It is pretty tough to find any material from the mainstream media shedding a bad light on the United Arab Emirates (UAE,) but it’s out there, you just have to really search for it. Just like many other developing countries, the UAE is experiencing exponential growth. But unlike them, the UAE is pretending to be something that it isn’t. The entire country is catering to the luxury tourist industry that floods in from the developed (wealthier western) countries first.
All of the super tall 5-star hotels, humongous malls and immaculate apartment towers are made just for the global elites to buy and enjoy; turning it into a gated theme park for the rich and famous. Although the people who built those landmarks, the construction workers (the expats) are shuffled under the million dollar rug and their existence in the Oasis is completely expunged from the news.
The authoritarian government of the UAE tries really hard to hide the bad press and they intentionally multiply the “good stuff” to keep all the tourist money flowing in. The Sheikh’s office tries to ban all of the controversial stories about the UAE. (If you’re there now, you wouldn’t be able to find anything negative or controversial on the internet… Just like in Saudi Arabia, China or North Korea, the access to the internet is very limited and censored.)
With all of this happening, the bad press gets washed out by the storm of state-sponsored tourist related publications. The government wants to keep its seemingly perfect reputation exactly how it is and the #1 reason you wont find anything negative is because it’s about the sacred Mecca of Capitalism. Of course I’m talking about the city of Dubai.
The Emirate of Dubai to be more specific. A grandiose safe haven for corporate tax cuts. The reputation of the entire country, as well as the city’s, is protected by multi-billionaires who have some influential control over what’s put into print and what isn’t. Anything negative about Dubai and its partners is not printed.
The UAE is a traditional society that financially relies entirely on Western values (money) and tourism. Dubai is a failed mix of Shari’a law traditionalism and Western capitalist individualism and has left the destination which is now known, incorrectly, as the “Center of the Universe.”
I have found a few very gripping videos that I want to share. Please take the time, either now or later to watch these videos.
First video is a 20/20 video from 2007
“[Dubai] has become a real… Mecca.”
—Richard Branson, Owner of Virgin
“We all want the same things, we all aspire to be somebody.”
—Mohamed Alabbar, Owner of Emaar Properties
According to them it’s illegal in Dubai to be part of a union or to strike at all. This is detrimental to the expatriate (expat) population because once they arrive there for work, they automatically have no rights. They’re stuck with “less than a dollar an hour… living on virtual slave wages… 500,000 foreign workers are being systematically abused and cheated.” They have their “passports withheld.” They are “not free to leave the job, they need employer consent… just to go back to their home country.” There’s so much “prostitution, camel jockeys, over-crowded labor camps and underground gay nightclubs…”
This next video is from Frontline and is from 2013
At the end of this video the crew gets searched and their possessions are confiscated by Emarati officials. Is this Nazi Germany or Dubai? Prostitution is such a major taboo in Dubai. So much so that the whole industry is limited to virtual (online) interactions or illegal underground night clubs. Observers of Shari’a law seem to just turn a “blind eye” towards the unjustified saturation of the Western civilization in their country. A seemingly tolerant society, like the UAE, must paint itself as free and easy living otherwise people will start to question authority. They should either accept Western values for what they are because that’s what made them so rich, or they should revert back to traditionalist ways and don’t try to pretend like you’re something that you’re not.
And on the topic of sex-trade…
I found a website for a gay Arabic escort who does work in Dubai, Australia and Europe. I met him on Instagram. One of his blogs goes over the differences between Prostitution and Escorting. It’s very interesting. In his blog he notes that being a prostitute in many countries is illegal and therefor if you intend to get paid for your sex-work, you must be an escort. Simple as that.
The last videos to share are from Australia
They are about Shari’a law and women from 2013. It covers what’s going on in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. This two part story is of Alicia Gali. She was raped while working in the UAE as an expat and when she went to her Australian consulate, she didn’t(couldn’t) get help. It’s a pretty emotional story compared to the previous videos but I think everyone should hear her story. She was in prison for 8 months before getting deported back to Australia. In part two, another young woman was arrested and imprisoned for 30 days in Dubai before she got deported because she kissed a man on the cheek in a nightclub.
As you’ll see: nothing’s changed there. It’s still a dangerous place.
This is an excerpt from that report….
In January 2014, authorities denied entry to a Human Rights Watch staff member and placed two others on the blacklist as they left the country in the immediate aftermath of the release of Human Rights Watch’s 2014 World Report. According to UAE immigration law, the blacklist includes the names of individuals prohibited to enter the country “for being dangerous to public security.”
I’ll conclude with this…
Canada is the #1 destination for Emirati nationals looking to expatriate… I wonder why?
Maybe it’s because of Canada’s devotion to multiculturalism and its acceptance of all people, regardless of their religion or sexuality? Or maybe it’s because Canada is also a mirrored safe haven for corporate tax cuts just like the UAE is. Maybe the transition between the two isn’t as tough for them, you know, financially? That’s just speculation.
But whatever the reason may be and as glitzy as Dubai tries to be with all its super tall buildings and its naturally occurring immaculate weather, it does not make up for the fact that it’s still a barbaric and dreadfully wicked place to be—packed full of selfish billionaires which don’t do any good for the rest of planet.