09 August, 2007

Success comes at a price for UAE's native minority


by Lydia Georgi Tue Jul 31, 11:33 PM ET

DUBAI (AFP) - The United Arab Emirates got its own, first-ever comic book superhero in July. His mission is to promote national identity in a state overrun by foreigners where natives could become negligible in 20 years.
A cultural melting pot, the seven-member oil-rich Gulf federation stands out as an oasis of prosperity in the troubled Middle East, and Dubai as the jewel in the crown.

But for native Emiratis, this glory has come at a price.

Foreigners continue flocking in, transforming demographics and prompting some analysts to warn that the indigenous population could end up strangers in their own land.

Read the full article here


Anonymous said...

Hallo please help me:
What might be the essential points of Arab culture to receive UAE citizenship. I can't imagine.

Being a "good" Muslim perhaps.

Europe should think about applying analog criteria to the Muslim immigrants in Europe.

Anonymous said...

And if the present trend continues, Emirati natives will dwindle to two percent of the population by 2025

Blame the dwindling factor on Emirati guys that fuck around instead of demonstrating loyalty to Emirati women.

No wonder there are so many Emirati women out there that prefer to remain single instead of playing second choice to their dimwit dickhead husbands.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 09 August, 2007 21:27

I've never heard of any Emirati females wanting to remain single. Did u make this shit by urself?

Anonymous said...

Yeah, of course I made up that shit or maybe your reading skills & ability to stay attuned with current state of affairs is next to zilch.

Maybe, just maybe, could you be one of those righteous Emirati defenders that's not even an Emirati (but wanna be) to begin with? Is that possible?

It's easy to play pretend than accept a fact, isn't it?

Anonymous said...

Reading this I recall that old saying 'You can't have your cake and eat it.'

ninjacamel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lirun said...

are there any emiratis that can comment on this topic.. it is more interesting than the roads.. at least to me as an outsider.. or alternatively any long term residents who care to share some substantive opinion..

wishing you all a great weekend by the way

fellow atheist said...

You mean the natives of the UAE still exist? Do they live in tax-free casino haven like the Native Americans? Where do I go buy my tax-free tobacco and liquor?

Anonymous said...

I wonder about „Ajaaj“ will be a success - ideally - and - financially – if the comic shouldn’t deal with the hopes and fears of the whole multicultural reality in the UAE, regardless of the only by egotistic law and artificially created differentiation between citizens and guest workers.

Besides to say “guest worker” instead of “migrant” to a Muslim immigrant in Europe is to be estimated almost as an insult, in any case is not “politically correct” that’s for sure.

SevenSummits said...

The challenge of demographic divide is a key criteria for choosing the appropriate long term policies for any successful sustainable development in the UAE and hence the future well being of the currently endangered national minority. The irresponsible approach or sometimes cynicism, ideological bias and outright ignorance towards the current situation of the “nationals” from especially Western expats is progressively disturbing. “BEER and BLOATING” in his last emotional post from July, 1st has put this concept into simple words: “The shallowness of the place and the people, especially the Western expats, has really surprised me.” Are we to blind to realize that those obvious anti Western sentiments in the UAE (and the region in general) are a direct result of our neo colonization and our disrespect for local sensitivities? [I will not pretend to wash my hands in innocence and point a finger at others, but at least I claim to be among those that somehow are making an effort by covering arms and legs, avoiding alcohol and leaving my 50 kg dogs in a different developing country :- ( - but yet a lot more could be done]
Yet, trying to make an official effort to find a solution for this tragic phenomenon in cooperation with the Emirati scholarly elite will result in a frustrating dead-end, because as Nick has correctly pointed out in several comments, the ability for critical thought and the willingness to make an effort are simply non-existent!!!! [After working in numerous developing countries around the world, this is the only state in existence that I can sadly write such a statement about – very, very sad!] So the paradox is that while only “locals” can induce the change that they want to see, the system of the purest rentier state is working so incredibly well that one can only in cynical words congratulate the government for achieving their short term objectives. In fact they have created a “welfare state” where no Emirati is suffering and hence manipulated the development indicators (which only refer to the local populace) to look pretty good on paper and in front of the international community. Everyone that does not take a closer look (or simply doesn’t have the time to make a well-grounded analysis) will fall for it – guaranteed! Instead, this perfectly sounding “stable” system frequently creates a new bargain in which access to the states' goods and services is exchanged for the political submission of its citizenry. In other words the government essentially 'bribes' their populace with extensive social welfare programs and that makes everyone, including so called Human Rights activists, basically a “structure of sleaze” of the state. (and I said this deliberately to be provocative!)

