Frozen three feet is not a cold day, long before the debt crisis in Dubai, the British “Independent” reporter John Harry described his illusory city based on financial credit with his personal experience. If you look at the brilliant side of the Burj Khalifa, let us reveal the other side for you.
Dubai High Building
Karen Andrews’s clothes are as full of wrinkles as her forehead, but I can still feel the glory of her rich life. I found her in the parking lot of one of the top international hotels in Dubai. She lived in her Land Rover, because the kind-hearted Bangladeshi parking attendant could not drive her out.
Bankrupt woman living in her car
She is from Canada and her husband has a senior position in a prestigious international company. “Dubai is an adult Disneyland. You have these enviable big apartments, a whole team of workers who serve you, no taxes at all.” Karen’s husband, Daniel, bought two properties. “We were intoxicated in Dubai.” But a year later, she discovered that Daniel was diagnosed with a brain tumor.
Their debt is getting more and more. “Before I came, I didn’t know anything about Dubai’s laws. I thought that since these big companies are coming here, Dubai’s laws are definitely similar to the laws of Canada or any other liberal democracy,” Karen said. No one told her that Dubai has no concept of bankruptcy. If a person’s debt is unable to pay, he will have to go to jail.
Karen wants his husband to resign, he will definitely get a separation fee, they can pay off their debts, and then they will retreat. In this way, Daniel resigned, but the resignation fee was less than what he said on his contract, and the debt still exists. In Dubai, once you resign, your employer must notify your bank. If you have any unpaid debt at this time and the amount exceeds your book savings, all your accounts will be frozen and you are prohibited from leaving Dubai.
”Suddenly, we can no longer use the bank card. We have nothing. We were driven out of the apartment.” Karen took a long time to tell what happened next, she was shaking. On the day they were expelled from their home, Daniel was arrested and taken away. After 6 days, Karen was able to talk to Daniel again: “He told me that he and another debtor were locked in a cell. It was a 27-year-old Sri Lankan boy who said he could not face him. The shame that the family brought. The next day, when Daniel woke up, the boy had swallowed the razor blade. Daniel slammed into the door for help, but no one came, the boy died in front of him.”
Karen tried to ask her friends for help. “I used to work in the fashion industry and have several stores of my own.” But everything is gone. Daniel was sentenced to six months in prison. He simply could not understand the Arab trial and did not translate. Karen said, “I have nothing, but I have to insist on it for 9 months until he is released.” She asked if I could buy her a meal.
Karen’s experience is not a case. Throughout Dubai, a large number of bankrupt foreigners are secretly hiding in sand dunes, airports or their cars.
The fate of foreign workers
There are three kinds of people in Dubai who don’t interfere with each other: foreigners like Karen, UAE, and foreign workers who build the city.
Sahina Monir is a 24-year-old lean boy from the Bangladesh Delta. “In order to get you over, they described Dubai as a paradise. When you get here, you know that it is a hell,” he said. Four years ago, a hacker who recruited labor came to a small village in southern Bangladesh where Saheina was located. He said that there is only one place to do some construction work for nine to five, and you can earn 40,000 taka (£400) a month. This place offers excellent accommodation and is friendly to employees. They only need to pay 220,000 taka (£2,300) for the work visa fee, and the money can be paid for after 6 months of work. In this way, Saheina sold their home, borrowed money from local loan sharks, and set off for this paradise.
As soon as he arrived at Dubai Airport, his passport was confiscated by his construction company. He never saw his passport again. The construction company told him very simply that from now on, he would work 14 hours a day in the high temperatures of the desert. The temperature here is as high as 55 degrees Celsius in the summer, which is why Western tourists are advised not to stay outside for more than 5 minutes. Moreover, he can only earn 500 dirhams (£90) a month, less than a quarter of his original promise. If you don’t want to do it, the company will let you roll and leave. “But how do I get home? You take my passport and say that I have no money to buy a ticket.”
