Sunday, February 21, 2010

Questioning UAE's quality of life

Reading the articles published by cHindu makes one question, are the writers as blind as a bat? (Well technically the bat has superb acuity of hearing, but you get the point). There is an article in cHindu, UAE quality of life ranked top where it quotes some Arabic magazine's paens towards the nation's quality of living based on some standards.

The Gulf nation has been globally ranked as the 15th best in the world, out of 160 countries or regions evaluated, Arabian Business said, citing the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU)'s 2009 Quality of Life Index.
The ranking is a reflection of the prosperity enjoyed by the UAE over the past years and the result of ongoing strategic initiatives proposed by the government across all sectors, including economy, security, health and education, the report said.

What this article does not take into consideration is that the quality of living survey took into considerations the lifestyle of the nationals living there only. Human trafficking and modern slavery is still alive and living well in the UAE. Often men and women from south and southeast Asia and some nations in Africa are invited on pretense of work and good wages and then forced live in deplorable conditions one would consider as bonded slavery.
The ILO reports on the sad conditions of women doing domestic work in the UAE,
Foreign female domestic workers are isolated physically, psychologically, socially, culturally and in all aspects of human existence. However, they differ in their level of isolation. Some foreign female domestic workers live in an abusive environment of isolation. Others are able to interact socially and break through some of the physical and psychological barriers they face.

Or for that matter the horrific stories behind how the beautiful modern day Taj, the Burj Khalifa was constructed,
While we are not against progress, innovation and growth, we feel that during all the excitement about the opening of the the Burj Khalifa (formerly known as Burj Dubai), it is forgotten that those who built it, mainly south-Asian migrant workers, have paid a high price for this ambitious project. Those workers toiled 12 hour a day, 6 days a week for pay as little as $4 per day.....
Arabtec, which built the Burj Khalifa/Dubai houses its workers in filthy labor camps. One dweller of the Arabtec labor camp described it this way: “The latrines are so filthy we cannot use them, we are so disgusted. The roads are full of garbage and waterlogged. Living and moving about here is a great problem. We suffer greatly”. A BBC investigation came to similar conclusion about the overcrowded labor camps that overflowed with sewage.

The BBC did an investigative piece about the deplorable conditions about a year back. While expecting cHindu to do something like that is beyond question, one asks whether verifying from other sources before regurgitating information as facts is too much to ask?
Update: From a reader this is the

Independent's view of the insanity in Dubai

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