17 October, 2008

Just WHO is threatening Emirati national identity?

I read in The National the other day that 'foreigners are the real threat to national identity' (letters page, Oct. 6). However, I believe we are looking at the symptom and not the real cause. The truth is that the Emiratis have thrown away their own national identity by using so much imported labour to do the jobs they are either unable or unwilling to do.

If they were prepared to do the really dirty jobs in construction, and handle the nitty gritty in commerce and retail, then they would have no need to import labour from Asia. Yet they look down on those jobs and the people that do them as unworthy. Equally, if they were ready to make the effort to get the qualifications to take on the jobs in business and education that they can not do, there would be no need for them to create 'desert islands' for Westerners here in the Gulf.

I have worked in higher education in this country for many years, and few of my students have ever displayed the resolve which is necessary for them to create what we would call a 'middle class' of professionals. Instead, many of them prefer to behave like middle-men, getting rich on the Westerners' efforts. Most of them want, in my students' own words, 'easy money for easy work' - i.e., shuffling papers around in a Ministry or a state oil company, but nothing too intellectually demanding or actually involving hard work.

If Emiratis could shake off their mental laziness, emerge from their slumbering mentality, and develop a capacity for hard work and some intellectual curiosity, they would have no need for us well-qualified and experienced Westerners. But I fear they have been let down by their leaders, who prefer to shower them with riches for little real effort. These are the people who have led the way in increasing the number of expats in this country, and who are causing such a large threat to Emirati identity.

ET365

66 comments:

Abu Dhabi Blogger said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

many give the wrong impression that they are rich while its actually the bank financing their lifestyle :)

So dont allways assume we are all filthy rich and that the goverment credits my account with money for just being emarati because it is not true.

Most of those tinted suzuki swifts are actually emaratis but you dont notice them...u only look at those in their bank financed range rovers( ok...some actually buy them cash)

Most have their houses built on bank loans or many years of saving up and they are probably cheaper to build than then overpriced junk in dubai marina that u westerners call home

Mackie said...

ET.....excellent post. Your words will resonate with most expatriates, be they well-paid professionals or low-paid construction workers.

Indeed, most Emiratis want easy money. And when they do get that easy money by being placed in well-paid jobs, they then want MORE easy money. So what do they do? Resort to theft, as has become apparent in the few well-publicized corruption cases. Certainly, the corruption cases in the press lately has only scratched the surface...countless others are getting away scot-free. How sad.

DUBAI JAZZ said...

but expats are all temporary, no? so why would they be a threat?

Dana said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

In the same survey, most expats felt the greatest threat was exccessive materialism, and I personally agree.

Anonymous said...

Artificial quotas in the finance sector, impose banks to hire a certain ratio of nationals...which is frankly speaking not a bad thing as such. It allows the government to support their nationals financially without actually having to spend anything.

As a result, I work with nationals with no or little experience earning close or more than I do.

Frankly speaking, they are rather well educated, smart, kind and friendly. But the problem, is that they actually a third of what I do and as a result, they are not taken seriously by the management and serve as decor in the office most of the time.

I just wonder how they can just be fine like that...what a waste of talent. No self pride?

Since I don't really have to be in this country to survive and that i can get a similar job in my own country, I don't really care. I just wonder if they really enjoy this way of life? no self pride?

Anonymous said...

most of my emarati friends' lives is only about materisalistic wants. it's cut throat competition, especially amongst the women. i really don't think that the majority of the population is ready for the jard work expats do.

one other thing... i think south asian expats work the hardest, and are the least rewarded. be it construction workers or managers!

rosh said...

"but expats are all temporary, no?"

Jee DJ, I dunno..after 40 years, can't call my folks (or their friends)temporary, can I? Or perhaps people who've been there since birth.

ET, this is partly true. There's a lot more to it, many dimensions to so called, "identity" crisis. Let's start perhaps, with healthier "integration" process.

BTW, not all choose to take an easy route, there's quite a few who earn it, as much as you or I. That said, it's true, there's a whole lot of excessive TLC going around.

