Whenever you think of Dubai you probably think of innovative architecture, lavishes and riches, and mile high skyscrapers! Dubai is a billionaire’s playground with attractions, glitterati, and pristine cars galore! Many Westerner’s trek to Dubai for exotic vacations full of vanity and luxury. Producers of action movies frequently shoot in Dubai for its beautiful scenery and socialites.
However; lurking beneath the shiny facade of dining, shopping, and hotels is a deep history of corruption. Being a country supported by tourism, Dubai works hard to hide its corruption from the world. The very tourism that drives Dubai’s thriving economy is the same culprit for driving corruption! Some even claim Dubai is as corrupt as ever! With borders open to travelers from all over the world, Dubai invites in the shadowy figures of the world’s most corrupt!
Read on to get a rare glimpse of Dubai’s well guarded dark side. You will see why some say the levels of corruption in Dubai are at the highest they have ever been! Crimes of all types, from money laundering to torture, are at all time highs! By the end of this article you will see why all that glitters is not always gold. Sometimes those that try hardest to shine have the most darkness to hide. Or as is the case of Dubai, corruption can cause even the most sparkling surface to tarnish.
These 15 facts below will prove to you that the country of Dubai is as corrupt as ever despite it’s lusted after facade.
15. Being Imprisoned Could Mean Getting Beaten to Death
Sadly, many reports have come out of Dubai in wrongful imprisonment. Many have also reported being beaten, and even almost killed while in Dubai prisons! Two of these reports have even become fairly big stories on the news.
Lee Bardley Brown, a 39 year old British tourist, was traveling to Dubai on holiday. However; his plans to escape reality quickly turned into the stuff of nightmares when he was arrested for swearing. Police sources revealed Brown was badly beaten and left on the floor unconscious. It is alleged in his six days at Bur Dubai Police Station, Brown was not given enough food or water. He was also not allowed to contact his lawyer. Brown later died in his cell.
Another man, David Haigh, has shared tales of being tortured into confession. Haigh was the managing director of Leeds United, a professional soccer club, when he was accused of money laundering. After, Haigh was relentlessly tased, beaten, and “torched” by officers of Dubai’s prison to try to force a confession.
Other terrible techniques used by Dubai prison guards include prying off fingernails, pouring insects on inmates, dousing prisoners with cold water in front of fans, depriving inmates of sleep for up to 20 days, threats of assult, and abuse.
14. Monetary Resources Are Wasted On Corruption
In February 2017, H.H Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, ruler of Dubai, spent an hour answering questions from the Arab world at the World Government Summit. In that time, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid said that a “trillion USD is wasted in the region due to corruption.”
Allow that to digest for a moment. A trillion dollars. Not million, not billion, but a TRILLION dollars, are being wasted due to massive amounts of corruption going on in Dubai, and the surrounding areas! Devastating facts such as these make it hard to swallow facts about the people of Dubai. Such as the fact that many are illiterate and they continue to live in poverty, even though the city is supposed to be one of vast wealth.
13. Saudi Arabia Hides Its Money in Dubai
The United Arab Emirates, otherwise known as the UAE, is one of the main places where wealthy Saudis park their money abroad. Particularly its most commercially sound conglomerate, Dubai. In addition to stashing funds into bank accounts, Saudi’s also purchase luxury apartments and invest in Dubai’s often volatile stock market.
The UAE central bank recently requested commercial banks in Dubai provide them with details of the accounts of 19 Saudis. Almost all 19, including billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal and former National Guard chief Prince Miteb bin Abdullah, are known to be among dozens of senior officials and businessmen detained in a recent corruption inquiry.
12. Corruption Boils Under the Rule of a Total Monarchy
Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid, claims there is a zero tolerance policy for corruption in Dubai. However; the same monarchy he is born into causes much of the underhanded behavior in his city.
Whenever a country has no election process, things can start to look a bit corrupt. Instead, Dubai’s leaders pass high-paid government roles to family members. This process continues in an endless circle for citizens of Dubai. As one reigning monarch dies, their legacy is passed on to another member of their family. This demands that the power and riches of this city stay within the same hands.
We have all seen what power can do to even the most noble. When you feel you control the world, you start playing God with those you see over.
