Well as promised another controversial entry! To be honest, I am starting to run out of really shocking things to lambaste the conservative, artificial and controlled bubble that most people in Dubai live in. But here goes
The current system which allows non-UAE nationals to live in this country basically revolves around a sponsorship system. To those who are not familiar with this, it basically means that to live in this country you will either need to be directly or indirectly ( through your working spouse/father e.t.c) sponsored by company or UAE national. Almost all companies (except for ones based in free zones but I am not going to talk about them for the sake of simplicity) are either completely owned by UAE nationals or at least 51% of it. Your existence in this country is connected to some UAE national or another.
Furthermore, the UAE has some really ridiculously draconian laws regulating the labour market. Im not going to bother listing all of them as it will take up too much of my time(UAE Labour Laws ). To put it shortly, UAE labour laws have granted employers a metamorphic rod to whip workers in any way they please. Labour has minimal rights. They are basically slaves in the hands of their employers. Additionally, because it is a legally cumbersome effort to change your job, there is minimal labour mobility. A lot of the problems with worker not being paid for months at a time or being abused by forcing them to work in hazardous environments could be easily resolved in most other countries. You would just quit your job and go to somewhere better! Here you have to suffer through it, complain to the Labour Department and hope that someone in there wakes up on the right side of the bed and is willing to take your case (one of 100s submitted daily) seriously.
How about evolving the system?
Get rid of the sponsor system. I have seen SO MANY injustices being made due to this system.
In its place issue residency visas that last the same duration and needs to be renewed in the same way as current employment visas. The residency visa is issued by the Immigration Department and is not attached to a single company or UAE national. The Department will decide who to let into the country based on the shortage of particular labour that exists in the nation. This visa entitles you to work at any company and entitles you to full job mobility. Since we know one of the main reason we have the sponsorship system is so that this country does not have to bear with unemployment issues, the residency visa will be nullified if someone is unemployed for 6 months. Currently there is minimal unemployment in a working population of 2.7 million people ( 1.33% or 15% if compared to the UAE nationals working population of 240,000 -according to FT ). These people unemployed are only UAE nationals as any expat that is unemployed will loose their visa and either leave the country or find another job ( if they are not blacklisted!).
OK bring it on with the comments!