22 September, 2009

"Cultural sensitivities and discrimination issues"

More often than not, friendly anonymous comments with requests or questions get neglected on this blog. I can't blame anyone, though; we have a chorus of bitter anonymous commenters who are hell-bent on trolling and disrupting an otherwise an intelligent discussion. They usually succeed in giving out the impression that all anonymous commenters are stupid. Although this is definitely not the case.

Anyway, here's a comment I thought was interesting from the Metro Virtual Tour post.
I'm not gonna lie this is very exciting! I may be taking an internship at the US embassy in Dubai next spring and I'm actually relieved that there is a metro. lol Being a Washington DC city dwellerI cannot convey in words how convenient this will be for someone who hadn't driven a car in years until recently.

Though to piggyback off of Sudanese Expat's comment about black people in Dubai, I wan't to ask you all just generally your observations about this. I'm a African- American female, and being unfamiliar with the intercultural milieu of Dubai I want to get my feelers out there for any safety tips, cultural sensitivities, discrimination issues that one may run into. I'd welcome your responses (and sorry for moving the thread into off topic territory).
I'm afraid I'm not in a position to answer the racial or the gender discrimination part. However, in the 6 years I've been living here, I'd noticed that government institutions go out of their way to serve people equally. I'd also noticed that Dubai has an undeserved reputation of being an institutionally racist place. This is definitely not true as far as I could tell. But as I said, I could be the last one the lady with the inquiry would want to hear from. So please share your stories and impressions if you've got any.

47 comments:

John Smith said...

Dear Dubai Jazz,

I was shocked reading your following statement, " However, in the 6 years I've been living here, I'd noticed that government institutions go out of their way to serve people equally."

I was living in Dubai for 5 years and decided to move out of the Gulf mainly because of the institutionalized racism out there. Maybe you are one of the few lucky people who has not been an witness to it or the few elites who think earth is still flat because the government or a religious body says so.

There are lots of people who says that there is no such thing as racism in Dubai because they have not experienced it first hand. You have to be a victim to know it.

John Smith

mike said...

I'm not sure what cave you've been living in, but Dubai and the UAE are mired in racism. Now this type of racism isn't the type that will get you lynched (a la America's glorious past). Rather there are institutional barriers in place by the UAE and its emirates that favor discrimination and racism. For example:

1) the "top 25" and GCC countries receive visas on arrival. All others must have sponsors and wade through local paperwork to make this happen.

2) Specific countries automatically receive driver's licenses once they become a resident (varies by emirate). If you don't have a driver's license from one of these "preferred" countries - the fees to obtain mandatory training are almost prohibitive.

Now, beyond those two institutional barriers, there are many other barriers that exist - both gender and racial. I, as a white American male, am relatively privileged. Yes, I pay "white man price" for certain things because of my lack of Hindi/Urdu/Arabic (working on the Arabic part). But, my wife, a Taiwanese national, faces blatant discrimination most days. From Emirati and Arab women forcibly cutting in line in front of her at the grocery store (and the metro ticket window!) to being treated as second class citizen by british, australian and new zealand expats to being (verbally) harassed at the workplace by Indian and Pakistani males to obvious pay discrimination because of her racial background - it is a fight for her every day - and a struggle for us to continue to want to remain here.

With that said, we try to fit in. We are learning Arabic. We continually discuss how to interact with different cultures (part of my educational background). We treat everyone with the same respect given - staff, maids, employees, managers, and anyone we meet on the street. We educate our friends and family about the reality that exists here. We like it here in general - but the blatant racism and discrimination is hard to ignore.

The UAE is not all "unicorns and rainbows" - especially coming from an American "everyone is equal" viewpoint.

BuJ said...

I think the vision is to offer racism-free services from the government, but at the low level treatment from counters etc you are bound to be affected unfortunately.

still this place is better in 2009 than 1992.. trust me..

Anonymous said...

still this place is better in 2009 than 1992.. trust me..

Buj,

It's admiring to read an Emirati admit this - a flaw in their society. Bravo.

From my experience, I believe racism exists in all forms everywhere. What we call racism, it is nothing but a human trait to say to another, I'm better than you, in terms of wealth, education or that taboo word color, which is nothing but a pure demonstration of false bravado!

Media Junkie said...

I think it's the 'pay by passport' mentality, as well as the overwhelming number of certain nationalities working certain jobs that gives the UAE a sense of discrimination and racism.

