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01 January, 2008

Happy New Year to the UAE's bidouns

Here's a new year's resolution for the dishdashes-that-be: how about granting citizenship to the thousands of people who have spent the majority of their lives in the UAE? Some of whom were even born there, educated there, entered the workforce there, and have never known any other home.

People like this guy, who wrote the following to Time Out a while back:

"I am so angry - and none of what you said applies to me. I have a heart full of pain, a head full of stress, and I am sick of a place called Dubai. I've been here so long that I am no longer a tourist - not a resident, not a citizen, what am I? Born here, raised here, haven't been anywhere else. Locals keep their distance because they consider me a resident, residents keep their distance because they consider me a citizen, but eventually I disappoint all. Solve that, Sherlock! It's really nothing to do with cheapness, ugliness or being too pretty. I am starting to believe it's something to do with "nationalism", which infects all who come here even when they were never patriotic."

All people are supposedly equal in terms of humanity or in the eyes of God or whatever, but apparently in the UAE some people are more equal than others.

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Blogger fadi said...

The Emirates, Dubai especially, might be known for its skyscrapers, beautiful architecture, western luxury goods, or rare cars. But try accessing a website that has nothing but someone’s opinions or thoughts, and you might be greeted with an “Access Denied” message. If you were the author you’d probably be in a dark humid cell by now. Basically, the message informs the user that the site they’re trying to access has content that conflicts with the teachings of Islam and the customs of the local culture. Ironically, Dubai is anxiously anticipation the opening up of “Hooters”. There is almost a sense of pride in the air. The illusion of openness and modernization has clouded the minds of the masses. True, they can import goods, leverage technology, and hire the best; but it takes more than a couple of generations to change a primitive mindset.

01 January, 2008 11:21  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well with the pleasant comment left by anonymous, I shall just finish the message & say "I hope we all have a prosperous 2008 in UAE, with not too much name calling!" (Fat chance, I fear.)

01 January, 2008 14:37  
Blogger secretdubai said...

Thank you - and happy new year to you too!

Let's hope this is a better year for the whole region.

01 January, 2008 15:34  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have had this discussion with locals for some time, and they raise a valid point about why should the UAE give citizenship when nobody pays personal taxes, therefore give nothing back to the state.

Perhaps it's time to consider some form of taxation (or a type of social security contributions) or else a more official "permanent residency" that marks a halfway point to citizenship?

01 January, 2008 15:37  
Blogger Kyle said...

@ susurrus of the thought:

Just finished checking out your blog. Most interesting a read was this label.

Having met and exchanged views/ideas with Palestinians of Gaza origin, a substantial number are of a similar mindset as you. Majority of them ask, what for should we pledge allegiance to a region or country in the Arabian hemisphere that can’t even grant us a permanent place to stay to rekindle our roots. At least, back in the West, be that Canada, US or even Europe for that matter the same are welcomed into the society to contribute growth into an ever-expanding multicultural society. To signify their allegiance, I’ve come across many that even wear a lapel pin of their adopted Western country’s flag. Some may mock this exhibition of allegiance but I admire them for wearing my country’s flag on that lapel pin. It reminds me that my home is welcome to anybody and they can stay without a pass for as long as they wish!

@ rnb:

(Fat chance, I fear.)

You stole the words right out of my mouth!

@ SD:

Let's hope this is a better year for the whole region.

Now it’s my turn to say, fat chance, I fear!

Happy New Year.

01 January, 2008 19:33  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, immigrants and mixed blooded citizens in the united states are much more welcome than they are in Europe...

Americans are friendly bunch (just look at the cute comment of Kyle), while Brits are grumpy and stuffy..(and that is written all over SD's dirty diary)...

01 January, 2008 20:18  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the idea of nationality has to be on a points system.

Those contributing entrepreneurially, with assets in the UAE, should be readily made citizens (grade 2) which, after 10 years of domicile and a clean police record, could be converted to full nationality. Their children can inherit nationality.

Next would come those working for 10 years here with a clean police record. They could be citizens (grade 3) which could be converted to full citizenship after a further 5 years and a continuing clean police record. Their children can only inherit nationality if they spent 10 years here with their parents.

