20 April, 2008

Police chief says slash immigration or UAE will collapse

Emiratis vent fears over minority status
by Wissam Keyrouz


ABU DHABI, April 17, 2008 (AFP) - The growing concern of Emiratis about their status as a minority on their own land came out in the open again this week, with a senior official warning that it could lead to the collapse of the regime.
"I'm afraid we are building towers but losing the Emirates," Dubai's outspoken police chief General Dhahi Khalfan Tamim told a conference on Tuesday, referring to the construction boom fueled by foreigners' acquisition of property under legislation allowing foreign ownership in certain zones.
Dubai is one of the seven members of the oil-rich United Arab Emirates, whose nationals dwindled to just 15.4 percent of a population of 5.6 million at the end of 2006, according to a recent study by the Federal National Council, an assembly that advises the government.
The "demographic imbalance," as it is euphemistically called in the UAE, also plagues Qatar and Kuwait, two other energy-rich Gulf Arab monarchies that rely heavily on cheap imported Asian labour for their economic development.
Tamim, who was addressing a "national identity conference" attended by senior officials in the capital Abu Dhabi, hailed UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahayan's decision to declare 2008 "national identity year," but said Emiratis have been late in tackling the demographic problem.
"If the children of incumbent crown princes (of the seven emirates) manage to rule the Emirates, we should be thankful for that," he said.
The veteran police commander warned that unless the problem is resolved, the UAE's hereditary monarchy will not survive and this will lead to the collapse of Emirati society.
A "disaster" will befall the UAE if the government does not take measures to redress the "demographic imbalance," Tamim said.
He proposed what he called "strategic" solutions, including the establishment of a union of Gulf Arab states that would grant a common citizenship, putting a ceiling on the size of expatriate communities and restricting foreign ownership of property.
He also urged Emiratis to have more children.
But UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahayan, while acknowledging that the demographic imbalance is dangerous, said that the UAE is "a tolerant, open and wealthy country" which should not shut out foreigners.
Emiratis cannot live in "isolated islands" under the banner of "preserving their national identity," he told the gathering.
To drive home his point, Dubai's police chief accompanied his address by video footage of cars torched and shops damaged during recent riots by foreign workers, as well as clips of streets in Dubai packed with Asian expatriates.
"They (foreign workers) blocked roads and destroyed facilities, and (human rights groups) speak of workers' rights," the general said.
He was referring to reports by rights groups, including New York-based Human Rights Watch, critical of the working and living conditions of hundreds of thousands of mostly Asian labourers in the country, which also has sizeable Arab, Iranian and Western communities.
Ahmad al-Tayer, a former education minister, said the UAE's national identity was under threat not only from the demographic imbalance, but also from the declining use of the Arabic language due to the massive presence of foreigners.
"What fate awaits our children and yours?" he asked officials.
Mohammad al-Bawardi, secretary general of Abu Dhabi's Executive Council, or local government, called for giving nationals the proper education and training to enable them to "hold all the leading positions" in the country.
The FNC study said that expatriates from the Indian subcontinent and southeast Asia make up around 75 percent of the workforce, with Indian citizens counting for 42.5 percent of all foreigners.
Foreign residents of the UAE range from low-paid construction workers to hard-partying professionals.

145 comments:

PoorBrownSubcon said...

"They (foreign workers) blocked roads and destroyed facilities, and (human rights groups) speak of workers' rights,"

In General Tamim's ideal world, human rights should only be talked about if these workers choose to be treated as less than human.

While I agree with workers rights to organize and request better living conditions, I do not however condone their use of force.

Am in agreement though with General Tamim's astute observation that a 'disaster' will befall the UAE. But i dont think it'll be because of the 'demographic imbalance'. It will be because of the parochial attitude of Emaratis like General Tamim.

Anonymous said...

What exactly is his problem and what is he scared of?

Proud Emirati said...

I was trying to find this article. Thanx Dubai Nikolai !!

As I said earlier, what Dahi have said is what every Emirati say behind the closed doors. We need a reaction for the problem immediately !!

Proud Emirati said...

Something which isn't mentioned here. Dahi said in the identity conference "Barak Hussain Obama is half African and his father is originally a Muslim. What would stop Coti (an Indian) from becoming the president of the UAE 70 years from now?"

the real nick said...

Prous emirati,

Let's hear your suggestions on how to solve 'the problem'.

the real nick said...

sorry, Proud E.

Anonymous said...

Stop fear mongering. The military, leaders in the executive branch and most high wealth are loyal to the royal family.

And cheap shot analogies dont hold their ground when being made between a country established hundreds of years ago, has legislation advocating civil rights for over century and has democracy deeply ingrained in its society dating back over 350 years, and a newly industrialised monarchy still reliant on hydrocarbons, which still has many years of reforms before it allows democracy to even see the light of day. Im simply highlighting realities within the country, these arent criticism.

Anonymous said...

So Obama's father is Muslim, which would make Obama a Muslim by birth. I am just surprised the Muslim world prefers Obama over Clinton, yet not pick up on the issue that Obama is clearly an apostate having declared to the world he is a Christian. Sorry for off topic ranting, but it was bugging me.

Anonymous said...

The question is:

Would an Indian president be better? I would go for "Coti" if he would be against censorship and cleans up prostitution from Dubai. Hell, I wouldn't mind legalizing it, as long as it's regulated and not everywhere.

So.. where is this Coti guy?

manimalcruelty said...

i agree with PoorBrownSubcon.

but also, this is one planet, let us all evolve, embrace each other's cultures, morphing into new cultures, but not forgetting the old. no one has ever benefited by holding on to the past.

I'm from London where over 300 languages are spoken. This has made (most) Londoners wise and in-touch with the world.

Xenophobia leads to ignorance.

Anonymous said...

And ignorance leads to Xenophobia.

Anonymous said...

Proud Emirati, this in response to your comment above - the third one in the list. Is it really true that this is what every Emirati says in private ? I have interacted with a few Emiratis (not many, I admit) and without exception they have been happy with what is happening around them, content that their interests are protected and very optimistic about the way the future of Dubai is shaping up. In fact their confidence has been a source of confidence for others. So it comes as shock to know expatriates are so unwanted. It's also a rude wake up call for people outside, looking to become a part of the vision of Dubai in the near future.fqmogt

Khaled-ad said...

Anonymous, We Emirati are not happy with what is going around us! So , please do not generalize what your Emirati friends said ( although I doubt that they are emirati).

Anonymous said...

You've just generalised yourself by saying "We Emirati are not happy with what is going around us!".

i*maginate said...

Hey khaled-ad - welcome back!

Did sevensummits scare you off? lol!

I don't see why people are so offended with what the Police Chief is saying. He's not saying anything that's not obvious!

Proud Emirati said...

I'll try to respond to all that later * sigh * sigh *

i*maginate said...

p.e. r u khaled-ad?

Anonymous said...

Khaled, they are definitely Emirati (why do you find that part so hard to believe ?). Maybe not all friends of mine..but like I said..people I've interacted with. Anyhow, assuming you are an Emirati yourself, that's two Emiratis I've kind of communicated with (you and PE) who are absolutely not in the 'gung-ho about the vision' category. So my earlier 'general' impression was wrong in any case !

B.D. said...

Dubai and the UAE are in fact multi-cultural in every sense of the word and a very successful example of it. It is something to be proud of. If I may take something I heard on the radio from the notable Mr. Mishal Kanoo (if I have his name correct), the greatest cultures in world history have been those which have absorbed the most from other cultures and evolved in the process--ancient Greece and Rome, and America as a contemporary example.

Anonymous said...

Can't blame the foreigners for that, we are doing the damage to our self, but their attitude towards us plays a role too.

For one we are not using our Language as much as we should, many restaurants don't even have an Arabic menue, private schools have a big emphasis on the English and French language. We brag about how much we know when we speak in English, when some local guy says he is "westernized" he associates it with being different in a better way, while almost all of them mean is "I drink at times, I date/sleep with western women, I carry some of their values( and believe me they choose habbits not values western people are trying to get rid of) and want to impress them"...why be so inferior.
When a local mom talks to her son/daughter in broken English as a sign of higher class...sucks, what sucks more is their children having half assed arabic and english language, not one good language.

With all the new projects going on, we are erasing everything we relate to as our past, no matter how dirty our crowded those places appeared, by taking them down we are erasing alot of who we are, it is all symbolic of making a "new identity" which will like someone says "blend with other culture" while not perserving our own.
It is suffocating for us Emaratis to see how all this is happening and not being putting a stop to it or at least slowing it down.