BuJ is right to a point - things are getting better. But it's still a long way to go.

On the other hand, many desis who've lived here for 30+ years may feel that things were better before than now. More on the lines of the local population were nicer or more grateful for their services, rather than taking things for granted and turning arrogant. I could be wrong, but that's something I've observed.

Media Junkie said...

PS: And the 'If you don't like it, you can leave' mentality doesn't help UAE's image regarding racism either.

Anonymous said...

1) The visas issue happens all around the world. Certain passport holders can enter the US with minimal paper work and others have to go through a lengthy visa process.

2) They receive drivers licenses on demand because they have well established driving institutes. When bloody "baboo" or "khalid" from syria, lebanon, egypt, etc. decides to cut me off without indicating and tailgates at every opportunity I feel no sympathy for them. I wouldnt mind if they double the amount of classes you have to take to obtain a drivers license or made people take followup lessons every 5 years.

The UAE is definitely not all rainbows but you should research a countries culture and norms before you decide to come live here. The UAE and Middle East in general has a history of males being more dominant over female. Im a GCC national and Ive been cut in front of by people Indians, Emiratis, Levants, you name it. The line doesnt begin at the back, it starts depending on your relationship with the person behind the counter.

I love the "everyone is equal" mentality of America but I know that is not the totally the case in the southern states where despite the law, there is still a hint of racism.

BuJ said...

i was wondering how long it will take for someone to mention the "if you don't like it then you can leave" line which is extremely vulgar, stupid and counter-productive.

However i will use it and turn it on its head. If the UAE wasn't a good place to live in and if it wasn't a continually improving place to live in then many people would in fact leave out of their free will. I find it a great and positive thing that many expats choose to call the UAE home and believe it's important that they are valued and encouraged to stay given that they observe the law.

The laws as well need to be modified to recognise this sector of society by giving them permanent residency if they meet a set of conditions.

to Mike, you've written:

"I'm not sure what cave you've been living in, but Dubai and the UAE are mired in racism."

I would kindly ask you to refrain from using such language as it just incites hate and doesn't actually contribute to much. It's not clear if you're aiming your aggression on John Smith or Dubai Jazz, either person were very polite in their words and there is no need to be rude.

On the other hand, I'll be the first to admit that we have a problem with racism here. A huge problem. However the issue with visas for the "top 25" countries and GCC countries needs to be explained to you.

First of all you seem to have called them the "top 25" countries, and to be fair that has racist undertones for the other countries not on that list. I believe those 25 or so countries are added on the list because the UAE enjoys some kind of agreement with them for free-movement of people, or countries which will actually benefit the UAE. Citizens of such countries are more likely to observe the legal limits of their stay, as well as to contribute significantly to the economy of the UAE.

For example, an Emarati needs a visa to visit the United Kingdom, but the opposite is not true. I don't find anyone calling the UK a racist country?

Egyptians need a visa to enter the UAE however the opposite is not true. Does this make the UAE racist towards Egyptians?

As for the GCC citizens, there are legal agreements drawn between the GCC states to allow the free-movement of citizens. This is similar to the EU. I don't see anyone pointing the finger at the EU system as being racist.

Unfortunately a lot of people have missed the point of the post and have used it as an excuse to lash out without much though. I feel it's a waste of time to point things out to such people, but I am hoping that maybe they or others who have decided to remain silent will benefit from this, and the benefit of the public is always a good thing.

It's worth reading a bit more about an issue before forming resentful sentiments about it.

BuJ said...

PS: Media Junkie, I said what I said about "if you don't like it then leave" against people who might decide to use it, and it is not meant against you :)

Dubai Jazz said...

Mike,

On 2001 I applied for the I20 visa to study MA in architecture in the US. It was denied even though every paper was in order. No one at the American Embassy in Damascus would state a reason, but the overwhelming wisdom was that being a)an Arab, b) a Syrian and c) a Muslim didn't help at all.

So while there may not be such a written law, it's been applied vigorously.

Of course, two wrong do not make a right. And I'm not awfully bitter at the above incident. In my opinion it just goes to show that the nationality of visa applicant always matter, anywhere in the world.

Dubai Jazz said...

And Mike, your opening statement was uncalled for. The whole point of the post was to share stories and experiences since I realize I do not own the truth...

Anonymous said...

Interestingly, to me it seemed like the much racism is practised by "native English speakers" who benefit from it and some Europeans but not by UAE passport holders.

