Is it just me?

Old Sep 28th 2004, 1:19 am
  #151  
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Default Re: Is it just me?

Originally Posted by CarolFraser
Still beats pissing rain every day for weeks on end - or driving in snow.
You know what? and I'm not joking here. Having lived in Dubai, I actually don't mind the British weather anymore. It does piss it down frequently but it's actually dry much of the time too. People just insist on complaining constantly. On a day to day basis it's easier to wrap up and enjoy the great outdoors, than cope with the searing heat and stifling humidity. My kids have always been the outdoor type and for around 5 months of the year, you can't play outside in Dubai, unless it's dark. As a result, they really didn't like Dubai's climate, though personally I'd agree with you.

We haven't had decent snow where I am in a few years and I'd love some. I shan't start on the joys of tobogganing....
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Old Sep 28th 2004, 1:26 am
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Default Re: Is it just me?

Originally Posted by Cherrypie
You know what? and I'm not joking here. Having lived in Dubai, I actually don't mind the British weather anymore. It does piss it down frequently but it's actually dry much of the time too. People just insist on complaining constantly. On a day to day basis it's easier to wrap up and enjoy the great outdoors, than cope with the searing heat and stifling humidity. My kids have always been the outdoor type and for around 5 months of the year, you can't play outside in Dubai, unless it's dark. As a result, they really didn't like Dubai's climate, though personally I'd agree with you.

We haven't had decent snow where I am in a few years and I'd love some. I shan't start on the joys of tobogganing....
Agree with you Cp! I went home for 6 wks in the summer and on the 3rd week it rained... Hard! Ppl will think Im mad but I missed the rain that much I went outside and danced in it.. and in my underwear, which was a hoot.
Im not a hot weather person and suffer heat stroke .. Not an ideal place really to live but I miss wrapping up in thick jumpers and keeping warm, and the snow fights!
I would swap the heat and the sand for the chill of the Uk any time but such as life huh!
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Old Sep 28th 2004, 1:30 am
  #153  
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Default Re: Is it just me?

Originally Posted by Heart of gold
on the 3rd week it rained... Hard! Ppl will think Im mad but I missed the rain that much I went outside and danced in it.. and in my underwear, which was a hoot.
LOL!
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Old Sep 28th 2004, 1:33 am
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Default Re: Is it just me?

Originally Posted by Cherrypie
You know what? and I'm not joking here. Having lived in Dubai, I actually don't mind the British weather anymore. It does piss it down frequently but it's actually dry much of the time too. People just insist on complaining constantly. On a day to day basis it's easier to wrap up and enjoy the great outdoors, than cope with the searing heat and stifling humidity. My kids have always been the outdoor type and for around 5 months of the year, you can't play outside in Dubai, unless it's dark. As a result, they really didn't like Dubai's climate, though personally I'd agree with you.

We haven't had decent snow where I am in a few years and I'd love some. I shan't start on the joys of tobogganing....
The weather I miss most is the sunny but freezing mornings. I used to leave the car at home & walk to work with coat, gloves, scarf etc & I just loved it. Your nose is bright red & your face is so numb with cold by the time you get there you can hardly speak. If you're not awake when you leave the house, you are by the time you get to work!
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Old Sep 28th 2004, 1:42 am
  #155  
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Default Re: Is it just me?

Originally Posted by CarolFraser
The weather I miss most is the sunny but freezing mornings. I used to leave the car at home & walk to work with coat, gloves, scarf etc & I just loved it. Your nose is bright red & your face is so numb with cold by the time you get there you can hardly speak. If you're not awake when you leave the house, you are by the time you get to work!
No... I do thoroughly dislike the freezing mornings but love wrapping up in coats, jumpers and scarves (sad, I know). But I generally avoid walking in this type of weather, a bit like I avoided walking in the 40+ Dubai heat, unless I wanted to get to work hot, exhausted, sweaty and dehydrated.

Gotta dash now...real life is calling.
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Old Sep 28th 2004, 2:54 pm
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Default Re: Is it just me?

Originally Posted by steve stevenson
How the hell could Christmas decorations be construed as offensive? They are give good light on very dark cold nights!