The same topic has been discussed in an article entitled “A Dearth of Politics in Booming Dubai” (UAE Community Blog May 2007) and in response tried to find out from EMIRATI why he offered such a negative response to this article, after all this is “his country”. (so far no response, not even a few insults ;-))

Both articles reveal that those that can be rated the most intellectual and promising individuals in the Emirates have nothing better to do than talk to the foreign media and criticize a system that they are so obviously a part of. Naturally this will not achieve anything and is in all respect not the platform for a scholar to make her/his voice heard. There are certainly better channels and opportunities to get such an issue across, for instance in form of a publication in a respected scientific journal, a website, a blog and especially the formation of civil society.
While this truly outstanding professor (the Emirates should be proud?!) could easily make an enormous contribution to the current discourse on Islam, Arab development and political reform, and would instantly be accepted to give guest lectures in some of the most reputable universities (while being banned from teaching back home), there is simply nothing that would show any real commitment from his part. He is most likely simply a victim of the absurd cultural indoctrination that we discussed over and over again on this blog. Moreover, complaining without offering any feasible solutions is about the most unproductive form of communication.

While the dichotomy between the socio-cultural identity of the individual and that individual's loyalty towards a distant, abstract nation-state (as a citizen) deserves to be analyzed in its hermeneutical and ethical implications, this will sadly be outside the scope of this discussion. Yet the absence of any functioning civil society as well as the huge dependence on foreigners to run the country is significant in a critical assessment of the political reform process in the UAE. Can be discussed, if anyone is interested?!

In regards to long term sustainable development, there is an abundance of other factors that play a significant role and progressive urban development, coupled with extremely high fertility rates, plus the influx of foreigners in the most unsuitable geographic position, would somehow require an understanding of the interconnectedness of the human dimensions on ecosystems and climatic processes.

To implement a sustainable solution would not only require the political will of the government, but more urgently also the need of social capital formation. (of “nationals”!!!) This form of more or less institutionalized social cohesion is critical for human security as well as sustainable human development. It will eventually promote the kind of pluralistic associational life which is necessary for the success of political reform and certainly this is regarded as a byproduct of religion, tradition, shared historical experience and other types of cultural norms. But what exactly are the current cultural norms of the contemporary UAE “national” society? Not the pretended ones – the real ones for a change???? Playing around with mobiles, disrespecting human life, pretending, gossiping and the absence of any solidarity, hating the West and foreigners, while depending on foreign knowledge having foreign gadgets, relationships….? Does in the absence of scientific research, does anyone know (there is one paper from an US expat thou)?

Scientific discourse has ultimately accepted that culture plays a significant role when it comes to development and needs to be considered when trying to find appropriate responses for a sustainable development approach. Culture generally refers to patterns of human activity and the symbolic structures that give such activity significance. To comprehend culture as an indirect driver of change, it is convenient to think of culture as the values, beliefs and norms that a group of people share. In this context, culture conditions individuals’ perceptions of the world, influences what they consider important and suggests courses of action that are either appropriate or inappropriate. [So as a paradox “family is rated important in the UAE, while the need for “family” for all those hard working foreigners is totally ignored. So is the highest form of “racism” part of Emirati culture?]
Certainly there is nothing like an ARAB CULTURE (so it cannot be adopted) and emphatically it has been noted that broad comparisons of whole cultures have not proved useful because they ignore vast variations in values, beliefs and norms within cultures. For instance, although culture is most often thought of as a characteristic of national or ethnic groups, current usage of the terminology also acknowledges the emergence of cultures within professions and organizations, along with the possibility that an individual may be able to draw on or reconcile more than one culture. Nevertheless, cultural differences clearly have important impacts on direct drivers and a growing number of studies have been conducted to allow for systematic examination of the role of culture without overgeneralizing. Or someone can logically point out what Mauretania, the Comoro Islands, Egypt and Saudi Arabia have in common? [Nick, let us exclude a certain degree of backwardness for a change :- ), thou you would be correct)