Personally speaking, in my interaction with Arabs and Emiratis I saw little racism, though the seem very class conscious. For instance, if you are a Pakistani driver they may treat you one way, but you are an Indian professional there may be more equality.

That said, Omanis were far friendlier.

But those who define themselves as "white" seem to thrive on this. I have seen even friends complain of racism and practice it and take advantage of it. I have watched colleagues pushing for higher pays because of their passport...I've had them preying on my job by belittling what I do with hints of race. It was not so long ago that this blog was discussing "native speakers".

It seems a bit simplistic to think that the whites here are the bottom of the heap so they don't know any better. But in my four years in Dubai I never met even one exception.

I've reacted to this contant badgering by becoming, sadly, a bit anti-white. I have Filipinos, Sudanese, Indians, Srilankans and even the occasional Arab on my team but I have to do a lot of soul searching each time a resume from the UK, Australia or South Africa comes my way. I find myself looking for excuses to turn them down.

The fight against racism needs to be fought also by those who benefit from it. Otherwise once it turns around you'd only have hatred.

Anonymous said...

Racism is certainly an equal opportunity offender in Dubai. My first real experience was with a Filipino auto mechanic, who told me he didn't want to move to Chicago to be near his family because there are "too many niggers." Really? Here's a guy on the lower rungs of the Dubai class totem pole, and even he is talking down black people. I was deeply disappointed.

That said, my country has been working on racism for about 230 years, and only recently did we elect a non-white leader. Let's come back to the UAE in 200 years and see how things are then.

mike said...

a response, in parts

1) I never once implied or stated that the US, UK, EU or any other country was not racist in their dealings with Emiratis (or any other nation). I am a firm believer in reciprocal international agreements and it is both unfair and racist to not allow Emiratis into these nations while the UAE allows these citizens in, pretty much, carte blanche (that is, with the exception of Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei, and New Zealand - as of 7/8/2008 http://www.gulfnews.com/opinion/columns/nation/10235275.html)

2)Buj said:

I believe those 25 or so countries are added on the list because the UAE enjoys some kind of agreement with them for free-movement of people, or countries which will actually benefit the UAE. Citizens of such countries are more likely to observe the legal limits of their stay, as well as to contribute significantly to the economy of the UAE.

First, I was wrong - it is 33 countries plus GCC. Next, on your first point, you are wrong with regards to free movement of people (except those noted in #1). Only 4 countries and the GCC allow free movement.

Secondly, this type of racism is *exactly* what I'm talking about -- "Citizens of such countries are more likely to observe the legal limits of their stay, as well as to contribute significantly to the economy of the UAE." You assume and imply that citizens of these non-exempt countries have LESS VALUE for the UAE economy and will MORE LIKELY break the law than the citizens of the exempt countries. If this is not racist, then this, at a minimum, is nationality-based discrimination. You said it. not me. (a side note - there is little to no publicly available statistical data for either side of the argument at this time)

Finally, I have not lashed out and am not resentful. I am quite educated and well read on the issues. With that said, I still find the UAE a particularly racist place on many levels. This should not and does not imply that any place is perfect - the US especially. Yes, it is better than the past, and I'm happy and appreciative for the opportunity to work, live, and enjoy life here. I sincerely hope the UAE continues its reform policies and moves forward.

DubaiJazz - my apologies if there was misinterpretation about my comment of living in a cave. It was made in jest due to the enormity of the "Internet population" here that don't know much beyond the Marina. again, my apologies.

Mohammed said...

The visa on arrival issue is just a red herrigng when it comes to actual racism.

Its not actually a racist measure, rather a discriminatory measure intended to minimze overstayers. However a passport is a somewhat weak measure, in that would an Indian tycoon contribute less to the econoy than someone not that well off from the UK?

BuJ said...

Hi Mike,

Thanks for your well-worded comments which I agree with. However, you said:

"Secondly, this type of racism is *exactly* what I'm talking about -- "Citizens of such countries are more likely to observe the legal limits of their stay, as well as to contribute significantly to the economy of the UAE." You assume and imply that citizens of these non-exempt countries have LESS VALUE for the UAE economy and will MORE LIKELY break the law than the citizens of the exempt countries. If this is not racist, then this, at a minimum, is nationality-based discrimination. You said it. not me. (a side note - there is little to no publicly available statistical data for either side of the argument at this time)
"

I have to stop and say that there are no racial slurs in my words. Please do not twist my words. I was hinting at things I would much rather not write, but since there seems to be room for misunderstanding, then I will spell things out in more detail.

