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25 November, 2005

It's raining men

The good news for single ladies: the ratio of men to women in the UAE is the highest in the world, with 214 males for every 100 females. That's two each plus a few to spare.

The bad news: most of these men are stuck out in the desert on less-than-Dh1000 salaries, so probably unlikely to be laying on a champagne seduction at Vus:

General Dahi Khalfan Tamim, Chief of Dubai Police, said he is aware of these statistics, but noted that 50 per cent of the males in Dubai are construction workers living in labour camps outside residential areas: "This minimises the rate of behaviour crimes such as rape and sexual harassment."

In Nepal, the traditional custom of polyandry - one wife, several husbands - is sadly in decline.

In the UAE, it's surely just beginning.



Blogger Mubeena Mohammed said...

Men in Dubai *sigh*. I do not see myself living here long-term.

Where could I find a deep, disciplined, philosophical, intelligent, and open-minded man around here. There are more men than women here, but it is still difficult for a woman like me to find even one exciting man.

The materialism and superficiality of this place sickens me. Lust looms at every turn in people's interactions here in our appearance-obsessed city. Do you actually expect me meet my future husband at a bar? or somewhere in the selfish business world? or through 'friends' who always want to be a step ahead of you?

Not that I am against fun, but where are the men who potentially could truly complete me? (Read Plato's Symposium)

25 November, 2005 07:35  
Blogger Tim Newman said...

I've heard said that the only thing more difficult than finding a decent girlfriend in Dubai is finding a decent boyfriend.

As Mubeena said:

Do you actually expect me meet my future husband at a bar?

25 November, 2005 08:59  
Blogger sandsOfTime said...

Mubeena: Yes, dubai can be rather superficial, but thats because the majority of the population here are transient expatriates. The reason why bars and clubs (Discotheques)are popular gathering places is because they are the LOWEST COMMON DENOMINATOR. If you want to meet good people, then you will have to expand your search to include other sources of fun, such as diving clubs, music gatherings, theatre. Is there a special talent that you have and enjoy doing? I am sure there is a gathering than can accomodate. Check out local magazines like Time Out, they can help. Good people are available, just finding them is a little harder.

25 November, 2005 10:03  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"... 50 per cent of the males in Dubai are construction workers living in labour camps outside residential areas: "This minimises the rate of behaviour crimes such as rape and sexual harassment.""

So single women, simply make sure that you only go out on your own during working hours. And, by all means, stay indoor on Fridays to keep the statistics unchanged... - Why does it - once again - appear as if Dubai/UAE prefers to treat symptoms rather than underlying causes??

But I am "impressed" by the authorities ability to reason in such absolutely illogical ways.

25 November, 2005 10:04  
Blogger sandsOfTime said...

anonymous, Ever hear of Bureaucrats and their mentality? They are the same in every country.

25 November, 2005 10:47  
Blogger moryarti said...

I hope officials can read whats between the lines: Capital flight and falling consumption rates.

If this keeps on, along with the alarmingly growing 17% inflation rate.. keep an eye on the country's GDP as it will start some serious sliding.

25 November, 2005 11:05  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you.

thought I was the only one thinking this way, bumeena is right, fun to go out to a bar but do you know who you are talking to these days?

I am multi lingual but still cannot cope with this multitude of pros even in the so called "in" bars of Dubai. So as a man ma I suppose to meet my future match there amongst them?

Dubai maybe on a financial uphill swing, but culturally and socially its been on a downhill one for years and it won't get any better, by issuing statements like th ones I just read from Dhahi Khalfan who like all other locals probably has a few girlfriends just his own stached away in some villa in Jumeirah!

They can have their dubai and all the workers they want, but very soon with the reputation it is making itself as a fast guillotine city just as expensive as London, no one will be left to live in those constructions.

25 November, 2005 11:43  
Blogger samuraisam said...

they are always eager to point the finger at subcontinental laborers, lets blame them for rape now.

look in gulf news at the last 10 rapes reported and tell me the nationality of them

2:1 is a fecking alarming ratio, but somehow unsurprising.

