Temporary Labour-Migration System and Long-term Residence Strategies in the United Arab Emirates
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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The United Arab Emirates’ migration system, the sponsorship–based kafala system, is defined as a temporary labour–migration regime. Although there are policies making permanent residence unattainable for virtually all migrants, it is still relevant to explore the temporality of migrations in the UAE. The purpose of this study is to investigate developments in migration, migration policies and population trends in the country, including trends that concern the duration of migrants’ stay. We also identify some of the major strategies used by migrants to prolong their sojourn in the UAE. It is maintained that the migrant stock has increased continuously in the last decades and that a large number of migrants devise strategies to continue their residence and remain in the country for years. The authors also identify and discuss migrants’ transition within and in‐between regularity and irregularity, and analyse the reasons for utilizing different strategies over time.