BBC Report: "Dubai: From riches to rags"

The ILO should be doing more to deal with the migrant workers in the Gulf region, particularly in the wake of the global financial crisis, as this population is the worst hit in the region.  I went to the ILO website and clicked on regions, then Arab states to see what current work is being done...not much as you can see for yourself, at least based on what the internet shows, and the Kuwait ILO Office website has been "under construction" since early February, 2003!

"Just say the word Dubai and the images appear: impossible glass structures glistening in the year-round sun, perfect man-made beaches, yachts, private helicopters, malls and spreads of food that would satisfy Roman emperors - all the things huge amounts of new money can buy.

And yet for me these images are the opposite of what should come to mind.

Ben Anderson and migrant workers
Ben Anderson spent three months in Dubai with migrant workers

Having spent the last three months travelling there, I no longer think of the seven star Burj Al Arab hotel when I think of Dubai, but of emaciated, wretched men, lining up for buses before the sun has risen, resigned to the fact that their hard day's work wouldn't earn them enough to buy a round of coffee here. The branding of Dubai has to be one of the greatest PR triumphs of the past 20 years.

It works out incredibly well for the developers - they can charge first world fortunes for the dream villas and apartments, but pay third world salaries to the men actually building them." (for full article, click here)

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