30 April, 2007

Emaar

An interesting article covering EMAAR and a few choice quotes from Mohammad Alabbar...

"However, he rejects western criticisms of Dubai for its refusal to sanction social changes. There are no democratic elections, press freedom is curtailed, and the decision to ban trade unions recently prompted Human Rights Watch to describe Dubai’s 250,000-strong army of Asian workers as “deportable, forced labourers”.

“Does Singapore have trade unions? No. In America, thanks to trade unions, Ford, GM and Chrysler are in difficulties,” Alabbar sniffed. Not all democratic systems work. “Do you think the election to bring in George Bush was fair, or Robert Mugabe? If that is democracy, I don’t want it.”

Press criticism of government, he said, was “a good thing but we have to leave a little bit of respect for the sheikh. People should criticise in a civilised manner. Call that censorship, if you like.”

Dubai is a benign autocracy that works. “The system is pro-progress, relatively clean from corruption, promotes education and moves forward women.”
--more here

34 comments:

poo said...

[..]“deportable, forced labourers”[..]

"whirrr.....whirrr" : Dubai media machine changes it to

"RECYCLABLE, Human Resources"

:)

bizzwhizz said...

i really wonder how they can believe that such policies will lead to sustainability

Anonymous said...

Well I agree with him...the system seems to work

Anonymous said...

It does work

MUBARAK said...

Well if autocracy produces thriving city like Dubai, let it be! that does not mean I support restriction of freedom of expression.

Just so you know: Halliburton had just moved its Headquarter From Texas, in the most free part of the globe, to Dubai. I think autocarcy work for them

My point is: Democracy in western style is not the only way for societites to progreess. Yes Freedom is essential for humans to advance, i just have to point thAT OUT.

Anonymous said...

ask shk mo's daughters (and hidden wives) about him moving women forward and then we can talk.

secretdubai said...

Yeah it works unless you're a subcon labourer brought over here with promises of a Dh1,500 paycheck and a skilled electrician position, then you are chucked in a fking sub-human slum forced to shoved concrete for Dh400 a month minus fixed food charges, your passport is taken from you, and you have no right to protest or change your job or even leave without "absconding".

But other than that sure, it works just fine.

wacky said...

Not all animals are free to live with you in your house, some have to be caged, some roped and tamed. Likewise, all human being cannot enjoy democracy, some have to be bossed, ruled and controlled - we as human being have to understand that. Democracy cannot be termed universal, and it does have certain elements of control mechanisms attached. The experiment in Iraq failed quite miserably !!! You cannot view all human race, with same prespective, and people you have travelled around the globe, know that very well.

WearetheMovies said...

@Wacky

An endless source of entertainment nowadays is to see people -- vigorously -- link failures of the Bush administration's foreign policy (especially in Iraq) to Democracy as a precept.

N. said...

SD said: Yeah it works unless you're a subcon labourer brought over here with promises of a Dh1,500 paycheck and a skilled electrician position, then you are chucked in a fking sub-human slum forced to shoved concrete for Dh400 a month minus fixed food charges, your passport is taken from you, and you have no right to protest or change your job or even leave without "absconding".

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me six billion seven times, call me a south asian expatriates.


Again, no one really forced them to come to the country but they continue to come. Secret Dubai, what can we really do huh?

J. Edward Tremlett said...

Again, no one really forced them to come to the country but they continue to come. Secret Dubai, what can we really do huh?

Document the abuses, go after the people who perpetrate them, and then force them to live up to their promises and provide decent wages and conditions for their workers.

Punishment for failure should not only be massive fines - given to workers who've been cheated so they can recoup their losses and go home - but also being forced to work, eat and live in the same conditions they allowed to thrive.

That's what you could do.

J

fake balushi said...

at N

If an arab gets arrested at the airport in US as an suspected terrorist!

Do the americans tell you, "We did not force you to come!"


No they won't say that, bcoz they know they will sound like an idiot.

N. said...

Fake Balushi: Wow, you have just said that all Americans are idiots because that's exactly what they will say. Someone said that to me once after I started criticizing their racial profiling. And to tell you the truth, they have the right to do that.

