Its lowest paid workers pay the highest price.
As much as one marvels at the success and literal rise of Dubai it is impossible for anyone who lives in or visits the city not to see the multitude of expatriate workers. They far outnumber the local population.
While indeed as a nation and a culture Dubai and the UAE have opened its doors to all who have wanted to come--and most have come to earn higher wages than they would elsewhere--many have felt like anything but honored guests. In fact, it is the ones who ought to be most appreciated for carrying out the most onerous tasks that are the most taken for granted and the least cared for.
These include the construction workers--who perhaps number as many as 1 million or nearly one fifth of the entire resident population. They also include tens of thousands of other manual laborers and domestic workers and large numbers of service workers--people laboring in shops, restaurants, and hotels. So many of those resident in the UAE lead invisible lives as low-paid workers, in stark relief to the affluence rising up all around them. No applause for Dubai here.
Read more: In Support of UAE Laborers, Disgruntled Workers--a 2006 Guardian article.