28 October, 2009

"UAE is top Arab state to live in"

If you were too busy to read the paper today, here's what you missed. According to The National

An international study has rated the UAE as the best place in the Arab world to live (in)... (It) topped the list of Arab nations, coming in 47th place overall. It was the only one to break into the top 50, ahead of Kuwait (52), Tunisia (68) and Saudi Arabia (81). 

A few scores resonating with me personally were: 

  • Safety and security- ranking 18th, ahead of America, Britain, Germany and France
  • Second lowest homicide rate worldwide - leading to reports that 95 per cent of the population feel safe walking alone at nights (the highest rate worldwide)
  • It earned praise for its tolerance, too, with 87 per cent of the population under the impression that their area was a good place for immigrants to live, and 71 per cent believing that ethnic minorities were welcome
  • It ranked 47th for education, earning praise for gender equality 

UAE hosts nearly 4.8 million people from 197 countries and provides for them a place to coexist. It does the job so well that most people forget this is not home and that they are here only as guests (then they start whining on the community blog). 

I personally think UAE has done a fabulous job and deserves all the praise it gets. You may or may not want to argue these findings - knock yourselves out. 

N.B. Road safety was probably not a factor worthy of consideration in the survey. 

25 comments:

lucias george said...

i agree with everything apart from
"It earned praise for its tolerance, too, with 87 per cent of the population under the impression that their area was a good place for immigrants to live, and 71 per cent believing that ethnic minorities were welcome"

Seriously?

Media Junkie said...

No doubt UAE is the better country in the Middle East. I certainly would not move to any other country.

If we could just get rid of the class and racism bit, that would be lovely.

Sheikh Shamal said...

True - it's the best place in the Arab world to live ... because it's the least Arabic!

rosh said...

"If we could just get rid of the class and racism bit, that would be lovely."

hear hear! And had some level of true integration between communities -- be done with the polarized / silo ways.

hemlock said...

george: you have evidence to prove otherwise?

MJ: i was randomly thinking about moving to Qatar/Kuwait (for no particular reason) and then a friend pointed out 'anywhere else in GCC would be a step down after dubai). *sigh*
you should see the class and racism bit where i come from :) we only have a problem with UAE because it's the arabs who are doing it =P

rosh: i think it's kinda cool that such polarity is tolerated. it's a totally do-what-you-want-we-dont-give-a-**** attitude. unlike France/Holland/Denmark, say, where they'll have a problem with your headscarf *shrugs*.

Kyle said...

unlike France/Holland/Denmark, say, where they'll have a problem with your headscarf *shrugs*.

Hemlock,

Well, in that case, don't wear a headscarf. And if you do, then be prepared for all those problems that come with it due to the separation of the Church from the State rule in these & many other countries.

The same goes for Saudi Arabia where according to Islamic laws, all women irrespective of their religion are required to cover their heads, not allowed to drive amongst other restrictions. I would say the same to them, as well. Be prepared to face consequences for non-compliance.

Now, the only difference between the European countries that you have mentioned and Saudi Arabia is that the aforementioned won't shove chapter & verse down your throat. I wish I could say the same about Saudi Arabia though!

Back to the original topic of this post, I agree that the UAE takes the cake when compared to other Arab states.

Kyle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mohammed said...

Hemlock, I think you should be a bit light on the Kool-Aid.

The UAE is by far the best Arab country to live in, its probably the safest country worldwide as well

However as far as racism goes, just because your country has more racism doesnt absolve the situation here....and no, its not because the Arabs are doing it that people have a problem....

Its this whole classism, with people obsessed about their "status", and is generally practised by Arabs as well as non-Arabs.....

rosh said...

Hemi, 2 fils, it was never the sort of attitude you imply, least culturally. Generally, the Arab and the Asian cultures in the UAE dictate the 'acceptable' ways of life -- culturally controlled and stigmatized. People choose (or in more than some instances, are forced) to live by the cultural expectations. Those who 'stray' pay a price - unfortunate. I realize things are changing at some level today. However in many ways segregation via religion, culture, background / race, class etc is the 'norm' -- negates the growth of true character / persona.

Mohammed, true indeed.

hemlock said...

kyle: i dont wear a headscarf. but i like the idea of having a choice in the matter. i can get away with not doing it, and i will not be stopped if i want to do it. that is personal freedom - and UAE allows it. while saudi doesnt - and increasingly, nor do european countries. while one stuffs religious text down your throat, the other secular text. in my opinion, they are both as bad.

mohammed: marx died crying foul on classes two hundred years ago :) (the Rothschilds btw, have been around for over 300 - and they had to have come from SOMEWHERE)...the relationship between a landlord and his tenant, or a pharoah and his slave has been there for hundreds and thousands of years... i believe the day name-dropping or wasta and who you are and where you come from make no difference, will be the day this world will end. but that's just me.

fortunately for you, UAE didnt make it to the list of top ten countries with widest income disparity. see here

