21 May, 2008

topsy turvy world

This blog is an excellent effort for the uae expat/national group to voice their opinions.One always wanted a balanced perspective on this country ,which has obviously given a lot to most people who came here..whether they acknowledge it or not...and even if at the cost of relative loss of freedom. After I read some of the blogs here,specially one's written by locals..I began to feel sorry for them.It must feel strange to be alienated in one's own country and not find one's roots here.In India ,people may view a foreigner suspiciously.Here ,its the other way around,the foreigners view the locals in dismay.Its really high time the press opened up for the sake of its own people here.


Norm said...

hi josh! visit you here to say good morning..have a nice day..

Proud Emirati said...

I am glad that this blog helped u see the other side of the picture ;)

bb said...

yup, must feel strange to be surrounded by more foreigner than national just as it must feel strange to not live in a tent in the desert herding camel and sucking on stones to wet your mouth.

It must feel strange to have people packing your bag in the supermarket, pouring gazoline in your suv or water in your glass every 2 minutes. It must feel very strange when you notice none of them is emirati like you.

It must feel strange to be provided with cash incentive to marry locally. It must feel really strange when you realize you were going to marry your first or second cousin anyway.

It must be strange to see you fellow national walk freely out of the grasp of the law after rape and murder. It must feel very strange when foreigner get much longer jail time for seemingly more innocent crimes.

It must feel strange when you cannot provide visa to your employees because you sold them for cash to expats worker not in your employ just as it must feel strange to have a maid for a few dirhams a month and still feel entitled to hold on to her passport.

It must feel strange to think that none of your own people ever put a brick on any of the building you've seen growing all around you.

Yep, must feel strange to be an Emirati.

Proud Emirati said...

^^ Is that called a civilized discussion? What a peace of trash !!

Anonymous said...

You are one miserable man.
Get a life, and just stop comming to this blog with the filth you type.
People like you cause problems in the world, when they generalize things just like teenagers do, go fix your issues before fixing someone elses...

Keefieboy said...

Actually, I think BB makes some good points. And probably wouldn't have made them without evidence to back them up. Face it, guys, life is not and never has been a bed of roses for a lot of foreigners in Dubai.

Anonymous said...

No wonder some will agree with him because they came from the same shit hole.

Woman in Black said...


What an ignorant post, it is clear that you are neither a national or someone with an ounce of respect.

Anonymous said...

keefie, what point is he making other than making a useless point.
So what our country was built by Asians, they were paid to build whatever they built, nobody forced anybody to come over here, and nobody promised you a bed of roses.
Anybody who has stepped into any foreign land is either because things were worse where they came from or because the UAE had something they care about that it offered, or simply because they chose to.

So what if few locals got away with the law, what makes you think any of us locals agree with it or that we are not doing anything about it. What makes you even assume that.

So what life was diffuclt 50 years ago, now its better, be happy for us, it happened in our country, we didn't have to move to find a better place and nobody earned their natural resources, NOBODY, but sure it belongs to us.

So when we resent people like bb who live in our country, our country, that we LOVE, don't blame us.

What would it feel like if I call each expat living here pigs, just because I happen to to meet people like bb and many other of you... would you love it? would I be making ap point?

Get the hell out of my country if you hate it so much, if it is not offering you anything, if you think we are backwards, if you think we are closed minded.

Find a place that will offer you all that.

Suck to see you lot come to find a copy paste of your countries that you have left behind for some reason.

Sucks to be like bb.

Locals will take care of our business, our country

Anonymous said...

I dont get it, bb speaks some true points and some exageratted ones and as usual the anti-expat brigade is up in arms saying he is not a national (he never said he was), or saying he came from a shit-hole etc etc

woman in black said...

annon @ 14.28

What an excellent post, if people really disliked Dubai and the way the country is run, I am sure that they are not being held here with a shotgun at their heads ?

The "discussion" points that bb raised show a complete lack of understanding and in fact knowlege of the national population if he did he would know that most of us nationals feel some kind of unrest.

vimal said...

Hey bb..u got it all wrong..brother..am not a local..am an expat..who is like 90% of this country ,an economic refugee, and feel grateful for the opportunity to work and live here..
Law takes it own course,and under the UAE law..the locals are amd will always be more equal.But am willing to pay that price,coz my own country,in matters of law ia a banana republic in any case.

Proud Emirati said...