Some people always love to push the boundaries! But this is taking the piss!
You get used to it. When I was growing up in the ME, you would always wonder whether xmas would be 'cancelled' at the last minute.
All the decorations taken off the shop shelves, xmas trees moved out of view from windows, carole singing scheduled for a desert venue where no one could hear and take offense.
Doesn't the Koran has some inclusions about respecting other religions?
I used to think, well it's their choice, I'm in their country so live by their rules.
What gets my goat is when the UK authorities back down over similiar issues so as not to cause offense. Not saying that we should sink to the same tactics, but a line should be drawn somewhere? Respect to all.
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Old Sep 29th 2004, 3:49 am
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Default Re: Is it just me?

Originally Posted by Cherrypie
You know what? and I'm not joking here. Having lived in Dubai, I actually don't mind the British weather anymore. It does piss it down frequently but it's actually dry much of the time too. People just insist on complaining constantly. On a day to day basis it's easier to wrap up and enjoy the great outdoors, than cope with the searing heat and stifling humidity. My kids have always been the outdoor type and for around 5 months of the year, you can't play outside in Dubai, unless it's dark. As a result, they really didn't like Dubai's climate, though personally I'd agree with you.

We haven't had decent snow where I am in a few years and I'd love some. I shan't start on the joys of tobogganing....
Just had to get a word in here.......... We actually had our first overcast day of the season. Nice dark grey clouds blocked out the sun for the most part of the day Temps are starting to ease back aswell! Hit only 35 today! woohoo!!!! roll on winter!!!!

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Old Sep 30th 2004, 6:51 am
  #158  
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Exclamation Re: Is it just me?

Hello all,

Found this real shocker of an article. The Gulf News actually did a write up on how rampant passport discrimination is in this great country:

Wage woes: Equal work, unequal pay
Dubai | By Samir Salama, Staff Reporter | 25/09/2004 |


Equal pay for equal work seems to be a myth here - your passport, apparently, holds the key.

S.M. Kumar, an IT engineer, was offered a monthly wage of Dh4,000 while working in his home state of Goa, on the west coast of India. He thought his dream had come true. Dh4,000 meant Rs52,000.

Only when he arrived in the UAE did he realise he had been hoodwinked. His Arab counterpart with the same qualifications, skills and experience was being paid Dh7,000, and his Western colleague still more - Dh10,000.

The comparatively high cost of living, mounting bills and loans back home to be repaid soon took their toll.

Kumar became depressed. He thought he would find succour at the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, only to be told that since he had signed the employment contract and accepted what he now regarded as a paltry sum, it was his problem.

"The ministry does not come to an expatriate's aid. However, it would intervene if the salary is unpaid," labour officials told him.

Kumar told them he was desperate. Still, the labour laws could not help him.

"Why should I lose up to Dh72,000 a year to unequal pay policies?" he says.

Srinivas S.M., an Indian accountant, says: "Company owners and general managers are prejudiced against Asians, choosing to hire a worker only if available at a lower wage. Salaries of Asians are 30 to 50 per cent less than those of Arabs, even when performance factors are equal.

"I work for a leading company that has a job description. But value is made on the basis of race and colour, not skills, qualification and experience."

He wonders why labour laws should tolerate such a difference in pay that cannot be explained by objective factors, such as the level of education, the sector of employment and the type of occupation.

"Rules here should provide for equal pay for equal work and guarantee that no discrimination is practised by employers on the basis of race, colour or sex."

Dr Mohammad Abdullah Al Rokn, a senior manager at the International Union of Advocates, says a worker doing the same job or of equal value to the work of another employee should expect to get the same pay irrespective of sex, race or national origin.

"An employer commits racial discrimination when he makes job decisions on the basis of race.

"Unfortunately, UAE laws fall short of protecting workers from pay discrimination or any discriminatory practices by employers if the workers involved accept employment contracts that are binding.

"However, a worker can still sue his employer for pay discrimination on the grounds that the UAE constitution provides for equality before the law without regard to race, nationality or social status. So the constitution prohibits discrimination in every aspect of the employment relationship, including hiring, firing, promotions, job training or any other employment term.

"The court will not guarantee that a worker who was subject to pay discrimination will get a fair salary or is not fired from his or her job. A ruling will just order compensation for any damages inflicted as a result of discrimination."