UAE isnt perfect, no country is. of the given options, it ranks 47 :) not 1, not 2, not 3. that's all.

rosh: aah. me thinks you are referring to cultural ghettos, where people refuse to assimilate into their surroundings. i saw those in england in the desi community and man - it was as if i had been warped back into a time 30 years ago :(
when people move away from their own countries, they try and hold on to their 'roots' so hard, they pass up the opportunity to grow.
there's little danger of that in UAE, since your employer has to send you home every two years as a part of your contract (hence you are able to keep up with latest fashions and trends) =P

Mohammed said...

mohammed: marx died crying foul on classes two hundred years ago :) (the Rothschilds btw, have been around for over 300 - and they had to have come from SOMEWHERE)...the relationship between a landlord and his tenant, or a pharoah and his slave has been there for hundreds and thousands of years... i believe the day name-dropping or wasta and who you are and where you come from make no difference, will be the day this world will end. but that's just me.



See, connections matter everywhere,
however there is a huge difference between people using connections to get jobs (happens almost everywhere), and people using connections to get away with murder (happens in many countries, but probably not the UAE).

The UAE is in somewhere between these 2 extremes, however, just saying its been going on for thousands of years is useless. Using that logic, the most discriminatory countries would never improve as they will always say "such things have been going on for hundreds of years"

A Caucasian in Sweden may think he is better than an Asian, however he would generally not dare to push him out of a queue, as happens here sometimes.

Nor would a person endanger another person's life on the road or elsewhere and then proceed to say "go ahead and call police, they will not touch me ".


The first step to iproving a situation is admitting a problem exists. The tendency in this part of the world to bury our heads and use Julius Caesar and the Pharaoh as justifications is counter-productive....

Anonymous said...

Bragging about being the best Arab state to live in is like bragging about being the world's tallest midget.

hemlock said...

mohammed: touché =)
i pretty much agree with what you've said :)
just one point on your comment though.

you said: however there is a huge difference between people using connections to get jobs... and people using connections to get away with murder...

murder is stealing someone's life, and getting a job you dont deserve is stealing someone's livelihood. you've financially impacted a person, and by extension his family by taking what was rightfully his. there can be far reaching consequences of this on individuals - those who lost out - and on a macro level on organizations - when run by incompetent somebodies.

a wrong of a lesser degree doesnt make it any closer to being right :) things are either black and while, or all gray.

selective enforcement of rules leads to resentment. which is what you were referring to i believe.

Sharla said...

The UAE was an amazing beautiful place until the sacrifice of the simple ways of the National people into what we see today?
what do we see today?
it is the very best place to be as a human rights activist! Believe me you will never rest!

although a very slippery place to work: change is inevitable
you just need to be a bit slipperier then the cronnies and you can push for change no matter how much they slander those who work for human rights! who cares for the UAE press? what is it anyway? wow! big deal "G.N" ooooo
baby, it's no match for real transparent journalism BBC,AP Rueters,Wash Post,VOA come on? do we look stupid?
this is what I am up to!
http://academic.udayton.edu/HumanRights/schedule_2.htm

sooo nice to check in on Dubai now & than!!

Anonymous said...

the UAE is a great place to live as long as you just look the other way and never bother with what goes on! which for the type of the population we have it is great! Here today gone tomorrow and who cares what is left behind! temporary population with very little vested interest in the Coutry is a very serious problem to deal with! you end up attracting blood suckers, human traffickers,money washing,racist arrogant creeps in every department you go! Nationals?? Where? the big boys who are creating havoc certainly don't want nationals around they love and care for the country and they have a long term vision for their children! Unfortunatly those 3 people that are CEO of every major everything do not have vested interest because they have entered a world of the chocolate factory!
above and beyond their subjects!!
if you have a brilliant idea and you have done all the ground work do not ever think it is safe in the UAE it will be confiscated by the ever famous Gom A Flan (some big name!)
oo yeah and don't ever forget the police are imported from Yemen & Sudan for the most part.. they also do not have vested interest, so just watch yourself! if they are in a bad mood they just might decide you are going to be made the example for all expats out of pure spite!

Khalood said...

I couldn't pass by not sensing the amount of cynicism of our fellow commentators. I humbly commend them for that spirit. XD

Anyways, it states that "UAE is the top Arab State to live in. I agree with that statement with a grain of salt. It's all relative in terms of context.

By any sort of measure, I find UAE to be a very safe country; typically, you can stay outside after midnight and basically not worry one bit. Having said that, I really think the society in the UAE is fairly stabler than other countries in the region.

@Hemlock:
"i think it's kinda cool that such polarity is tolerated. it's a totally do-what-you-want-we-dont-give-a-**** attitude. unlike France/Holland/Denmark, say, where they'll have a problem with your headscarf *shrugs*."