Maybe Dahi was not very sensitive in how he said things but alot of what he said is true, when a sample of who he is talking about present them selves in the uae community blog asking for all sort of changes that we Emaratis don't really want or welcome is filling the country, and pressure to change so that we don't loose our tourist/investors....people who choose to live here and yet have negative feelings towards us and what we are and what we believe us..do you blame him to worry?
When these Jumiarahs western women in hot shorts walk in Spinneys or in Mercato and make rude remarks of local women who are covered up and proceed to french kiss the guy she walking with just to push bottons...don't you think its a bad sign.

When Dahi metioned the workers, I think the point he was making (regardless of the fact of how they are treated) is that if something went wrong, those who tip the balance are in power to cause alot damage and maybe take over.

We have always had foreigners in our country, the difference back in those days, were how respectful they were to the country they lived in, the way they actually embraced our culture and tried to understand it and at least show no disrspect if they couldn't.

Alot of foreigners keep on brining up the fact that we emriatis need them to keep Dubai alive and so we should tolerate them and their disrespectful behaviour. You can't use that fact to explain how rude some are and how disrespectufl many are to our culture, they are just disrespecting them selves.

So give Dahi a break for poiting out the obvious and talking on behalf of alot of us...

Anonymous said...

WE DONT WANT TALK, WE WANT ACTION!

Proud Emirati said...

The real nick

I need to point out that I believe that most of the suggestions would never be applied, not because they aren't realistic, heck most of the projects we see don't make sense, but because the people leading this country are not serious about solving the problem. I hope they prove me wrong though.

I believe that Sheikh Mohammad didn't attend the session, even though it was under his patronage, to give the speakers the freedom to say what they want. I believe that he also gave them the green light to state whatever they want.

Solving the problem comes by two different crossing routes. (1) Preserving the national identity, the language, religion, values and culture and (2)Re-balancing the demography of the country by making Emiratis and Arabs a majority.

1) Have a transitional stages to force Arabic in all sectors. Non-Arabic speaking employees should have say 5 years to pass a TOEFL like designed exam in Arabic. No new visas should be given to new employees without passing the exam. Senior jobs and employees coming with temporary contracts shouldn't be forced in the first phase. They will feel alienated later.

2) Nationalities in non-professional jobs like receptionist, clerical jobs, construction laborers, salesmen (in groceries and such) should have a cap. Like, no nationality should have more than 10% of the total number of jobs in those non-professional jobs. There should be no caps in professional jobs like managers, doctors, engineers etc.

3)Visas shouldn't be issued to any nationalities whose percentage exceed 10% of the total population and renewing visas shouldn't be allowed to those nationalities, with the exception of professional jobs as I stated earlier.

4) Importing Arab laborers should be encouraged and there should be no cap regarding their percentage.

5) Expatriates and tourists shouldn't be given visas until they are educated about the country rules and laws. They should sign contracts confirming that they are aware of their rights and duties. They should confirm that they will be respecting the country laws, values and culture before coming to the UAE. The UAE has the right to deport them if they didn't comply with the norms of the UAE.

6) Along side with it there should be campaigns to teach the current residents about Ramadan, Cultural values, dress code and everything seem necessary.

7) If alcohol consumption is a must then it should be for personal use for non muslims only. Night Clubs, bars and bikinis shouldn't be allowed because they are inconsistent with the country values.

manimalcruelty is this the same london I know?

i*maginate no love, my name is not Khalid and am not from Abu Dhabi.

Anonymous @ 20 April, 2008 15:46, I'll try to answer ur question later.

Proud Emirati said...

Anonymous @ 20 April, 2008 18:18, raised a good point about schools and private schools in particular. Some private schools are a disgrace to the country. Emiratis going to those schools are living in poisonous environment. All schools in the UAE should comply with the UAE culture and should be heavily monitored. A professional modern Arabic curriculum should be applied to all schools to every nationality. All schools should have a gender segregation.

I remember reading about Emiratis studying Islam in English according to the Pakistani curriculum, how pathetic is that?

Anonymous @ 20 April, 2008 15:46, yes, most believe that the demography is a problem and that our identity is under a threat; however; the majority are naive and fail to attach the development with the problem. They think about them separately. I mean, those projects are attractive, no one can deny that, but the problem, which the majority fail to see, is the consequences of those projects. This is what we all fear.

We have been living with expatriates all our lives. So it isn't fair to say that they are unwanted. What we want is a balance where everyone knows his limit, with the upper hand of the Emirati. Unfortunately, in the last 10 years the balance has been heavily affected which is why we raised our concerns.

Dubai Entrepreneur said...

The outspoken General Tamim, often outrageous, is expressing the fear that some segments of the Emirati population feel. He is very much like Geert Wilders in that he is worried about his country's identity and sees an explosion of societies he perceives as inferior to his own.

Absorbing cultures is a "Good Thing(tm)" as b.d. has pointed out. However, this has to come at a more gradual and mature rate. Unfortunately, this has not been the case in the UAE.

I understand where General Tamim is coming from. I don't agree with him, but I _understand_ his frustration. It is the same message echoed by Bahrain's now-infamous Minister of Labor. Their statements are not meant to be politically correct. They are not politicians. They are people expressing themselves as if in the company of friends. We need to put these things in perspective.

I think the government should have thought about the 'imbalance' long before today. P.E. suggests a bias for Arab expats, but that is precisely what the Gulf countries have been trying to avoid, post the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. Arabs are seen to be politically inclined -- even ungrateful for their host Arab nation. The subcontinent offered the peaceful image of Ghandi. They are often referred to in derogatory terms (e.g. you can slap him around like an Indian..)

No one saw this to change. India is not just another poor country. It is one with a real economy and real productivity. Indians are not only picking up trash and pumping gas into your car. They are also running multi-nationals and owning their own conglomerates. They are driving Bentleys and Phantoms. The laborers are not accepting being 'slapped around' and are retaliating, violently.

It is easier for me to look at all this and think: this is very obvious, they should have known better. It's easy to criticize from my position. It's like the commentator saying that the striker should have made the shot without having to spring half way across the field to make it to the box.

PE, trust me, I am not the enemy. I am, at the end of the day, an Arab. I have been born and raised in this region. I lived among Gulf people. I was a part of the culture. It's not foreign to me.

DUBAI JAZZ said...

Dubai Entrepreneur;
I like your candid insight and I agree with you on most of the issues. However, and I said that in an earlier post, the whole connection between what happened in the first gulf war and the approach toward Arab expats should be revisited. Yes I agree there was a portion of Arab communities that cooperated with Saddam goons at the time. But it is really wrong to generalize; first of all, the Arabic official stance was completely against the invasion (with negligible exceptions), and secondly let's not forget the Arab military involvement in the liberation. In fact, Arab soldiers were given the toughest mission of all the streets fights and door-to-door search of the Iraqi army leftovers.
Now coming back to the UAE: I think the perceived threat wouldn't be the tendencies of one particular community. It's most likely going to be the dominance of certain expat community. Take Saudi Arabia for example: regardless of what happened in Kuwait, SA can still absorb 3 million Arab expats and there would be no problem. They wouldn't feel threatened. Why? Because they have the indigenous population to balance it off and dilute it! Yes, Saudi Arabia might be religiously strict place, but most expats end up adapting to a set of general accords that make life easier. Not necessarily fun, but easier.
Unlike Dubai where it really gets confusing for many.….
I guess what I am trying to say is that the local identity of the UAE and all the projects that will crop up from this conference will have to be pushed ahead aggressively.… there are half a million freehold units in Dubai alone. Imagine how many more foreigners this will attract. Where will it end? Can you not imagine a time in this city where will be hardly enough locals to police, attend to car accidents, drive ambulances and fight fires? Wasn't it on the news couple of weeks ago that group of 600 rioting labors in sharjah has required armed forces all the way from Abu Dhabi to control it?......more later….

ColOman said...

I am not Emarati and I think that that Qatar and UAE are a time bomb....... they need GCC nationals, Yemani and Iraqis to balance this huge influx of expats who now think these hosting counties owe them things.

Dhahi is right all the way..... he speaks for all GCC nationals in the UAE and Qatar.

Proud Emirati said...

Dubai Entrepreneur, let's agree that, regardless the fact that we are in the opposite extreme in this country as in you being an expatriate and me being an Emirati, we have different priorities, therefore, we will never agree.

samuraisam said...

col0man/colon-man:
"I am not Emarati and I think that that Qatar and UAE are a time bomb....... they need GCC nationals, Yemani and Iraqis to balance this huge influx of expats who now think these hosting counties owe them things."

I'm not sure there are many locals that will agree other nationalities can integrate so easily into local society (feel free to offer a different opinion); how likely is it for instance that a Yemeni man would get a local passport and then marry an Emirati woman?
Would letting foreign arabs get citizenship only create a divide between emirati-citizens and non-emirati citizens?

Stained said...