Mariam Um Zakariah said...

Not all Emiratis are rich. There are many who are struggling to put on their table, to send their children to good schools, and who are struggling to have a decent place to live. You would be surprised if maybe you just opened your eyes. There are many, many, many hardworking Emiratis in this country. They are looking for jobs but they are being taken up by all the foreigners flocking here looking for a better life. There are many Emiratis here who wouldn't mind working as a cashier, clerk, receptionish, or whatever just as long as they were making a decent living.

The people who are "threatening" their national identity, their culture, and their religion are the expats who come here and completely have no regard for the culture and religion here. Women who have no respect for the locals here who go around wearing next to nothing. Men and women who live here like they were living in their own countries and inflict their own morals.

The government is to blame too because they never asked the locals what they wanted they just did everything their own way...what they thought was best for the country (keep building, building, building and providing only for the uber-rich while neglecting the lower and middle classes, bringing in liquor, blatantly allowing prostitution, etc...my list could go on).

Expats get mad because things do not work here as they do in their own country. Well then, go back to your own country. Pay your taxes there, drink your beer there, take your prostitutes back with you too. Maybe then my children and me won't have to put up with your foreign influence. Maybe then I can take my children to the beaches without seeing your naked bodies on them. Maybe then I can take my children to the malls and not see the half-dressed foreigners who show NO respect for this country and its native people.

Maybe then it would be a better place after all and me and my children's national identity wouldn't be threatened or are morals either.

BuJassem said...

Dear EnglishTeacher365,

Thanks for your critique of Emirati society but please allow me to comment on a few sweeping generalisations that you've made:

1- Most newspapers in the UAE seem to exhibit letters from very bitter and twisted people. I believe this is the exception rather than an accurate cross-section of society.

2- As an Emirati I can tell you that we're more hard working and better educated than you seem to think. A middle class does indeed exist. Most of my friends from school went to get degrees in the USA. I got mine from the UK, and I'm continuing to work in the UK on placement to gain valuable experience for when I return home. Some of my Emirati friends work long hours and deserve their jobs.

3- I believe everyone would like to have easy money if it were available. Why would anyone sign up to the lottery otherwise? If you won the lottery would you reject the money because it's "easy"?

4- Not all Emiratis are rich. Have you been to the more remote areas of the UAE?

5- Finally let me throw this last one... Emiratis have very few places to run to. When bankers were squeezed in London and NYC in 2007 many of them came to Dubai. When expenses become too much for some expats in the UAE they go back to their own countries. When you've "made enough money" you go home and buy a house. This is all great in principle, but you seem to treat Emiratis as expats with a UAE "green card". You have to bear in mind that generally come and go (except Rosh's family!) with the economic tides, but Emiratis call the Emirates their home.

In conclusion, you have made some valid points but I believe a bit more background information about Emiratis would benifit you greatly and allow you to wean yourself off all these stereotypes of us.

The people that you mention do exist, but it is not exclusively a country run by fat ministry-type figures. The world is not black and white but with a considerable amount of grey, and perhaps some colour if you look hard enough.

Have a good day.

rosh said...

Nicely said BuJ.

"Have you been to the more remote areas of the UAE?'

Am sorry, "UAE" "remote" what/where is that. Is this a new place "in" Dubai? :)

"..generally come and go (except Rosh's family!)..."

hahaha! not true bro, there's quite a few of us, Arabs, Asians, Brits. Ever been to Dubai christian cemetery?

Anonymous said...

i love the uae and it's culture. i consider it home!...maybe expats should be carefully selected some how...and made to learn arabic and taught the culture of the emarati people.

maybe alcohol should be banned. and hijab made obligatory!

Abu Dhabi/UAE Daily Photo said...

A balanced response, BuJassem.

Anonymous said...

there are a lot of exapts who've grown up in the emirates and are loyal to it, and wouldn't want to leave no matter what.

CG said...

Well said Buj.

