This allows the local population to see migrant workers (often South Asia) as the enemy, rather than people that also stand to gain from social revolution.
During the uprising in Bahrain, Pakistanis enlisted in the police were hated so much that gangs of Arabs slaughtered migrant worker families with machetes. Protesters chanted “the police are Pakistani.”
Only an appeal to class politics could cut across this nonsense.
It’s also been used in an attempt to skew demographics because these security forces imported from abroad are often times given citizenship, as in the case of Bahrain, especially. And the citizenship is usually given on the basis of sect, which helps the regime peddle the sectarian narrative. Then mainstream media adopts the narrative, despite the fact that from the very beginning, the uprising was always about class politics and demands for human rights.
These Gulf regimes never want to show it, but the levels of poverty that plague the Gulf are not a myth and not just limited to migrant worker populations. Just because these regimes don’t need to tax their populations from all the rent doesn’t mean economic opportunities are dispersed equally even among their own populations.
Why else would the Saudi government, for example, react so forcefully against the Saudi filmmakers who documented cases of poverty among Saudis in their own country?