Anonymous @ 22 May, 2008 14:29. Get real, the anti-local atmosphere in this blog is multiple times worse.

vimal said...

i would not suck up to a local..am sure someone's going to accuse me of that next..but let me tell u I have the highest regard for the visionary leaders of this country..its because of their brilliance that millions are getting better lives for their kith and kin.Back where I come from, even the labourer ,who the jumairah janes seem to feel sorry for..are regarded with respect and jealousy ,for they have an opportunity to make good and lift their families from abject poverty.

BB..u r british..so u don't know what real poverty is..and how desparate it can make u..

Proud Emirati said...

woman in black, there is an Arabic proverb that says "everyone see others from their own focal nature". So I guess BB and the locals he was referring to are from the same species.

Woman in Black said...

Proud Emirati, thanks for your comments and you are so right, each to their own.

Anonymous said...

anon 14:29
"I dont get it, bb speaks some true points and some exageratted ones and as usual the anti-expat brigade is up"

Funny you see the "anti-expat" brigade and you didn't see bb's anti UAE brigade as soon as someone attempted to sympethise with us.

Anonymous said...

What about appartments being sold to expats doesn't this show they need expat funding or what!! If your angry doesn't mean you should include all expats because expats built this country and respect the locals and normally many deserve to have more facilities and benefits than what they got, due to their contribution.Imagine you as a local where in the place of an expat in Europe or many other countries and you spent your life working for it, do you expect that one day someone will tell you to leave, because your worthless and that they don't need you any more!! Most expats are spending most of their money here, it is not the fiscal heaven it was before; however many don't leave because they put their sweat, blood and youth here. I hope some day the expats and locals will work hand in hand together instead of criticizing each other, which will be more constructive and realistic.

Anonymous said...

"due to their contribution" were you not paid for that "contribution"? Thanks for doing something we were/are not able to do our self, that is why you got your job and an offer that I should assume was worth your trip to the UAE.
Yes, If I moved to work in a country that does not promise me anything other than what is written in my contract and the immigration law is clear, I would remember that everytime I get frustrated ad everytime I get a better offer and do what is right. Go where it suits me best.

For some reason you guys build these expectations where you shouldn't.
There are many many countries that don't automatically give you citizenship for all the hard work you put in their country.

That does not take away your importance here, don't get me wrong as much as we dislike alot of intruders we welcome many who come to enjoy this country while respecing its cutsoms.

Its good to get things clear before both of us can be understanding...

Keefieboy said...

^^anon: yes, people were usually paid for the work they did (and no, lots of them weren't, for my first 2 years in Dubai, getting paid was very hard, even though there were employment contracts in place; the legal system meant that I could not afford to even begin the legal process of getting my dues.)

Your assumption that people know what they are getting into before they come to the UAE is totally incorrect.

And finally, you say there are many countries that do not allow nationalisation of foreign workers. I think you are wrong in saying this: there may be a few, and you can list them if you want. Most countries outside the Persian Gulf allow foreigners to apply for citizenship after five or ten years of residence.

The simple fact is that the UAE, with the attitude, training and aptitude of its locals is most unlikely to achieve self-sufficiency in the labour market. How many of you are prepared to drive a bus or taxi, or collect garbage, or work in a shop, or iron clothes? For the salaries that those jobs pay?

Until you get this fixed, your country will always have a serious imbalance of foreign workers, and the decent thing to do is to offer some kind of permanent residency or the option of citizenship.

joe said...

keefieboy, it's not how many locals are willing to do labour jobs. Have an honest look at education and ability of many to perform skilled jobs, those in in medicine, law, engineering, finance, in par with global standards. there are several able, educated local people, but ask yourself is that a majority, even so, is that self sufficient?

Anon 00:57: should you expect respect from people, you sure need to show respect toward others! My parents spend more than 30 years, the best years of their lives in this country, educating your people, medically to save lives and help build this country's future. I was born and have lived in Dubai for 27 years. I have always respected, fellow local, expat friends and this country and consider this my home, not because of some flashy name or given an insane stupid thoughtless construction madness, but because this is where my parents gave everything they had and you don't have the blings to buy that out!

and one more thing, many do not need your citizenship, i have one that treats me well, a place where my parents were born, so thanks a lot.

vimal said...

