Gulf States infrastructure suffering from lack of expat expertise

Published:  3 Dec at 6 PM
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Recent articles in the GCC Arab media suggest a reaction against getting rid of expatriate talent in the region.

In spite of the various Omanization, Kuwatization, Saudization and other such programmes intended to rid the emirates of expatriates and give their jobs to locals, it seems an increasing number of nationals believe government, institutional and other performances are in decline as a result. Arab newspapers are full of tales of woe and scandals related to the programmes, and infrastructure is failing across the region due to a lack of action, supervision and technical expertise. There are even reports of fake university decrees and court document thefts.

For both locals and the remaining expat community, the state of the roads is causing daily hazards such as broken windscreens and damaged paintwork, and the vastly increased numbers of cars on the roads are making the daily commute a living nightmare. No-one is proposing setting up alternative methods of transport including metro systems or underground trains, but high rise apartment blocks unaffordable by everyday emiratis are springing up everywhere. Fans of social media are posting their complaints, but no-one’s answering.

Members of parliament talk about the problems before shelving the solutions to the following year, which, of course, never arrives. Columnists suggest the more expats are forced into leaving, the worse the situation will become but, again, no-one’s listening. At this point in time, the majority of the emirates’ governments and 85 per cent of their government employees are citizens, with the public at large seeing no improvements and a great deal more deterioration. The general opinion nowadays is that the Arab states are losing much-needed expat professional experience a well as expats well used to working hard to solve practical problems.
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