Trade Off

What price democracy? In the UAE, a vote-free monarchy approx 200 miles from the rioting in Bahrain, citizens are given free medical cover, subsidised water and electricity, they can apply for a £10,000 grant to help pay for their wedding, free land to build homes, and further education scholarships for high-performing students. Public sector pay and conditions are pretty good, too.

Citizens can’t vote in a new boss, but they can request an audience for a chat.

The locals aren’t rioting in Dubai and Abu Dhabi just yet. But the bill must be mounting.

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