On whether companies should be forced by law to have standard job classifications and evaluation, Dr Al Rokn says: "Legislation in the UAE has not gone that far. This is too sophisticated for our young country."

Obaid Ebrahim, a UAE businessman, says the principle of equal pay for equal work in the private sector would prevent employers from exploiting workers and ensure low-wage workers have decent living standards. The principle will increase salaries that, in turn, increase purchasing power of workers and force employers to raise efficiency and productivity.

"It would not cause any losses to the economy or companies. On the contrary, fair salaries would attract more nationals into the private sector, which will reduce unemployment among nationals," Ebrahim says.

Another UAE businessman, who did not want to be named, says the country will be the ultimate loser if wages are increased to a fair level or a minimum wage is set. Expatriate workers who send home billions of dirhams annually would be able to send home more.

"Imposing a certain pay policy on private companies may affect the competitiveness of the economy and divert potential investments to somewhere else."

Wages should be left to market forces and a minimum wage may cause job losses, reduce wage rates in sectors not covered by a minimum wage system and reduce on-the-job training.

"An employer discriminates on the basis of national origin when it makes job decisions based on a worker's ancestry, birthplace, culture or linguistics," says Dr Naeem Al Zunfuli, an HR consultant in Dubai.

It is illegal, he says, to place an advertisement for Tagalog-speaking workers or others with certain characteristics.

"Companies that employ workers from one country may be committing discrimination against workers from other countries who have the same qualifications. Like race discrimination, national origin discrimination is often caused by stereotyped thinking. For instance, an employer who refuses to promote employees of Asian origin because he believes they do not work hard or who refuses to hire workers from a certain area is discriminating.

"Even seemingly neutral employment policies may be discriminatory if they have a disproportionate impact on members of a particular race.

"UAE nationals should not be favoured on the job just because they are citizens. They can be granted homes or plots of land, but should not receive unfair treatment on the job, which prejudices against co-workers in a company."

Dr Al Zunfuli suggests that labour laws force firms to adopt standard job descriptions and evaluation systems that ensure equal pay for equal work without discrimination.

"A job evaluation method includes a set of factors that determine the worth of jobs, such as skills, responsibilities, effort and working conditions."

He spoke of the Point Method of job evaluation that defines skill as experience, education and ability; responsibilities as fiscal and supervisory; effort as mental; and physical and working conditions as location, hazards and extremes in environment.

"In this method, each factor is divided into levels or degrees that are then assigned points. Each job is rated using the job evaluation instrument. The points for each factor are collated to form a total point score for the job. Jobs are then grouped by total point scores and assigned to wage or salary grades so that similarly rated jobs are placed in the same wage or salary grade."

He said these criteria, which should be made by experts in economics, accounting, psychology, sociology and manpower among others, should be reviewed every five years to take into account inflation, scarcity of jobs and the cost of living.

Mohammad Al Shaiba, a Dubai legal consultant, says victims of discrimination do not complain because since there are no anti-discrimination laws, the offender is in a more senior position and they fear for their job.

"Victims also hope discriminatory practices will stop. But they do not want to be marked as troublemakers or get into trouble. They may feel a complaint may make matters even worse or that they might be fired. Some victims believe they will not be taken seriously."

Al Shaiba suggests if a worker suspects any discrimination at work, he should keep track of his or her company's employment decisions suspected of being based on race or any other subjective factor. "The worker's concerns should be raised with the HR department. If the company fails to rectify the problem, a worker should then consider bringing in the law."

Everyone has right to equal pay for equal work

* Under the ILO Equal Remuneration Convention, 1951, each member country must ensure that all workers are covered by the principle of equal remuneration for men and women for work of equal value.
* Differential rates between workers as determined by objective appraisal shall not be considered as contrary to the principle of equal remuneration, the convention says. Appropriate action should be taken, after consultation with the employers' and workers' organisations, to ensure the application of the principle of equal remuneration.
* Where appropriate for the purpose of facilitating the determination of rates or remuneration in accordance with the principle of equal remuneration, each ILO member should establish methods for objective appraisal of the work to be performed, whether by job analysis or by other procedures, with a view to provide a classification of jobs.
* ILO conventions stipulate that everyone should, without discrimination, enjoy equality of opportunity and treatment in respect of remuneration for work of equal value.
* Under these conventions, ILO members should abolish all discrimination among workers on grounds of race, colour, sex, belief, tribal association or trade union affiliation in respect of wage rates, which shall be fixed according to the principle of equal pay for work of equal value in the same operation and undertaking.
* Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work. "

Shocking, eh?