I'm no Emirati local worried that my country will be taken over by foreigners. I'm an foreigner who's lived his whole life here and would have defended this country as much as a Emirati would. I call this my homeland but then again I am treated like shit by the local government. You expect respect when you give none. At government offices, on the road, in shopping malls we are looked upon like we are some slugs who don't deserve to walk the same part as the Arabs.
You talk about us like we are here to conquer, if we brown skin people were here for to spoil your world, it would have been done years ago. We had the numbers and surely had the finances too. We came here to make a living, to work for this country as our own.

For sooo many years and I'm not talking about 10-15 years, I'm talking about 30-35 years than soo many of us brown skin people have lived here forgotten how our real home country looks like and we get nothing in return. On turning 60, we're thrown back as if those 30+ years meant nothing.

Give us respect, give us the right to call this our country legally. But no, its all about the money and that white flesh.

We brown skin foreigners have seen this country change. Change for the worse and we feel sad for it.

If you fear a loss of culture, remove the people who are creating this loss. We brown people have been here have nothing to do with the loss. We don't ask for alcohol, we don't want to wear indecent clothes....we just want some respect, some accolade for the hard work we have put to make this country what it is today. And yes I do claim that this country needs us, to grow, as much as we need it to live.

Dubai Entrepreneur said...

dubai jazz,

It is not my belief that Arabs are more likely to be politically inclined, it is the perception in the Gulf. I do agree with your take on it.

Arab governments have traditionally punished/rewarded Arab nationals based on actions of their respective governments. That is a rather strange thing, considering that most government actions hardly reflect street sentiments.

Bahrain, on the other hand, has been successfully granting citizenships to Arab Sunni Muslims for several years now (Look Bandargate). While this may be done for the wrong reasons, I think it may just have a good ending. The problem is, the UAE has far more wealth than Bahrain. People with excessive wealth are not usually so ready to share.

I don't see any real change coming until the money dries up. Let's just hope it won't be too late for them.

Proud Emirati said...

Stained I feel for you but I don't think that anyone deserve citizenship, Arab or non-Arab, if he didn't fully assimilate in the UAE culture. Needless to say that the number of naturalized non-Arabs is more than the Arabs in the UAE.

What is ur email btw?

Stained said...

Why assimilate a culture thats not going to be yours in the first place. If we brown skin people have a reassurance that we won't be kicked out once we're too old to be of any use, we just might become almost Local in any way possible.

About the Arab language. I'm all for the promotion of Arabic, but I think this promotion should not be made at the corporate/business level. Even if promoted at that level, Arabic should be well 'supported' by a second language English.

Arabic should be promoted in schools where we should be taught to speak arabic, not just read it or know a meaning of few words in English. Have other subjects in English, but have a compulsory arabic coarse for atleast 10 years atleast. Also the government should get its head out of its multimillion dollar races hole and review the education structure for the language.

Also it is very annoying when people think talking in English is cool or modern. This has become such a frequent occurance that sometimes finding a person who can't communicate in English brings a smile to ones face among all the confusion in translation. This is not just among the Arabs, its quite common among us non-english speaking foreigners. No one seems to understand that there is no better way to communicate other than ones own mother tongue.

I'd have loved to Learn arabic myself in school, but now I can't seem to find the time to do so. Maybe inshallah when I'm settled, I'll learn Arabic.

My email address should show in my profile now....

Proud Emirati said...

Stained, who told u that it will never be yours? how come there are hundred thousands of Iranians, Baluchis, Yemenis and other Arabs who earned the citizenship? There might be religious restrictions like they are cautious about naturalizing Shiites and would almost be impossible to naturalize non-muslims but it has never been about color.

Stained said...

Its not about it being told. Its more about never knowiing or seeing such a thing happen. If it does happen, I have several candidates who'd love to apply for citizenship if there is such a place to send in applications.
And about assimilate the arab culture for acceptance, being a muslim who tries to follow the Quran as much as he/she can should be enough. As in the end, Islam is not a just a religion, but a way of living.

rosh said...

General Tamim has a point, he is old school and means well. It's just that he's just got next to zero intelligence to discuss a sensitive issue with diplomacy/sensitivity. Today, DI is indeed an issue. It's got to to be reviewed/monitored.

That said, most folks use UAE as a stepping stone to better pastures. The labour folks, shall move on to where ever they find similar jobs - so in the larger scheme and long run, some aspects of DI shall settle in itself. However, there are those who've lived there for decades, and consider it home, like Stained or I or a hundred Arab/non-Arab friends of mine, no matter where we are today - for us it's always going to be home and a sensitive issue.

Re: Culture and Arabic. I have discussed a thousand times. There is hardly any integration in the UAE amongst the different communities. Each prefer to stick amongst their own - and, should some amongst us (i.e 2nd/3rd generation off springs or the current generation Emi's) take an effort to integrate and more, hell breaks lose from both ends. A culture shall not spread, if it's kept within the 4 walls of it's own people. As long as most locals prefer to keep it amongst themselves, admire western ways of life and prefer to live in "local only" neighbourhoods, am afraid Emi culture shall be non-existent in a few decades.

Totally agree with several of Stained sentiments - it's such a pleasure to listen people speak Arabic. Each time I've tried to talk in Arabic with my local or Arab friends, am met with silly "Western accented" lingo. In fact, there was more integration back in the day. In the almost 4 decades my folks lived in the UAE, they've learnt to speak and read basic Arabic from their neighbours and colleagues! I've already discussed the sad state of Arabic taught as language even at the better schools across the UAE.

DI isn't something that propped up last month or last year. It is a result of several factors over the decades. In my opinion, Religion should, never be a factor. The sentiments one has for his/her nation of birth/life has almost nothing to do with religion.

Anonymous said...

PE - A bit surprising that you should go on and on advocating filling up the country with 'other Arabs'. It couldn't have escaped your notice where the maximum corruption, incompetence and rude driving originates from in Dubai. There are very good reasons why seasoned local businessmen avoid certain 'Arab' nationalities. Never heard an Emirati talk like this before. Who are you really ?

Anonymous said...

Best quick fix solution.....make them pay...put a toll fee on all expats workin here. Will generate tons of cash....create jobs for emiritisation.

Anonymous said...

pe is an arsehole. many of us gives a shit on him and his views of drinks and sex. am local and know what locals speak of radical fools like him. although i am somewhat worried with many new foreigners in our country......it is but natural.........however there are always sensible solutions. dubai entrepreneur you are always part of our country....our country and our people need people to grow and prosper.

DUBAI JAZZ said...

At anon, 6:33…
Where do you think corruption, incompetence, rude driving and every other ailment in the world originate from?

Proud Emirati said...

Anonymous @ 21 April, 2008 06:33, I agree that Arabs don't have a good reputation in the UAE but we cannot claim that they are all worthless and bad.

Anonymous 21 April, 2008 07:30 thank you dear !

Anonymous said...

i hope the government just shuts the door to expatriate workers.. cos atleast they will stay back home and try developing their country instead of building a land wherin they are paid peanuts and the build structures are sold at higher than world rates.

PS: i know it is quite to impossible to do so until the economy collapses.

hemlock said...

PE: in one of your comments you mentioned how pathetic it was that emiratis were studying Islam in English according to the Pakistani curriculum.(im glad you capitalized the 'P' there)

im wondering if that's half as bad as studying Islam in English according to GCE/ Cambridge curriculum in Pakistan.

other than that i agree with everything Dhahi and Proud Emirati have said.
although i dont see the logic behind emiratis having more children, if they too are going to forego arabic and kandura for english and denims.

i havent been able to figure out though, exactly what is the emirati strain? since all the emiratis ive met so far, some trace their roots back to yemen, others to iran, bahrain, baluchistan, india... (their grandparents, or great-grandparents...)
and i know "emiratis" who are clearly of indian/pakistani origin, but were given the nationality a few decades ago...

exactly who IS an emirati? the 'Al-Maktoums' and 'Al- Nahyans' and 'Al-Mansouris' and 'Al Shehis' and 'Touks'...
can anyone who doesnt belong to one of these clans ever be an emirati? (and im sure even these families have their own histories going back to other countries)

Anonymous said...

hemlock,

if you wanna get down to it, there is no such thing as emirati. they are a bunch of bedouins scattered across the desert, united by wealth and british administration. most of the traders/merchants are of iranian origins. the true bedouins are setting up tents and tending to their camels.

what constitutes an 'emirati' is clearly up for grabs. it's a toss-up between saudi, iran and india. one of those 3 will have to claim it as an extension of themselves.

Rose in Dubai said...

>>I agree that Arabs don't have a good reputation in the UAE but we cannot claim that they are all worthless and bad.<<

But its OK for you to repeatedly imply that Westerners are?