If the downward trend in internal stability as a result of a poorly managed rapid population growth should not escalate to a serious problem, all the GCC member state should be more headstrong in addressing both the near-term and long-term challenges stemming from their sizable foreign resident populations as well as their high fertility rates. (For those that do not know: The population in the current GCC states has grown more than eight times during 50 years; from 4 million in 1950 to 40 million in 2006, which marks one of the highest rates of the population growth in the world). This development has not only posed environmental, but security, economic, social and cultural threats to the LOCAL POPULATION. The most urgent recommendation to fight this phenomenon should be to focus on intense educational measures to be able to successfully implement policies of labor force indigenization. (not artificial, not only in form of statistics or quotas, but for real!) However if one is honest – the present government would be mad to deliver!!! – because the last thing they need is an educated citizenship that starts developing a critical mind.

Cheers from Germany

ninjacamel said...

sevensummits; this is certainly more subastantive and serious than other commetns (including my previous sarcastic one which I just deleted); but have mercy; this is just too long for a blog!

Lirun said...

fascinating ideas..

but how does one indigenise such huge populations..

surely there is a huge risk at shifting the balance..

because if you make it outsider friendly you will wipe out the authentic locals.. in a sweep..

but if its too protective of locals at the expense of foreigners you risk an exodus of these foreign nationals that could bring the society to a stand still..

it seems to me like a very delicate balance.. where all sides need to understand the partnership at stake..

Anonymous said...

News Flash:

The hell with islands in the sea or port acquisitions, or construction. We're going into space.

Fly me to the moon: space hotel sees 2012 opening

ninjacamel said...

Yesterday I watched a program on Al Jazeera entitled “Tsunami on the Shores of the Gulf”; the tsunami being the flood of “migrant” workers and their impact on different aspects of life in the region. Officials interviewed had some bold statements (including one by Bahrain’s labor minister to the effect that the demographic imbalance of foreign workers is a bigger threat than Israel or Iran’s nuclear program). Those of you with working knowledge of Arabic can watch it or get its transcript from the channel’s website.

The situation as exists may look like a delicate balance; but underneath the surface it’s way out of balance. For GCC countries, this is untenable. Integration or citizenship for migrant workers is out of the question; and indigenizing the work force with nationals might work partially in some sectors, but almost impossible in the sectors with the majority of foreign workers. As for laborers, it’s hard to gauge their sentiments and level of tolerance. But given the almost endless ocean of cheap human labor from south and Asia, the prospects of leaving may work only at the individual level; but collectively, the tsunami will not subside any time soon.

I’m tempted to do a longer post on this topic on my blog…

localexpat said...

wow this is what I have been talking about on my blog....

My 2 cents:-

A reanalysis and revaluation of the the national identity to reflect and incorporate the multi-cultured composition of society.

I have previously elaborated on my views on my blog:-


nick said...


without having seen the report - what strikes me as flawed in this comparison is that this particular 'Tsunami' was invited by the Gulf states.

SevenSummits said...