11. There Freedom of Press is Almost Non-Existant
In the past, Dubai was regularly imprisoned journalists for minor infractions. Journalists who wrote about political scandals, were imprisoned for as much as two months time! News was heavily influenced by those in the monarchy, government, and with wealth. Citizens could not rely on their press as being true and unbiased. Crimes and wrong doings were committed without worry as the press was bound by the laws of Dubai.
Fortunately, although still unjust, the government of Dubai passed a directive in 2007, that stated journalist could no longer be imprisoned just heavily fined. Understandably, journalist have a difficult time covering human rights abuses, corruption cases, and government crimes out of fear of becoming financially ruined.
This strangulation of press does not just apply to traditional outlets. In 2013, the authorities arrested a US citizen alongside a few UAE citizens, for uploading a parody video to YouTube. The uploaded video showed an unfavourable image of Dubai.
10. The Press Also Can’t Release Stories If Sources are Imprisoned
Freedom of the press is so limited in the beautiful, but corrupt, city-state of Dubai that many stories detailing the issues occurring within law enforcement, the corruption, or really anything that puts the city in a bad light, gets you in a ton of trouble.
After a piece is written for any news outlet, the journalist writing the piece often has to wait for their source to be released from jail before they can publish their piece! Since many informants, or “sources”, are caught due to the strict laws and practices of Dubai rule this practice protects them from further punishment. If the government were to find out about the story, it could incur more jail time for the source. Waiting to release the story until the source is free and clear, prevents any further headaches as a small courtesy for their assistance.
9. Dubai Maintains Slave Labor Camps
Look back on photos of Dubai ten years ago. Now take a look at photos of the massive monument of a city that stands as the Dubai of today. It is easy to see just how much the landscape has changed. The city-state was built over more than a decade. This was a decade of quick change. However; the secret to erecting the towering Dubai so quick is not a shiny as the glimmering walls of the city.
Similar to Egyptians being enslaved to create the great pyramids, slave labor was also used to complete the construction of the city-state of Dubai in haste. The worst part? The slave labor camps in Dubai are still up and functional to this day. In a time when most of the world finds slavery unacceptable, Dubai is using this barbaric construction method to grow and prosper.
Many people of the city are not offered a way of life fit for a human. These people existed first get the city of Dubai up and running. Now they remain simply to create the city’s continuous expansions.
8. Citizens Live in Fear of Quitting Terrible Jobs
A privacy limiting law in Dubai mandates your employer to notify your financial institution, in the event that you terminate your employment with their company. Your bank! The “safe” place you store your life savings with! The government claims this protocol is for debt reasons. Unfortunately; it can cause you a lot of headache and heartache if you are trying to leave the city state.
The government of Dubai does not care if you have been a citizen of another country in the past. The figure if you are working in Dubai, then you are abiding by their laws. Therefore, your bank will be notified if you quit your job.
Our hope is that the citizens of Dubai can inform their bank of an career change without punishment. It seems you really only have reason to worry is if your bank has a record of you having debt. The city- state of Dubai doesn’t “do debt” as ominously unclear as that is.
7. Criminals Trap You in Dubai By Stealing Your Passport
Thinking about traveling to Dubai on a work visa? If so, make sure you keep those passports safe at all times! Countless personal accounts from migrant workers have begun to surface that claim their passports stolen. There seems to a forming scheme developing against workers once they arrived in Dubai.
When a new wave or group of workers arrives in town, they are mercilessly harassed until they are forced into purchasing a work visa. These visas are are essential to start working in Dubai, and typically cost the worker a fortune. After these workers become indebted by a local lender, it is said that their construction “company”, then takes the workers passport as punishment. This act traps the worker within the city-state.
Aside from being able to return home without hassle, or at all. Who knows what is happening with all of the collected identifying information that is being stolen from these workers! This stolen information can trap them in a cycle, never able to get out or get home.
6. Poverty Has Increased by 80% in the Last Two Years
Partially due to corruption, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid has stated that poverty in the region, has increased by 80% in the last two years alone. He went on to say that in the overall Arab community, both in Dubai, as well as other places, 57 million Arabs are illiterate. Of those same people, 30 million are living in poverty. Much of that number is also living in extreme poverty.