Well atleast we can now safely say that its an 'official' problem!

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Old Sep 30th 2004, 7:52 am
  #159  
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Default Re: Is it just me?

Originally Posted by Face81
Hello all,

Srinivas S.M., an Indian accountant, says: "Company owners and general managers are prejudiced against Asians, choosing to hire a worker only if available at a lower wage. Salaries of Asians are 30 to 50 per cent less than those of Arabs, even when performance factors are equal.

"I work for a leading company that has a job description. But value is made on the basis of race and colour, not skills, qualification and experience."

He wonders why labour laws should tolerate such a difference in pay that cannot be explained by objective factors, such as the level of education, the sector of employment and the type of occupation.

Face81
It's disgusting isn't it? This is one thing I absolutely hated about Dubai...it really made my blood boil. The worst thing is that all the Indians I came across in business were exceptionally good at what they did: efficient, polite, clued-up and really committed. Contrast this with the attitude of your average local: lazy, stroppy/rude, ill-informed and unwilling to do more than the barely required minimum....and basically enjoying the fruits of everyone else's labour.

And the hilarious thing is that they think they're Islamic banning subjects like RE in schools and fussing over stupid things in the name of religion. Yet something like this...racism... which is so fundamentally against Islam, they turn a blind eye to. So pisses me off!!!
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Old Sep 30th 2004, 10:00 am
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Default Re: Is it just me?

interesting topic...i'd like to play the devil's advocate here:
i think this is being blown out of proportion a bit and also blaming the dubai nationals for this practice alone isn't fair either. having so many british, american, german, etc. companies in dubai, employing also managers from their origin contry's along of many other nationals, this is a practice accepted by all and supported by all, not only the dubai nationals. therefore, it really has nothing to do with islam...that would be just pulling the problem into the wrong direction.
also, i don't think that this is something specific to dubai. it is a common practice in many contries of the developing and developed world to pay different levels of compensation to nationals and expats. dubai goes one step further and also differentiates between groups of expats. if the former is acceptable, the later has to be as well, otherwise, there would be a double standard. also, there are many countries where expats make more money than the nationals (comparing same level of education and experience), but i haven't heard anyone complaining about that yet. so if we are going to criticize these kind of practices, it should work both way to avoid again another case of double standard here.
especially with indian nationals, the problem lies deeper. india has established it's reputation as a cheap and skilled labor force opening the doors to the world to many indians...especially in the IT sector. of course, such a image is not easy to lose and will easily transfer to all other sectors. i just want to emphasize that i'm not judging or comparing actual levels of education and skills here.
everyone negotiates compensation and it becomes a process where two parties have to agree on the terms of employment, otherwise there would be no employment contract. if people from one country are willing to work for less than others, than this is a problem that is most often rooted in their home country's economic situation. indians do work for less than western expats in most of the western developed countries, too. this is directly related to the opportunity cost of leaving their home country. since that opportunity cost is higher for many western expats, their compensation threshold for accepting jobs is higher.
if there would come a law that would regulate the range of compensation, the number of nationals from india securing jobs would simply drop since there is a obvious preference for western educated and experienced professionals (not only in dubai but world-wide).
i'm not saying that this is a perfect world and that it is a good practice. moreover, i agree that there are also some race issues in dubai, but these exist in many other countries as well. pointing the finger at dubai alone wouldn't be fair. however, i'm not a particular fan of over-regulation. and the indians that come here still are better off than in the home country, or they wouldn't accept the jobs, right? i also apologize for only referring to indian nationals here, it's merely intended to be an example.
cheers
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Old Oct 1st 2004, 1:19 am
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Default Re: Is it just me?

