Published: 2007-08-22 19:55:33
Last edit: 2007-08-22 19:54:51
Tags: dubai emirates uae
In the old centre of Dubai, Bur Dubai, the streets are roamed by small dark men in beige and gray clothing. They've moved to Dubai from India, Pakistan or Bangladesh without their families hoping to make enough money to support those they left behind. It's hard to find any Westerners here, since they live in skyscrapers or villa's located in the 'free zones' along the shore.
Although it's not officially called apartheid, there is a class-system in Dubai. The largest group of people consists of the before mentioned Asian workers, they usually have low-paying jobs as hotel employee or construction worker. The second class consists of Western 'expats' who've come to Dubai to do the intelligent work, tourists not included. The smallest group, only 15% of the population, are the true Emirati's who usually look like sheiks in their long white robes. The Emirati's are at the top of the food chain; Westerners will get a loathsome glance at best and the Asian workers serving drinks or handing out towels are not looked upon at all.
The state takes care of its citizens; free health-care, electricity and gas. When two citizens marry amongst each other, they even get a free house. How can they support this lifestyle with hardly any taxes? Oil, tourism and denying expats to ever become true citizens. Even children born and raised in Dubai will not be granted citizenship if neither parent is of Arabian heritage. They're still considered guests and their visa will have to be renewed once every 3 years. If you are fired by your sponsoring company, contract HIV or insult an Emirati by accident, you'll become an unwelcome guest and you'll have no choice but to leave the country.
Let's review some of the recent rulings in the United Arab Emirates; attempted murder will cost you 3 months of jailtime, beating your wife 6 months, molesting a child 1 year, stealing from charity also 1 year, slashing four women 2 years, torturing your maid 3 years, raping a women also 3 years. Compare those sentences to the following; an 18-year old boy who smoked a cigarette containing marihuana in Egypt was sentenced to serve 4 years in jail, followed by deportation, by the Federal Supreme Court of Abu Dhabi. Mind you, this 'crime' was not committed in the UAE, but according to UAE law you can be prosecuted for breaking their laws anywhere in the world.
The temperature in Dubai during the winter is very pleasant, but venturing outside from May to October without some kind of astronaut suit is simply insane. The mean maximum temperature during the summer is 43.5 degrees Celsius, which is hot enough the melt the soles of your shoes. The temperatures are still rising due to global warming, pollution and a growing urban area, which absorbs more of the sun's heat. Such high temperatures have significant detrimental effects on a persons health, especially when combined with a high humidity ratio like in Dubai (approximately 90%).