25 November, 2005 12:22  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Greed &its deceiving image

All that mega structures facade, its fortune & deceiving golden image built on seamless cruelty & racism. its ever deceiving public relation mega machine. Forced Labor laws & practices that are so abusive, discriminatory, unsavory, unethical & immoral. All that at the expense of the discriminated workers. Exploiting poor workers with impunity, threats of deportation. Plus other inhumane treatment at its core.
The Al Hamed construction labor camp in Dubai United Arab Emirates. is a hardscrabble jumble of battered trailers, where 7,800 laborers sleep, cook meals. & kneel to pray in an outdoor pavilion of corrugated tin.
Uncertain PAYCHECKS: Asian workers prepare concrete at a construction site in Dubai. Is common for Contractors to withhold wages for months at a time, & workers are starting to protest by marching, blocking roads or refusing to work.

Projects under Construction.

1.the Palm island
2.the world island water front
4.old town
6.burj dubai
7.madinat al arab
8.golden dome land ski dome science world

the camp lies on Dubai’s desert outskirts, out of view of the wealthy foreigners in the Gulf shore skyscrapers & the tourists thronging to mall boutiques like Prada & Gucci.
The workers in this camp,however, know the city’s luxurious attraction. They built them, on Salaries that range from $135 to $400 a month.
Despite their paltry wages & despite the tens of billions of dollars in oil revenues pouring into United Arab Emirates, laborers sometimes have trouble coaxing their employers to pay up. Three to five months without pay is common. Some say they have not seen salaries in a year or longer.
In the past, the docile immigrant work force had little redress. But this year, thousands have walked off construction sites, blocking roads, marching in protest to the labor ministry or simply refusing to work.
“Any worker who doesn’t get paid should go on strike,” said an Indian man who gave his name only as Mr. X!
For fear of being deported for speaking to a reporter.
“you have to go on strike because it is successful”.
Mr. X, 33 was one of a dozen was filing grievances last month for as much as six month’s back pay.
By the labor ministry’s count unpaid workers have organized 18 strikes this year, involving more than 10,000
Protesters. Most were in Dubai ,the wealthiest of the country’s seven emirates.
Labor Undersecretary Khalid Alkhazraji promised to name offending companies & their owners, an unprecedented step because royal family members who own companies could be painted in an unfavorable light.
Three companies have been named publicly – none with openly royal connections.
This week, the ministry announced a hot line for laborers to report unpaid wages.
Nearly a million migrants from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, china & elsewhere have poured into this desert sheikdom to provide the low wage muscle behind one of the world’s great building booms.
In five decades, Dubai has mushroomed from a primitive town of 20,000 to a gridlocked metropolis of 1.5 million.
Almost 98 percent of private sector workers in the Emirates are foreigners, mostly men, who make up more than 80 percent of the country’s 4 million inhabitants.
In most Gulf Arab states, the situation is similar. In Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain & the Emirates layers say it has become customary for contractors to withhold migrants passports & three of more months of wages to keep them from leaving.
When a company has financial trouble, laborers feel the pain first.
Human rights watch & the state department have criticized the gulf countries as centers of human trafficking. In Saudi Arabia, human rights watch said in 2004 that some Asian migrants worked in “slavery-like conditions.”
The Emirates has a big impetus to treat its workers better.
The free trade pact it is negotiating stands to make this business-savvy country even more wealthy.
Holding up the deal are the demands that would give workers the right to form unions & bargain collectively.

Racism in the Arab world is very common. The systematic mistreatment of people. based on the belief in the inherent superiority of one race & there by the right to dominance racism is one manifestation of Institunalized differences in economic, social, & political power in which members of some ethnic & cultural groups benefit at the expense of others.