I would imagine it is difficult for anyone who is dealing with students to gather a clear and true image of the Emirati people. Perhaps I could invite you to our tent, oops I mean home and you can assume some more.
Better still, you can go to an even more remote area than mine and visits Buj's family, be sure not to park behind the Maybach though.

Stained said...

I agree with Rosh....my families been here for 32years....

Well said Bujassem...Not everyone is well off among emirati. Just like how many subcontinent people are filthy rich while the majority are lower middle class or labourers....difference in income exists in each group of people...

Proud Emirati said...

:yawn:

This discussion is so 1980s like !

Proud Emirati said...

I think expatriates here should step from their high horse for a second and realize what they are saying. Most of the people work really hard because they don't have any other choice, it isn't like they would reject easy money if it was offered to them so let us not try to stereotype it as an Emirati thing just because many of them get easy money. I think that the majority of people (Emiratis or not) wouldn't mind getting more money for working less.

As for the well qualified experienced westerns, I beg to differ. It is the passport they hold and not the experience they have !

anonymous @17 October, 2008 16:22

I think that there is another side of the story. For example I have friends working in DIB and they do tell me how in several departments some expatriates do whatever it takes not to let locals work in. They don't give them tasks and they don't teach them anything or train them. When it is the expatriate manager fault he throw the blame into the them, inventing crap behind their backs ......

Proud Emirati said...

opps, bujassem said the same thing :P

Love it or Leave it said...

Wow Buj, I am actually impressed by your comment. Well said.

Teacher..I have no idea who let you in our country to teach for "so many years" to finally come up with such statements and ideas that my British friends' 6 year old shared with me a week ago.
Such simplification of observation makes me want to pat you on the shoulder then give you a hard push over the ocean back to where you came from.

First "If they were prepared to do the really dirty jobs in construction, and handle the nitty gritty in commerce and retail, then they would have no need to import labour from Asia. Yet they look down on those jobs and the people that do them as unworthy"...The specific group you are referring to make an impact with regards to number, not to identity my dear, they are not the ones who insist that shopping malls celebrate christmas, diwali, or anything punjabi, they just enjoy whatever the country offers and celebrate their religion at the comfort of their homes or shops that they own.

The people who you should be referring to are those who constantly are nagging us about our Ramadan, our Eid, our culture and our way of life, they come and want to change our country to suit them, usually, not always, they are white skinned (I hate talking like that but I am being really honest here), they demand "globalization", urging us to become bland, just like any other country they have touched.

Unfortunatly, we still don't have school to teach us to do the dirty labour work you yearn to see us doing, but let me tell you the majority have degrees, many from reputable university. You are right when you say our government have failed us, because they allow foreigners to take on positions we can already fill (not by entitlement, but by our qualification), THIS is why you don't see us in the "middle class sector" of society.

And people who come to take these positions usually stand in the way of locals getting it, and no it is not our paranoia, it is a fact.

Finally my dear teacher, we are not given money, maybe a land, our own countries land for us to build on, our county can afford to do that for us, what is your objection...The rest, Buj said it better than I could.

I think you should actually get to know us locals before you make such superfecial remarks and observations that even a new comer to this country would be reluctant to make.

I am honestly worried about the people you teach...

Kyle said...

Bujassem:

One of the reasons I like to read your random comments is because you're not a one-liner type of guy especially when you proceed to debunk/defend your position. 'Nuff said in this respect!

The few Emiratis I have interacted with and continue doing so on a daily basis are definitely not dumbos. They're well-mannered, well-presented (equally dynamic in a National dress or a well-tailored suit - not the ready-to-wear rack types) but most of all well-read with views (at times) more liberal than mine (LOL).

In view of this fact and with due respect to all Emiratis reading this comment, I would say that you people take this post as a wake-up call / reminder to move forward and not consider it a blatant criticism of your identity, culture etc., for it isn't!

sadia said...

"As for the well qualified experienced westerns, I beg to differ. It is the passport they hold and not the experience they have!" proud emarati, i totally agree!!...and i'm speaking from first hand experience.

Mr DtP said...

