Why the UAE's Short-Term Labor Fix Will Create Long-Term Problems
Feb 1, 2019 | 14:57 GMT
(TOM DULAT/Getty Images)
- A confluence of factors has slowed the United Arab Emirates' ability to attract and retain the number of temporary foreign workers it once did, dampening the country's ability to offset its slowing economy.
- Recent reforms introduced by Abu Dhabi will be met with pushback from the country's minority native population — risking further divisions between richer southern emirates and the more oil-deprived northern ones.
- In the shorter term, this will lead the government to consider rolling back these reforms and extend economic subsidies and cultural privileges to protect Emirati citizens' elevated social status.
- In the longer term, rising divisions among north-south lines could lead to a restructuring of the country's political system, threatening its traditionally stable and business-friendly reputation.