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Multiculturalism and Minority Rights in the Arab World$
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Will Kymlicka and Eva Pföstl

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199675135

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199675135.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use.date: 23 May 2022

The Gulf’s Servant Class

The Gulf’s Servant Class

(p.174) 8 The Gulf’s Servant Class
Multiculturalism and Minority Rights in the Arab World

Nicholas McGeehan

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores the treatment of migrant workers in the United Arab Emirates. In many countries the exploitation of minorities occurs despite paper guarantees in the law of fair treatment. In the UAE, however, the exploitation of migrant workers occurs not despite but precisely because of the supposedly protective labor laws and justice system. Their mistreatment is the direct result of an official system of exploitation that can even be characterized as facilitating their enslavement. This chapter provides a legal analysis of the country’s labor system, and explores the ruling elite’s resistance to reform. This analysis casts doubt on the applicability of notions of citizenship or multiculturalism in a society as polarized as the UAE, and argues that it is the persistence and significance of domestic slavery in the region that explains the serious exploitation of workers in labor-intensive sectors such as construction.

Keywords:   United Arab Emirates, Arabian Gulf, migrant workers, slavery, labor, exploitation

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