Don't be a Guest Worker in Dubai - They have Debtor's Prison!

Almost every other nation is curtailing their imported labor due to economic contraction but this story shows just how complex it can get if you are imported labor in a country which is not your own. In Laid-Off Foreigners Flee as Dubai Spirals Down , foreigners are abandoning their credit cards, cars and have even done the more stupid thing of buying property in Dubai, on a temporary work now they are getting laid off. Dubai cannot provide them with a job and to make it even more interesting, Dubai has debtor's prison!

Sofia, a 34-year-old Frenchwoman, moved here a year ago to take a job in advertising, so confident about Dubai’s fast-growing economy that she bought an apartment for almost $300,000 with a 15-year mortgage.

An abandoned car in a parking garage in Dubai. One report said 3,000 cars were sitting abandoned at the Dubai Airport.

Now, like many of the foreign workers who make up 90 percent of the population here, she has been laid off and faces the prospect of being forced to leave this Persian Gulf city — or worse.

“I’m really scared of what could happen, because I bought property here,” said Sofia, who asked that her last name be withheld because she is still hunting for a new job. “If I can’t pay it off, I was told I could end up in debtors’ prison.”

So, think twice before becoming imported labor. You may not only be in for culture shock you may be left holding quite the serious bag as countries curtail their temporary guest worker Visas in order to provide jobs for their actual citizens.

You may be portable, but your national laws and protections as a citizen of a nation are not.

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it's the wild west out east....

Dubai is a mess. The jobs are going down the pan as people wake up to the fact that the real economic growth in the region is centred in Abu Dhabi rather than the investment-led phantasm that is Dubai. And yeah, if you haven't taken steps to protect yourself, you can be in a lot of trouble - private individual and business alike...