The United Arab Emirates: The Land of Welfare


Jumeirah Public Beach, Dubai | © JB-2078 / Alamy Stock Photo

           The United Arab Emirates is known for its extensive wealth and for constructing the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa. They are one of the richest countries in the world because of its substantial production of goods and chemicals. When you think of Dubai, you will think of the luxury living, the wealth, the skyline, and the shopping. Only ninety-seven miles away is Abu Dhabi, the larger, more expensive, but more peaceful capital. The UAE is not a possessive nation; they provide its citizens with unbelievable amounts of financial support. A citizen of the UAE receives advantageous perks for life.

          Because of being one of the most profitable countries in the world, they have the capability to take care of its citizens financially. A director of Abu Dhabi pensions stated that $545 million a year is given to 13,500 pensioners in only Abu Dhabi; imagine how much it is for the entire country as a whole. Their citizens are capable of being unemployed and still making a minimum of $2,800 because of retirement pensions. As well, a study published in 2009 found that 60% of Emiratis make over $5,000 per month. Many of the citizens, almost ninety percent, living there work for the government so they are never in fear of losing their job.

          Apart from direct financial support, the government fully covers the cost of many pocket-shattering events that happen throughout the life of a regular person. For example, marriage; the government gives up to $20,000 USD for an Emirati man to marry another Emirati woman if they cannot afford a wedding. As well, they will pay for funerals and have the service sometimes just hours after death.

         Other perks that Emiratis receive are early retirement after twenty years of working for the state, free education (including both their universities and studying abroad), and most importantly, free land to create their own house; if they cannot afford to build a new house they will receive a loan from the government with zero interest! In April of this year, Dubai’s ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, announced that the government will be investing $1.72 billion to create land and housing for over 4,600 citizens. Furthermore, between 2000 and 2012, they provided housing to 14,500 Emiratis; prioritizing orphans, widows, senior citizens, and people with special needs. This extensive support from the UAE goes to the most “deserving” Emiratis, who could be lower class.

           Despite the fact that the UAE practices very patriarchal norms, as do the surrounding countries as well, if an Emirati man were to die, the government would financially take care of the widow and her children until their sons find work and their daughters are married. In addition, if an Emirati mother completes fifteen years of work, in the public or private sector, she can retire to receive more financial support from the government and spend more time with her family.

            Although criticized because of their societal normalities, which are completely different from ours in the USA, the United Arab Emirates is known for allowing its citizens to live prosperous lives and have a much better quality of life than low-class citizens in other countries. Though it is important to note that their population is 3% the size of ours, therefore it would be realistically impossible for the United States of America to ever get close to their financial status.