Tearing up the welcome mat – When covid-19 recedes, will global migration start again? | International

Tearing up the welcome mat – When covid-19 recedes, will global migration start again? | International

Aug 1st 2020DUBAI, JOHANNESBURG, SINGAPORE, SYDNEY, TOKYO AND WASHINGTON, DCEVERY WEEKEND the removal vans come to a leafy suburb of Dubai. Expatria

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EVERY WEEKEND the removal vans come to a leafy suburb of Dubai. Expatriates are packing up. The United Arab Emirates (UAE), of which Dubai is part, will lose 10% of its population this year, reckons Nasser al-Shaikh, an ex-finance minister. Covid-19 has devastated the Gulf’s trade-and-transport hub. Emirates, Dubai’s airline, says it may cut 30% of its roughly 100,000 staff.

Nearly all of those losing their jobs in the UAE are migrants, who are almost 90% of the population. Without a job, they have to leave the country. This is irksome enough if they are bankers or architects. For those who used to wash dishes in hotels or lay bricks on building sites that are now shuttered, it can be a nightmare. Some 500,000 Indians in the UAE have registered to be evacuated; less than half have been.

Many blue-collar migrants have waited so long for flights that they have blown their savings. Asad (not his real name) got a $1,100 pay-off when he lost his construction job in April, but has had to spend nearly all of it…



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