J. Edward Tremlett : Decent wages?!, I think their wages are decent and profitable. They won't come to UAE if that's not the case( Fool me once). I remember our maid used to tell us how with her low salary, which was around 750 dirhams, she built a house and sent her kid to college.

Inflation is a reality in the UAE like elsewhere and this is true for Emirati and Expatriates. Raising the minimum-wage just because we should treat people more humane will hurt our economy(it is all about who gets what).

I really don't buy this claims like "also being forced to work, eat and live in the same conditions they allowed to thrive." give me a break!!

secretdubai said...

Again, no one really forced them to come to the country but they continue to come. Secret Dubai, what can we really do huh?

I dunno, it just makes me despair much of the time. They still keep coming as well, you would think the message of "not paved with gold" would be getting through by now. It makes me wonder how even more deprived and hellish these people's lives must be back in South Asia, for them to come here and live so far from their families.

Justin_case_u didnt know said...

IF
YOU
DONT
LIKE
IT HERE
------->LEAVE

Anonymous said...

^^ Yeah she is exaggerating

SD, the ones who are faking those promises are the labourer companies in their countries. Although it isnt the UAE's responsiblity the labourer minister has moved to solve it.

B.D. said...

Great sound bites from Mohammad Alabbar. I'm quite in agreement with the sentiment.

Emirati said...

I agree with Al Abbar. No to a minimum wage, no to these stupid unions, and yes to providing everyone with an opportunity to make money. There should be more government enforcement of the rights of workers according to the agreed contracts and severe cutdowns on exploitation.

Nowehere in the world is it easier to get a job than in the UAE. The deciept that happens in India and pakistan are the problems of those corrupt DEMOCRATIC governments.

Go see these subcontinentals who have lived here for 20 years. Go look at their houses and cars in india and pakistan. Their children go to schools and college, and by the time they go home they have a retirement all lined up for them.

J. Edward Tremlett said...

N:
"I think their wages are decent and profitable."

They are sometimes, yes, provided they get paid and aren't condemned to being in massive debt the moment they sign the contract.

"I really don't buy this claims like "also being forced to work, eat and live in the same conditions they allowed to thrive." give me a break!!"

Why not? It's a benign autocracy - why not creative sentencing?

Emirati:

"There should be more government enforcement of the rights of workers according to the agreed contracts and severe cutdowns on exploitation."

That's what I'm saying.

I don't think unions are stupid, though. There was a time in America when they were necessary, and I wonder if things would slowly revert to how they were before if we got rid of them.

But those were unions formed by American workers in America. If they were foreign workers they could have just gone home. If it's your country you should be able to organize.

samuraisam said...

Something to consider:

Survival is a relative term.

Survival for some of these people means spending 25 AED/month on food.

Layla from Baku said...

AlAbbar knows which ass to kiss. else he wouldn't be saying something like that.

poo said...

samuraisam most people who post here leave a comment after a square meal which cost greater than AED 25. They will never understand the concept of hunger,(unless they are trying some diet to lose all the fat thats accumulating on their bodies). They will never understand the concept of hard labor, as they have never performed any physical work in their life. They will never understand how hard it is to work in the blistering heat, as their fat asses are housed in an air conditioned environment.

Fed Up Local said...

Poo, I guess you are the only sensitive person on the blogsphere.

Relax, you guys take this too seriously. It is time where you guys watch your language. A bunch of hypocrites.

May Allah bless the U.A.E.

rosh said...

"Go see these subcontinentals who have lived here for 20 years. Go look at their houses and cars in india and pakistan. Their children go to schools and college, and by the time they go home they have a retirement all lined up for them."

Let's not generalize here please. Perhaps you need to look at the other side of the coin too, 'cause your statement certainly is not the case for every expatriate in the UAE who've toiled for 2 decades.

However yes I agree, this nation has provided peoples much opportunities towards prosperity, most of whom would not have had that in their own home nations.

I also agree - exploitation and deceit towards the less fortunate happens mostly in their home nations. I've seen/heard pre-meditated exploitation discussed by a sub-con on his fellow country men, whilst in the UAE - it's not ALL UAE's fault. However laws need to be developed and successfully implemented to curb such atrocities.

Mubarak said...

Some people are good at twisting facts!!!!!!