NinjaCamel, :- ) and I already made an effort to write a super short version of such an important topic. (In other blogs, comments tend to be much longer) After all this is an issue that will be threatening the human security of the entire local population (apart from a few elites) – so even if in light of all that existing arrogance and the utmost disrespect for any other life form, it is a question of ethics to care about the plight of future Emirati generations. Please don’t start your own blog, because it will destroy the discussion and allow us to see your funny comments – we all enjoy a good laugh. :-)

Localexpat, I remember noticing that discussion on your blog, when I came back from an assignment in Somalia, but it was already a bit late for a comment.
There is a problem with your yearning for naturalization and the request for Emiratis to revaluate their so called “national identity” to reflect and incorporate the multi-cultured composition of society.
(A) They would be digging their own grave (from a human security point of view)
(B) They do not consider themselves – sounds absurd, I know - as a “country of immigration” (I remember that you compared the US and Canada in your post?) and prefer to remain a closed society. (you also successfully discussed “segregation” on your blog)

Point A (super short version)
The theory of a feasible rentier state will not work with a growing population and unemployment is one of the biggest threats in the entire region. Until recently the government managed to restrain unemployment pressures among nationals by creating an inflated public sector (totally inefficient political posting), but this strategy has practically reached its limits, as a result of an indiscriminate population increase. (a “one is fun” policy, serious education efforts and the empowerment of women could have saved their axx) Somehow they have ended up with the problem, that the expenditure bill has become too large to keep rising (with obvious cutbacks in their social welfare system) at a time where it would be necessary to satisfy the demands of a developing youth bulge and yes, this will eventually cause internal instability. (with further hatred against foreigners and fundamentalists having an easy go) The liberal foreign labor policy during the past decades has allowed the private sector to rely mainly on relatively less expensive, better-trained and more flexible foreign workers to support its development and it will certainly not be an easy task to change the existing attitudes towards “work ethics”.

Point B:
In light of the fact that they called and are totally dependent on the foreign labor force that is pretty shameful, but we need to accept that. (after all it is their country and at least they should be allowed to determine their naturalization policies and firstly protect their own citizens!) After all integrating foreigners into a society is not an easy task and you can witness that many European nations are suffering from the inability to do so (France, Germany, Austria, etc.) We like those “European” values (e.g. secularism) that we build over centuries and do not necessarily enjoy foreigners in our midst that do not feel like adapting to those values, after all we are not the US or Canada. After reading your post, it made me wonder why you don’t relate to your “home country”, after all even if we lived in a foreign country for decades, we still all have our roots and a place were someone of our blood is welcoming us? [I would also like to see a happy mixing in the UAE, but that does not count]

Lirun said...

it really is interesting.. change that is fast can scare anyone..

australia used to be mostly ango saxon in heritage and for a long time non anglos were considered very foreign.. australia has had to go through enormous cultural transformations to adjust from being a true british colony to a multicultural society that embraces its differences and yet maintains the very aspects that make it unique..

i think often people are afraid of the "other" mostly because they dont infact know who they are to begin with..ie lack self awareness.. but often through integration we discover our identities even more and better learn about who we are.. and most importantly how we can improve..

i think australian society has become a much better quality fabric since it began gravitating away from its traditional composition and in turn found that its identity was ironically reinforced by its newcomers who more than anything did in fact overall want to belong.. and to feel local and deserving of their place..

mind you i think this is a unique example.. in many other multiethnic societies i dont know if i can make the same argument..

Anonymous said...

You have lost something,
it's still in the cache

12 August, 2007
A view from the other side
Whilst reading a friends blog the other day the thought came into my mind, what do people actually think of Dubai, do they see or even appreciate that there is a cultural divide ? Do they see the hardships that people face whilst they are sitting in their new BMW ? How often do these people contribute anything to society and maybe to the country that has provided them with the lifestyle that they so enjoy ?

I do not mean this to get into a heated debate but more to make you sit and think even if for just one second. I also do not want anyone to think that this post is a get at anyone it is just an outsiders view of Dubai and that is how I feel, I feel it is no longer home.

Maybe Dubai is just getting to me at this time I mean come on the sheer racism, bias, judgmental, perfectly plastic natural of people in general it makes me sick to my stomach to go out and see some newly rich British woman scream something insane at her housemaid in public, or to sit in a coffee shop and note how each table had its own nationality, or even get hit on by one local after another - no longer a compliment, but a HUGE turn off.

