It’s a com­pe­ti­tion to see who will work for less

7 Days in Dubai - - DEAR 7 DAYS -

It seems to me that hu­man re­sources prac­tices in this re­gion are just an ex­per­i­ment in how badly em­ploy­ees can be treated and how lit­tle money they will work for; in a word: ex­ploita­tion. Con­nolly, UAE I’ve al­ways had an is­sue with car­bon­ated soft drinks – or fizzy pop as it used to be called in our house. I’ve never re­ally been a huge fan, but al­ways like the odd Diet Coke as a treat. And the is­sue came to a head last week when, tak­ing a seat in a ca­sual, fam­ily restau­rant and flick­ing through the menu, I was stopped in my tracks by the price of soft drinks – Dhs14 for a can of fizzy, sug­ary, wa­ter. Dhs14! For a 33ml can. What made it worse was the restau­rant’s only min­eral wa­ter op­tion was some im­ported brand from the moun­tains of Mars or some­where – and that was priced at Dhs15 for a small bot­tle. Now, be­fore you all start, I’ve worked in bars be­fore and mark­ing up the price of soft drinks is the eas­i­est way to make a profit. So I don’t be­grudge restau­rants for pump­ing up the price of their drinks – par­tic­u­larly when that drink isn’t par­tic­u­larly good for you. But health is­sues aside, which this clearly isn’t in the case of restau­rants, there’s mak­ing a lit­tle profit and there’s sim­ple prof­i­teer­ing and rack­e­teer­ing. Putting a price that is nine times higher for an item in a su­per­mar­ket is scan­dalous. ‘If you don’t like, don’t pay it’, I

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