Burj Khalifa Resident Arif Mirza to Slum it in Dubai Reality Show

Burj Khalifa, Dubai, Slums, Scrap collector, lifestyle, culture, povertyJust 37 years old, Arif Mirza is one of the few people in the world who can afford to live on the 35th floor of the towering Burj Khalifa. Never mind the building’s crappy human waste management system, this is luxury that some people dream of having. But Mirza plans to give it all up for 33 days.

As though arriving in Dubai for the first time with nothing but $272 in his pocket, the Pakistani-Canadian entrepreneur will first get a job as a scrap collector and then work his way up from there. He will live with eight or ten other men in squalid conditions – like so many do in Dubai – and document the entire process with a three-person film crew. 

Arif MirzaInspired by a young Pakistani scrap collector he met, Mirza wants to see how far he can stretch his initial sum of money in order to highlight opportunities for the poor.

Once he gets a leg up as a scrap collector, he intends to find other jobs either online or using newspaper classifieds. He will exchange his services for room and board, if he can.

He will then distribute the DVD that Mirza Productions will generate over the 33 day ordeal for free. He will also pass out 100 survival kits to some of the most enterprising people he meets along the way, which will include mobile phone top ups and a Nol card that provides a few rides on Dubai public transportation.

This kit will also include tips for eating well and suggest places for  purchasing nourishing food.

Mirza seems to suggest that with a touch of pluck and ingenuity, even the most uneducated person on the street can improve their lot. And it’s an interesting experiment.

But it’s also borderline insulting. With his camera crew and pedigree, employers won’t  treat him with the same disdain that many foreign workers experience in the Emirate and he already has “reached the top” if living in a giant skyscraper is one’s definition of the high life.

He does acknowledge this, but claims that his project is about demonstrating to Dubai’s shadow people that it is possible to get somewhere from nowhere. In theory at least.

“The idea is to bounce back in 33 days, not to make millions but be stable,” Mr Mirza told The National. “Let’s see what Dubai has to offer.”

We’re kind of hoping Dubai has a nice big serving of humble pie on the menu.

Image of Burj Khalifa, Shutterstock

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4 thoughts on “Burj Khalifa Resident Arif Mirza to Slum it in Dubai Reality Show”

  1. sus says:

    Yes, let’s hope he gets a real eye opener. Like how their visas have been taken away. How they are not paid wages promised how they are not allowed to leave without said visa. How in all truth they have become the slaves of dubi and the maniacs bidding.

  2. Sheikh Saleem Ahmed says:

    Jrt what you wrote it is right we only Birth the slaves, so the best thing is not to birth even a singel child
    and it is a biggest mercy to our planet and humanity.

  3. Zaeem Raza says:

    I wonder many Pakistans like me are suffering too, why our Embassy is not working for their good? If Mr. Mirza really wants to help his fellow Pakistanis then do something about it, our Pakistani Embassy is good for nothing.

    It’s not Impressive that Mr. Mirza lied to those who were good and kind to him. What joy it shall bring to your mind? And there is no good in helping who helped u but to those who were not good to u, this is what any sensible man would do.


  4. JTR says:

    The tragedy is so many thousands of people are both poor and ignorant, so the husband imagines if he requires his wife to birth 10 children they will go out into the World and make his family rich; and it actually happens once or twice so people look up to them and try to do that too. Instead, the population grows, providing companies with all the low wage labor they need to stay profitable, rich and powerful while all the struggling poor people go on having large families hoping their children will grow up to make them rich.
    Thus, the human population grows to more than 7 billion and our slowly shrinking planet is more heavily polluted every day as cost-cutting corporations and governments go on dumping tons of trash, garbage, junk, smoke and fumes into methane producing landfills and into rivers and the global ocean so the biosphere that is our planet Earth is now in danger of dying from all the pollution killing its life supporting forests and rivers and the ocean and all of us with them.

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