Dubai’s labour policy toward guest workers: a pattern to follow?

Dubai labor working conditions

The way the Emirate grew up within a few decades seems unrealistic. Indeed, the small fishing village became one of the most appealing cities on this planet with its freshly built outrageous skyscrapers telling an uncontested success story. The 829.84 m Burj Khalifa, tallest building in the world, is the proof that the only limit remains the sky. According to its remarkable wealth, even though it has also been severely hit during the 2007-2010 crises, Dubai is still draining talent from all around the world.

As a consequence, in 2012, the population of about 2 million inhabitants has four times as many foreigners as locals. Most of them are from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh or Philippines, and they work in many different fields. Indeed, Dubai provides good job opportunities for citizens from underdeveloped or developing countries. The “kafala” system allow these guest workers to obtain legal entry in the United Arab Emirates, it is to say a three years work permit with a hypothetical renewal. The willing of working in Dubai as an expat is often led by a genuine desire to improve the conditions of living of families stuck in the home country. This is why the UAE is one of the largest remittances sending country in the world (about 12% of India’s total remittances come from the UAE).

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