PE you are a racist, ignorant, parochial idiot and thank God you are in the minority here. Its people like you who cause all of the bad feeling - you have such an inbred and unjustified sense of your own superiority. You want respect? Start showing respect to your fellow human beings. I believe that is an integral part of your religion.

Proud Emirati said...

Rose in Dubai, well, my action is simply a reaction of their disrespectful action. So you cannot ask me to respect back when I don't get any in the first place. What is racist about what I said anyway, those are facts? The majority drink alcohol, the majority don't wear respectful clothings, the majority wouldn't hesitate display of affection in public. Seriously, I don't understand what makes u upset about it? I mean the majority of westerns don't believe that the things I've accused them of is bad in the first place.

hemlock, being an Emirati is being part of four circles. The Islamic World, the Arabic world, GCC and the UAE. The is why, usually, an Emirati is a muslim, assimilated in Arabic culture, speak the Emirati dialect, wear Emirati clothes, have sympathy to the Islamic, Arabic, Emirati cause.

i*maginate said...

p.e. - you called me 'love'! ;-)

Dearo - for every couple you see snogging in public, I see 20 black tinted windows doing mughazala. In my opinion, accosting women on the roads of Dubai is 10 times worse than drinking alcohol or wearing bikinis, yet it happens, daily - though banned in AD with cars being impounded for 6 months if caught.

The interpretation (for any1 who doesn't know) of mughazala is like 'curb-crawling'. Is this respect towards women?

And isn't there a purpose for the back seat of a land cruiser in a shady parking lot? To show affection behind closed doors lol :P

I don't think there's any point debating points like these with you but it would be fair of you to consider that Emiratis are not angels and that expats aren't scum. I don't know why you have such hatred in your heart. How about practising some of Ramadan's values in advance: forgiveness, peace, compassion.

Anonymous said...

The Emirates is an amalgamation of International talent, which helped the UAE to propel itself to where it is now. I am here for the last 35 years, and if I am retired or happen to loose my job - that's it, I am a worthless piece of waste paper, and exit this country !! I am not quite sure, what Mr Dhahi is worried about, because I am person non granta here, and will catch the next plane home (which is now alien to me!) To compare where UAE is now today, take the example of neighbouring ME countries, where english and talents were not welcome ! Well, if the people of UAE choose to become like their neighbour, it would be quite rapid and fast - its no rocket sicence. In a way they are blowing hot and cold, to pacify the nationals that Government is concerned with demographic imbalance, but at the same time, attracting FDI, which the Nationals are not able to handle by themselves!! This is stage managed sceanrio !!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I think what really worries the Emiratis is that things should not get totally out of hand. Would be wrong to dismiss it as pure xenophobia, or as something peculiar to Emiratis.
For example, last new year eve there was a party on the palm jumeirah which apparently had revelers dancing topless. This sort of thing would not be appreciated in any Eastern country. The link to the article is below.

http://www.escapeartist.com/efam/58/Nightlife_in_Dubai.html

One sees much more 'skin' and 'affection' in the streets and malls of Dubai that one does in a place like India. This could be because the publicity for all the Dubai mega-projects being sold to Westerners in their countries can really cause confusion. Most of the visuals and copy focus on the sun, sand and a totally international, uninhibited lifestyle. When someone comes to a place like India, they have a fair idea of what type of dress to wear etc. and what is considered acceptable behaviour in public. When coming to Dubai, one simply does not know for sure.

Rose in Dubai said...

>>my action is simply a reaction of their disrespectful action<<

Oh, so that makes it ok then? If you don't like it being done to you why would you do it to others?

I am heartily sick of ignorant peasants like you thinking its OK to disparage an entire ethnic group just because one of them once wore a bikini in your presense. Get a bloody life and start worrying about real problems, not pathetic imagined slights. If I decide to wear a sleeveless tee shirt to Spinneys I am not doing it to piss you off, I am doing it because that is what I chose to wear that day. It's NOT all about you!

But you know what, I know exactly how you feel about the way some women dress here, because I feel exactly the same way when I travel to my country of birth and see women wrapped up in black tents.

I*maginate - you go girl :-) !

DUBAI JAZZ said...

I am heartily sick of ignorant peasants like you

Rose in Dubai, let me guess: you are a smug Safavid bourgeoisie ?!

Anonymous said...

I am not emiriti but was born and raised in dubai all my life.
My friends are emiraties and to be honest,when i came to dubai this january,they actually considering to leave dubai because of the inflock of foreigners that are invading their country,they are frustrated and dislike it.I could understand how they feel and that i dont like what happening to dubai that i once knew,what was wrong with the old simple dubai with no much traffic jam.Why all of a sudden open the doors to gays,prostitues,white people,alchols ,clubs,your are bringing more diseaes and your culture will fade .Its not a muslim country no more,for christ sake you celebrate Christmas and decorate your Malls.

I know of many of my dad collegues got the local passport under shiekh rashid,they were arabs,indians,eygtians.
Well except dad,poor guy ,palestinian served the country well ,but sadly they gave it all irans this time.

I think the palestinians who educated the Emiraties in the olden days and the doctors who came in the 1970 and 1980 should have been given the passport because they served your country.

Paraglider said...

It's sad to see a thread so full of inflammatory language from many poles. Talk of invasion is inappropriate. Crowds don't immigrate; individuals do. And all are entitled to respect as human beings. Respect takes many forms, but basic among these is to give no deliberate offence. The corollary of this is to be tolerant of accidental or innocent 'offence'.

Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Doha - these have become big cities and, like all big cities throughout history, they are non-homogeneous. They have places for quietude, places for business, places for commerce, places for leisure, and even places for revelry. This is to be celebrated, not feared. But most of all, it is to be understood.

Though the rate of change has been rapid, still it has been evolutionary and should be steered only by evolutionary measures. Talk of bans and prohibitions, mass repatriations, even capping - these are immature notions born of inexperience. Though they may be well-intended, they should be seen for what they are, and discouraged.

Anonymous said...

Dubai Jazzed - STFU with kiss ass talk of yours!!

PE: it is people like you this country or our country men DO NOT NEED!! Such a hate monger you are. Shame.

the real nick said...

Proud Emirati,

Thank you for sending us your suggestions. I have considered them and respond as follows.

1) Arabic TOFL (“TOAFL”)Emiratisation or the close second prize, Arabisation, doesn’t need to be forced if indeed this is what you want. Already I can see a shift that has occurred over the past five years or so whereby most CEOs of larger Quangos or DIFX listed companies are Arab, or Arab speakers. Already now most Western expats live in little ghettos like the Springs, and work in ghettos like consulting. Don’t feed. We are happy there.
Secondly, Arabic is not necessary for one quarter of the population: the labourers. Surely, there should be one law for all expats – or do you keep it with Orwell: some are more equal than others?

2) Quotas: I could live with that. Already, the USA and Australia have quotas, for professions and semi-officially also for nationalities.

3) But as a result you will end up with an even more varied multiculturalism, which makes integration more diffcult – because with this quota system you actually limit the numbers of Arab expats in favour of other nationalities. You could end up having to look specifically for a lorry driver from Urugay?

4) Sorry, I have to retract my comment above – Arabs are more equal than other expats? Obviously. I should have known.

5) “Behaviour contracts / pledges”: depends on the wording. In principle I wouldn’t have a problem signing a “pledge” to respect the norms and laws of any country I go to.

6) Awareness campaigns: Why not, as long as it is optional and not mandatory. One can respect a culture even though one doesn’t know much about it.

7) Alcohol consumption: yes, sorry mate, this is a must! You should consider that alcohol availability in clubs and restaurants actually helps you control its consumption better than only limiting it to domestic use. Think Saudi Arabia and all that debauchery behind closed doors. It’s much better out in the open where our friends the CID can observe it, right?

Conclusion: You are clearly a racist Nasserite, but not unreasonable. You are realistic enough to acknowledge that most jobs in this country can only be done by foreigners, but you only want to let in wellbehaved blonde blue eyed ones and asset rich Lebanese girls. You actually might be happy in Saudi Arabia, or Afghanistan.
I'm afraid though that most of your suggestions will never be implemented because they would provoke stark reactions from Western countries and a confident India which would ultimately have an enormous impact on the UAE economy. Treat others the way you want to be treated. Meaning, not with a racist attitude such as yours.

hemlock said...

emiratis feel trapped in their own homes, feel like a minority on their own lands... it makes so much sense for them to get defensive, or angry and hateful, no matter how right or wrong that may be.
for most of them, this situation isnt of their making. and the insecurity, or fear of loss of identity isnt something to be mocked.

i personally dont think PE is anymore racist or rude or unreasonable as anyone else on the blog. he merely has an opinion on something, in fact it's a subject he feels very strongly about...
just like the real nick, who went on to introduce himself as an (if i recall correctly) "islamophobic bastard". many people on the blog (anonymous commenters) feel a certain way about islam, and under cover of anonymity say a bunch of radiculous things ... but it's their opinion.

why is one man's opinion more valid than another's?