First of all, I believe we have a problem with racism here, as I mentioned in my first comment, so I am not trying to deny anything.

Secondly, I am no expert on international agreements or UAE internal government, so I cannot tell you why the UAE allows the 25 or 33 countries in without visas.

I will continue to try to present things positively rather than negatively. I never implied that some people have less value, instead let me illuminate my argument with an example.

My ex-boss from the UK came to the UAE a few months ago to do a quick presentation to one of the Sheikhs here because they are bidding for work. The trip was very last minute. He had to stay here for 24 hours. Since he's British he was able to come and leave quickly without a visa, and this, I would believe, benefits the UAE and the UK, don't you think so? Also my ex-boss has a lot of responsibilities back home, and would be very unlikely to over-stay his welcome in the UAE illegally.

I have many other stories to support this.

Just because things in the UAE do not match up with where you're from (I don't know what is your country of origin, neither have you mentioned it) or countries you've lived in doesn't make the UAE a lesser country.

To conclude, I think the system is biased and racism exists, but who is perfect in this world? At least the UAE is trying to make things better and open to all. We allow the maximum number people in, and would not (for example) allow a line of trucks stretching 25+ km to build on one of our borders.

The statistics alone prove my point, the UAE is one of the worst countries in terms of demographics in the world. Only 10% or so of the population are actual UAE citizens. This creates all sorts of problems for any country, especially one as small as ours. Yet there are people arguing to let in more people.

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous @ 22 September, 2009 23:14

I can assume fairly by the tone of your post you are also racist as you divide people by classification in the totem pole.

And you claim you're american also? nice...

Stained said...

It does not feel nice to be treated like shit especially when you've given the country all you have. I personally have the whole world to move on to and explore but I choose to stay here not for the money or the shiny buildings. I choose to stay here cause I call this home...unfortunately that does count cause in the end I'm a desi given the same treatment that an untouchable gets...

It's a known fact that this is how our society is broken up into...

First the locals - Then the white - Then the non local Arabs and the none white skin people holding passports from those 'top 25' countries - then the Filipinos, Nigerians etc and last the sub continent people...

I'd have expected some kind of respect for sub continent people especially after all that those thousands (maybe millions) of them have done for this country...yes most of them were here for the money, but the pay check they get is way less than what OTHER people get...

Maybe this just sounds like a disgruntled rant but when you see that discrimination happen on a daily basis, it hurts...especially when things ever go really bad, we'll be the last ones to leave...

Anonymous said...

Like everyone else I choked on the last statement of the OP.

Undeserved? you wish. My insurance has a use a country of origin criteria to define the rate. India++, European--.

I can't count how many time I have been given preferential treatment over a pakistani because I'm a white european. It started on my very first day in Dubai 5y ago when an immigration officer singled me out in a long line and told me to get in front of the line. Why? because "You don't have to wait after them".

My wife is from the Philippines. I've seen first hand the change in behavior when we interact with some people. The most stunning is Dubai taxi. Whenever she books a taxi it systematically comes late if it even shows up. When I call for one it comes right away.

How funny also how her company tried to keep her passport and she was given the runaround by her HR department until I got involved. "It's policy" my ass. I know everyone working there and I can tell you that no westerner has surrendered his passport and they are too afraid to send them menacing letter like they did to my wife.

Not racist.. bleh..

I hope I didn't come up as an anonymous troll.

Anonymous said...

Forgot to add one important thing. The racism around here does not always come from Emiratis.

Most of the racism I've seen was from one ethnic group of expat against another. Indian vs Philippino vs Pakistani vs White vs Chinese vs Arab. With Syrian telling me that all Lebanese are backstabbing dogs and vice-versa. Or was it a Palestinian telling me Egyptians are all liars and lazy. I can't remember...

So yes this place is very much racist but we should all look very intensely at ourselves because for the most part it is something we brought with us.

Mohammad said...

To the Anon with a Filipino wife, not everyone will admit that racism exists here. It goes without saying that some of the biggest beneficiaries of racism will pretend none exists, as they think admission is the first step of a long chain of events that will end up with them knocked off their pedestal and having to be treated like everyone else.

So, a number of people from your background will say "Racism, what racism? I never faced it"

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous @ 23 September, 2009 13:52

If you do not see that there is an obvious order to how people are treated by race in Dubai, you are either blind or completely ignorant. And, sadly, Filipinos are on the short end of the stick.

