All the sky touching towers, Mega shopping Malls, five star hotels, express highways, McDonalds, KFCs, Pizza Kings and all that which glorifies the Sheiks of the land. Indeed I never thought that UAE would be such high flying place on earth. People from all corners of the world come here to fulfill their families’ requirements and achieve their career and financial goals, but little do they know that this land has its own toll, after all it’s a place which is dwelling on desert and they are dealing with the Arabs who for centuries have been killing and slaughtering people. The only difference is that now these Arabs don’t ride on camel back but they drive 4.5Litre Land Cruisers & Hummers.
UAE might boost its amazing growth rate and a high GDP compared better than the rest of their folks in the Arabian Peninsula, but what happens here is never discussed on news channels or published in print media. They claim that they are least corrupt in administrative and bureaucratic front but lets not believe what the local news agencies have to say. Corruption is as high as any other underdeveloped country in the world, the crime statistics are never made public and the other atrocities by the locals on the expatriates are only rumored. The living conditions of the 1.6 Million Asian construction expatriate workforce are not worth describing and they live under very inhuman conditions. A ten feet by ten feet room with single toilet and bathroom will have ten to twelve workers sharing, this room will not even have a place to keep your foot. These workers have paid about Rs.100,000/- to Rs.120,000/-( Approx $ 2500 ) to a recruitment agent back in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh or Sri Lanka. The worker thought that he would recover that amount within a year and he was also promised excellent wages plus lots of overtime, but when he lands in UAE. First his passport is taken by the employers PRO and he is made to sit in Minivan like a slave and dropped to his labor accommodation. The feeling for that worker only gets worse when he realizes that he has to share the room with ten more workers in a most unhygienic condition. The other workers usually will be very hostile with the new guy and they find all the reasons to vent out their frustration on this new guy. The next morning the new worker has to sign loads of documents , agreements’ & undertakings less then a minute. He is supposed to keep copies of the same or neither can he read them. These undertakings are signed to fully protect the employer not the employee. The new worker understands that his dream of becoming a rich man back home is only a dream and he has to face the fact that he will be working 12 hours a day without overtime in scorching heat of over 50 degree Celsius. He has barely any money for himself and all he thinks is how green were the pastures back home and how will he collect money for his daughters or sisters marriage or how will he educate his children. This new worker will get his vacation only after 4 years and during those 4 years he only knows work and two square meals.
Although the country doesn’t tax anybody but there are several other ways that the government gets money from the tourists and expatriates working here. You pay for the visa, identity card, for get employment, for water, for sewage, for electricity , parking, house rent tax, municipality charges, real estate charges, medical card charges and list of other services ( Note the UAE is highest in the world for its charges on services ). A person earning $ 3000 per month will barely have any savings at the end of the month as he has incurred all on the services. The government does issue a medical card but its very funny to know that the medical card doesn’t cover any medical insurance, I never understood then why issue a medical card on the first place. The amount spent for renting an apartment in UAE for two years will fetch a house for a person India, Pakistan or Sri Lanka. Almost 45% of the salary will go towards house rent.
Banks have their Kiosks all over, to lure the expatriate community for credit cards and personal loans. Claiming these cards are free for life without yearly charges, but one only gets fooled when realizes that even a minimum monthly payment sometimes becomes impossible. A person with a minimum salary of Dhms.2000/- ( $546 ) can also get a credit limit five times his salary or a personal loan 20 times his salary. Its only matter of time when the individual realizes that he was better off without a credit card or a personal loan. Since August 2008 many expatriates have lost their jobs due to recession and proof is hundreds of cars parked at the parking lots without the trace of the owner. However, even these cars were brought on loans. The expatriates who lost their jobs find it difficult to get jobs in their home country and many have even committed suicide.