Emirati said...

I am an emirati, yes I am a minority in my land. Yes my culture is being eroded away at, and the values.

They didnt deserve to survive in the first place. We share the culture of 22 other arab countries, which are almost all faliures. Why do we want to go towards them ?

It is best if we take our own path and accept the pros and cons. What this cunt Dahi doesnt know, is that expats built dubai and continue to be a positive contribution to its expansion.

We emiratis *need* expats to help us in the running of our country. They give us a flexible, non unionized labor force from the pick all around the world. Politicians dream of such an opportunity.

We have it very good, lets not push it.

Anonymous said...

STRANGELY FAMILIAR.

Don't let the comment sections at UAE Community blog become a surrogate place for "arguing" like over at SD's blog.

It seems as though those who went there and b-llsh-tted have no place to go so come here to do it now.

Those in charge, don't let that happen! (That means you too, SD).

It's funny, the same topics that came up at her blog are coming up here in the same fashion. Bloggers, don't fall for it.

It seems that whoever had a hand in letting things get out of hand over at SD are letting, or coming here and letting, it creep in here.

We want to keep this blog, don't we?

samuraisam said...

anonymous: if you don't like the content of this blog please consult the TRA.

Anonymous said...

samuraisam -- Don't be so quick to deflect the issue (and in such a tired and predictable way, too). I've been coming to (and a part of) this blog for a very long time.

The same for over at SD's blog (and many other UAE blogs). I know exactly what post, along with all it's comments, was the one that got SD's blog kicked off the web!!

We haven't had a string of comments like this (in this vein and at this length) ever. But we have now (and they're almost replicas, even almost verbatim of SD's blog) here in one week!!

If you don't see it, then you are either blind, or a part of what's going on here.

Anonymous said...

To The Offended:

I second samuarism sentiment. Go ahead, complain. If you find our expressions and frustrations offensive and 'threatening', then to hell with all of you.

I've had enough!

So what, you're going to silence expats from voicing their concerns? You know what would happen if this blog is blocked? Things will move from a bunch of expats whinging to a bunch of expats angry and resentful, which would result in a real anti-UAE campaign on the net. Yeah, I would like to see the TRA stop that.

Anonymous said...

anon 20:32 -- You are obviously quite ignorant (and non-perceptive). I'm an expat, from the States. And I am by no means "offended" or "threatened". Read my comments again, carefully please.

I'm talking about this blog. It doesn't belong to the few who were regulars at SD, and managed to get themselves kicked off the web. Dumb move!!

I'm talking OUR blog, there are many people who come to this blog for what it is -- and it isn't a forum for SD ranting, I'm sorry.

My advice is those who want to do that, go ahead set YOUR OWN forum for that! This blog has never been like that, and why should it now -- not because SD is gone and there's no other place to go.

From Anon 18:42, 20:03

Stained said...

Anonymous ^^^^...go somewhere else to vent the angry you have bottled up in you're head. No ones talking about complaining, its about moderating comments to keep this blog away from the risk of it becoming blocked...simple...

Stained said...

erm...I was also talking about anonymous 20:32...

Anonymous said...

To stained and the anon before him,

I am anon @ 20:32

You guys are giving SD far more weight than she actually has. Most of us here are not even thinking about SD. For all I know, he/she could be in the Bahamas right now.

Why wouldn't I be angry? I have a guy here saying we are a threat to their national security.. looking at every expat like we are the reason for everything evil in this country. Wouldn't YOU be angry? Give me a break!

You're from the US? You sure don't sound like it. A real American values their freedom and you certainly don't strike me as one. Holding an American passport doesn't make you one.

Anonymous said...

anon @ 21 April, 2008 21:22

While I understand how you came up with your conclusion, did you consider that two things are also new:

1) The TRA is on a rampage to impose its self as the protector of the net

2) General Tamim has made racist remarks that are being echoed by the media without any editorial commentary on it

These are hot topics. People will get excited. It's natural. In a bit, someone is going to build another ridiculous tower and we will all be either mocking its design or in awe of its architecture. Or we'll be whinging about another beach lost to a hotel resort.

Life will go on.

P.S. It's starting to get very confusing, which anon is which..

P.S.S. I did get a bit fired up, so, apologies for being aggressive.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Paraglider said...

Isn't it fun to shoot your mouth off as 'anonymous'? And isn't it also completely pointless? A consistent pseudonym has some respect in the blogosphere but anonymous postings are as so much chaff in the wind.

Anon 18:42, 20:03, 21:22 said...

anon 22:44 -- You said, "You guys are giving SD far more weight than she actually has."

It's not about giving weight. I'm stating a fact. The same people [I'm not saying all the commentors in this section, of course] are here in these comments doing EXACTLY (almost word for word) what they did at SD's blog -- same topic, same bantering, calling names on both sides of the issue, etc. And they got shoved off the net -- and I, nor I think anyone else here except for them, would like us at the UAE Community blog to get shoved off either.

You also said, "You're from the US? You sure don't sound like it. A real American values their freedom and you certainly don't strike me as one."

I'll just say again, you obviously are really prone to having no idea what you're talking about. Because the truth is so against you in that "confident" statement of yours. And I'll tell you, "they" have just as much of a right (read: freedom) to do what they want, too. [Now if that doesn't sound American to you, then you need to get out (in the world) a little more often]. And so therefore, if "they" have the strength and authority to pull us off the net here, then they are FREE to do so. Now do we want that to happen? Is it worth it for a few measly rounds of name-calling? If not, then THINK clearly!!!

anon 22:55 -- No hard feelings.

paraglider -- You just gave popular (and unoriginal) response number 2. I hope you're good with numbers!

samuraisam said...

anonymous @
"The same for over at SD's blog (and many other UAE blogs). I know exactly what post, along with all it's comments, was the one that got SD's blog kicked off the web!!"
Gee. I wonder if it could've been the post that had 160-something comments on it that had a bunch of family names mentioned that spawned a facebook group almost entirely comprised of morons?

"My advice is those who want to do that, go ahead set YOUR OWN forum for that! This blog has never been like that, and why should it now -- not because SD is gone and there's no other place to go."
My advice to you is to shut up-- comments had not threatened to degrade into name-calling until you decided to post your comment. From what I had a chance to read there was some meaningful discussion going on, there were numerous comments that were quite in-depth; then you posted some crap and now the discussion train has derailed and been pretty much ruined.
Well done.

The TRA can go and block this website any day they choose to—if they’re going to block it, they’re going to block it.
“The TRA is on a rampage to impose its self as the protector of the net”
Are you suggesting I clamp down on commenting and practically ruin this blog because of the TRA? What would be the point of this blog then?

anonymous @ 21 April, 2008 23:04: Your comment has been deleted; feel free to post it again without that image.

anonymous american said...

samuraisam -- Gee, no. That's not the one. Think of a particular post.

You said, "comments had not threatened to degrade into name-calling until you decided to post your comment."

You'll have to read again. And not just some of it, all of it. My first post was Anon 21 April, 2008 18:42. Read all the comments again. Actually, and ironically, there is no name-calling AFTER my comment. And I'm talking about disrepectful name-calling between expats and nationals (particularily starting from name-calling about this country (that we live in as guests)). Read all the comments again. There is none of that kind of talk after my comment. BUT THERE IS BEFORE my comment. Read again. It sure didn't start AFTER my comment. Please direct your "no-no's" more realistically.

And also read the UAE Community blog post sometime before this one, titled "New Paper -- the National." Read the comments there. That's all I'm saying. Now sam, you have been at SD's blog, and if the comments section in that post I just mentioned above and this post here don't sound eerily similar to the daily comment sections at SD's -- and you are at the same time not concerned -- then you are delibertately turning a blind eye.

I have seen you moderate and stop things for far less, so why are you now letting harsh disrespect towards this country, it's people, and it's culture start to seep in here? Between SD's posts, and the quality of her commentors, she was eventually run out of town.

You also said, "Are you suggesting I clamp down on commenting and practically ruin this blog because of the TRA?"

No, don't clamp down on commenting. Of course not. Just don't let the comments section get into a battleground of civilizations. If that's what the comments generate into, then, like I said, someone, somewhere, needs to set up a forum where that could be done. But now imagine what kind of forum that would be! None of us, I think, would want to seriously be a part of that kind of forum, with that kind of talk! So why do it here!? I'm suggesting, just stop it before it does start to turn into that kind of forum.

rosh said...

Anon American: This is Sam's blog and he's doing a fantastic job keeping it alive within set rules. Try and avoid grief, he us doing it all on his personal time -be thankful and focus on the debate.

