Documenting the Spatial Practices of Global Migration

Urban Experiments in the Sand

Category : SPACES 01/15/2013

Written during a month-long stay at the Unesco Chair for Social and Spatial Inclusion of International Migrants at the IUAV in Venice this paper discusses the spatial and social consequences of developing an urban society in Abu Dhabi in which the majority of its population is denied a right to citizenship.The cities of the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi and Dubai are among the fastest growing cities in the Middle East. Most of this growth is enabled by the work of migrants from South Asia, who constitute a stunning 89% of the population in the UAE. Until recently planning and development policies have given little attention to housing, transportation and other services for the migrant population. Following pressures by international human rights organizations, the urban governments of Abu Dhabi and Dubai as well as the national government have shifted towards recognition of this population and developed policies to provide housing and basic services. However, spatial segregation paired with immigration policies limit the migrants’ right to the city, to participate in, contribute to, and benefit from the urban culture that is being created by their own labour. Download the full paper


housing and road


selling oranges

lazy day

march to town

room for 10

outside shot