Here, foreign workers are about 80% of the population. I find it difficult to imagine what that must feel like to one's national identity. Emiratis I meet tend not to like foreigners and accept us a necessity.

As the nation has only been in existence since the early 70's so it may be valid to ask whether there is much of a national id or are the tribal and individual emirati identities more important?

Anonymous said...

why not just kick all the expats out?

Jay said...

Why not just kick the Westerners out? That'd solve a lot of problems.

Mr DtP said...

Kick all the expats out?

A sentiment echoed by many I work with which is then tempered somewhat when you ask who will do the cleaning, construction, tend the greenspaces...

Proud Emirati said...

^^ wasn't it obvious that anonymous is probably a non-Emirati who only said it to provoke bloggers like u?

i*maginate said...

kyle and dtp: some stats - ca. 80% of the comments here are from Emiratis so you're outnumbered, OK? Now go back to where you came from lol :P

Anonymous said...

Im just saying, if all expats are kicked out, the threat to Emirati national identity will be gone.

Anonymous said...

This daily reminder that an expat is not wanted is getting boring. EXPATS WILL ALWAYS BE WANTED AND NOTHING WILL CHANGE!!!!!!!!!

Lirun said...

wow this post is bold..

:)

Abu Dhabi Blogger said...

Stereotypes exist but not all Emiratis are the way you describe them. I am convinced that there is a new generation which seeks to eradicate just such impressions. They might seem like a handful but they are definitely there and want to position and establish the Emirati identity.
As for us expats, the most important segment is probably not us but the labourers. Without expat labour, this economy will stop functioning, period. No oil production, no houses, no industry, no real estate and finally no clean roads. Sadly they are mistreated and without legal protection via minimum wage law and the Emiratis alone are not to blame for that. The labourer is the driver of this economy and deserves respect. The Emirati is the indigenous and distinct element and NO they are not all the same, no set of people ever are.
I can assure you my friend, for every lazy Emirati, there are a dozen "Westerners" who are believed to be more qualified than they actually are just because they have worked for Goldman Sachs or Morgan Stanley. As an investment banker I speak from experience. I have met "Western" bankers who sit at the post of MD and know nothing, NOTHING and simply bank on their status on which local organizations put their trust.
I also know S.A.M (sorry cannot give out his name), one of the most intelligent and outspoken Emiratis I have met in investment banking. So my friend the puddle is colourful with lazy fish, both Emirati and Western. Let's not point fingers. Stereotypes exist and are very real but to apply them to a population as a whole exhibits your own ignorance and myopic perception.

An expat.

Dubai Photo Story said...

I tend to agree with the argument that the expats pose a large threat to the local culture. Note that I am an expat too.

Most expats have scant respect for the local culture and sensitivities. The comment about the wrok ethics of locals is exagerated. I have faced similar situations in my own country when I have felt strongly about 'outsiders' coming in and taking all the jobs.

Emirati said...

What a load of racist patronizing horsecrap. I cannot begin to address where this is wrong, so I will tell you this.

It is better to be a peaceful, lazy country, than a country like yours englishteacher, which works its people to the death and finances its military invasions on their hard earned taxes to go and bomb and kill and rape and steal all over the world.

That being said, many many many Emiratis that I know (I am Emirati, and you are not, therefore I have a more realistic viewpoint of the Emirati people) that are very hard working, very dedicated to their work while I can see many many expats who dont do their jobs properly.

I think the problem here is that your positive discrimination which gave you a dead end english job at a third rate university, also came with third rate students.

How about you vent your frustrations selectively and prove some kind of intellect exists within that head of yours ?

Kind Regards, Emirati

sea life said...

100% agree with Mr. Buj.
Ah, by the way I'm Romanian!
To all of you, please be so kind and don't put all the expats in a same pot.
Thanks for your replay,Mr.Buj.I'm looking forward to see you back to "business":)

BuJassem said...

Thanks everyone for your words of support.

I agree with the Proud Emirati because I thought we were in 1983 when I read this post!! It's good as a history lesson but not as a response to a letter to the editor in 2008.