Dubai Entrepreneur said...

Anonymous American,

No one has disrespected anyone. The only disrespect so far has been exhibited by the Chief of Police. Last I checked, he is the one who showed slides of laborers rioting in support for his argument that expats will bring the collapse of the UAE. Maybe it was not intended, but it certainly came out as ungrateful, disrespectful and racist.

We are all here to discuss issues in a civilized manner. The TRA blocks and unblocks without the necessity of logic or guidelines. I don't think being overzealous in moderating comments will help.

ColOman said...

Sam,

I dont think the UAE should give any GCC, Yemami or Iraqi a passport...... its their country and it shoiuld staty like that...... what I ment is that we would have more respect for their culture and would not creat these kind of problems the UAE is facing now.

Stained,

I agree with on most issued you raised. But this coutry is for the Emartis not us...... we come here to work and respect them...... when done we leave or they ask us to leave.... but we should not bad mouth them .....and ask them to change their culture

Anonymous said...

who is sd ? snoop dogg ?

Anonymous said...

What a waste of time venting and figthing about local identity and respect for culture Blah.Its too late for that and plus if you expect that the foreigners to learn Arabic to fit in ,it wouldnt work out.No alcohol no bars ,dubai wouldnt attract anyone.That why Shiekh Mo,thougth to allow to open the doors and allow foriengers to come.He needs to fix it now.Dubai is no more a islamic country and it would never be one ever .Just LIVE WITH IT.You are expanding and progressing,isnt that what you wanted.


And another thing,why on earth build more and more building to allow people to come and live there,off course you going to be the minority .Soon or later we would need binoculars to see if you exist.LOL.

Instead of focusing of serious matter like what happening around you,like Palestine,women and children being killed day and nigth.You worry about your shit indentity,while you GCC counteries enjoy the suffering of others.This alone is your curse ,so swallow it like a bitter pill.

Proud Emirati said...

i*maginate, oh honey, u don't need to repeat what u said earlier and I don't think I need to repeat myself, again and again. I already said that I hate no one. Some of the things happen here pisses me off so I demand correcting those mistakes. I hate some peoples attitude, but I don't hate them individually.

I don't understand why u need to discuss the "mughazala" issue here. I'll be the first to comment on how pathetic, immature they are. They are an embarrassment to the society. I support not only impounding their cars but also throw them in jail because, unlike the majority of desrespectful western expatriates who are naive or ignorant about the country, they know exactly what they are doing. Feel free to create a topic about what they do and I'll be the fist to support what u say. My posts were about the negative influence of some expatriates on the national identity and the demography of the country. Emiratis misbehaving is totally irrelevant in this regard. I repeat again that I neither believe Emirati are angels nor I believe that expatriates are scum.

Rose in Dubai, so are u saying that the majority of westerns don't wear bikinis? I apologize if that was true but my statement is still valid to the ones who do.

I never had the impression that u or anyone would wear those clothes to piss us off. This is the way u dress ur clothes and I understand that but fact is when u do that you are practically spitting on our faces.

Plus, u being from a secular democratic country that believes in personal freedom, you cannot complain about the blacked warpped-up black tents because those are the norms and laws u made urselves and accepted. Now, the UAE is the extreme opposite. The UAE is an Islamic country where Quran is the main source of legislation according to the constitution. In Islam what ur wearing is disrespectful so therefore, they are violating our constitution. They are ruining our sight with their lack of clothes. Now, am tolerant enough, I don't believe that people, females or males, should have a strict dress code. Trying to be respectful is good as a start. Therefore no mini-skirts and bra-like shirts and no armpits please.

DUBAI JAZZ it's ok, she started calling names because she cannot debate.

the real nick, my recommendations are a threat to ur way of living, that's why I didn't expect different answers from u. You didn't need to reply to each of my points. I didn't expect u to agree with what I said in the first place. I typed them just to let you and the people there know what my view is regarding this issue.

You don't know me to call me a Nasserite, and being called racist by u is actually a compliment. For a start, I don't even like Jamal Abdul Nasser. The only reason why I believe that Arabs should have priority is because they are one vital solution to preserve our national identity, they are the closest to us language wise, religion wise and cultural wise. Being a Nasserite is not an accusation anyway. The UAE is part of the Arabic world according to our constitution. The UAE is part of the Arab league, Shiekh Zayed and Shiekh Mohammed openly stated that their pan-Arabic vision so if Arabs have any favorisim because of that then it shouldn't be surprising. In governmental jobs at least, the governments open policy is to hire as follow, Emirati nationals, GCC nationals, Arab nationals and then other countries.

rosh said...

PE: More Arabs into the UAE, however Iraqis aren't extended visa renewals, let alone new visas? Do you see an Arab African respond to additional questions at airport immigration, whilst the "West" mostly spend less than a minute? I feel bad for these folks, standing there and feeling all uncomfortable.

It seems you have much importance for culture - yet little regard towards "good/decent" people, who've moved with the times, who value and respect one other. Cultures evolve and just because someone wears a bikini to the beach - does not imply she is spitting on your face - that perception perhaps lies in your head, 'cause I know some lovely women who love the beach and are most respectful towards cultures. What do you expect from people when Dubai advertises to the world of it's lovely beaches, hotels and tourist aspirations?

If it is culture you truly wish to maintain and develop - work with people who live or lived in the UAE. They know and understand the place and it's people more than newbies moving in. Request your fellow citizens to get out and mingle with the expat community a bit more - and you shall see the results.

Lastly, you want Arabs from the "West" - what makes you believe most, if not all, Arabs from the West aren't "Western"? I have more than a few Arab friends here in the West - wonderful, worldly, educated lovely folks. They love the beach, BBQ & a beer -enjoy going out on dates and clubbing here in the city.

Anonymous said...

I read the other day that Nakheel's building projects will accomodate 3 million people by 2020.
Where will these people come from? :)

DUBAI JAZZ said...


Muscat: Efforts to keep values and traditions alive contribute to making Oman a happier society amidst the race for globalisation, a senior Omani columnist and researcher believes.

Haider Abdul Redha Dawood, who is also an Oman Journalist Association board member told Gulf News that Omani people deservedly emerged as the happiest in the Middle East in a recent Maktoob Research survey.

"Family values are very high and the older generation is still respected in our country and that makes people happier," believes Dawood, who like most Omanis makes a point of spending at least the weekend with his entire family.


http://archive.gulfnews.com/articles/08/04/22/10207548.html

secretdubai said...

pe is an arsehole. many of us gives a shit on him and his views of drinks and sex. am local and know what locals speak of radical fools like him. although i am somewhat worried with many new foreigners in our country......it is but natural.........however there are always sensible solutions. dubai entrepreneur you are always part of our country....our country and our people need people to grow and prosper.

Just wanted to say that it is so great to get more emiratis on here. Obviously being in English it was always likely that UAE comm would end up as more of an expat blog, but that was never the intention.

As regards the "argument" moving from my blog to here, that was actually the whole intention of me setting up UAE comm. I set it up in August 2005 not long after my first block in July 2005, partly because things were getting too heated on my blog and I thought a more community-type forum would be more appropriate for such discussion.

So if it has all moved here, then great.

Unfortunately given the current environment of media oppression, the more heated this place gets, the likely it is to get blocked too. But we'll just have to cross that bridge if and when we come to it.

anonymous american said...

SD -- Fair enough.

Stained said...

Proud Emirati...I agree on most of your points though I strongly disagree about the fact that Dubai is an Islamic state. Even if its constitution or rules are based on the Holy Quran, none seem to be followed. Dubai Stopped being an Islamic state as soon as it allowed advertisements in papers and billboards of male/female models showing more skin than allowed in Islam, when it let alcohol to be served, when it allowed nightclubs in every corner of the city, when it allowed indecent clothing anywhere in the city, when it allowed the disintegration of the culture itself into something more acceptable and modern supposedly.

These western ideas are here to stay which is very evident from the way Dubai seems to be promoted. These violation have been going on for several years, way before the days when Dubai was on the world map. Nothing was done then and unfortunately nothing will be done now.

Secret Dubai...Quoting people who can't hold they're ground in an argument without swearing doesn't really makes sense. Such comments should be ignored and deleted in my opinion.

About media oppression, be happy with what you've got..seriously. With the Disrespect some bloggers/non-bloggers pass on the blogs, its quite surprising blogger.com hasn't been blocked.

Anonymous said...

Yeah... I totally agree with Stained, I wonder why the senile Secret Dubai would quote some supposedly Emirati guy maligning other Emirati guy just to inform us that she’s quite happy with more Emiratis on the blog.

I wonder if another Emirati barged in and said that Secret Dubai herself is “a cunt for all the insults she writes about Dubai, the UAE and Arabs in general” would she be equally happy?