I didn't say I support it. Quite the contrary.

The Firebrand said...

Thank you Dubai Jazz for opening up my comment for discussion, it's very thoughtful of you. To everyone who's replied thank you for your insights.

I realize that racism and discrimination exist everywhere and is unavoidable fact of life, however I think its important to be alert and conscious of it where ever you go.

There are some points I wanted to get to from the posters, but I'm short on time. I will touch on them in a bit when I have more time. But in the interim, again, thank you all for your comments.

BuJ said...

Oh let's welcome Jeremy Paxman, but only when he has time for us :)

sufferin succotash said...

And while we're at it let's not forget to mention how North Indians look down on South Indians (here in this country) and, dagnabbit, how all other Indians simply HATE Malayalees (not across the board, I admit--there's a bit of convenient, but very useful generalisation here...)

the real nick said...

BuJ,

I'll stand in for Paxman if you like.

hemlock said...

i vote the real nick.

Anonymous said...

Please don't complain about passports, etc. This has little to do with racism. I carry one of the not-so-privileged passports, WHEREVER i go. However, I find that the driving license situation hard to explain without coming to the conclusion that it is absolutely racist.

I got my driving license issued based on a GCC license I had. I'm not from the GCC. Back then, they based it on the country issuing the license. Fair enough.

Then they said, you have to be FROM that country. So, my brother with a GCC-based licnese can no longer get one without going through hell, like he never had a license. They don't recognize the issuing authority. They only recognize the passport you hold. I find that disgustingly racist. I also fail to see the wisdom behind it.

On the pay-by-passport folks. It has nothing to do with racism. You pay whatever incentive is required to get talent who will make you money. Simple. If you are not a big money generator (or there are others who will do it for less) then tough. Welcome to capitalism.

A blue-eyed salesman does a better job convincing people to buy from him. Maybe he's good, maybe he's average.. but the environment is the way it is. So, the business is right in paying him more, because he's
1) in demand
2) requires more incentive to leave his home country

mike, my wife is Thai and we too have to deal with the constant harassment and lack of respect by Arabs (more obvious) and Europeans/Australians/etc. and we feel the same way exactly about it. We generally like it, but it does often make us wonder if we should be elsewhere.

Overall though, I do agree that there is a real effort in promoting an equality for all type of service from the government. That's gotta count for something, right? :)

BuJ said...

No.
You're too good to stand for Paxman.. plus who will stand for you? :-)

Mohammad said...

I can find some logic, however miniscule, for most distorted laws. However the conversion of driving licences is something that I simply cant understand; namely:

Why can an American who has driven for 1 year on the US be able to convert his American driving license, but a German or a Chinese or an Indian who has driven for 10 years in the US with an American license be unable to convert and has to take a test?

Anonymous said...

@24 Sept 14.59: "A blue-eyed salesman does a better job...." Hey, man with the Thai wife, do hear yourself say that please.

Some of the best sellers I know are Malabaris -- scruffy, speaking heavily accented English.

Capitalism does not mean paying people based on where they come from. And you cannot base salaries on someone else's country. The place of employment is the UAE. The UAE needs its own reality and laws which are applicable to those that work here. I am sure the complex reality is difficult to manage but lets not pretend that it is fair. Passport based salaries are not good because they create an unhealthy workplace where everyone resents everyone else. Surely that cannot be productive or sustainably profitable.

The cost of living here applies to everyone. People from Sri Lanka or Pakistan or the Philippines do not pay less for apples or cabs.

The passport based license system hassles you because your brother did not get a license. The job based on blue-eyes does not hassles you, perhaps because you benefit from it.

It would be nice to hear from those who benefit from racism. UAE citizens are not the most racist - they are actually commenting here! It is the ones who define themselves as "white" who keep this going in the UAE. Except when they have a non-white wife.

"I don't face a problem so there must not be one" school of thought is what encourages these attitudes.

Beachdiary said...

It is my conclusion that if one is looking out for finding racist treatment one will always find it. No matter where in the world....

Anonymous said...

@Beachdiary
You probably come from someplace where racism is a fact of life.

There are many places in the world where racism is something that you learn about only in school as part of world history talking about Apartheid or about Martin Luther King.

To many of us, some from so-called Third World countries, it is only a word. Or it was.

It is very distressing to see it acquire meaning in your routine.

Many of us come to the UAE expecting to work in an internationally mixed workplace, expecting reason and merit to dominate decisions. It takes about a year for the racist undertones to sink in.