Finally we all realise that people come in all shapes and sizes, and the emiratis are no different. There are the hard working and there are the lazy, and as it has been noted before, everyone wants an easy buck, and not just certain nationalities.

I just hope that our educational establishments back home practise a bit more rigour in their selection of staff to train our future generations.

Anonymous said...

as an emarati, i would only lke muslim expats in the country.

hamid said...

I say we kick all Westerners out. That will stop them from whining about ' lazy Emiratis' .

sea life said...

100% agree with Mr.Buj. The forest can't be always green.(a romanian speech)
To all of you, please be so kind and don't put all the expats in a same pot.
Thanks for your replay, Mr. Buj, and I'm looking forward to see you back to "business".

Terrified of Nothing said...

Pfft, there are lazy and hard working people of all nationalities. I work with a chap in a rather high profile Abu Dhabi development company (the highest profile, actually), he's a UK guy. Tell you what, he's a complete wanker.

Lazy, snide, arrogant, abusive, and just rubbish. Now the local guy that he works with - He's the guy I can get things done with. Keeps the same hours as I do (8am-11pm), and is one of the most well respected businessmen I've ever dealt with.

Now obviously this is a small example of a larger whole but it serves to point that we can all be lazy money grubbing materialistic slobs, no race, culture, or group have the monopoly on that.

With that said - Dubai is a culture of work, I've never worked so hard or much in my life. But in my line of work, and with what's going on here... I need to.

-ToN

DxBianGirl said...

EnglishTeacher,

Don't generalize.

You don't know what MY grandfather had to go through to earn a living!!!

For any 'normal' human being, Emarati or non Emarati, with the right education and experience would expect a good job.


You shouldn't generalize, and when we worry about our 'NATIONAL IDENTITY....' It is only normal, because we are the minority in our own lands and we DON'T BLAME THE EXPATS LIVING HERE FOR THAT.

FYI Ministries no longer offer jobs. A great number of us are all heading to semi/government/private if not private companies ;)
So don't generalize!

Proud Emirati said...

sea life, do u by chance work in DP World? :D

Anonymous said...

I sincerely hope that EnglishTeacher365 doesn’t teach at my children’s school, for his opinion shows a myopic and superficial lack of insight.

The laziness - if for argument’s sake there is one - which he believes to be the real cause, is in fact itself a symptom of a much graver, systemic condition: governance (a.k.a. the elephant in the room).

As Machiavelli - or many not democratically elected leaders - will tell you, it is no so much your enemies you have to be worried about, but your friends and allies.

Expats are easily controlled by way of residency regulations. They can be brought in, employed, shut up or applied at will like a tool, whether they number 10 or 90% of the population.
What would be far more difficult to control is an educated and empowered indigenous population who might start questioning their leaders or one day even demand, God forbid, democracy.

The old tribal dependency and the resulting culture of government hand outs to the local population are indeed quite effective in keeping them docile and ensuring control.

The Emirates are often referred to as a ‘Golden Cage’. It is, but not for expats.

samuraisam said...

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Anonymous said...

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daFlo said...

I would like to add a few comments to this - I don't agree that all emirati nationals are filthy rich and laze, but still get a higher package than the expats. I know of many within my friend circle who really work hard to make their monthly earnings (just like most of the expats). But on the other hand, I know and have heard stories of emirati nationals who get paid much more than the expats just coz they are locals. They work less, but still get higher rankings at their work place, with much better salaries and bonuses and other additional benefits. Yes, when I look at such people, I get inclined to believe that such people are worthless and this is very demoralizing to any expats who put all their efforts into their work, but don't get rewarded. Such examples can clearly be seen in the financial sectors. Yes, there's a quota system for the financial sectors to ensure that the locals are being taken care of, but internal promotions, salary assessments, etc... should be made based on the performance level, rather than nationality levels.

Anonymous said...

The Locals have the rigth to be threaten.I have 3 Local friends who bougth properties abroad becoz of the suffocation of expats.
They dont feel at home no more.
They told me that they are scared that one day,they will be dancing to the tune of Bollywood,just like what the white are doing in their movies.LOL



Yes,they get office jobs and most of the time they tell me that keep forwarding stuff to their friends or just check their mobiles.

