everything worthless.

The workers, who make up roughly 71 percent of the population, have precious few rights here. They can’t become citizens, though some are the third generation of their family to be born here. They can be deported at any time. They have no redress. Many of the Asian laborers are owed back pay they aren’t likely to get. There are reams of anecdotal stories about the abuse of guest workers. I’m told about the Pakistani shop assistant who, picking up an Arab woman’s shopping bags, accidentally passed gas, got arrested, and was jailed.

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