I’d like to add my observations from what I learned during my time spent in Abu Dhabi. The Arabs in the oil rich countries simply don’t have to work if they don’t want to. Most of them are related by family or tribal ties and as a result the Gulf states have created a “welfare society” that provides stipends to all members of these royal families. Since hundreds of thousands of Gulf state Arabs can claim a relation to the throne(s), they are all entitled to a stipend of some amount. These stipends, paid out of oil revenues, vary in size depending on how closely one is related to the royal families that rule the various sheikdoms.
Since most Arabs don’t have to work, the guest workers, as you point out, do all the work for them. I further observed that there is a sort of a “class/nationality” breakdown as to the different kinds of jobs done by the guest workers. For instance, most of the maids in country are from the Philippines. Most of their restaurant workers appeared to be Sri Lankan, the day laborers/construction workers were Pakistani, the British crewed their airlines, the Germans ran their hotels, and finally, the Americans were the engineers who managed their petroleum facilities.p>The Arab Gulf states have far more foreigners living in their countries now than native-born inhabitants. It does make for an interesting cultural situation. br> — Paul Doolittle /p>
It is curious that Neil omitted one MAJOR exception to his thesis, which is… DUBAI, the very place he worked and gained the perspective detailed in his article!
That Emirate, at least, is putting a MAJOR emphasis on diversifying their economy. The focus may not be manufacturing per se, and the unbelievable level of development may not affect much the employment of “locals” (all 2% of them in the 98%-expat city!); but again, this entire-city-under-construction stands as a stark counterpoint to “all oil all the time.”
If my cab driver on a recent business trip was to be believed, as he pointed out one major construction site after another, Dubai will soon have the world’s tallest building, largest mall (with longest indoor artificial ski run, over 700 meters), the first UNDERWATER hotel, and is in-progress on the THIRD major artificial island development, “The World” (islands shaped like continents in a world map, with breakwaters forming Arabic script), after the smashing successes of the earlier Palm and Palm II island complexes. Every major Western corporation seems to have their regional headquarters in the city dubbed “The Business Capital of the Middle East.”
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online