I think this discusiion is pointless.The expats are here for they hope to have a better life here as compared to their own countries.If their experience is otherwise,they leave..as many do and have done.Not everyone likes this consumerist culture with no other culture to speak of.UNless the locals befriend the expats..no real culture can be experienced by either side of the other.As for the locals,they obviously need to protect their own skins,they need to be smart to garner as much of the loot as possible,and at the same time prove to the expats that they deserve the luxuries they enjoy.Actually,its the locals that are really diadvantaged,especially the ones not doing as well as some.Because they don't have a choice to leave this country.We do.I have known expats who have made millions/billions here.So there is no point in arguing who has taken advantage of whom.Both sides have benifitted some and both side have lost some.

rosh said...

I wasn't gonna say anything, only because, this topic has been discussed to death (and beyond) over and over and then some more the past several years.

Vimal, quite honestly, (I think) you sorta seem oblivious to a large extent, of people who make up the UAE. It's horribly unfair to assume, all expat folk moved into UAE purely for the green bucks - and all of 'em are of the same genre, likewise with local folks. Perhaps you aren't aware of how life was back in the late 60's, 70's or the early 80's. My folks have been in the UAE, close o 40 years - three generations of my family were born or raised in the UAE (and across GCC).

They chose to move to a safe, relatively inhabited, untouched place, wherein simplicity and and simple folks were the ways of life - to help raise a healthier family. They were highly educated and worked thru retirement in the UAE. Today, they reside in the UAE. Even though they seem totally lost in the growing nation - given, that many of their friends have moved back to home nations and there is relatively no retirement, medical or financial help to stay on in the UAE, they chose to do so because, it has become home.

Likewise, you quite need to understand 2nd or 3rd generation expat off-springs, many of whom returned to UAE on graduation from International schools. They have had better opps elsewhere, but chose to move back and face issues on visa crap, sponsorship, sort of far less rights or freedoms and in your face discrimination, because the place they grew up, become "home". Hence, back in the days (or even today) not everyone moved in because they wanted money or things were better off at their home or alternative nations.

Some of your points are quite valid. UAE has a growing economy, there just isn't enough people to perform these jobs. That said, local folks, even though protected, offered more rights and so on -face substantial discrimination and harassment at work places, more so, from fellow subcons - am sorry to say that, but have experienced such crap myself.

And they feel more than a valid sense of uneasiness, given a sudden foreign invasion (so to speak) - a slow erosion of whatever culture on hand, lack of respect toward their ways of life, given hard partying vacationers or other foreigners. But honestly, it was (and still is the government) who wants to bring in people into the UAE - just have a look at advertisements on Dubai across EU and here in North America. People are made to believe, the place is a party town!

Anyway, I could do on. I urge you to have an honest, in-depth look at your post. Give it a few more years, am sure your sentiments shall mature.

Anonymous said...

" and the decent thing to do is to offer some kind of permanent residency or the option of citizenship."
Keefie, ain't happening, thats not for anybody to say.
What happened to you is not good, people should respect any contract and both sides should deliver what is promised.
Anyways...all of that doesn't make bb's sentiments towards the UAE right.
And Rosh who might be Joe too...I don't think (I have no statistics to back me up), the people who chose to come back because they feel the uae has become their second come don't make up the majority of the expats.
Expats do be general are divided into two:
1- Rich fat white people who are here for the money and the sun and to continue their racist views on Arabs/Muslims.

2- Asian, who are here because the deal is better than what they would get back home and it is a job offer close to their come country and a job offer not offered easily in the west.

the third minority is those Rosh menioned, havn't met many of them really, havn't met one actually.
And I DO mix with expats the fat whites, the tanned skinnys at spinneys and the Asians in the Masarati to the Asians covered in cement dust. Yes all.

I can cook and iron, but I work and socialize alot so I pay someone to do that, lucky me. I don't have to work as a driver or any other job offered by keefie to rid us from the expats, so you are still welcome to take the offered job that you desperatly need and we generously offer...I take care of my little girl, I do everything for her, but when it comes to cleaning the house, washing the dishes and doing laundry, and spendig time with my daughter, I actually choose to hire a maid to give me quality time with my daughter, I know at least 9 of my college friends in the states who would love to have that... I do understand if you are jelous.

So to my beloved expats...enjoy your stay you are welcome here anytime...enjoy it while respecting the local tradition, culture and religion...don't make racist comments, we do speak english, urdu, hindy, and working on learning tagalog since most of you are too lazy to learn my language.

And remember, at the end of the day,you made a choice, good or bad, it is your choice.

vimal said...

