View of part of the Fujairah Corniche and the Hajar Mountains in the Background

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Sonapur: Dubai’s Underbelly

A scathing article that reveals the underbelly of Dubai appeared recently in the Melbourne Age (and several other papers) written by Eric Ellis, the South-East Asia correspondent for Fortune magazine.

On a recent visit to Dubai Ellis visited Sonapur, the slum area of Dubai and what he calls a Middle Eastern Soweto. He said these were “the most depressing conditions I’ve witnessed.”

Why haven’t people heard of this? Although it is one of the largest communities in the UAE it doesn’t officially exist and it is not on any maps. It is hidden away in the dunes between Dubai and Sharjah.

In this community are migrant workers who are hired to build the skyscrapers in Dubai, men who work for $8 a day and are crowded into primitive conditions by night.

To read the full text of this article, follow this link”

Eric Ellis, ‘Dubai’s Rags-to-riches Miracle Built on the Backs of Exploited Foreign Workers’, Melbourne Age, 9 February 2008.

Dr. Geoff Pound

Image: Dubai workers.