This is what I call selective freedom of speech; if I like what you are saying, you are free to say it. If I don’t like what you’re saying; you are an asshole for saying it and you are shown no respect whatsoever.

Proud Emirati said...

Stained, I don't even believe that he/she is an Emirati in the first place. He is the only one who called me radical :wtf:

He is the same guy who made the impression that in general Emiratis drinks and have sex even if they are married and if they were religious they would be beating their wives instead of drinking and having sex.

Anonymous said...

http://www.gulfnews.com/nation/Poli
ce_and_The_Courts/10207825.html

Proud Emirati said...

^^ oh, we have a live example of beating wives and drinking !!

Thank you anonymous !!

Anonymous said...

PE: if the attacker was an Emirati, you'd see a new post about it and 100s of replies ;)

Hypocrites I tell ya! aaarrrg!!!

Anonymous said...

PE: if the attacker was an Emirati, you'd see a new post about it and 100s of replies ;)

That's quite a disclosure from the Book of Revelations. So, Emiratis do beat their wives!!

Anonymous said...

With all the bars/hotels that serve alcohol(more power to the west), I don't see why not =)

You call a book that's been written/edited by filthy human beings the book of revelations ?

Shouldn't the west just print on their cash notes "In money/alcohol/weapon we trust" and be done with it ? maybe that way all the other countries will take the same path :)

Jayne said...

"........But we'll just have to cross that bridge if and when we come to it." (from SD)

My questions are:

1) Has the tender been awarded yet?
2) Will it be bigger & better than the last bridge?
3)Is there a competition to name it?
4) Will it be a toll bridge?
5) Is it across the creek/palm/world or has planning permission been granted for Mars yet?


I could go on, but won't. I joined this rather heated debate late & I must say, it's made interesting reading.

Keefieboy said...

What an unbelievable thread! All I can say is: Gen Dhahi is speaking out of turn (not for the first time, and it always makes for interesting reading)
and
Who is responsible for this demographic imbalance (clue: it's not the guest workers - they are only here because the system allows them to be here)?

The revered Chief of Police needs to be talking to the policy makers, not slagging off foreigners.

My two fils.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
anonymous american said...

Message from Blogger Dashboard as of this moring (25/4/08):

UAE community blog View Blog
3,129 Posts, last published on Apr 23, 2008.
This blog has been locked due to possible Blogger Terms of Service violations. You may not publish new posts until your blog is reviewed and unlocked.
This blog will be deleted within 20days unless you request a review.


Well, it seems you can that say you indeed heard it here first, from Anonymous American.

I hope not, but it seems we (read YOU) allowed sd to drag this blog down with her.

If this is indeed true, it's probably for the good: sd and sam are obviously not strong enough blog leaders to keep us (the UAE Community Blog members) here.

Good riddance to them, for this then. Defend your own ship sinking if you want, but I for one don't want them to represent me anyway -- if they bring me to this!

I could only hope that this meesage on Dashboard is some kind of a technical problem, or will not be followed through.

anonymous american said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Kyle said...

I could only hope that this meesage on Dashboard is some kind of a technical problem, or will not be followed through.

I hope so too, unless Blogger was jointly acquired by Dubai, Inc and Mubadala ;)

i ain't scared a'you said...

anonymous american,

f$(# off then. Who asked to represent YOU? As much as I like how forums like this allows everyone to speak their minds.. I hate that it reminds me that we have a lot of idiots living among us still.

go do your holier-than-thou sh#$ elsewhere. you seem to fit better there.

samuraisam said...

anonymous idiot: Actually I heard about it first on my email account 9 hours ago; shut up.

Secondly, this is an automated system whereby google has somehow detected this as a spam blog (most probably due to the fact we have several hundred links on the front page)-- give it some time and if all goes well we'll be able to post normally again.

This has happened before and will probably happen again-- this is google's webspace and a few days of inconvenience a year are a small price to pay for a fast, free blogging platform that unfortunately doesn't let me ban idiots like anonymous american.

Straight from google's email:
"We find spam by using an automated classifier. Automatic spam detection is inherently fuzzy, and occasionally a blog like yours is flagged incorrectly. We sincerely apologize for this error."

So everyone calm down and wait 48 hours; and anonymous american-- thanks for reminding me about why I had anonymous commenting disabled in the first place.

secretdubai said...

What an absolute wanker, and I'll bet it is no more "american" than my Siberian aunt who never left Siberia her entire life, and in fact never existed because I just made her up.

But she's still more "american" than the idiot commenting above.

You'd go to that length? Good luck! said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
samuraisam said...

Idiot: go back to the front page and scroll up to the top and read the following statement on a nice bold red background:

"No new posts are allowed on this blog until google clears it from being a spam-blog; sorry for the inconvenience --samuraisam"

That has been there for 8-9 hours; I cannot make any posts (nor can anyone else) so this is practically the only way to inform users of the problem.

...now you remind me of why I used to have member-only commenting.

DUBAI JAZZ said...

Sam, I do not understand this 20 days notice thing. What if google staff failed to review the blog before that? Will it be automatically deleted even before it is checked out?

Anonymous American; will you stay quiet while the grown-ups are handling the situation?

samuraisam said...

dubai jazz: hopefully not, I honestly have no idea about how/when they conduct their reviews. I assume they've done this with hundreds of thousands of blogs before and I trust they'll be able to fix the problem ASAP.

Dubai Entrepreneur said...

anonymous american is obviously a troll. I'm just not sure why he thinks a TRA block would mean the blog would be off the net?

Editor said...

No worries regarding the temporary blocking of the blog....it happens to my blogs occasionally....it takes 3-4 days to be resolved.

I would like to share my recent discovery: http://sultansq.blogspot.com/

Editor said...

Phew........I just read some 15-20 of the above comments.....what a pile of ****.

People, the temporary blocking is a standard Google thing and it happens occasionally to most of the active blogs.
Please don't use the opportunity to release your negative emotions and throw the mud at each other.

Happy Easter!

lucy said...

Not defending "anonymous american", but he/she did start to say we would be blocked, and now we're blocked. Hmmm. I sort of agree with that commenter on some points.

One glaring anamoly here is why did the moderator try to ban "anonymous american"? Because the moderator didn't like what he/she was saying? Isn't that what the Censors do and why they ban blogs here in the UAE, or why they try to quell the voices of the "undesirables"?

I guess the desire to censor is powerful, and can affect anyone at anytime.

Dubai Entrepreneur said...

lucy,

The blog is temporarily on-hold due to Google's silly scripts that often confuse real sites for spam sites. Happens all the time. This was a pure coincidence. The site is not 'blocked' by the TRA.

I would love for the silly american to disappear, but this is not my call. Last I checked, we have guidelines that we all need to ahere to. These guidelines are set by the founders of the blog.

As far as I can tell, anonymous american has not broken any of those guidelines. However, neither is saying that some of us hope he never existed is breaking the guidelines.

goldielocks said...

Hey, has the google block ever happened to uae comm blog before? Others have said it happened to them. But has it happened with this blog before? Because gone is the "48 hours" mentioned on the frontpage. Longer than 2 days then? Then someone said 4-5 days? Are we waiting for the blog to go back "on", or are we hearing anything from google yet?

secretdubai said...

I think it did happen to this blog, ages back. Which makes it all the more ridiculous that it has been locked again.

To be honest what really bothers me is the lie that Blogger/Google persists in that their "algorithms have detected" etc etc. No algorithm in the world could be that crap.

If they were more honest, and just admitted they do random sweeps every so often it would be OK. Instead they try to slur blog owners and members by claiming they have the "characteristics of a spam blog" which is total bloody crap.

Kyle said...

Are we waiting for the blog to go back "on", or are we hearing anything from google yet?

Well, it’s weekend in United States and all those geeks must be out partying while we’re sweating it out here playing the waiting game.

Give this blackout another 24 hours and we’d be up and running full swing :)

My take on this delay!

Cheers :)

i*maginate said...

I been dying to say this - this post will reach at least 126 comments.

samuraisam said...

lucy:
"Not defending "anonymous american", but he/she did start to say we would be blocked, and now we're blocked. Hmmm. I sort of agree with that commenter on some points."
We are not blocked, we are locked; an automated system has declared that this blog is possibly a spam blog. That is not censorship, it is moderation.

"One glaring anamoly here is why did the moderator try to ban "anonymous american"? Because the moderator didn't like what he/she was saying? Isn't that what the Censors do and why they ban blogs here in the UAE, or why they try to quell the voices of the "undesirables"?

