This video says about itself:
Most people know Dubai for its massive skyscrapers and luxurious hotels, but few know that the city was built by modern-day slaves.
Sometimes, workers are on strike in Dubai.
By Simon Assaf:
Dubai: free market monument wavers
by Simon Assaf
It was dubbed the sparkling jewel of the Persian Gulf – and held up as proof of the wonders of the free market.
A £13 million mega-party was held to celebrate the completion of £1 billion Atlantis resort complex – with a fireworks display that “could be seen from space”.
Celebrities, the global rich and investors flocked to see this oasis of calm under the rule of “visionary” Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum.
British investors, in particular, were sold the idea that they could buy into the “Dubai dream” – and young prostitutes, mainly from Iran, Iraq and Eastern Europe, were shipped in to tend to their needs.
Anything and everything was possible, if you had the money – until the real world came crashing in. Two days after the party, Dubai admitted it was on the verge of bankruptcy.
Oil-rich Abu Dhabi, one of the seven kingdoms that make up the United Arab Emirates (UAE), lent the kingdom $80 billion – more than the value of Dubai’s entire economy in 2006 – to see off a potential financial meltdown.
It was a rude awakening to the Gulf state that sought to make itself the playground of the rich – with skyscrapers, luxury villas dotted on man-made island oases, and £42,000 a night hotel suites (breakfast excluded).
The financial news agency Bloomberg reported that the classified ads section of local newspapers “read like an obituary for a real-estate market”. …
Oil wealth, speculators’ dollars and dirty money fuelled this boom, but jobs are now disappearing. Construction companies are laying off workers and slashing wages.
These cuts are set to have a dramatic impact on the region – the Lebanese government, for example, fears that some 30,000 Lebanese families will be heading home as work dries up.
The Dubai dream created nightmares for many. The region is rich in oil yet the vast majority of people live in searing poverty and deprivation.
This monument to free market capitalism always came at a price.
Over one million workers, the majority drawn from South Asia, toiled in the cruel summer heat to complete the construction projects.
The average monthly salary in the UAE is £1,340, but these migrant workers earned just £63 – half of which was deducted for food and the cost of a work visa.
See also here.
A refrigerated swimming pool and an artificially cooled beach – Dubai’s latest excesses are enough to make conservationists weep: here.
The dark side of Dubai: here.