I am tired of the fake friendships people build in an instant with strangers, claiming their love and their devotion to people they'd never met before and when what you are wearing does not fit in with them or you say something and they don't agree with they just turn their backs despite the love that they claimed to have had for you, regardless of what you have been through together and regardless of how often you put yourself out to help them - too many women in Dubai are like that, and it hurt to lose touch with or watch all my truly good friends leave.

On top of it all, I hated the judgmental eyes that I feel on a daily basis. I converted to Islam and have married a local here I'm not at all a good Muslim today, but at one time, I really tried. Everywhere I go, people assume (many even speaking of) wrong accusations about me - I am a prostitute, I want a local passport, I am anything but a Muslim, anything but a mother, anything other than the wife of a local. I suppose all of this has a hell of a lot more to do with the day-dreaming expatriates and their influence on what was once a culturally rich, incredibly relaxing place to live and socialize, however even the opression that you feel from the local community is beyond belief.

There are and always will be those who remai by your side through thick and thin and those are the people that appreciate Dubai and the UAE for what it has given to them, they dont feel that they are one class above another just because they have the "finer" things in life.

I wish I could turn back time and kick the majority of the current population out. I wish I could take the ten lane highways and turn them back into four lane roads, with far fewer accidents and much shorter travel time. I wish I could go again to a shopping center and have people look at me and smile, rather than look at me and judge based on my appearance – or walk in the desert and have the traditional Bedu wave from atop a camel, way across the dunes, and be comfortable waving back, knowing he means no more than ‘Salaam’. I wish I could have taken more care as to who I made relationsips that I put so much effort into with.

But hey that is the past and the future is just around the corner.

In conclusion to my first post here, I am not a perfect person and to those I have hurt I sincerely apologise and believe me it hurts more than you know. Thanks a million to the person who helped me write this and allowed me to use her words that were taken right out of my mouth.
Posted by babe_uae on 8:20 PM 24

Anonymous said...

Lirun, Zionist are not supposed to give comments on multiculturalism and co-existence.

Khaled-AD said...

Who said we (Emirati) are not yet strangers in our country?!!! Plus, there is no way that we can balance the demographic structure of our society unless we are fooling ourselves.With the 2 trillions projects is there even any room to at least stop the crisis where it is? No ******* way. And If we ever decide to stop people coming in right now to UAE, the whole boom thing will stop immediately. Over all, we are SPOILED KIDS. We are ignorant. We lack proper education.Welcome Expats till further notice!

Kyle said...

Lirun, Zionist are not supposed to give comments on multiculturalism and co-existence.

So, who qualifies? I doubt you do if you can't accept or learn to co-exist.

You see, this works both ways Bud!

SevenSummits said...

Woah?!! Either you cannot be Emirati or you are trying to be sarcastic?
Where are those “if you don’t like it leave”, “mind your own f****** business”, “we are so perfect and have developed so much”, “it is all your (Western) fault ….. slogans?????????

Can it just be that there is one individual in the UAE that actually is aware what will happen if we (in this case the global community – from the garbage collector to the expert) leave? You are absolutely correct about saying that there is simply no chance to stop this crisis. At least not from a short term aspect and if we look at how lost and entrapped the “national” minority already is, even a long term improvement will leave painful scars and social disintegration behind. (The little cute kiddies of my local friends don’t deserve this future!)

However, as said above, any request for change or even the mere acceptance that there is a problem must come from you guys, while we foreigners can only assist you in your struggle through the official channels. And yes, Emiratis can implement change (if only they wanted too!), because thank God you do not live in a brutal dictatorship, where you and your family will be shot, if you dare to say something. Your leaders will care about public disagreement, because they are responsible for their citizens (all GCC leaders are to some extend) and cannot do what they are doing without you. That simple! Only a question of getting your b*** up, because if nobody says anything and is enjoying the social welfare system, why on earth should the government change anything? [Sorry, I just hate when developing countries always point at their leadership as an excuse, instead of asking what they can do to improve the situation. The leadership sometimes makes good decisions – but those policies are likely to lose momentum when they are transmitted to lower levels of the administration, over which the leadership only has very indirect control. Is it for example the government’s fault that UAE scientists prefer to make lots of money in business, instead of teaching at the universities and conducting research? Funding for R&D is insufficient almost anywhere in the world and for instance in Germany a lecturer earns less than a simple craftsman – it is a question of cultural priorities)

