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Title: Evaluation of migration governance in the United Arab Emirates
Author: Alshamsi, Reem Saeed Salem
ISNI:       0000 0004 7652 2518
Awarding Body: Durham University
Current Institution: Durham University
Date of Award: 2018
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The central idea of this thesis is to develop a migration governance framework that helps policymakers achieve a balanced, sustainable migration path for the UAE, by focusing on potential policies that strike a balance between benefits and costs implications of migration. The research is motivated by the growing debate on effective migration governance, which should be balanced through the simultaneous development of legal and institutional structures that support a migrant-friendly environment and policies that maximise the social-economic benefits of migration. A mixed-method research design is employed. Primary data was collected through structured questionnaire and is used with secondary data to provide a robust analysis of the effectiveness of the legal and institutional structures of migration governance and an empirical evaluation of the potential costs and benefits of migration in the UAE. The findings suggest that attracting relatively low-skilled migration may have a negative impact on the productivity of the UAE’s economy, potentially increasing youth unemployment, and worsening demographic inequality. The implication is that there are gaps in the policies which are designed to promote the positive experience of migrants in terms of their rights, as well as those which are designed to maximise the gains of migration. Consequently, this study proposes a three-dimension framework for evaluating the legal and institutional capacity aimed at creating a migrant-friendly environment and the associated economic, social and demographic outcomes. Crucially, the UAE’s index of migration governance, generated from the framework, shows that, compared to the standard benchmark, the UAE is less than half way towards developing migration policies that will lead to a balanced, effective migration governance system. The policy implications of the findings include the following. On promoting migrant-friendly environment, the focus should be on enacting universal labour protections, including the ratification of relevant international conventions that fully protect all classes of migrants. On maximising the net benefits of migration, policymakers should focus on policies that strategically shift the structure of the economy towards a high-skilled, knowledge-based economy, which is necessary for attracting high-skilled migrants with a consequent positive impact on productivity, employment and demographic stability.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available