By ISABEL DEBRE and MALAK HARB
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Dubai has spent over $7 billion as the first host of the world’s fair in the Middle East. But propping up Expo 2020 is the United Arab Emirates’ contentious labor system that long has drawn accusations of mistreatment. While the country has held companies at the Expo to higher-than-normal standards, researchers and over two dozen workers allege that rights violations persist. Workers say they’ve had to pay exorbitant and illegal fees to local recruiters in order to work there. They complain that employers have confiscated their passports and broken promises on wages. They also say living conditions are crowded and unsanitary, food is substandard or unaffordable, and there are 70-hour workweeks in sometimes brutal heat.