Thanks for interesting analysis.My post mainly points to this one conclusion that expats and locals have had both advantages and disadvantages in this country.I don't subscribe to feeling sorry for an expat.That's all.
Your points regarding second/third generation expats and the fact that long staying expats regard this as home ,are all absolutely valid.No arguments there.But am just wondering how one can go on living in a country calling it ur own when u r a citizen of another?THe dichotomies may eventually make one a sort of world citizen, I suppose.But there are many unresolved issues as u have righly pointed out.
My mind tells me one thing only at this stage which is-UAE is like an Alladin's cave ..grab all u want as quickly as u can and go out somewhere in the open and enjoy the fruits of ur labour!!Or else..grapple with all the dichotomies,make ur booty,and think f u to the system,but still kiss its ass.

vimal said...

Anon/proud emirati...take it easy pal..we are friends here and lets understand each others pain..before being local or expat,lets be human first and foremost.
U speak as if the minority is not important-the minority of the 3rd gen expat..How so? What abt the minority of locals marrying expats? What abt the expat tribes who lived here before the locals discovered oil? What abt some expats being granted citizenship while others are denyed? Dubai wants to be an important nation in itself..believe me a nation is built on sound philosophy,not a bunch of contardictions.

rosh said...

Anon: am not sure why your tone comes across cold, almost provocative and definitely inconsiderate. However that is your prerogative - feel free to say whatever you have to, I respect your views.

That said - it's most unfortunate you have not met many like I or Joe (who isn't me, really) or fellow bloggers like localexpat, MD, Stained etc - or the many who do not blog. These souls are all around you - hence quite unfortunate, your interactions & views 've been limited to "fat whites", Asian "Maseraties" or "labour folks".

Perceptions, thought processes and ways of life differentiate people -not, skin colour or passports.

Vimal: people face pros & cons in every nation - citizen or a short term visitor - UAE is no exception.

"But am just wondering how one can go on living in a country calling it ur own when u r a citizen of another"

Well, let me try and explain via simple analogy. Am sure, often you dream/reminisce of your growing days, the home you've grown up as an infant, your folks when they were young - the times & experiences you've had at that home - your friends and the neighbourhood as an infant thru adulthood - the experiences, walks by the park, memories of school days, your first crush, date, kiss etc all.

Am sure all of the above make that place of quite sentimental value - not just because it's irreplaceable but also because it has come to define who you are in a way - it's all what you have as growing memoirs.

Similarly, this is what UAE is to most people like I – surely, not everyone, but many like I. Today, we may live in the UAE or perhaps spread across the globe, however, we connect to talk, reminisce of the only place we were born into and raised. We do not or cannot have an alternative place to reminisce - simply because we didn't grow up anywhere else.

It’s simple, really.

Yes, of course, our parents’ home nations are of sentimental value – at times, I do wish I got to know more of those lands.

I feel quite sad, you think of UAE as Aladdin’s den. She's very young and we grew up with her - am sure you can extend as much respect, as she extends unto you. There are plenty of opportunities for all. In my opinion, today people in the UAE, surely need to better understand and therein respect one another (both an expat and a local) – posts & comments at UAECB are proof enough.

vimal said...

Rosh..I do respect the visionaries behind this country..but I hate their superior attitude to the expats..this is visible in some of the posts here.
These ppl think that they are superior only because they are locals...which is ridiculous.A voice of dissent is met with with..'Leave..'Even if uv spent a lifetime here.
No friend..I respect ur feelings..but UAE will always remain an Alladin's cave for me.I love my own homeland and what freedom I experience there.

joe said...

Rosh, you almost come across naive. I feel for you........my advice to you brother, expect nothing from these people or the likes of anonymous, they will never understand you. I have no undying love for this place or any other.

Proud Emirati said...

So to my beloved expats...enjoy your stay you are welcome here anytime...enjoy it while respecting the local tradition, culture and religion...don't make racist comments, we do speak english, urdu, hindy, and working on learning tagalog since most of you are too lazy to learn my language.Post of the day, PRICELESS. That made me laugh :P

vimal, those 3rd generation minority would have been given the citizenship if they tried to become part of the Emirati community long time ago, unfortunatly they prefered to isolate themselves. There are 100,000s of Iranians and Arabs who were given citizenshio for a reason.

rosh said...

"...those 3rd generation minority would have been given the citizenship if they tried to become part of the Emirati community long time ago.."