The reason is that 'anonymous american' isn't actually American, and isn't actually anonymous; he's an idiot that has been harassing myself and some other people via email for a little while; one of his harassments for instance would be as follows:
"You kill me, and I'll haunt you and her husband (Why was he here yesterday? White Mitsubishi Lancer?). Think I'm kidding.. try me."
I really don’t need to even begin explaining any comment like that, because I don’t have the slightest clue what the hell is going on.

You’ll notice no one else has made a big deal out of this; it’s completely out of my hands, it is in google’s hands and that’s it. I’ve already explained it to everyone here.

This has happened here before; it didn't take as long to resolve though.

DUBAI JAZZ said...

Sam, the fact that this funny anonymous can read this message:
This blog has been locked due……..etc….

means that he’s already a member, doesn’t it?

You'd go to that length? Good luck! said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Dubai Entrepreneur said...

american-something-anonymous whatever:

The fact that this is an open forum and that there aren't many echoing your opinions tells me that it is indeed an unpopular one. Most people on blogs and forums such as this are not silent.

I think your fundamental problem is that you lack a basic understanding of the Internet, censorship and UAE mentality (ie. what they may potentially consider offensive and enough to warrant blocking).

Most of us here are educated adults with real jobs and real lives. We have opinions that often run into conflict with others. We debate, argue and sometimes fight. Then, we move on. What unites us here is that the issues brought up are of interest to all of us (for the most part).

I would highly suggest you learn about those things first before continuing to make a fool of yourself.

You'd go to that length? Good luck! said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Kyle said...

Good Luck:

Look, you may be Pete, Eric, or Siobhan down at Blogger masquerading as an eye-opener. Now, how this UAE Community Blog got blocked is way beyond me. Maybe, somebody got pissed off and kept on pressing the Flag Button on this blog. Maybe, those who did it were not articulate, intelligent, civil, open-minded, and your ready-to-take-on-everybody no-holds-barred got tired and flagged us off, as objectionable content.

I’ve been part of this UAE Community Blog, although not a member for the past year. Everybody here at some point has taken off their gloves once in a while but that’s what debating is all about; you agree, you disagree, you swing bait, you take a fall, you hit back but it’s all done in the spirit of the topic on hand. Anybody that finds any content objectionable can simply ignore it and move on. Anybody taking things personally on a blog (this blog, any blog) – ah well – they ought to go see a shrink or take it out on a bag.

If I read you right, especially about this post-lock scenario, I would recommend that Blog Owner and Admin set up a pre-screening (if possible) procedure before any label is put up here for viewing & commenting. I know this is asking too much of anybody but for a while, it’s imperative to offset another similar predicament.

On the other hand, if this trend does continue (Google robots going cuckoo), then find another platform/domain*, migrate and live happily ever after!

Have a great day :)

*If there’s a cost involved, I’m in.

Dubai Entrepreneur said...

Good Luck,

I didn't say you weren't educated, I said most of us are. That was a positive note, so I'm not sure why you are being so defensive. And frankly, I don't care where you went to school or how much you make. Who said anything about who makes more money than the other?!

Do you realize how ignorant you sound?

FACT: We are not blocked, neither have we ever been.

FACT: SD was blocked because of a post, not a comment.

FACT: Occasional ethnic-bashing has unfortunately been a recurrent thing here, but is usually unplugged by the moderators immediately.

FACT: So far, nothing has been posted that would warrant a block by the TRA (as evident by the accessibility from here)

FACT: The google block has absolutely nothing to do with the issues/subjects discussed here.


Sam -- if Google can't get their act together, I would be happy to talk about moving it to another server using Wordpress or something. This has taken too long so far.

You'd go to that length? Good luck! said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
samuraisam said...

Hi, I'm a censor, and I'm censoring you right now. You are now officially censored.

Other people pondering a server-switch for this blog-- I'd really prefer avoiding that because google is free, fast, and online most any day of the year, and because of its size it usually remains impartial (in my opinion).

dubai jazz: I realized he must be a member; that's why I switched non-member commenting off for a while, but I'm done entertaining myself with this crap now, he's just annoying.

You'd go to that length? Good luck! said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Who the @#$!@# is this idiot? Good Luck, idiot, whatever your name is.

To put it mildly and eloquently:

FUCK OFF.

cosmic girl said...

Is it true Sam, you can't update posts at your two other blogs, either?

Or is it like me, just not the time?

That guy was very annoying, but I got a chance to read his comment.

:-)

secretdubai said...

To put it mildly and eloquently:

FUCK OFF.


My thoughts exactly!

Far sadder how the anon commenter is "consumed" by sam and his work blogging. Incidentally sam's other blogs are not blocked.

The blocking of UAE comm may be related to some moron pressing "flag this blog" repeatedly. I am suspicious that some moron did the same to my blog, which was why it was locked a couple of weeks back. However it is now unlocked and perhaps whitelisted in some way, as UAE comm hopefully will be soon.

If you hate this blog, why don't you fk off? I certainly don't hang around blogs I hate posting rude, pointless comments. There's a whole internet out there: just move on.

DUBAI JAZZ said...

Okay, just so I get the honor of being comment 125!

This annoying anonymous needs a serious therapy.

The fact that he’s a member but not using his ID to post comment is very telling.

Oh okay, he will now post 137 pages explaining that as well.

I join my other fellow bloggers in unison:

FUCK OFF!

tides said...

The blocking of UAE comm may be related to some moron pressing "flag this blog" repeatedly.

Not correct that Blogger would go ahead with flagging done by just one person pressing on it all the time.

... is there a connection with all the blogs being blocked?

nurse on call said...

Cosmic girl,

Me I havn't blogged in a while. But I still go to blogs

I think its just coinsidince the other Sams blogs stopped on the same dates.

i*maginate said...

I don't understand - apparently there is an option to 'review' - and this is a google thing. Can't you admins contact google? Surely they review the blog itself before taking any 'action'??

It does sound fishy though...couple of ppl getting personal with the admins and then this google message!

Dubai Entrepreneur said...

sam,

I think we are now risking losing people's interest by staying here with Blogger. I have already moved my own blog to wordpress because of this here.

The sooner we move (or this gets resolved) the better. Inactivity of a blog for this long can spell the death of it.

Lirun said...

still blocked?!

how annoying

Anonymous said...

lirun -

Thanks for FINALLY noticing!!!

cosmic girl said...

Sam, Why are you being silent about your other two blogs being locked too?

What's going on with the google thing? Is there anything we can do?


Nurse On Call,
Yea, but there's something weird going on here. :-(

rosh said...

Hi Sam - perhaps DE has a point, no pressure though :) That said - is there a 1 800 google blog helpdesk number? I could call and request an unlock?

Proud Emirati said...

good morning ladies and gentlemen

rosh said...

Mornin/Evenin Major PE :P

Dubai Entrepreneur said...

If this site is not unlocked by tomorrow, I will move it to wordpress.com. That is, unless sam shows up and has a different take on it.

samuraisam said...

I'm trying to access the google support system, but conveniantly, the google group offering blogger support is blocked for some reason (really makes me wonder why some people are so bothered about the proxy!)

Supposedly people can email support@blogger.com for support help, but I can't tell whether this is still in use or not, will try emailing them now (feel free to email them too)

dubai entrepeneur: you can't just pick up and 'move' the whole site, the majority of this sites traffic comes from google; wordpress has its fair-share of flaws too. For starters wordpress is a much smaller company, any organization can push it around much easier than they could do to google for instance.

The most important thing about this blog being located on blogger/google is that blogger is updated quickly on google searches; if any major event happens in dubai and people google it, if theres a post on this blog, they can get directed to it within minutes of it being posted.

Have patience.

cosmic girl: none of my blogs are blocked except for this one; I don't have any good reason to update just yet.

Dubai Entrepreneur said...

sam,

Hey, just trying to help. I just disagree with your paranoid take on small/big company thing. This is not exactly a controversial blog.

samuraisam said...

Blog has been unlocked; here is the email from blogger...
"Your blog has been reviewed, verified, and cleared for regular use so that it will no longer appear as potential spam. If you sign out of Blogger and sign back in again, you should be able to post as normal. Thanks for your patience, and we apologize for any inconvenience this has caused."

dubai entrepeneur:
"I just disagree with your paranoid take on small/big company thing. This is not exactly a controversial blog."
It's a controversial blog in some respects in the UAE; people could apply pressure to webhosts etc-- google would be unlikely to budge much in my opinion.

i*maginate said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
i*maginate said...

Sam - many appreciate your work.

Thank you.

Kyle said...

I agree with DE. A back-up plan is one way to offset loss of audience. Anyway, here's hoping those robots don't fumble again under their robotics juice influence.

i*maginate said...

I think there is an email address for anyone who would still like to contribute financially to the upkeep of this blog.

Proud Emirati said...

^^ Is there a conditional financial support? :D

i*maginate said...

proud emirati luvey,

state the conditions ;-)

hee hee x

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