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16 January, 2006

Census and Sensibility

Far from illegally-cohabiting western expats being the bane of the census officials, it turns out to be legally-polygamous locals that are shy of revealing their marital particulars:

"Our enumerators came across a number of difficulties in getting information required for the Census Tedad 2005. Hiding information about number of wives and their ages is one of them," said Arif Obaid Al Mahiri, Head of Dubai Statistics Department and Head of Census Committee in Dubai.

He told Gulf News that some residents, especially Arabs, are even reluctant to give the names of their wives and daughters and their ages. "Our people really had to work hard to convince them why it was necessary to have such information," he said.


Pity old Daad Mohammed Murad, the notorious Ajman baby-farmer. He'd be lucky to remember half the names of his wives, let alone his vast broods of children.

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15 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why bother for census? The guy who knocked at our door couldn't speak English so I got the forms from him and filled in myself.

Surprisingly, I found that same guy came again the day after and did another round for the whole building. Perhaps all these double counts would compensate for Daad Mohammed Murad.

16 January, 2006 22:41  
Blogger archer14 said...

Tedad is going to have an accuracy of just about 60%. With so many people slamming doors at them, you can understand why visit visas are so popular.
And in places virtually devoid of the affluent/literate, what would illiterate census takers do - as anon above points out?
Maybe this census might make it to the Oxford dictionary.
Tedad : An arbitrary population count. Also used as verb. Eg: To tedad about.

16 January, 2006 23:30  
Blogger secretdubai said...

Tedad : An arbitrary population count. Also used as verb. Eg: To tedad about.

Well there's my comment of the month award ;)

17 January, 2006 00:06  
Anonymous Tedad said...

When I got tedaded, I told them I didnt indulge in tedads and told the guy to tedad off. Luckily the tedad didnt know what I was tedading about.

17 January, 2006 00:32  
Blogger Destitute Rebel said...

SD - did'nt know commets got OTMs I would have tried to be more creative. But honestly the census is a joke, the majority of the population does not speak Arabic, I had a poor fellow come to my place twice, couldnt speak or understand any language other then arabic, tried urdu, english, punjabi even German just for the heck of it, no comprende, I tried to fill in the forms but sadly they too were in arabic only, so I had to "fill" the census info by sign language. After a lot of hoha we got something done but im not sure it would be accurate. come to think of it maybe thats why they came twice - so they'll come a third time where they find discrpencies in the data between the two forms, not a bad idea !

17 January, 2006 01:15  
Anonymous syais said...

Well I'm still waiting for the census people to pick the form they left on their second visit, 5 or 6 weeks ago. Sons 2, daughters, oh no column. In the social status row I had to write "well I have a big car."
The whole thing is a shame and pathetic.

17 January, 2006 01:20  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a better idea for Tedading(Actually i'm starting to like this word now!):

1. Announce a war just broke up in Iran, everybody will run away.
2. You'll end up with a zero population UAE(Well, not counting urself)
3. Announce that you were just joking and rent for a 2-bedroom flat is 12K pa. Everybody will run back.
4. You can take your time and do tedading patiently at passport control.

Easy... hah?

17 January, 2006 01:55  
Anonymous collounsbury said...

I find it quite peculiar that there are compliants about forms not being in English or census takers.... well, bloody spoiled expats.

But as to the issue of the Emirati-Khaliji-Arab population not being keen on coughing up information, it's not particularly surprising. Traditionally the State in the Arab world (or MENA world) has not had much writ over internal domestic/familial issues. Rather different from European state development in many ways.

But again, on the compliants, really pointless spoiled whinging on. People should be happy they get services in English at all. They are, after all, foreigners and considering the pissing and moaning that occurs in the West in the reverse direction in re services to 'immigrants' a bit of perspective is needed.

Not that I am not myself a spoiled expat....

17 January, 2006 06:26  
Blogger samuraisam said...

keep in mind the article says "arabs" not "Emirati-Khaliji-Arab"

17 January, 2006 08:46  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"They are, after all, foreigners and considering the pissing and moaning that occurs in the West in the reverse direction in re services to 'immigrants' a bit of perspective is needed."

When you talk about 5% of population non-speaking native language is just a bit different from 70%!!....

17 January, 2006 12:56  
Anonymous OS said...

I'm actually surprised that the municipality thinks they can get an accurate headcount with a door-to-door method (98% as claimed in a recent media report). With so many families living two/three/four to an apartment, I wonder how many of them would actually be willing to reveal the real number of occupants in the house. That goes double for bachelors slumming it out in cramped bedspaces. The tedaders (!) must be having a hard time extracting the true number.

In fact, the guy who visited my apartment was pretty incredulous when I told him it was just me and my wife living in a 2-bed apartment with a rent of 55k. He smiled and asked "are you sure you are the only family here?" lol, he must have had a hard time extracting the truth out of enough people. And probably an even harder time trying to convince people they weren't gonna be prosecuted for sharing apartments...well, at least not due to the census!

17 January, 2006 13:09  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess I am one who (luckily? LOL) got away, because they havent come to my house yet...

17 January, 2006 14:15  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OS - Same here.

I was collered in the foyer of my place. He asked all the basic questions (most of which were answered with a business card) and he then asked me four times if I was the only person living in my 2-bed place.

If he had asked a fifth time I was going to drag him up there and bloody show him!

17 January, 2006 17:25  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

But again, on the compliants, really pointless spoiled whinging on. People should be happy they get services in English at all.

You're missing the point. The census is not a "service" for expats. It's being done for the government's benefits. Not a single expat in Dubai could care less as to whether they're included accurately in the census.

What people are "whinging" about is the bureaucratic stupidity of sending out information gatherers with whom the gatherees are completely unable to communicate. If the government wants to get accurate census information, then they'd bloody well better make sure -- at a minimum -- that the forms have English subtitles.

In other words, the expats aren't whinging, they're laughing at an epic cockup.

18 January, 2006 06:05  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wts the best secret u culd tel me

08 May, 2007 13:07  

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