Dubai needs to foster good relations with [low wage workers]to create efficiencies, to create more effective methods of production. The workforce you develop in one place is valuable thing.
Deportation Threats, may be an extreme way to render their services useless, but companies that maintain poor working conditions, mistreat their workers, neglect their health, underpay them, & in general violate fundamental labor rights have found an equally affective way to reduce productivity. it doesn’t make sense in those conditions to suppress wages. The environment is man’s first right.

Like or not ,our lives depend on other people’s wisdom & welfare. We cannot rely upon the silenced to tell us they are suffering. Yes we care about man’s inhumanity to man.
Policy makers Diary:
There is a group of companies who have known for a long time that human rights violations directly affect them & that is those workers jobs have disappeared thanks to low wages & poor working conditions in foreign countries. To these folks several of the rights guaranteed by Universal Declaration of Human Rights-the right to be held in slavery or servitude
(Article 4):the rights to freedom of ASSOCIATION(Article 20)
the rights to just & favorable work conditions or to form & join unions(Article 24) the right to adequate standard of living (Article25)-are far more than academic matters, not just as they apply to themselves but to other workers around the world. Their concern for others’ rights, though it may well contain an element of altruism, bears also & unashamedly a relationship to the bread on their own tables.

Ultimately we must all be aware of our actions & what drives them, whether they are conscious & subconscious.
By trusting solely in morality & often unenforceable law to make the grade, we risk relegating human rights, in the eyes of its detractors, to the realm of rhetoric, if not phantasm. We need to recognize that our sanctity will not be tarnished by little toughness.
We need to be unafraid to say to the public & policy makers in Dubai & the rest. That human rights are not only moral imperatives or legal commitments. We need not be unafraid to say “Support human rights! they’re are good for us!”
The best that human rights advocate can do in situation like this is to paint a picture, show a picture, & blow a horn! Share testimony, & trust in people who have a sense of morality. Occasionally the truth breaks through. But rarely by its own light alone. Somebody almost always has to help it along.
To all the greedy & corrupt bastards! Creating a free competitive & responsible marketplace of ideas… pluralism is not enough. Without a level playing field, pluralism simply creates the incentive & the opportunity for privileged groups to propound self-serving myths, which historically be held up to the utmost scrutiny by aggressive journalist…Promoting this kind of journalistic infrastructure is probably the most highly leveraged investment the Arab world can make in a peaceful democratic transition.
The relationship between business & civil & political rights is an extraordinary complicated one. it is not enough, for example, for human rights activists to shame or bully one company into compliance with human rights standards if an entire industry is going to keep on violating them.
This is for the Morons: further more, if you keep workers enslaved & impoverished, if you keep children tied to looms rather than earning an education, you retard a country’s economic development. This further defer the day when those workers themselves will constitute a market for the products they are making & those children better-educated wage earners with the capacity to spend more money.
World Bank Development Report concluded a few years ago that respect for workers’ rights is good for economic performance. Businesses can ill afford to render employees sick, angry, & impoverished if they expect to receive the benefits of workers’ loyalty & most effective work.

Journalists beware! Under all that Dubai’s fake glitz & glitter lies something very sinister to the human race.
Dubai is not a true democracy yet! Reporters “toe a tight rope” good luck ! Without democracy , you have no understanding of what is happening down below. Globalization is currently based on Democracy, human rights & Market Economy.
c.c. world media & to whom it may concern.

25 November, 2005 13:37  
Blogger CG said...

I hardly think that is fair, writing about Dhahi Khalfan in such a way. He should not be held accountable. He is where he is because he cannot be anywhere else....get it? Accusing him of extra-marital activity is quite appalling.

25 November, 2005 13:41  
Blogger Nasrawi said...

.."construction workers living in labour camps outside residential areas: 'This minimises the rate of behaviour crimes such as rape and sexual harassment'"...

I can't believe that this was an official statement made. The obvious inference here is that labourers are the chief rapists and harassers. Cmon 3amo, wake up.

25 November, 2005 13:45  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

cg how do you know?

