Thoughts on Protectionism and Opportunities for Expats

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Thoughts on Protectionism and Opportunities for Expats


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Old 26th March 2013, 06:08 PM
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Hello Everyone.

Within the last few months, I've read a plethora of articles and surveys about the various policies & regulations aimed at reducing dependence on Expats and how the local population is unhappy with the excess of Expats in their countries. Some of what I have read makes political and economic sense while the rest just smells of protectionism. Can these countries in the gulf truly be rid of expats considering they rely so much on them to do their cleaning, driving, cooking, banking, construction, IT and I could go on and on and on.

With this sentiment and the events related to the Arab spring, I was just wondering what your thoughts are on these changes. Do any of you think that there will be an impact either in the long run or immediate on opportunities in the region and compensation related to them?.

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Old 26th March 2013, 08:14 PM
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Originally Posted by ExArab View Post
Hello Everyone.

Within the last few months, I've read a plethora of articles and surveys about the various policies & regulations aimed at reducing dependence on Expats and how the local population is unhappy with the excess of Expats in their countries. Some of what I have read makes political and economic sense while the rest just smells of protectionism. Can these countries in the gulf truly be rid of expats considering they rely so much on them to do their cleaning, driving, cooking, banking, construction, IT and I could go on and on and on.

With this sentiment and the events related to the Arab spring, I was just wondering what your thoughts are on these changes. Do any of you think that there will be an impact either in the long run or immediate on opportunities in the region and compensation related to them?.
I think the truth is in the demographics. When a city-state wants to grow to a 2 million plus population in 20 years and its native population is perhaps 150,000, it is highly unlikely (even if all the local families have 10 kids each) you will reach that goal with just a local population. And with the historic reliance on one demographic/set of ethnic groups to provide labor, cook, clean, serve, etc, and another demographic / set of ethnic groups to design, manage, engineer, etc, the expat population isn't going away anytime soon. Not when the rulers and locally-owned real estate/development moguls have built an enormous residential and retail infrastructure that specifically caters to these different expat groups. (i.e., how many locals do you see coming out of your typical apartment building in JBR, the Marina or Barsha??). Abu Dhabi is admittedly a different story (the expat housing is somewhat pushed to the fringes and there are many more locals and a stronger government sector to employ them).

So I think resentment of expats is somewhat disingenuous. Perhaps most likely it is the resentment of expats who think they should be as privileged as locals or who pretend they own the place. Truth is, Dubai without expats would still be a former pearl-diving village with clay houses, barasti-covered roofs, and a shallow, muddy, undredged "creek". Or it would look like the part of RAK near the Oman border where goats, donkeys and cows still walk down the road.
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Old 27th March 2013, 04:08 AM
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all of the wealthy locals buying multiple apartments / floors in all the new Emaar releases are relying on non-Emiratis to rent them and pay them lots of money........

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