UAE Economic Crisis

Abu Dhabi: Over the years, South Asians have aimed at receiving a university degree in order to migrate and settle down in the UAE considering its high standards of living. Although the common and famous assumptions of the luxuries in the country remain true, but the hardships faced by the working population of these countries are often neglected and are unknown to most people. The working population of the UAE experiences a rather stressful and pressurized work environment due to the massive competition that exists for a certain position at work, and in recent times, due to the weak position of the market, employees have not been receiving their salaries on time, or for months together.

As of 2019, as many as 7.8 million expats exist in the UAE and consider it as a home away from home. However, since the past 5 years, complaints regarding delayed and unpaid salaries have increased significantly among these expats. The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation and the Labor Department of the UAE have been frequently contacted in order to file complaints against employers or organizations regarding delayed and unpaid salaries. Due to the declining condition of the UAE job and finance market, people have been finding it difficult to not only have their families stay in the country, but also to meet daily needs or even pay rent.

A similar crisis was experienced in Dubai in the year 2009 when a large number of people lost their jobs as companies rapidly closed down due to the recession. However, Abu Dhabi, the capital of the UAE, rich in oil, helped Dubai bail out with a 20 billion Dollar rescue package. Ever since then, Dubai has had a rather stable performance in the job and finance market with its main source of wealth being property development, luxury tourism, and exotic hotels such as Burj Al Arab, Atlantis, Burj Khalifa, etc.

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However, since the year 2014, the five years old crisis began to take over again, and in another few years took over all over the country. Companies shut down, families sent back to their home countries, people lost jobs as they were terminated with immediate effect and also were not given their final settlements, i.e. gratuity.  Property prices in Dubai have fallen by more than 25% as the financial status of the country began to suffer again.

Pinky Ludhani, a resident of Dubai tweeted that she had not received her salary for over 6 months and was not given commission since over a year. Due to the lack of constant flow of income, the residents experience further more difficulties when it comes to meeting expenses, not to mention for a fact that the UAE has got an expensive standard of living. Therefore, if losing their job does not force them to return to their home countries, lack of capital to meet expenses more often than not does.  

By Mohammed Siddiq M., Abu Dhabi, UAE

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