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19 December, 2007

Life In The Emirates

Thanks to a kind anonymous commenter, the classic UAE song "Life In The Emirates" by The Establishment is now revealed:

It's tough in the Gulf when the A/C's not working
And the desert is burning in the hot noonday sun
But I've learned how to cope, take the smooth with the rough
'Cause like every expat I'm a long way from home

Hala wa marhaba to life in the Emirates
Dubai, Ras Al Khaimah, Abu Dhabi, Ajman
They're the places I love and the places I won't forget
Sharjah, Fujairah and Umm Al Qawain

Well I miss my sweet wife and I miss my dear children
Sometimes I feel like it's breaking my heart
And I'll never get used to having Sunday on Fridays
But I know I'll feel sorry when it's time to depart

I work hard for my dirhams and I try hard to save some
At the end of each day I am worked to the bone
But the friends I have made here will be my friends forever
Uprah inshallah I am never alone

Hala wa marhaba to life in the Emirates
Dubai, Ras Al Khaimah, Abu Dhabi, Ajman
They're the places I love and the places I won't forget
Sharjah, Fujairah and Umm Al Qawain

Altogether now: "...OOOM!!! Al Qawain."



Blogger h said...


I remember hearing this on Capital Radio in Abu Dhabi in the early 80s. Constantly.

And a primary school singing it for a Christmas.

Great ol' tune. :)

19 December, 2007 21:05  
Blogger CG said...

oh yeh. I have this song somewhere on an old cassette. These guys used to sing live in a bar at the Hilton hotel (Trade centre)....
grrrrrrrrrr....more nostalgia.

19 December, 2007 22:35  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Way to go Mercato- they manage to kindly employ 5 filipino midgets to play Santa's Helpers. Many thanks for this charitable act of giving employment to the physically challenged.

19 December, 2007 22:57  
Blogger secretdubai said...

I once saw a UK documentary on "little people" (as I believe they prefer to be called) and it was quite sad: many of them only got work during the pantomime season, as Snow White's seven dwarves and so on. They didn't seem to hugely resent this work, they were more distressed at the fact that it was so difficult to find suitable employment the rest of the year.

It still gives me a bit of a cringe factor seeing smaller people used in this way, but so long as they appreciate the work then I guess it is a job like any other. If you're beautiful you play Cinderella, if you're fat you play Widow Twanky, if you're short you play a dwarf.

I rather liked the Egyptian story about the guy who set up a cafe entirely for little people to work in.

20 December, 2007 00:05  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Mercato midget issue is quite shocking. Whatever happened to Emiratisation?

20 December, 2007 12:12  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Having spent perhaps too much time in the Red Lion, it struck me that a 2/3 size bar would go down well in Dubai.

Bars lower, smaller stools, half pint glasses only....after all there are so many jockeys here it only seems fair to make them feel at home...

20 December, 2007 21:24  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been a customer of More's for nearly 4 years and had stopped visiting recently as my Son who has asthma was unable to sit inside due to the risks from passive smoking. I was eager to return with my family last week when I heard that all restaurants were going non smoking but was disappointed to see that More had chosen not to implement the smoke free policy. Surely with current trends favouring healthy eating and healthy environments it would make good business sense and show more corporate responsibility to lead with a smoke free policy rather than wait to follow others?
When I asked the manager she said it didnt apply to them because they are not in a mall or hotel...

20 December, 2007 22:58  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Classic--where can I get a copy of the song (Life in the Emirates)? Is it available to buy/download online? Any directions are appreciated!

21 December, 2007 07:42  
Blogger Ammaro said...

hahaha, that was quite entertaining!

22 December, 2007 17:57  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Goodbye SD
Can I buy you a drink when you make it back home?

22 December, 2007 22:41  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks, SD for sharing this file. This was a great song from my first Dubai incarnation in the early '80's. It brings back a lot of the joy from a simpler time. Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year to you all!

23 December, 2007 20:49  
Blogger rosh said...

Thanks a ton for the lovely video -brings back loads of memories, it's brilliant! Merry Christmas & an exciting new 2008 to you and dear/near ones.

25 December, 2007 11:50  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it's "Hala wa marhaba", not "Hala wa hala", and "the places I won't forget", not "the places I'm moving in".

But golly, I never thought I'd ever hear this song again. :D

25 December, 2007 20:21  
Blogger secretdubai said...

Brilliant - I was hoping someone would correct.

Any idea what the word is that sounds like "uprah" just before "inshallah", and what it means?

26 December, 2007 00:07  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not very good with Arabic, but it sounds like Bukrah Inshallah! The ubiquitous statement of well meaning intent all over the UAE!

26 December, 2007 14:27  
Blogger Saudi Bridget said...

That is a funny song..
I enjoyed it.. great to stumble on your blog..
will come again to read more.. :)

27 December, 2007 09:40  
Blogger Luís said...


27 December, 2007 23:34  
Blogger Unknown said...

02 January, 2008 23:34  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Quite entertaining - i must say.

13 January, 2008 17:48  
Blogger dillyberto said...

I just found this incredible site.

I have The Establishment tape we used to listen to in our 1979 Chevy Caprice Classic in Dubai.

It is chilling to know others on the globe know that tune.

21 May, 2008 16:55  
Blogger marybee said...

Hi all - came to this blog after googling 'Life in The Emirates', and find there's a crowd of you !

Just seen from another thread that someone uploaded the tracks, but they've been taken down again, so that's no good.

Have our old casette in front of me, and wondered whether it'd been put on CD...

We were there in 1983/1984...GREAT times and oh, happy days ! Our first daughter born in Al Zahra Hospital in Sharjah...she's nearly 25, for goodness' sake...

Haven't been back, and look in awe at the photos of Dubai now...and at plans for the future. Still glad we were there way back when though.....

Just wondered whether anyone else had come up with more info about Life in The Emirates ?

10 August, 2008 19:06  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Greetings to All from Down Under,
Here's a link for an answer to your questions about "Life in the Emerates" from the man himself, who now resides in Australia.
Hope this helps.

16 September, 2008 07:37  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi all you Ex-Pats from The UAE

Our song "Life In The Emirates" is now available as a CD or download from CD
It will be thirty years this coming summer since it was written and performed in Dubai
Patrick Brady

08 April, 2009 05:56  
Blogger Unknown said...

Well well well ...... whilst surfing looking for some old friends I stumbled in here...... and guess what, I'm one of the guilty parties who actually played this on Capital Radio 93.5 I never worked a regular shift, nor ever used my own name due to Work Permit restrictions, unlike PJ Marriott who was so full of his own awesomeness if he was made of chocolate he would lick himself to death, I was there on no less than four occasions, standing in for Roger Payne, Stuart (?), the truly dreadful Steve (Rocks the Dhabi) again forgotten second name. I inherited the Friday early morning show because nobody else wanted it, and had a long spell on the Thursday Late Show..... didn't do too bad either considering I was usually gassed by ten on a Thursday night .....good times

08 January, 2010 13:09  

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