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Asian Migration and Global Cities

Anne Cong-Huyen, Jonathan Young Banfill, Katherine Herrera, Samantha Ching, Natalie Yip, Thania Lucero, Randy Mai, Candice Lau, Authors

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Counter map of Dubai

This map has been created to display the other side of Dubai that the officials who sell Dubai as a brand do not dare to showcase. Thus, this map is a counter narrative to Dubai the luxurious city. The irony of the official maps of Dubai is that they do not portray the reality of these ghettos or slums. In fact there are no official maps of Dubai that portray the reality of the slums of Dubai. A reality where there is no luxury, but that on the contrary all that can be found is poverty and exploitation. Maps are representations of power dynamics, and this is clear in the officials maps of Dubai. Those in charge in the brand of Dubai are not interested in demonstrating how workers live, as this would go against the image of luxury and wealth that they are trying to sell. It is better to sell Dubai as a place where foreign investors can make the most out of their money than to show the reality of how workers live. It is better to paint a facade of the slums of Dubai in official maps with images such as the beach, school, stores, and villas. However, the workers who continue to build Dubai live in deplorable conditions. They work up to 18 hours a day, are transported by bus from Abu Dhabi to Dubai, and live in small quarters of up to 20 people.1 Many of them eat on the floor and use newspapers that advertise the luxurious Dubai hotels as their place mats, and for many of them eating rice is a luxury.

1. Last name, First name. "Article Title." The Guardian. Month Year: Pages. Web.
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