I like big arguments!
Are you saying that they desperately want to leave Dubai, and their jobmasters are physically forcing them or coercing them in some way to stay?
Actually, that's pretty much a clause in the contract of virtually every foreign (dependent) worker. And I'm not talking just about the coolie-like "employment" of thousands of Indians, Pakistanis, etc.
An old friend of mine and her husband live in Doha, Qatar, with her husband working as a civil engineer for a major Greek construction contractor. His employment contract at least has very strict terms -he can only reside in Doha as long as he's "sponsored" and guaranteed for by his employer. He cannot "go freelance" all that easily (or at all), and if by any chance he's fired or decides to quit, he must leave Qatar within 3 days (!), not allowed to reside even as a tourist, and he needs to ask for explicit company permission in advance and navigate a complex visa bureaucratic to even leave the country on e.g. vacations or for an urgent leave. In effect, his stay there is ENTIRELY determined by the whims of his employer, and he's an engineer, not some coolie.
Addendum: As for the "lower classes" of workers, he had a few things to say about them, too. Indians, Pakis, Banglas etc. are pretty much in a regime of indentured servitude, but at least they got there voluntarily.
Yet, there are unskilled workers who were brought over there with a lower still status: Chinese contractors, he said, are apparently able to subcontract PRISONERS from Chinese jails directly from the State, who are pretty much drafted and sent over there. South Korean contractors, surprisingly, also have their own semi-slave workers: apparently, it's possible to work abroad as some contractor's low-cost coolie as an alternative to fulfilling your military service in Korea. Knowing full well from my experience with the Greek Army how such 'voluntary' positions work out, you can bet that some people are not there entirely on their own free will.
Last edited by Maes on 02-11-14 at 12:35