PE: PRICELESS. That made me laugh ;)

OK, let's be honest. How about about souls who really need help - those stateless folks? OR, the Off-springs of Emi moms, married to foreigners. I know one, since childhood - he is so lost, my heart goes out to him.

Personally, I don't care for a citizenship - and neither shall the majority of 3rd gen expat off springs - because let's face it, am sure you know these documents get taken back every now and then by the govt - plus more importantly, I don't think the nation is in any position for mass naturalization, she's way too young. I think you guys shall face a lot negative than positive. Although foreign for the most, I have couple of passports for travel and live anywhere I wish to, and am sure many expats do too - however, not the stateless or those who've spent 40 -50 plus years. They need help and UAE needs them.

"unfortunatly they prefered to isolate themselves"

Unless am reading this incorrectly, who isolate themselves in order to preserve their culture is well known all across the GCC. It's not expats or the 3rd generation off-springs (well definitely not the majority of us). This is a much deeper issue.

Proud Emirati said...

^^ It depends on how u see it. If u believe that Emiratis are the base of the country then u would call expatriates not trying to assimilate with the them as isolating themselves. I too don't support any mass naturalization because the number of naturalized foreginers is huge already. A limited systematic one based on a thoroughly studies should be accepted though.

While I support the cause of the stateless people, I believe that many of them hide their citizenship in order to get the UAE nationality. I remember reading about an Afghani who threw his passports 10 years ago and now he claim that he is stateless, those are the people that we don't want to come in between. Sheikh Khalifa already ordered to solve this issue so it should be settled soon.

My view on Emirati females married to foreginers is clear. Kids should be given the citizenship but not their fathers. Female foreginers married to Emirati males shouldn't be given citizenship either.

rosh said...

Awww c'mon PE: if many local folk, do not help assimilate & prefer to keep amongst themselves for the most part, how is a foreigner to do so?

Re: mass naturalization. Am sort of glad we agree on something. I just like to point out, there is a fundamental difference in a "foreigner" who has spent 30, 40 or 50 years in one nation and that of someone who've relocated recently.

Re: stateless. I agree, as always, you'd have the share of scrupulous folk who'd manipulate, misuse a sensitive situation for personal gain - similar to your post on the Interpol guy above. Quite Sad, really.

Re: Female foreigners, I hear you -however, don't you think, it's a bit harsh, especially given UAE is a Muslim nation - and some men, could use that to an unfair advantage? You know I mentioned my local friend - J. His mom is Indian, from Ahemedebad (some city in India). She's been married to his dad, a *pure* local, for 41 years - and has 7 children. I mean where is this woman to go, should things turn sour?

Proud Emirati said...

Rosh, my best friends father is an Emirati black local married to an indian. My grandfathers other wife is indian. I understand what u are saying and maybe it is harsh but I think that its better for everyone. It is either give Emirati females the right to grant citizenship to their kids or give the Emirati husband the right to grant citizenship to his wife. You cannot have the cake and eat it too you know :P

Giving Emirati females the power to grant citizenship to their kids means that females from other nationalties who got the UAE citizenship by marrying an Emirati and divored them would be able to grant the UAE citizenship to their sons from thier non-Emirati father so in this case neither the father nor the mother are orignally Emirati nationals.

rosh said...

Hmmmm...didn't see it that way. Of course, it gets complicated given the situation. I guess, they could place some sort of rebuttal on subsequent off springs from a naturalized wife and her, now foreign husband?

Yup, complicated.

vimal said...

Frankly speaking the issue of absorbing the emirati culture is really impossible for 90% expats.
Take just this instance-
Most of the world is monogamous.The muslim rule of four wives may have suited a certain tribe in a certain era.It is meaningless today,after the emancipation of women.Bugger,then why can't a woman have four husbands??
In most muslim nations,this issue has been resolved as people are becoming monogamous.But in the UAE ,one hears of 75 year old taking 4th wives.

rosh said...

Vimal - clearly (and I mean this well) you have quite a bit to discover/learn of the UAE and all.

Taking 4 wives is least of anybody's focus of the local culture.

I think for starters, people can exchange common greetings in Arabic, ya know - say Mar7abtain on greeting someone :) breaks the ice!

vimal said...

I agree with u Rosh..no local friends here..so don't know anything abt them.Iam willing to greet every local here..salaaam walykum anf say keef halak...question is who is going to respond to me?

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