Problems with expats living in the UAE

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Introduction: For years, oil rich nations in the Gulf have depended on workers from other countries, especially Asia, to develop their economy and infrastructure. The 1973 oil boom increased the need for development among these nations and heightened the dependence on foreign experts and workers. In UAE, foreign nationals build hospitals, roads, housing, schools, universities and airports. Development in these areas spurs growth in related segments of the economy – stores, hotels, and other service firms – which adds even more foreign nations to the UAE workforce. Thus, expatriates form a major part of both the skilled as well as unskilled labor force of UAE, up to 70% (Weyland, 1993) Though the workforce has contributed significantly to the development of the region there are several problems which the labor forces face in terms of wages, accommodation and other terms. Workers who perform unskilled and partially skilled work are usually exploited by their employers. There is no law in the Emirates with regard to the minimum wages payable or a limit for maximum wages. (Henderson, 2006) Further, foreign workers who live with their family have to pay exorbitant amounts as rent for accommodation. This increase in rent is not in pace with the increase in salary. Hence the savings of expatriates are affected by the high cost of accommodation. (“Financial Advice for Expatriates in Dubai and the Gulf”, 2007) A detailed study on the problems of expatriates in the United Arab Emirates calls for the need for a change in the employment policies and the living conditions of the expatriates. Socio cultural changes caused by expatriates pose a threat for the continuity of employment: It is difficult for any society to lose its traditional values and make way for a homogenous culture. The accumulation of expatriates in the Gulf has created changes in the socio cultural
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