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> One built almost entirely from modern-day slavery.
Although slavery does occur in Dubai, like it sadly does in most countries of the world, [it is actually pretty rare](http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2013/10/17/this-map-shows-where-the-worlds-30-million-slaves-live-there-are-60000-in-the-u-s/). There are certainly not enough to have built the city, or even a tiny portion of it.
The myth of widespread slavery in UAE was mainly propogated by the Vice video you linked above and the article that [Johan Hari](http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/commentators/johann-hari/the-dark-side-of-dubai-1664368.html) wrote, which were both highly sensationalised. Vice is not, and does not pretend to be, a source of balanced journalism. They have taken one extreme (and illegal) case of employee abuse and portrayed this as the norm.
[A report by the Washington DC-based Centre For Global Development found that labourers in UAE are financially significantly better off than their peers at home.](http://7daysindubai.com/news-11983/)
Not only this but [expat workers in UAE send home more than $12 billion a year to their home countries.](http://www.thenational.ae/news/uae-news/uae-alone-remits-nearly-12bn-to-the-rest-of-the-world-labour-mobility-conference-told) With that kind of economic clout, they can hardly be called slaves in any conventional sense of the word.
> Supporting their economy is akin to condoning this practice.
Actually, Dubai’s economic and the employment it provides is providing vital income to some of the world’s poorest communites. Taking Kerala as an example, if you look at Page 79 of [Social Mobility in Kerala](http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=rMRw0gTZSJwC&lpg=PA8&ots=xaeHAJYoMJ&dq=social%20mobility%20kerala&pg=PP1#v=onepage&q&f=false), you will find the following quote:
> Gulf migration has particular and significant effects both for the familes involved and for those left behind. By the chance it offers of rapid and vast accumulation of wealth (by village standards) it accelerates processes of social change and differentiation. Gulf migrants do not settle away but must sooner or later return, where new-found wealth may dramatically alter their status and relationships with others, offering chances to forge new identities.
I agree there are still vast improvements needed but the workers are not the oppressed slaves commonly depicted in the media.