If you haven’t seen them in your neighbourhood, you most probably have heard about the abandoned cars on the radio while you have been driving to work in the morning. For your information, the re-emerging trend of abandoning cars which we witnessed back in 2008 and 2009, now it is spreading not only across the suburban areas of Dubai as Discovery Gardens and International City. During the past few months, we see cars covered with months old dust also in Business Bay and even in the Downtown Dubai.
An alarming sign for some and simply annoying exterior obstruction for others, the abandoned cars are once again an indisputable fact in Dubai. People are leaving. They can’t afford to take care of their vehicles anymore and wave the down payments, pack their suitcases and departure with the hope to find an easier life elsewhere.
One may say that this is a normal occurrence, because Dubai is a transitional place where people always come and go. Before all, the population of the city consist of 93% of expats. But is it possible for a city to exist only with the purpose to receive tourists, even if twenty million of them arrive in a year, as it is planned for 2020??
Every year, September marks the beginning of a new business season. Many expats return from holidays and newcomers arrive to start new careers and business endeavors. 2015 is no exception. Many of the established companies in Dubai replace their already experienced staff with cheaper labour, so they can reduce their operational expenses. Do not wonder why a telephone operator at the other end of the landline can’t comprehend your inquiry and needs long time to type your question, or a waiter doesn’t know the menu of the eatery and brings a soup spoon with the ice cream.
For the past few decades, the micro economic success of the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council was largely attributed to the use of cheap labour. But today in Dubai, it is no longer possible to build five star experiences with unqualified and inexperienced workers who will accept to sweat for dimes. Talent has a price.
For expats who come from developed countries, life in Dubai has become very expensive. The salaries are shrinking and accommodation allowances are going out of fashion. An ever rising cost of education and transportation constrains family budgets. For many expats who are used to easy availability of schools in their neighbourhoods and household services on a walking distance, it makes no sense to overspend for mediocre schooling and bus transportation.
Food is also much more expensive than in Europe, for example. Healthy eating may cost you a fortune.
At present, many of the foreign workers in Dubai struggle to cover their expenses and the lack of possibility for retirement savings coupled with the lack of pension system makes no sense for them to continue living here. Therefore, they opt to leave.
And it is not only the abandoned cars you may see, there are also many vacant homes….