In fact, over 13 million Arab children were not enrolled in any form of school this past education year. Now we must point out, those numbers include Arabs from more regions that just Dubai. However; the fact that there is any poverty in such a rich city continues to astound us.
Only a truly corrupt government and population can stand back, and watch a decline like this. With so many riches within the city, you would think the people would reach out and help those in worse circumstances. Unfortunately; the corrupt do not seem to care.
5. Debt Means Never Leaving Dubai
As mentioned earlier in this list, Dubai doesn’t take too kindly to it’s citizens having any form of debts. If you’re a citizen in debt in Dubai, you are in BIG trouble.
Regardless of the circumstances, if you have no money at all you can be thrown in jail for at least six months as payment for your “crimes.” Should you try to quit your job and leave the city-state, please make sure that you are free and clear of any debts first! Leaving a place of employment with any debt, is a sure-fire way to end up in jail as mentioned above.
However; the cell isn’t your only punishment. You cannot buy a plane ticket while behind prison bars. The city-state of Dubai traps people from running out on their debts. The sickest part of this rule? Once someone is imprisoned, they cannot earn money to pay off their debts, trapping them in Dubai for possibly ever.
4. Western Women Typically Have to Accept Sexual Harassment in Dubai
When in Dubai, if a western woman says no to an advance from a local Dubai male, he can use her social media to make her a criminal.
If the targeted woman has posted any pictures on her social media accounts showing her dressed in normal, yet “immodest” clothing, drinking, or generally enjoying herself, said could be used against to accuse her of disrespecting Dubai’s laws.
We know this sounds crazy, but sadly, it is true. You could be out enjoying yourself, posting to your Instagram, and then you get hit on by some guy. If you don’t agree to his advances, no matter how gross, slimy, or corrupt he might be, he could give the government your name. He will claim that you are disrespecting the rules that govern Dubai, and provide the government with pictures of you. It could result in you getting slapped with fines or even a stint in jail.
3. Construction Foundations are Built with Corruption
Construction set Dubai apart as one of the gems of the world. Therefore, it should not be a surprise after reading this list that the construction industry in Dubai is riddled with corruption!
Nearly every building project that has been constructed in Dubai, in recent years has been riddled with connections to either fraudulent accounting, bribery of state officials, purchasing of illegal building materials, or a combination of all three.
For years, the world’s construction companies have flocked to Dubai to construct taller, and modern structures against the view of the sky. Why would any smart business owner build anywhere else in the world when they could use dirt cheap labor, buy their materials from illegal and unethical sources; and they don’t have to abide by any rules or regulations when they are in Dubai.
These business owners make a ton of money off any project completed in Dubai. In turn, they get to take that money and play with it in the “Billionaire’s Playground”. Who cares about leading a good life when a corrupt one is so much fun?
2. There is No Such Thing As a Fair Trial in Dubai
Should you ever end up facing the judicial court system in Dubai, you are going to need the best of luck. According to many, although not very shockingly, the trials they were a part to in Dubai’s judicial system were completely biased.
Others account that they have witnessed local law enforcement planting illegal substances in vehicles before “randomly” pulling the driver over and taking them to jail. With all we have covered so far, why would we expect anyone to get a fair trial anytime someone is trying to question the laws, the corruption issues, or anything that doesn’t show Dubai in a positive light.
If you are going to take a trip to this city, especially after reading this list, make sure you are well-versed in their laws, and you that don’t get into any trouble. Chances are things will not go in your favor if you make any type of scuffle in the city.
1. The Most Corrupt People In The World Flock to Dubai
We are all familiar with the law of attraction. This law basically says that you attract what you are. This is why experts tell you to be positive if you want to attract positivity. Or to be a leader if you want a new management opportunity. The same thing has happened to Dubai, except it was their corruption that attracted more corruption to their city-state.
The most recent and most publicized event was in 2016, when Nigeria’s Chief of Army Staff, General Tukur Yusuf Buratai, used about $500,000 from the Nigerian army to buy two properties in Dubai. This isn’t even the first time Nigeria and Dubai have had shady dealings, an estimated $200 billion has been wrongfully taken from investments in Nigeria to be used in Dubai.
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