Originally Posted by goingdubai
interesting topic...i'd like to play the devil's advocate here:
i think this is being blown out of proportion a bit and also blaming the dubai nationals for this practice alone isn't fair either. having so many british, american, german, etc. companies in dubai, employing also managers from their origin contry's along of many other nationals, this is a practice accepted by all and supported by all, not only the dubai nationals. therefore, it really has nothing to do with islam...that would be just pulling the problem into the wrong direction.
also, i don't think that this is something specific to dubai. it is a common practice in many contries of the developing and developed world to pay different levels of compensation to nationals and expats. dubai goes one step further and also differentiates between groups of expats. if the former is acceptable, the later has to be as well, otherwise, there would be a double standard. also, there are many countries where expats make more money than the nationals (comparing same level of education and experience), but i haven't heard anyone complaining about that yet. so if we are going to criticize these kind of practices, it should work both way to avoid again another case of double standard here.
especially with indian nationals, the problem lies deeper. india has established it's reputation as a cheap and skilled labor force opening the doors to the world to many indians...especially in the IT sector. of course, such a image is not easy to lose and will easily transfer to all other sectors. i just want to emphasize that i'm not judging or comparing actual levels of education and skills here.
everyone negotiates compensation and it becomes a process where two parties have to agree on the terms of employment, otherwise there would be no employment contract. if people from one country are willing to work for less than others, than this is a problem that is most often rooted in their home country's economic situation. indians do work for less than western expats in most of the western developed countries, too. this is directly related to the opportunity cost of leaving their home country. since that opportunity cost is higher for many western expats, their compensation threshold for accepting jobs is higher.
if there would come a law that would regulate the range of compensation, the number of nationals from india securing jobs would simply drop since there is a obvious preference for western educated and experienced professionals (not only in dubai but world-wide).
i'm not saying that this is a perfect world and that it is a good practice. moreover, i agree that there are also some race issues in dubai, but these exist in many other countries as well. pointing the finger at dubai alone wouldn't be fair. however, i'm not a particular fan of over-regulation. and the indians that come here still are better off than in the home country, or they wouldn't accept the jobs, right? i also apologize for only referring to indian nationals here, it's merely intended to be an example.
cheers
The reason I mentioned Islam and I do maintain it is relevant is that Middle Eastern countries (and Dubai is no exception in many respects), jump onto the religious bandwagon whenever it suits their needs. Yet when a practice is clearly anti-Islamic but is in their best interest, they turn a blind eye and brush it under the carpet. So, it's not pulling in the wrong direction at all...if you want to introduce religious laws, then do it consistently or don't bother at all.

The fact that a practice is accepted, doesn't mean it is right or shouldn't be questioned. Digressing slightly, the working conditions and treatment of the average maid in Dubai, for example, is generally appalling...accepted but appalling. If two people are equally able, in paper qualifications and in terms of experience, why the pay discrimination? It's wrong and it is this sort of attitude which will mean that the developing world will always remain the developing world. The users on this forum are generally from the UAE, so we are not particularly interested in the fact that it goes on elsewhere...this is again no justification...perhaps we should set our sights higher and look at the countries where such treatment would be unacceptable...even facing the fact that it's unacceptable might be a good start.

It's conceded that the Indians/expats who take on such employment do so because of their poor economic situation and are much better off when compared to their counterparts back home but surely that in itself is not a justification for unfair pay.

Also, in Dubai it is not just the pay discrimination but the way in which as a result, these groups are widely perceived as second class citizens by western expats and locals alike. This is, no doubt, an unpleasant side effect of their pay levels, which in turn determines their social status. There is something inherently wrong with a culture/ society where such discrimination is so happily tolerated and the well off scramble higher up the income ladder with a complete disregard for those they step on, as they climb.
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Old Oct 1st 2004, 5:09 am
  #162  
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Default Re: Is it just me?

Originally Posted by Cherrypie
It's disgusting isn't it? This is one thing I absolutely hated about Dubai...it really made my blood boil. The worst thing is that all the Indians I came across in business were exceptionally good at what they did: efficient, polite, clued-up and really committed. Contrast this with the attitude of your average local: lazy, stroppy/rude, ill-informed and unwilling to do more than the barely required minimum....and basically enjoying the fruits of everyone else's labour.