Dubai Construction Worker
The water sent to the camp was packed in a huge white container that was not fully diluted and tasted salty. “The water makes us unwell, but apart from that, we don’t have any other drinking water,” he said. He is now living on the 67th floor of a bright new building. He is building the building layer by layer, advancing toward the sky, and is also competing with the heat. In the four years in Dubai, apart from the floors he built, he has never seen Dubai with a reputation for tourism.
Another worker added: “I miss my country, my family and my land. We can grow food in Bangladesh. There is nothing here. Just oil and construction.”
They said that due to the impact of the economic downturn, the power of dozens of campsites has been cut off, and workers have not been paid for work for several months. Their company, along with their passports and pay, has disappeared. “We have been deprived of everything. Even if we return to Bangladesh, usurers will ask us to repay the loan immediately, and if we are not, we will be sent to prison.”
Reading a doctor at a public expense, getting married
In Dubai’s shopping plaza, the shops are empty and quiet. If I officially interview, the clerk will say that business is as usual. But when they chatted privately, they were panicked. In a hat shop, the beautiful hats cost £1,000 each. “Last year, we were in short supply. Look at it now,” a hat designer complained to me.
Ahmed Al-Atal, 23, is handsome and speaks authentic American English. He is more familiar with London, Los Angeles and Paris than most Westerners. He declared to me: “For young people, Dubai is the best place in the world! The government pays us education fees and can pay us to get a doctorate. If we get married, we will get a house for free. Medical care is also Free, if you are not satisfied, the government can also send you abroad. You don’t have to pay for the phone. Almost everyone has a maid, a babysitter, and a driver. And we never pay any taxes. Are you Don’t you want to be this person?”
He went on to say: “My grandfather wakes up every day and has to grab the well to catch water. If the well is dry, they have to use camels to transport water. They are always short of water and desperately trying to find a job. He has spent the rest of his life. It’s a blind man, because that would cause him to break his leg and get no medical treatment. Look at the difference we have now!”
The Dubai government has a lot of benefits for its citizens, while at the same time making money by other means: leasing the land to foreigners, invisibly collecting taxes on these foreigners through commercial and airport fees, in addition to oil that has not been exhausted. Most UAE people, like Ahmed, work for the government. They live a good life and are not affected by the financial crisis. “I haven’t felt any crisis yet, and no one of my friends has any concerns,” he said. “Our work is guaranteed. As long as you don’t make any big mistakes, you won’t be fired.” ”
Producing water is twice as expensive as oil production
Dubai is not just a city with no financial resources. It is also extremely overdraft ecologically. Standing on the lawn that was trimmed in Dubai, I was surrounded by sprinklers. I walked to a cold room like a hill, where a ski resort was built with natural snow. At this time, there is a voice echoing in my mind: here is the desert – the most water-poor place in the world.
Someone built an air-conditioned beach in Dubai, and the air duct was laid under the sand so that the noble toes would not be burnt.
The new Tiger Woods Gold Golf Course requires a lot of water to irrigate its site every day. Sandstorms often sweep the city, the sky is dusty and the sky is blurred. After the dust has passed, the hot place will be baked and all the places that have not been artificially humidified will be grilled.
There is no surface water here, and it is one of the regions with the lowest precipitation in the world. The waters of the UAE are desalinated by desalination plants in the Gulf region and are the most expensive water in the world. The cost of producing fresh water exceeds the cost of producing gasoline. Even in Dubai, the demand for water in Dubai is quite high. Dubai is particularly vulnerable in the era of tight water resources and the transition of oil from oil to other resources.
Water quality is getting worse and worse, visitors can see untreated sewage and dirt floating on the sea. In desperation, the hotel commissioned a professional company to analyze the water samples. “We were told that the water samples were full of excreta and bacteria, and the number was too large to count. I had to warn the guests not to go into the water, but these guests were taking beach vacations, and they were too angry to know.” Dubai The expansion was too fast, and its sewage treatment facilities did not keep pace. The sea water became black and smelly.