Proud Emirati said...

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Anonymous said...

Perhaps a coincidence that the author is a teacher here who may be linking their comments with the quality of pupils and students.

Perhaps the better quality students are going abroad, getting well educated and then coming back to try to make a difference and improve the country.

Perhaps the lesser educated could blame some of their laziness and lack of motivation on the quality of the education being (spoon) fed to them.

I also experience poorly motivated students but also see some real effort for little result (we can list other reasons, such as being forced to study in a foreign language, pretty third rate education, as well as well-meaning "generous" teachers handing out undeserved high grades willy-nilly).

I would love an honest appraisal of how many expats are really here to improve the state of the nation. I may have to be honest and be the first to own up to being here for completely selfish motives. The desire to "help" is fading fast and the ID card will make little difference.

rosh said...

"...They told me that they are scared that one day,they will be dancing to the tune of Bollywood..."

Oh man! that keeps me awake as well! Not kidding!

There's much else to say on rest of the comments. Maybe I'll come back with a thought or two, when less overwhelmed.

Love it or LEAVE it :) said...

Where is the smart English Teacher in the comment section? Did she just throw her smart observation and leave us without giving us a chance to thank her dearly and tell her how she changed the lives of Emiratis like my self?

Hesham said...

Judging by the quality of you analysis, I think our biggest issue in the Emirates is the standard of education our kids are getting.

daFlo said...

I’ve read most of the comments and am just keen to add a few words into this delightful forum - meagerly my point of view.

I agree to the fact that the new generations of emiratis are more polished, educated and are keen to make a mark in the industries that they are employed in. The challenges are numerous and the competition is at its peak. But there is always a worry of an edge that emiratis may have over any expats (I strictly refer to the expats from the subcontinents). I have experienced this when I was employed in a financial sector.

A short story - our team consisted of expats and emiratis and the tasks were equally distributed amongst each one of us (I don’t want get into specific details about the how the responsibilities were carried out by most of my emirati colleagues!!!). On completion of the task, we all were handed over a letter of appreciation and a bonus to compliment our hard work. Well, at least we expats thought that all of us were given the same, until we were informed that the emiratis were given a bonus amount, which was 4 times more than what the expats received + a promotion to move to the next grade. Ever imagined how it feels to have a junior, working only for 6 months in the department, getting a package more than a person working more than 6 years??? Emiratis have to agree that they have an edge over the expats, which always put them in the driving seat.

I respect what Buj has commented, but if you are hinting at equality, then let it should be done in the right manner. Why the differentiation in nationalities??? We work hard to achieve what the emiratis may achieve by only putting in 80% of their efforts.

I also read someone commenting ‘Kick out the expats’. I would like to bring to the attention of all reading this that my fore fathers used to travel from the subcontinent to come her to trade and increase business dealings (this was during the period when travelers still used horses, camels and donkeys as a mode of transportation to move from desert to desert). And like many others, my fore fathers too were a part in building up this country. We have been here for a very long time – long enough to get ourselves the nationality of this country, equal rights, etc… but… Yes, we live in this country as if this is our own. We spend money without any savings to send back home (though we do not have anyone back home). We invest in this country, to buy land and property for ourselves, just coz we think that we are part of this country and culture. During the holy month of Ramadan, we too fast, just to give respect to the emiratis, and much more. And you say ‘Kick out the expats’!!! I feel sorry for such people who have such a mentality.

Anonymous said...

Rosh its a serious matter,Imagine your country being full with expats and you feel the odd ball being minority now.
The Locals receiving expats at the passport counter at the airport,just look at their faces,they arent happy ,they feel invaded.

Bollywood tune is what they dont want to ever happen ,as indians have the tendency to leave dubai feet first,they rather stuck and slave away than go back home.