And the hilarious thing is that they think they're Islamic banning subjects like RE in schools and fussing over stupid things in the name of religion. Yet something like this...racism... which is so fundamentally against Islam, they turn a blind eye to. So pisses me off!!!
I have to say that u r absolutely correct. Sure the U.A.E nationals should be given priority and they should be given the opportunity to work in their Dynamic nation, but having said that, they really do need to pass a few laws on equality......They dont need to go as far as that whole Human Rights mess in Bahrain, but simpler rules that ensure the equal treatment for all, regardless of colour, nationality and race would go a long, long way in todays global society.

I read today that the ministry is planning to regulate all school holidays, meaning that they are trying to make it so that every school is closed at the same time and that they are all open at the same time. I really cant see how this would work because of all the different systems that schools in Dubai follow. Thats not the point anyway, my point is that if they are so willing to ensure all schools open and close together, why cant they ensure that people with the same qualifications (regardless of their origins) is paid the same amount? Surely it wouldnt be too hard to monitor that?

And let me just say here that by putting someones job title and SALARY on their Labour Cards is an act of discrimination in itself. Surely they could keep sensitive information like that on their computer systems. Someone really needs to sit them down and give them a few pointers on equality.

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Last edited by Face81; Oct 1st 2004 at 5:26 am.
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Old Oct 1st 2004, 5:15 am
  #163  
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Default Re: Is it just me?

Originally Posted by goingdubai
the indians that come here still are better off than in the home country, or they wouldn't accept the jobs, right? i also apologize for only referring to indian nationals here, it's merely intended to be an example.
cheers
Well that may not always be the case. When they come here, all they know is that their salaries are going to be x times more than wot they wud normally b making at home. Fair enuf, but when they get here, the peripheral expenses of accomodation and other peripheral day 2 day expenses are often overwhelming.

They cant afford the rents, they cant afford the food, the clothes and wot ever else......They are often ill informed about the very high costs of living in Dubai and it often means that they are spending a good 80% of their incomes on surviving in Dubai, rather that being able to save it all.

I really do feel sorry for them sometimes. Its very sad indeed.

-Face81 (with only 1 more day off b4 uni opens )

Last edited by Face81; Oct 1st 2004 at 5:27 am.
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Old Oct 1st 2004, 5:52 am
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Default Re: Is it just me?

Originally Posted by Face81
Well that may not always be the case. When they come here, all they know is that their salaries are going to be x times more than wot they wud normally b making at home. Fair enuf, but when they get here, the peripheral expenses of accomodation and other peripheral day 2 day expenses are often overwhelming.

They cant afford the rents, they cant afford the food, the clothes and wot ever else......They are often ill informed about the very high costs of living in Dubai and it often means that they are spending a good 80% of their incomes on surviving in Dubai, rather that being able to save it all.

I really do feel sorry for them sometimes. Its very sad indeed.

-Face81 (with only 1 more day off b4 uni opens )
So, when you're back at uni, does it mean you won't have much time for the forum anymore?

Just read your profile, sure you've given us enough detail there? Didn't realise you were a Muslim
Cherrypie is offline  
Old Oct 1st 2004, 5:59 am
  #165  
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Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 34
goingdubai is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: Is it just me?

hey face,
how are things going?
still no msn over here...i thought i let you know before you even ask...;-)

i feel that if someone is ill informed before moving to another country, that's their own fault. i agree that it is a situation that you wouldn't wish on anyone and it can turn out to be a bad decision moving in such instances. however, this isn't something that dubai or dubai nationals can be blamed for.

the more indian nationals that will live through such a scenario, the more indians at home will eventually hear about it. this should directly influence the salary levels they will start demanding and naturally close the gap between westerners and indians for example.

also, what cherrypie said about indians performance in the workplace is being noticed by others as well. even though it seems to be a slow process, i get the feeling that it has started in some areas for indian employees to be more in demand for their better work ethic. in addition they usually don't demand as much money as western expats leading to more opportunities. if this trend continues, we might slowly see salaries for western expats to decrease (as it is already happening for some reasons) and salaries for indians to increase...probably won't become equal to each other but at least close the gap somewhat.

cheers
goingdubai is offline  

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