Does anyone ever question who these 2 trillions projects are actually meant for in the future? What will be the charm of the UAE and the by then completely destroyed environment in a post oil era? Neo-colonization at its finest – there is simply nothing new. We (the West) come, we exploit, we destroy and then we leave the ruins behind, to give them smart advice on how to rebuild their failed states in form of SAPs and MDGs. Moreover, India is a flourishing country and will soon need its borrowed human capital back in its own lands. Pakistan and Iran will follow. Roughly 70 percent of the foreign investment in especially Dubai is from GCC neighboring countries and Russia, in other words also dependent on oil revenue which in the long run will become increasingly scarce. We don’t even want to mention the contemporary totally unsustainable usage of local infrastructure.

15 million tourists? GCC “structures of sleaze” tourism will be saturated eventually and shopping malls are rising everywhere in the Gulf. Where exactly is the rest meant to come from? The current hype will soon be over, after Western tourists reported that they took a vacation in one big dusty construction site with constant congestion and a pretty uncomfortable weather. [Which - by the way - will certainly not improve in the future] Somewhere between the “heat Island effect”, “water shortage” and “increasing dust storms”, global environmental concerns will eventually lead to a more “responsible tourism” and increased taxation on kerosene will put an end to long haul shopping trips. “Beach tourists” prefer the accompanying atmosphere of such a vacation: beach parties, local beauties in skimpy bikinis /shorts, concerts, booze, s**, - I guess that everyone knows what I mean. If not, go to Brazil, Ibiza or the Caribbean :- ) Others, like myself, want to least find some intact coral reeves or caves for scuba diving. (Saudi is great for that) So 15 million is just an illusion in a place where s** between two consenting adults can end your holiday in prison.

Am I glad that I do not have to develop a scenario for 2030 for the UAE, it would be just as depressing as the situation in many countries of today’s world.

rosh said...

Interesting points Seven Summits. Though I disagree on some sentiments, what is your pennyworth of solution(s) on the imbalance issue?

If I may - am just depressed reading your post, it reads (or rather screams) forever gloom & doom. Fully realizing its your thoughts, surely you can add some touch of subtleness to it?


Kyle said...

Seven Summits, those are one helluva fault line scenarios you’ve presented here. Man, I hope someone sensible is reading this analysis and simultaneously setting up counter measures.

Even though I agree with all what you’ve said, I doubt if the (country’s) key decision makers would see these fault lines from a logical point of view unless there’s a radical transformation in chain of thought.

Long Range Plans such as self-sufficient industry, human development, are just words on the board. But the contrary is being implemented even if it's done on a piecemeal basis.

Replace greed with respect and there’s a chance. Ignore it and one is damned as hell.

superturd said...

Reading this I recall that old saying 'in dxb You can have your shit and eat it, just dont forget to bake it.'

Anonymous said...

Hallo 7-summits,

you have promised to give me your addy. This is a friendly reminder. Perhaps we can find some big sounding boards for your capacities? Still wonder what’s driving you to these epical overstatements. Are you paid for the lines? Don’t you know that they are mostly posting for fun and vicarious satisfaction? They are forbidden to engage in politics. As common people they have no political rights and they don't want any, coz they are satisfied economically. The rest of the world is working for them as long as they have oil to sell. After this, they will have to grow up and become adults, who are really responsible for themselves.

