Not totally photo related, not just a journal. A bit of both.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

An Oasis in Hell: Dubai

uncredited image of the Burj hotel

This has nothing to do with photography, but this in depth article in the online version of The Independent newspaper, covers the horrid, hidden and brutal side of living in Dubai.

If this were written 50 years ago by a Heinlein or Asimov, it would have been fanciful piece of science fiction. An opulent modern city, in a desert where none existed not long ago, with the world's tallest building, massive artificial islands, indoor ski hills with real snow, and golf courses. All built entirely by what are essentially slaves lured to Dubai with the promises of high wages and then trapped without passports and not allowed to leave. In 2005, the Indian consulate recorded 971 'accidental' deaths of Indian workers.

The conditions described here are brutal. Not just for the workers doing hard labour building the towers and infrastructure, but also the foreigners doing service industry work. And if you get in trouble and run out of cash while working. There is no bankruptcy there. You go to jail if you have debts and are not allowed to leave the country.

This is one of the best articles I have ever read and one of the most insightful. This is the side the Discovery Channel and TLC programs on construction of the Burj, the Palm Islands etc., don't show. An Oasis in Hell.

If newspapers fail, it won't be because of the writing and reporting of the likes of Johann Hari.


Mike Wood Photography

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Whenever someone talked of Dubai, even in the most glamorous and flattering of tones, there was always something that just never sat right.

The same things that make it an oasis also make it isolated.