Dear Rubina Sahiba,
‘Anokha Rang’, brings to mind many
facts about human values and attitudes, and the human reaction to various
parameters of social and economic factors that control and influence our lives.
You are obviously overly impressed with tall buildings, the attractive shopping
malls, well laid out streets full of imported BMWs and Mercedes. Who would not
be – I would be too.
Every drop of oil that has
been extracted in the region, goes for the luxury of the few which becomes a
source of attraction for many. The guest workers or the hired hands are only too
happy to have an opportunity to work and earn some money while they can.
The oil rich Sheikhdoms
stand out like a rich man’s haveli
in the middle of a poverty stricken cluster of villages in today’s Pakistan or
almost any place on earth imagined five centuries ago. The unskilled labor goes
there to offer their menial services to earn their livelihood. The educated
people go there to sell their time at inflated rates to make tax free money that
cannot be done elsewhere.
The Dubai economy was indeed
built on the region’s oil money, but now its 40 billion dollars yearly revenue
includes less than 5% revenues from oil exports. Their oil reserves are drying
up. Dubai is now a place for tourism and a large business hub as a free port. It
will flourish as the rest of the world flourishes. Inflation or other economic
hardships in the industrial world causes a negative impact on places that
survive on its services, such as Dubai and many other holiday resorts. We have
recently seen how Dubai’s real estate market has suffered as a result of
international inflation and economic difficulties.
The work force of Dubai
mostly depends on the labor imported from various third world countries. The
technology and technocrats are brought in from the industrial West. Dubai, like
so many other Arab countries, has nothing to offer to its imported hired hands
on long term basis. In fact the Arab oil Sheikhdoms, have not done much to
ensure even their own long term future. Most of their economies are tied with
oil – when the oil is gone, every thing will be gone with it. The Sheikhdoms
have huge investments in the US and European countries for the rainy day. It is
any one’s guess what will happen to their investments in the long run when the
chips are really down, knowing what happened to Iranian Shah’s money in America.
like so many other Arab countries, is a transitional camp for foreign workers
who make up about 85% of the total population which is about 1.4 million. The
man-woman ratio is about 3:1, just about 350,000 women, among over a million
can be a fertile ground for a Canadian immigration agent. With Canada’s low
population growth, less than 1.8 per couple on the average, the immigration
business will go on for some time to come.
The Arab world had more than
half of world’s oil reserves under their soil. Most of this oil is closer to
ground and costs about $5 a barrel to extract. The oil in Canada, Russia and
America costs six times as much per barrel to extract. With so much oil, and so
cheap to extract, what do the Arabs have to show for? Almost nothing except
Dubai – a city of 1.5 million, the 85% of which are outsiders and they will
remain the outsiders. In spite of the abundance of money, the Arabs could not
create their own engineers, doctors, accountants, technologists even to this