Emirati history would be incomplete without acknowledging the contribution of the country’s imported labour. Without them, the Emirates would not exist the way it does, nor possess the opulence or infrastructure it flouts. If the million-odd expatriates who dominate the labour class were to leave, the Emirates would stop breathing – buildings would remain incomplete, garbage on the streets, gardens untended, paperwork unfiled. It is not just that the economy would collapse; it would stagnate and wither. Expatriates engulf the Emirates, making up around 80 percent of the population. Southasians represent 50 to 60 percent of the expatriate demographic, becoming the largest majority. This puts Emiratis in a peculiar predicament: so reliant on foreign labour, they have become minorities on their own soil. Anger is inevitable, even resentment, especially among the younger generation of UAE citizens, who perceive an invasion. ‘If you don’t move your car, I will get you deported,’ a friend’s uncle was told by an Emirati. The uncle might have scoffed privately – ‘Ridiculous!’ – but he did move his car.
Oldie but interesting via the very awesome The State.