A majority of the population here in Dubai are either from the Subcontinent or the Philippines. They sign up for one year contracts which entitles them one month annual leave and a paid ticket home every year. This means that most of them take their vacation only once per year, as it is too expensive to pay for tickets and sometimes the company will not grant them vacation until their annual leave is up. Most of them have families back home, spouses and children, elderly parents.
Despite the decrease in real estate prices and rent, Dubai is an expensive place to live in. Rent, school fees, food, electricity and water. Our company driver had to send his pregnant wife and young child home to India, cause the living costs are too high here. When his second child was born, he could not be there since he already used his annual leave ticket for this year. Another colleague missed the birth of his first child beacuse he just joined our company and had not accrued enough vacation days to leave. And my sweet friend and colleauge "L" is actually dreading to go home because returning back to Dubai and leaving the children behind once again is getting so much more difficult for every year. Back home, children are waiting, school fees are to be paid and often the husbands are not contributing enough to support the family. Money is never enough.