But at the end of the day,I am happy for the locals,becoz i saw their living conditions 20 yrs ago was poor.I lived in a better place than them.We shouldnt envy or talk bad of others.We have better to things talk of,Whats about Palestine,Why is everyone forgotten about it?

Whats happening rigth now,to the Gulf states,is to keep them preoccupied with the material world forgetting that simple life they had before.

rosh said...

Daflo, sweetly said! Where's rest of folks like you - wish they'd speak up more often.

Anon 21 October, 2008 16:38 - I WASN'T kidding. Am serious, b'wood (and kirck-it) invasion, keeps me awake at night. I want to say a lot more, but could quite well end up being skinned alive on this blog (especially after my last comment :)
I hear ya, how most locals feel, I've had share of debates with friends, can't help but agree.

That said, a primary reason for my blog, raves & rants, is to bring attention to all those like I (or Daflo) - we are by products of an expat community. I've always wondered, aside the GCC, where else in the world, can I meet up with people who shall remain an "expat" from cradle to the grave, often in a state of constant temporariness - can you imagine how that feels like? I'd really like to get their take on several views, and if they come from mixed backgrounds, even better.

Editor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Proud Emirati said...

daflo, what would have u expected? I mean it is absurd even trying to explain it to u. Indeed there should be equality between the different expatriate nationalities but there is nothing wrong in prioritizing Emiratis. This is their country after all and they should have the advantage in their country !

rosh said...

"..absurd even trying to explain it to u..."

err, please be explaining?

Abu Dhabi/UAE Daily Photo said...

Proud Emirati said:
"I mean it is absurd even trying to explain it to u. Indeed there should be equality between the different expatriate nationalities but there is nothing wrong in prioritizing Emiratis. This is their country after all and they should have the advantage in their country !"

It's difficult to compare the UAE to other countries, but I do get why Emiratis earn a higher monthly salary than their expatriates. After all, expats receive housing, schooling, annual airfare, etc. I "get" increasing the monthly salary of an Emirati who does the same work simply because s/he doesn't receive those other benefits. I don't get the idea that one nationality is entitled to a higher bonus simply because of his/her nationality. Where is the logic in that? If you worked in the US(forgetting that you wouldn't likely be entitled to housing nor would your American colleagues) and bonuses came out, do you really think an American would receive more money than his/her colleagues not from the US? Look at large employers like Microsoft and Bowing-both of whom recruit HEAVILY from outside the US. Can you imagine American employees of these companies being entitled to a bigger annual bonus? That would be blatant racism.

daFlo said...

Proud Emirati, thanks for your comments. Please do try and explain the ‘absurd’ part. I am willing to expand beyond my moderate thinking to accommodate your views. I agree with your comment that there’s nothing wrong in prioritizing Emiratis – that is one of reasons that almost 60% (if not more) of the positions in the government organizations are taken over by Emiratis. We as expats have accepted this without any issues (again, not that we have a choice). Beyond that, Emiratis do share top positions in many organizations with the expat communities and other positions in many other business sectors operating in this market. There is also a quota system, which prevails, again, adding to the advantage over the expats. The mentioned facts support your comment and I think you will agree to it.

The outcome of my comments should not be taken in a negative manner. Eventually, I consider myself to be as much of an Emirati as I am an Indian National. This is only due to the fact that we have been residing in the country for ages and probably have nothing to go back home to.

Rosh, thanks for appreciate my comments. I guess there are many who share the same views that I do, but for reasons unknown, they do not bother to bring it out in the open.

Anonymous said...

I personally agree to citizens receiving priority in jobs and receiving better benefits overall.

However, what is more disturbing is when some people take the "Its our country" argument to justify things like breaking queues, demanding police favor them in accidents even if its their fault, and in extreme cases, demand that citizens who commit crimes against expats should be let free (the last bit based on a number of blog comments)

BuJassem said...

daFlo.. thanks for ur comments.. it's great to read an articulate comment in between the masses here on the blog..

I wonder where our English teacher has gone to? I guess in a cell they only allow you that "one phonecall".. but no one heard of "one blogger comment"... so i think he's a bit busy, but seriously i hope we can hear from him soon.. at least in a more positive way.