I could agree with you to an extent. I am a UAE citizen; nonetheless, I strongly believe that religious apartheid is existent in religiously driven countries, like UAE, as much as it is in secular nations, such as France, Denmark, Germany, and such countries.
For example, nationals of some sects of the Muslim faith are denied the right to serve in the army and the police, let that alone from different religion. Furthermore, national women who willingly decide to drop the headscarf are looked down at and publicly ridiculed, and that happened once to a family member of mine.
So, if you see other nations discriminating against their own people on religious-basis, we shouldn't be forgetting to look at ourselves. Sounds like low-in-hypocrisy context to you?

Based on given facts, UAE is a 37-year-old country. Looking at its current status, it is a miracle. However, the seriously obnoxious flaws must be admitted, and rectified in order to allow further prosperity. Just because we come from a heritage doesn't necessarily mean that we're bound to live the way "Bedouins" used to live.

hemlock said...

Khalood: the seriously obnoxious flaws must be admitted, and rectified in order to allow further prosperity.

criticism helps when it is constructive, and compliments should be given where they are due :)
Since some of you already recognize the way UAE needs to go, we shall stand and cheer you on.

Khalood said...

@hemlock:
"criticism helps when it is constructive, and compliments should be given where they are due :)
Since some of you already recognize the way UAE needs to go, we shall stand and cheer you on."


I couldn't agree more with you. However, many expatriates maintain a pompous attitude towards us, the nationals, when we strive to explain to our superiors, regardless of which department, the problems hindering our progress. Personally, it gets me very frustrated like gah! D:

Sharla Musabih said...

Martin Luther King was full of criticism and he was concidered a threat to the security of the U.S!!
this is always the way people feel about any new ideas however it is indeed the key that opens up the door to progress & understanding!
the population we have is here by the permission of our creator & instead of viewing them as enemies why not embrace these new faces with the attitude that we can learn from each other & clear up all the misconceptions about Arabs & Islam!!
Really Khalood isn't it our duty
and isn't it part of our Emnirati hospitality to do this?
humble yourself to the learning & expand your mind to what our creator has put in front of us as a part of his perfect plan to promote tolerence & understanding!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e3FU72abjPg , http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5_jQ7sPqEUc Tell me if this is real or the media in the UAE is real????
The BBC followed me for one solid year & the so called journalists that were slandering my work in the UAE I never spoke withor met, they never witnessed my work or came inside my shelter I rekon it was petty jelousy
(because I am a "American") who is racist?
I am not a victim because I will not allow this to parralyze me! I am working on an international level on a problem that is well known around the world as an issue that effects the whole world!
No one knows more about censorship & systematic slander than me!
The time is now to accept our population for because of the wisedom of our great Leadership & of course by the permission of our creator they are welcome & we as locals should pour our Emirati welcome out to them!
this is the only way forward! Allah give you Rahmah & strength as well as courage to stand for what is right! inshaAllah

Anonymous said...

If only the cost of living!!!!!!!!!

John said...

Safe? Sure as long as you don't happen to be critical, cross the road, breath the polluted air, be a laborer, a maid or an Afghan grain seller, etc.

It never ceases to amaze me what type of superficial and politicized data these reports are based on. Is the quality of living not a little a question of integration and income distribution, as well as on the freedom from want and fear?

Lirun said...

i am a survey junkie.. can anyone please publish the link to the actual report itself? :)

Khalood said...

@John:

"Safe? Sure as long as you don't happen to be critical, cross the road, breath the polluted air, be a laborer, a maid or an Afghan grain seller, etc.

It never ceases to amaze me what type of superficial and politicized data these reports are based on. Is the quality of living not a little a question of integration and income distribution, as well as on the freedom from want and fear?"


I mean, not place is perfect. Certainly the report doesn't explicitly state that, nor does it slightly imply it at all.

Income distribution has nothing to do with government and country policies; it is merely one of the internal affairs of the company or department rendering those incomes. Heck, my father doesn't make as much as his expatriate co-worker both in income and job perks, even though they serve the same company under the same positions.

As for freedoms and criticism, it depends what you consider to be "free" or "critical;" I find that dissenting expatriate often stress on this point. It is often obvious that all these arguments don't seem to have a definitive goal other than making a fuss out of nothing. Freedom of religion, speech, or doing whatever you want? Be specific.

As for maids and the reference of "Afghan Grain Seller," which I find to be legitimate to mention, I believe there are specialized courts for that. Surely, some maids and laborers were violated, but you should also take into account that some maids and laborers have been involved egregious and uncustomary practices that have reached to a criminal status at a couple of points. As what the law says: "Every case is uniquely conditioned, factored, and dealt with"

I just laughed about being the "pedestrian" part to a point I didn't even think it was worth responding to.

Dubai City Information said...

this is not a surprise, but mainly because on Dubai's modernish lifestyle. if it wasn't for Dubai i doubt this would be the case

Anonymous said...

It was one of the best places unfortunately, now it is becomming very difficult to do business.A big number of people are leaving to more cost effective countries.This report holds no factual data.

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