Slave Labor in Dubai

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Earning its reputation as "the Vegas of the Middle East," Dubai did not begin booming until the past fifty years. Plans for construction in the next five years are so great that when described are almost impossible to imagine. If all goes according to plan, among other things, Dubai will possess the world's tallest skyscraper and biggest theme park. I was in utter amazement when I discovered Dubai would also possess the world's most luxurious underwater hotel which is accessible by submarine train. In my opinion, the most unfathomable accomplishment achieved by Dubai is possessing the world's largest mall. With American consumerism at its peak, I would have bet that we would have achieved this feat. Saunders describes his first response to Dubai as wanting to "bring my family over, set up shop in my hut-evoking villa, and never go home again." He describes it as making you feel "happy and heroic and a little breathless." Saunders describes Dubai as "the newest great city in the world." However, behind the glitter and luxury, the experiences of migrant workers in Dubai paint a much less attractive picture—of wage exploitation, indebtedness to unscrupulous recruiters, and working conditions that are hazardous to the point of being deadly. These slave laborers are refused standard work rights including unionizing, giving them no recourse whatsoever. Hundreds of workers are killed each year due to work related accidents, with no remorse of any kind shown from the government; they are merely replaced. At wages less than one U.S dollar per hour, they are forced to share bunks in horrid labor camps or worn down apartments. Not to mention that upon entering Dubai, these people are virtually stripped of their life, including possessions, passports and exit visas. These people are seemingly turned into slaves, with no rights or voice of their own. The work rights that these laborers possess really put the things which I take for granted into perspective. I could never...
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