As for the people that call for kicking expats out.. oh man, wake up.. we don't even hear these things on the playgrounds in school.. let alone published somewhere.. it's like cuffing yourself to the railings of a building on fire.. hmmm

ok guys, have a great friday.. salams

EnglishTeacher365 said...

Don't worry, Bujassem - I have not been incarcerated in one of your fine Emirati jails. In fact, I have been here all week, taking a particularly sweet vicarious pleasure in reading all the misguided and ill-informed comments that have been directed my way over the past few days.

Clearly, there are a lot of people out there who need a crash-course in simple reading skills, as they have not understood even the most basic parts of my argument. Others need to grow up, as taking the 'ad hominem' approach and insulting people who hold different opinions to your own belongs in the school playground.

Anyway, I'm here for the next week, so if anybody has any questions for me, please just write them below and I'll do my best to respond as soon as I can.

Bye for now,

ET365

BuJassem said...

Oh dear me, I'm very sorry English Teacher if my last comment offended you in any way.. obviously I meant the prison comment as a joke and nothing else.. I don't support heavy-handed tactics in any country including my own and I wouldn't want anyone getting jailed for expressing their own opinions (as long as it's done politely).

On a more serious note, I think it's unacceptable for a teacher to publicly say things like what you said. You are a moulder of the future and as thus need to be a bit more responsible. Additionally there is definitely a lack of breadth and a wealth of generalisation in your post. I can easily give you examples of hard working Emiratis (as well as lazy sods).. so the point here is that within every society there are the workers and there are the lazy people.

I'm really happy to answer any questions you have about Emiratis or our culture etc if you will find it helpful..

Finally I'm glad that you experienced "sweet vicarious pleasure" in reading the comments here... obviously it gets a bit more serious when the itch becomes a scratch...

Anonymous said...

"Mariam Um Zakariah on 17 October, 2008 18:05
Not all Emiratis are rich. There are many who are struggling to put on their table, to send their children to good schools, and who are struggling to have a decent place to live. You would be surprised if maybe you just opened your eyes. There are many, many, many hardworking Emiratis in this country. They are looking for jobs but they are being taken up by all the foreigners flocking here looking for a better life. There are many Emiratis here who wouldn't mind working as a cashier, clerk, receptionish, or whatever just as long as they were making a decent living.

The people who are "threatening" their national identity, their culture, and their religion are the expats who come here and completely have no regard for the culture and religion here. Women who have no respect for the locals here who go around wearing next to nothing. Men and women who live here like they were living in their own countries and inflict their own morals.

The government is to blame too because they never asked the locals what they wanted they just did everything their own way...what they thought was best for the country (keep building, building, building and providing only for the uber-rich while neglecting the lower and middle classes, bringing in liquor, blatantly allowing prostitution, etc...my list could go on).

Expats get mad because things do not work here as they do in their own country. Well then, go back to your own country. Pay your taxes there, drink your beer there, take your prostitutes back with you too. Maybe then my children and me won't have to put up with your foreign influence. Maybe then I can take my children to the beaches without seeing your naked bodies on them. Maybe then I can take my children to the malls and not see the half-dressed foreigners who show NO respect for this country and its native people.

Maybe then it would be a better place after all and me and my children's national identity wouldn't be threatened or are morals either."

Very true, most western expats have no loyalty to the Emirates. What attempt do they make to learn the language? And when they see locals they have hostility to them, as if the locals are the ones intruding.

Instead they use Dubai as a place to make money and live a life they can only dream of back home, eg sun, villa, cars and safety from crime. They do not care for emiratis or Islam, in-fact if you listened to what they say in private or on their blogs they have nothing but contempt for Emiratis and Islam. They mock Emiratis, Arabs, Asians and Muslims in general etc, so naturally if they do not repect a culture they will act with disregard to it and wont care if they offend people, only fear keeps them from acting out of control. I guarantee you soon the Bikini girl in the Mall will be looking at the Niqabi women as if she is the one with something to be ashamed of

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