And you can fight it and fight it because you don't think you deserve to think about this each time you go grocery shopping or hail a cab. But you know it when you see it.

Let's not undermine it by beachchair philosophising.

When my parents were to come to the UAE for a visit this is one reality I wanted to shelter them from. It was still a little visible.

If people who benefit from it want to pretend it does not exist, those whom it harms will turn it around and indulge in reverse racism.

It was rather amusing to have an ex colleague from the UK, complaining of racial ganging up against him after he had tried it :P

EnglishTeacher365 said...

Although I've never heard the "if you don't like it here, then why don't you leave?" jibe personally, I would like to go on record as volunteering to leave the UAE.

All you need to do is pay me a year's salary, and I'd be happy to pack my bags.

Any offers?

Al-ain Rose said...

All you need to do is pay me a year's salary, and I'd be happy to pack my bags.
any offers?
...
Such a mercenary!

Anonymous said...

The first thing that shocks in UAE is the treatment based on race. Even the taxi's first question is from which country are u & /or what is ur religion.

Anonymous said...

anon @ 25 September, 2009 10:25

Ah.. finish the sentence first.. the blue-eyes salesman is gets a leg-up, because the market reacts this way to race. I didn't write the rules. However, statistics in our business show this to be true - for the record, our company doesn't pay by citizenship or ethnicity, gender, etc. I didn't make the rules, they were written before I even came here.


It is obvious that you have done very little recruiting to know much about it. The cost of living here is the same for everyone on paper. When you want to hire a secretary and you are interviewing:

1. Filipina
2. Arab woman
3. Westerner
4. Indian

You will find that the way each one of these arbitrary groups have their own set of "will not work for less than X" figure. For example, a Filipina will consider sharing accommodation with 10 others in a room whereas the Arab woman will not. As such, the Arab woman's rent requirements are substantially higher.

As a business, you must consider this: do I need a bilingual person? If so, you need to cough out the extra, otherwise you then ask: do my customers care? In some cases, they do! And, if you are an industry that considers Westerners' presence in a company a sign of "professionalism" then hiring the Westerner at a higher cost is part of your marketing budget.

It's an ugly world, but this is just how it is.

Anonymous said...

Even the utility bills are full of discrimination. For the expatriate the cost for electricity & water are much higher than the local.

BuJ said...

http://www.thenational.ae/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20090928/NATIONAL/709279882/1187/enewsletter

the real nick said...

Have we scared 'Firebrand' off yet?

Dubai Jazz said...

Nick,

Not sure yet. We probably need couple of more racist posts of yours.

rosh said...

Jazz, this is a good / healthy discussion. Racism and discrimination are an everyday reality in most peoples lives in the UAE. It exists, as much as you and I.

The Firebrand said...

@ The Real Nick - No I've not been scared off at all.

I have been crazy busy getting security clearance stuff out of the way amid other things, but I appreciate everyone's imput.

Because I've not been to the region myself, I was interested to find out a bit how I might be received being a Black American AND female. I've been told by a really good Khaleeji friend that Black American's are generally more respected because of Pop culture (and I blanched at that as I despise most of it exports unrealistic stereotypes but thats a different matter) than Africans (which the Sudanese commentator mentioned).

By judging from the comments it looks as if being American will even out the being "Black" part (just a guess though), but the female part....eh...well...we shall see. I don't plan on dressing "indecently" and thereby get oogled by strangers and/or handed a "be kind - cover up" pamphlet. And I certainly have no plans to get freaky on a beach so I think I'll be cool. lol

But when I need to catch a cab I'll be sure to wave my passport in the air and wear an Obama t-shirt or something.

I really want to make the best of this chance to live/work/learn about a piece of the world I have never been to. Since I'm a good old southernbelle, I've been raised since birth to be respectful of everyone I meet from the guys who pick up the trash to the President himself.

Thank you all for the feedback.

BuJ said...

Dear The Fireband,

Based on what I read in your last comment I believe you should not have any problems in the UAE based on your nationality, gender or colour. In addition, I believe that you might actually pleasantly surprised when you come here to the UAE, as I hope you will.

Best wishes,

BuJassem

rosh said...

^^ Ditto. I think you shall be quite pleased.

Dubai Jazz said...

The Firebrand,

All the best in your endeavor. :)

The Firebrand said...

Buj, Rosh and Dubai Jazz, Thank you all again. I cannot wait!! :)

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