If he is there because he has no choice, then before speaking of labourers and expats he should perhaps look at this own throng of thoubed friends and relatives all of whom are practising their sexual freedom under his watchfull eye!

So whether he does or not is not the issue, it is acceptable that locals though get through the paces of their whisms and desires while all the rest sit and watch as their life goes by.

And yes go on tell me to go if I don't like it.......that still doesn't justify any of the facts of life in Dubai.

And by the way, i am sure DK can fend for himself he doesn't need you or me to, trust me.

25 November, 2005 14:48  
Blogger CG said...

because i do know.

25 November, 2005 18:37  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

“Globalization is currently based on Democracy, human rights & Market Economy.”

Somehow, I feel a bit awkward about this statement.

Globalization is all about Americanization-

An example: A young female CNN anchor-("interesting to watch the Saddam Trial-said in such a rude and stupid manner-I mean, what does she think she is? As she has a reason to believe that she is somehow ABOVE this former dictator who is probably her father’s age)-now I am no fan of Saddam, but neither am I a fan of this ridiculous anchor who is so full of herself (or full of "WE ARE AaaaaaaaaaaMERICANS!" attitude) and shows no respect to other countries who happen to be not always agreeable. Obviously there are Americans who are more classy and cultured than this woman so I hope her behavior is considered somewhat "low" by the world viewers.

25 November, 2005 18:53  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"This minimises the rate of behaviour crimes such as rape and sexual harassment."

Ok. But most assaults are not committed by hungry labourers. They are too busy sweating it out making one project or another for Dubai Inc. If the past several months' worth of news on rapes is any indicator, it usually by 'men in white'.

More important is the commercial consequence of this demographic imbalance.

Fewer women-->fewer families-->less localised consumption and greater remittance.

Additionally, fewer legalised families-->greater influx of 'businesswomen'--> stds, hiv, not to mention the misery of human trafficking and the effect of immoral activities on the city's youth.

25 November, 2005 22:23  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


pleased for you you must be honoured.

Enjoy it!

that iis all you got like the majority of expats who think they know better but never kearn and disappear into the past!!


26 November, 2005 05:03  
Blogger BuJ said...

Not only is the topic interesting, but the writing style fluent, confident, and easy to follow...

26 November, 2005 05:13  
Blogger _sublime_ said...

I have to agree with sandsoftime 100 meet interesting people in Dubai you have to bite the bullet and expand your horizons beyond the bar scene and the 85% population of lame status-seeking poseurs (the remaining 15% being composed of the prostitutes and the really committed alcoholics).

It would be so much easier if there was more of a casual cafe culture here (such as in Montreal for example) where it would be completely normal to strike up a conversation at random with somebody if you see them reading a interesting book, for example, or start debating the latest politics on CNN, or talk about the Muppet Show etc.

It seems that poeple in Dubai just ignore one another in public so no wonder it's so hard to meet interesting poeple when we all go around stuck in our little bubbles trying to appear as cool and important as possible.

If it were normal to talk more openly, randomly and casually in Dubai then it would be harder for people to hide behind their barriers of carefully purchased superficiality.

Perhaps the answer is for us all to start ignoring motherly advice and start talking more openly to strangers!

26 November, 2005 05:15  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There was an article on 7days a few days back. Wherein a female writer was wondering about ' the availability of single men in Dubai?'

She's hot, she's attractive, she's a professional.. so why has'nt she found Mr Right?

26 November, 2005 11:15  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is she nasty?

26 November, 2005 12:14  
Blogger samuraisam said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

26 November, 2005 12:23  
Blogger samuraisam said...

probably because you used the term "she's a professional" to describe her.