After 4 weeks vae ive to sum up, that this place won't play a key-role in the ideological development of the middle-east, what I considered to be possible first coz of edu, cash & expats influence. But the region will soon look like Vegas, Ballermann & Ramstein rolled into one and dominated by a tower as global symbol for a place where you can spend holiday in “La Grande Motte” style and that’s it. I admit, there might be some exceptions in the hills of Oman. Oman is different.

I suppose the rates of return will go down in uae and Islam is the merest problem. Have a look at the urban compaction by space (even the islands looks like the lower sides in Manchester or Birmingham), would you invest now or prefer to speculate for the bear market, when it's up to remove the urban sins of the past. Furthermore there are no forests, no sweet water-bodies, no steaks, no sausages, no beer, no win, nothing you need for a barbecue, coz all what’s yummy is going to be estimated as haram. And the place will be overcrowded. And when it comes to sexual implications remember the horror still going on in Antalya prison. He’ s still minor the guy.

It's subtle irony, while tourism is getting developed in the uae, an increasing number of richer arabs are conquering the charming recreation places in Europe. Marbella and Bavaria are welcoming them since years. Now Rimini even goes to reserve “Muslim women only” beaches coz some of these unlucky girls like to swim or sunbath in long-sleeved long-johns.
Well, it will be a hard job for the lifeguards to rescue them wearing long clothes, I know what I’m talking about and when you are doing a good job and revitalize the Muslim lady properly, her stud will go ballistic coz of jealously and will try to ***** you.

Think about my proposal.

SevenSummits said...

Hmmmmm, and I already made this user friendly by skipping all the tough aspects, such as public health, etc. Sorry for depressing you Rosh – long response and a slightly philosophical question on EMIRATI’s blog for you :- )

KYLE, thanks! Well, even more depressing news: Nobody will currently be setting up any counter measures! Obviously the elites, in other words those in power, will be the last ones affected by any of those future difficulties and they have invested their “oil income” wisely, (for instance in Germany), so they could easily move to a more comfortable place, if the situation will become bumpy in the future. However would any of us act differently, being in the same comfortable situation???? ……… …….. ……
Mmmmm, ok – obviously none of us is in the same situation, so any speculation will be pointless. Well maybe we should also give credit to late Sheikh Zayed (may he rest in peace) for his exceptional wisdom and leadership (in his own context), I wish UAE citizens would have listened to him just a little bit more and not adopted this “mentality of superficial arrogance and greed” (my apologies already to all those modest exceptions out there and of course I could have defined this constant quest for cash a little nicer and pointed out some of the reasons for this behavior – for instance “marriage” – no cash, no big party, no woman and you will end up in “bachelor city” ahhhh … and be stigmatized as an outcast of society!)

The problem is that you get what you ask for and that is also true when it comes to sound development advice. Most experts that are brought in and supposed to supply practical solutions will either say “what the heck” in response to the absolute disinterest that they receive from the local authorities and just take a previously written official document for another state and simply exchange the country name with their “replace” function or they will be “bought” (with maybe a nice salary) and write what the government expects them to write – which translates into something “full of s****”. This is practiced by all nationalities and you can admire their “glam sham” junk at international symposiums; even up to mentioning the point that HR are well respected and laborers live comfortable lives in DXB. Maybe they ought to read the comments of those living in Dubai in this blogosphere. (enough sarcastic bashing :- ) )