I know one businessman Mr. Abdul Aziz who was awaiting his outstanding payment for his products sold for about 3 Million dirhams ( $ 815 thousand ) and the company owing him had fled the country. Mr. Abdul Aziz had registered a complaint to the authorities, but in vain. Eventually he was finding difficult to pay his employees, so he decided to take loan and pay them, he did release his employees to find jobs somewhere else. Little did he know that he would find difficult to pay the loan amount to the banks. Later the Bank filed a suit against Mr. Abdul Aziz, he was arrested and put into prison, his wife and children were not allowed to leave the country and they had to literally beg / borrow to even get one time meal.
Another instance I met a young expat who was cheated by his employer, mind you this employer was one of the biggest retailer in Dubai. They promised this guy named Karl a salary of Dhms.3000 per month but when he reached Dubai he was asked to sign an agreement of Dhm.900 per month for the job of Showroom Sales. Upon discovering the fraud Karl decided to approach the Ministry of Labor Department, he registered a complaint and was waiting for over a week for action to be taken by the Labor Department. Karl was living on the streets of Dubai without food or water, luckily we found him sleeping on a bench and we decided to help him. Karl said that one policeman had taken Dhm.2500 from him on a pretext to help him, thereafter the policeman supposed to be Capt. Mohammed Al Hashmi from Dubai Police wouldn’t help Karl or return his money. An official complaint was lodged at Murraqabat Police Station by Karl against Capt. Hashmi but no action was taken against him. They said “The Capt is Dubai local and a Muslim , we don’t cheat anybody , trust in Allah and one fine day the Capt would return your money”, this is not funny at all but what Karl had experienced in Dubai was one of the most horrific acts of he expats living here. We decided to lodge complaint with Indian Embassy Dubai, Indian Embassy Abu Dhabi & with the Police Head quarters so atleast Karl could get out of the country and Capt. Hashmi & Karls employer be punished. There was no response from any one of them. Finally Karl had to ask his relatives to transfer money to his employer sign an undertaking that he doesn’t have any case against the company and only then they allowed Karl to exit the country.
Now these are only some of the experiences I have mentioned above. The worst cases I have witnessed is human trafficking and children abuse. Dubai has the highest number of girls who are sold or forced into prostitution. I have seen and heard with my own eyes at one of the night clubs a Ukrainian girl being sold for Dhms. 30,000/- ( $ 8200 ). I was with one of my clients and he said these deals are very normal here sometimes girls are sold even for Dhms. 12000 ( $3300 ).
There is a very high percentage of girls from Eastern Europe, India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, North Africa, East Asians being illegally brought into the country and forced into prostitution. No wonder Dubai has a Disco, Night Club and bar practically on every street. In the nights one can just see girls roaming the streets of Dubai. These girls are not even scared of a passing Police cars, as I understand that most of the Policemen are the local sponsors and owners of these girls.
All the glamour, blizz, international sporting activities doesn’t make a country developed. Neither does high rise buildings, indoor ski, water parks, seven star hotel make UAE a country to be pursued. One must not forget that it was Dubai which shelters some of the worlds most wanted criminals and refuse to handover these criminals to their respective countries.
People leave their families and head towards UAE to make their future, the laws here only protect the locals and hardly sentence the locals for any crimes against expats. Alcohol & prostitution are the major two elements where young expats get trapped and spend all of their fortune on both. Many expat females get sexually abused by their senior managers or locals without anything coming to the news. Many girls who are forcibly brought to UAE are murdered and killed and never return back to their home countries. Many expat employees get cheated and loose their savings which they had paid to the recruitment agencies, many girls get pregnant and quietly undergo abortion in UAE or fly to Mumbai to abort their unborn, high percentage of men & woman expats who leave their country have illicit or live in relationship which is unknown to their spouses back home and they say that due to financial crunch that was the only solution, many expats are locked up in the prisons of UAE for reasons unknown even to the Police. UAE and especially Dubai is the place which is very attractive but it has its own toll on the poor expats.
This country has a DARK SIDE which is world has unheard off, this is the place to magic , this is the place of curse , this is the place of material happiness or a place of life to get worse….
this is UAE.