B.D. said...

I second Rosh's response. I have been to India. I have stayed in one of the beautiful homes built by an expat working hard for 20 years. At the same time there are some in such dire straits that they will walk in front of speeding cars to get killed--and hopefully that way collect money to pay off their debts. If we're going to generalize it ought to be on the side that many who come to work here are getting badly short-changed. This would be more representative of an overall picture.

Still, if we look at the bigger picture, things are improving. I feel that Alabbar was speaking in reference to that. But there is more that the UAE should and can do to improve conditions for manual laborers.

poo said...

Fed Up Local said...@10:03

[...]It is time where you guys watch your language.[...]

And what are you going to do, throw a hissy fit? Make that phone call?

PS-in case you want to come over and talk to me.
a)Wear something warm
b)Read this before coming over

Will have milk and cookies waiting for you.

If you don't like what you read, head over to http://www.weyak.ae/ the opinions there may be to your liking. However your input is valuable in correction our incorrect opinions if you would care to educate us.

Looking forward to meeting you :)

Fed Up Local said...

Poo, relax, not good to be so angry and defensive. Just enjoy your stay here in the UAE, you are here to work, enjoy the sun and the blooming city, nobody hired you or anybody else to fix things you were not asked to fix.
Try to enjoy the country and mingle with the nice people who are fed up of the whining you expat do.

Thanks for the milk and the cookies, I am on a diet and I don't have a gun. Thanks for the link to the other blog, such a thoughtful wise suggestion of "if you don't like it, leave to another place that suits your taste", I suggest you practice what you preach poo poo.

Have a great day :)

samuraisam said...

fed up local:
"nobody hired you or anybody else to fix things you were not asked to fix."
I'm sorry, but who the hell are you?
I'm sure you think you have a really intimate knowledge of anyone posting here nd how much their opinion counts for; but let's use our detective skills and notice that your name is "fed up local"; i.e. you're forgetting that you're also fed up indicating your opinion is about as valueless as ours and your opinion hasn't been able to change anything just like ours.

"It is time where you guys watch your language."
Forgive me for prying... or what?

rosh said...

Who's twisting facts Mubarak? Perhaps I missed something?

clueless cabbage cornflower said...

he's an ididot! hety it was mayday yesterday! if this country celevrated it, all would have a free holiday .
what a loser!!

poo said...

Fed Up Local, as pointed out we are fed up. How about communicating with us evil foreigners? We might be able to find common ground, maybe a solution for whatever is bothering you, me and everybody else in UAE.

As you rightly pointed out, if we don't like it, we should leave. Thats very true, but the last thing we,(well most of us), want to do is leave a mess behind us. Am sure you don't want future generations of 'fed up locals', we don't either. So how about telling us exactly what you are fed up about. We may not be able to fix it, but we may understand where your frustration comes from.

Here is an example:

A house party, where the host ends up having to clean the after party mess. Wouldn't it have been better if the host had engaged the guests and talked to them during the party. The guests would have been careful and would not have made a mess.
But in reality the host was being a pompous ass and kept on repeating, "Leave if you don't like this party". Guess what the guests, even the ones who liked the party decided to mess up the place.

* The above is a true story about a house party I'd thrown a long time ago while I was in college.

Anonymous said...

CONSTRUCTION IS ONLY AROUND 14% OF GDP ITS A SMALL NUMBER RELATIVE TO A DEVELOPING COUNTRY. I DON'T THINK ITS WORTH PRESURISING PEOPLE WHO WORK DAY AND NIGHT FOR THE WELL BEING OF OTHERS BY INCREASING RENT COSTS AND MAKING THEIR LIVING MUCH HARDER.

jubail said...

N SAYS,I remember our maid used to tell us how with her low salary, which was around 750 dirhams, she built a house and sent her kid to college. HEY MATE WOW HOW LONG DID SHE WORK FOR YOU 20 YEARS ? ITS PEOPLE LIKE YOU WHO EXPLIOT THESE ASIANS

Post a Comment

NOTE: By making a post/comment on this blog you agree that you are solely responsible for its content and that you are up to date on the laws of the country you are posting from and that your post/comment abides by them.

To read the rules click here

If you would like to post content on this blog click here