26 November, 2005 12:26  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

sublime, I used to live in Montreal (now several hours away), and it is true ,you can guarantee friendly, interesting and genuine conversations to be had everywhere. Grocery stores , on buses, in line to use a bank machine. Simply make eye contact with anyone and it begins. You can approach anyone comfortably. I have lived in alot of different cities, and yes, I have visited Dubai. But Montreal has a special quality about it. Even though it is about the same size as Dubai, you would think you were in a small neighborhood community with friends sharing your everday lives. When you add in the huge diversity of people, it is amazing to see it all come together.
Being a woman who often travels alone , I quickly learned the routine in Dubai. It's a great place though and I did manage to meet interesting people everywhere, there is an exciting mix of people. Finding a husband there?...yikes. I return to Dubai for work in's true, to find the real people, avoid the pubs and people where they live, in their every day life, in your every day life. Because that is where you would like them to be, sharing it with you.

26 November, 2005 14:43  
Blogger nonpretender said...

You want to meet real people in Dubai? You having a laugh?!

26 November, 2005 16:43  
Blogger _sublime_ said...

Some of the most intelligent poeple I have "met" in Dubai are the posters to this blog...but I doubt any of us would ever acknowledge each other if our paths ever crossed in real life!

26 November, 2005 16:51  
Blogger Emirati said...

dont have very much positive to say about the women here either. shallow pampered wannabe princesses who will suck the penny out of you if youre kandouraborne and claim your cute and interesting but its all a lie.

and then you have cg, which is like sticking the arm between your legs into a water tank full of starving pirahnas.

26 November, 2005 20:14  
Blogger secretdubai said...

dont have very much positive to say about the women here either. shallow pampered wannabe princesses

I find it hard to know what to despise more - gold-digging lazy bimbos (of all nationalities) or the stupid, one-track-minded, sexist males (of all nationalities) that facilitate them.

But then I should probably pity them: because both lots are missing out on so much. There is actually more to life and relationships than sex, money and mutual disrespect.

26 November, 2005 22:15  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Surprising, but I actually left Dubai and I am only happier.

I don't miss any of the tossers and pretenders and realised that there is more to the gulf than the city that does not care.

I don't envy anyone there now and empathise with all the posters here, I just wonder how long and how far they will go on.

When I do have a trip to Dubai, I try to avoid it like the plague, but sometimes I cannot avoid them and so reluctantly I go there. None of it pleases me from the moment I step of the plane through the rude immigration and airport staff to the taxi stand and on....

Everyone is pretentious in Dubai even the porter at the airport.

26 November, 2005 22:16  
Blogger Emirati said...


Agree wholeheartedly :D ur proof that there is some sanity remaining in the country.

26 November, 2005 23:11  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"There is actually more to life and relationships than sex, money and mutual disrespect. " haha, so funny!

27 November, 2005 13:29  
Blogger Emirati said...

So anon, I suppose you like all 3 together. Having sex for money and getting treated like crap. You sound an awful lot like a hooker to me.

27 November, 2005 14:31  
Blogger qadi said...

Still beats the m/f ratio at engineering school...

28 November, 2005 03:40  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really love Spain

28 November, 2005 06:44  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mubeena mohd,

I have a feeling that maybe you are not well-situated...if you do not like the aggressive, flashy business type kind of guys, then why are you in Dubai for?
However, if your family is also in Dubai, then perhaps your parents can introduce you to like-minded men... perhaps family friends' sons...I heard that it is quite common for Indian people. Example: "Monsoon Wedding"?
I also remember hearing that there was a South Asian girl from Dubai who was too-serious minded of a journalist for Dubai’s taste-now she lives in England or somewhere in the West with her Indian boyfriend who shares the similar mind. I do not know how they met, though. Anyways, good luck for all the girls out there!

28 November, 2005 12:57  
Blogger Balushi said...

Nice to read your Suggestions my beloved blog Family .

I have no comments all i want to say that people should not involve in any relationships .

Love marrieg or Sex .

We need to stop the population to reduce the rate of our Sins .

Peace .

