Remember the old Beach Boys classic, Surf City. It was a remarkable place, Brian Wilson sang to us, with "two girls for every boy!" For some young music fans, this was a first encounter with ratios. Anyway, the Emirates Economist has a recent post up - One Maid for Every Child - that suggests the ratios in Dubai City might be even more extreme than Surf City:
Five per cent of the population of the UAE are domestic workers, according to a new study by the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Abu Dhabi: Mohammad Al Saeedi has four housemaids, one for each of his children.
Al Saeedi affirms the study's findings by saying, "I know countless families who have more maids than there are people in the house."
26-year-old Mohammad Al Ganabi says this idea has to change. "It is actually not healthy to the structure of the family to have these many housemaids.
Besides housemaids other there are other categories of domestic workers such as chauffeurs.
It is not only Emirati families that employ domestics. Many middle and upper class ex pat families employ live-in domestics as well. Still, 5% is substantial in a country where less than 30% of the population are citizens and most of the 70% ex pats are low wage workers.
Run the math on the figures in the last sentence and recall that none of these foreign workers enjoy any civil rights. Gotta love those ratios! How much longer can Emirati society accept this extraordinary imbalance?