Actually, there are only very few countries on this earth where I would not put a team of international experts from all the relevant disciplines (including Islamic scholars) together and make some feasible long term recommendations. The UAE is one of them! Saudi – working on it right now, Kuwait already done, but the UAE – no way! Well, actually I have not seen or met anyone else with a respectable reputation that would go into that, because no matter what you would suggest (for instance the classic remedies, like female empowerment), it would be totally unrealistic and end up in a dead end. Actually in my personal opinion the situation has already reached a point where the necessary drastic anti-measures would lead to an internal crisis and public unrest. Just to put this scenario into a clear picture: Just imagine that you would get rid of all those redundant government jobs and force every healthy male/female Emirati between 16 and 65 into a real job, by cutting down all the social welfare benefits? (sounds like World Bank – I know :- ) ) Working 50 hours a week, paying for their health insurance, school fees, etc. – of course these would be mostly unskilled, hard labor jobs. Furthermore introduce a tax system, to take care of those in need. Of course at the same time you would either switch off the ACs/ or at least only allow limited cooling, water and gas will get prices according to their ecological value. Public transport would become the choice for all those that cannot afford the corresponding high fuel prices, because the salary that their unskilled job (based on merit) would give them, would not allow them to use a private car …. (before I receive some death threats, I am also using PT in DC, London, Singapore, etc. – so it is not such an abnormal vision) Obviously public transport is not as efficient in Dubai, so that would add an average of another three hours per day commuting to and from work. I don’t believe, that I need to continue – with a huge frustrated and aggressive youth bulge (if you look carefully you can already see that now, even without my scenario) and weapons plus a few hardliners easily available in this region – what would eventually happen??? To all those that believe that this is out of a bad film, please take a look across the border to Saudi and see how they are now struggling to keep the situation under control. Good news here – at least they are aware that they are having a problem. Step one – successful!

Everyone in closer contact with IT will know this saying: “Never touch a working system” – maybe that is just what the government is currently doing and that is why there is so little political will to actually enforce any serious changes.

Sustainable development will be a prerequisite to tackle the demographic imbalance and the question should be what can we (the rest of the world) do to assist? Well two things will instantly come to my mind – apart from being so inconsistent with our so called “ethical” approaches - mobilize knowledge and awareness from the outside plus we should urgently highlight the importance of local reformist opinions and give them international forums.

SevenSummits said...

ROFL :- ))))))))))
And they thought my version was depressing: “Vegas, Ballermann & Ramstein” – help, can’t stop laughing….
And you will not allow me to have some fun? Our sweet and innocent bloggers here are not the only ones reading this blog – the opposition is watching (always!) and even thou I certainly know how to use the Web securely, I made sure that this one is traceable – just for the fun of it. Got voted “most troublesome” for a few consecutive years – what do you expect? No mountain to play with these days - nur Handwerkerei!

Besides, I used to spend every summer in Marbella, cause my granny had a house there, right next to guess who … :- ) – I believe the place is not hip any more?

Have not forgotten you and finally managed to get one of those funny e-mail addresses yesterday. So here it is: sevensummitsuae@yahoo.com

original - mmmh

Und tschüß von der Waterkant :- )))

Kyle said...

Seven Summits, even though you write a torturous litany but it's worth a read. To what extent, any body will take it seriously and put it to good use remains to be seen.

Got voted “most troublesome” for a few consecutive years

I didn't vote - LOL :)

Joy, the stud going ballistic was a good one. Kinky but true - LOL :)

SevenSummits said...

Kyle, yeah we urgently need another kinky topic here: How about “a petition for polygamy?” – where is IBN BATTUTA these days? :- )

You couldn’t have voted – that was Class of 84’ (and in the previous years – were you even a consideration of long term planning process??? After missing the one I really wanted - “most athletic” of course – got branded with “most flirtatious” and certainly have encountered Joy’s description – absolutely hilarious and still ROFL. Being a Red Cross Lifeguard myself, I would have used exactly that second to go on a well deserved strike for being on the wrong beach. Ha, ha, ha, anyhow, starting to feel lucky that I swapped to voluntary mountain rescue, where this special CPR situation was unlikely to occur and hey “Joy”, have you tried being a skiing instructor? The ROI is much higher :- )

Does everyone know what “Ballermann” is or do we need to translate that?

Since we are not going to get an opinion from those concerned – Emi guys, you are cowards!, we should summarize in a pragmatic way. Strategically it doesn’t make a f***** difference and only Saudi Arabia as a key country is a reason for concern. Oman is certainly different in a positive way and we should worry about the biggies: Iran, Pakistan and India (Happy Independence Day! :- )) How about a bet, which one of these will take over the UAE one day? (Post oil of course, otherwise we would intervene ;-))

Cheers and LOL for everyone from Hamburg :- )

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