30 November, 2005 22:39  
Blogger kingfisher said...

Hey Balushi: "Life... get one"

05 December, 2005 10:55  
Blogger B.D. said...

No one has referred to the fact that in probably three-fifths of the world there's no such thing as finding a partner. (It's all arranged for or despite you.) Dubai and the UAE of course is composed largely of such cultures. So, of course it's going to be a real challenge to find a life partner of any sex here.

05 December, 2005 13:07  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This blog is such a waste of time. you all know the only reason people come to Dubai or for that matter the region is money money money. If you thought this place is going to be fair, ethical, has values and full of decent people you are mistaken. It is a place were western losers who can’t cut it in their country come her only to be appointed in senior roles, paid outrageous salaries and given all sorts of perks just because they are Anglo-Saxons. They are like a virus once in the system they start firing locals when they can and most defiantly Arab expatriates and then start recruiting their friends for back home who are not qualified and also losers or hire cheap labor Indians who nod their heads at every command knowing if they don’t they will be sent back to Asia where they lived in poverty. So your best bet to find a good husband is to move back home or have a sex change and find a nice old Russian who will do everything for you for money…….

05 December, 2005 20:30  
Blogger haji-o-matic said...

And I thought all the women in Dubai are prostitutes.
I guess I hang out at all the wrong places....

06 January, 2006 16:59  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The blogging has been quite interesting. I haven't read everything that has been posted but I would have to agree that all of us who live here have a shared view of the social life that surrounds us. It is very true, meeting decent people, who are genuine in nature is so difficult, there is so much materialism, money and eyes watching your every move, what car you are driving, how many kilos of gold you’re wearing and all that.
I am sure that in time, it will all change and balance out, I’ve lived here half of my life and in North America the other half;, traveled the world and the seven seas to tell you the truth, it is very depressing when you move back to a place that you once knew was the symbol of simplicity. I remember back in the 80’s and 90’s Dubai was empty, no traffic, no pollution, no show off; the problem these days is the lack understanding what we really want out of this place. As one person said, it is just a transient destination to make some cash and go back home. No expat considers this place their home because it isn’t. When it comes down to it, I do believe that there are genuine people out there, I don’t want to brag or anything, I know I am. And it has been very depressing and tough trying to find people that you can truly have a decent conversation with, without talking about cash, business or the day’s work, since everything revolves around work. I work 6 days a week and that Friday isn’t even a day off. Change will come, slowly, the country is new, it is changing and I bet that people will start to consider this place their home. Listen, change comes from within and we have to think positively, I know it’s tough, damn it, I know, but we have no choice, it’s our lives, our families, children and future we are planning for.

Some advice that has really helped me out, if you think it will help try it.

If you enjoy sports, join a club, go to the gym, play tennis, squash, try diving school, go camping. I know there isn’t enough green space to just pick a ball and kick it around with a few friends, but we have to make due with what is there.

If you like going out, clubbing or what not, there are some decent places, not every corner is a whore house.

Work, is work, get it done, and try to enjoy it.

Draft out a routine, not to the minute, but try to include things that make you happy.

With regards to meeting decent people, well it is tough, social circles are fairly well knit and trying to fit in ain’t easy, especially if you are an individual with a strong personality like me, not just a sheep. If you find people that like camping, well try to join a group of campers, and pick up a hobby, whether it’s bowling, karting, clay shooting, or horseback riding, there is a lot to do. Try to minimize time spent in front of the TV.

I’m a guy and I thought that all women here are superficial, self-centered and chasing the $$$$. I know that they aren’t but, it is what I have been seeing, at the mall, cafés, restaurants, even talking to friends, people have changed so much. LOL, And finding a decent girl is NOT easy as all. So I guess the few who have posted and blogged on this page have gone thru the same path and seen the same things. We just have to work on ourselves as individuals, we can’t change the world, but we can affect it in a positive way. I am sure of it. I wish you all the best of luck in the UAE and I don’t know if I’ll come back and check if anyone has replied to my post, but respect to all and it was nice to stumbled on this page and share my views with everyone. All the best.

31 January, 2006 01:00  

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