Temporary labour migration to United Arab Emirates: a complex story
Journal article, Peer reviewed
MetadataShow full item record
In this study, we take a point of departure in two recently available large quantitative sources of data from the United Arab Emirates(UAE) in order to analyse social and economic aspects of temporary labour migration to the country. We attempt to present a nuanced and broad-scale description of social and economic situation of labour immigrants in the UAE. The results paint a rather complex picture. On one hand, immigrant workers are often low-paid and harshly treated, on the other there are opportunities for economic advancement for many of them. We conclude that, although far from being a neo-liberal utopia, the UAE does provide better opportunities for millions of immigrants. Life in the country is harsh for many of immigrants but it is less harsh than the alternatives they have in home countries. Regarding the UAE citizens, they surely are or will be facing economic challenges due to massive immigration, but the country has experienced the levels of economic development that would be unimaginable without a large-scale immigration. Thus, the immigration experience of the UAE has so far largely been a win-win situation, for both natives and immigrants.