Another category would be people with recent significant investment in the country, via purchae of local property, or cash investment, and they would be eligible for grade 2 citizenship after 5 years of residency (in the case of property owners) and full citizenship after 10 years of residency and a clean police record. Cash investors would be offered grade 2 citizenship after 7 years and full nationality after 14 years residency and a clean police record.

Unless the people who spend their lives here are given a sense of belonging any continued success would be temporary. It is just a simple case of Agency Theory taught in basic management courses. Give people a share in the success of a system and it serves their interests to make it continue to prosper.

01 January, 2008 22:11  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

“susurrus of the thought” I totally agree with you! I said the exact same thing a few days ago to my instructor when we were discussing how fast the country have changed in the past few years.

but what do you do when you’re different and sick and tired of how things work over here. Imagine how hard it is to be different, local and a woman in this country. I come from a well-known family in the UAE and I’ve lived here all my life, but tried as hard as I can to separate myself from this hypocrite society. Most people I’ve met think I shouldn’t even be in this country. If you’re a man in this country at least you have a choice to leave without (bringing shame to you family etc) but if you’re a woman, I can’t even imagine what might happened! .. Sometimes I don’t even care.

Ehh .. read your post and just needed to vent!

Happy New Year!

01 January, 2008 22:25  
Blogger Kyle said...


How you doin?

This isn’t about Americans being friendly or Brits being grumpy or stuffy, as you say! Back home, we have an equal number of grumpy or stuffy people. I guess their lack of exposure is the key attribute to their grump & stuff attitude.

I speak for my wife and myself. During the past year, we’ve had a lot of fun mingling with the multi-racial society that exists here in Dubai but I’ll tell you, nobody’s happy here, nobody has a sense of belonging. It’s like you have to keep the movers contact details handy at all times.

New immigrants moving to the States or Canada do find it tough for a while but once you’re used to the system, you automatically work your way first to gain full citizenship and then reap the system benefits.

Now, that’s what I call a fat chance to something similar occurring here in the next 50 years.

Of course, it’s all subject to this region standing tall 50 years down the road!

Catch you later!

01 January, 2008 22:56  
Blogger screwed.mind said...

I lived four years in Dubai and I am proud to say I managed to find a job in Europe and get my butt out from there. I had a well paying job there but the prospect of "No future for foreigners" just made me thought twice about staying in there and raising my child in UAE.

After all, I prefer to pay tax, have civil right, social security and be equal to everyone else in the society rather than paying hidden tax and being discriminated LEGALLY in 21st century.

Let's not fool ourselves, it's not the matter of paying tax or not, it's the mindset of people who rule and one thing for sure, just having Hooters, 7 star hotels , semi-legal prostitution and numerous McDonald's, KFC and Burge King wouldn't make a society more democratic!

Name me one country in the world(Except in middle east) that you live and work there for 30 years legally, you won't have a retirement and your children and grandchildren born there would not be eligible for a permanent stay.

How hypocrite you can be by shouting "Share and Care" slogans in every tribune from one side and dropping very basic human rights from the other side. Amazing!

02 January, 2008 00:53  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am not doing well Kyle, and I can't wait for 50 freaking years!

But thanks for the comments anyway, they were quite uplifting.

02 January, 2008 01:14  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Funny, some of the comments!
Ask an Emarati for the right answer not some odd person who lived there for some whatever years. Like they know better?

The fact is that the UAE only gave citizenship to families/tribes that have been around for centuries on that land before 1971 along with all the seven rulers.

Now why should someone get it just because they came and worked sometime in the 1950’s and in 1971 they started pleading for the citizenship like many Yemeni’s, Pakistani’s and Palestinian’s who have fled to this land by land/sea for better life. Tell me, why?

We all look for a better life all over the world. Many Emarati’s before 1971 worked in India, and the other countries in the Gulf. Now why haven’t they asked for a citizenship for working in those countries, huh? That’s not how it works with Emarati’s. We are loyal to the land that our ancestors lived for many centuries that can be dated back to 1700.

Now those Bidouns are obviously immigrants that fled recently. By recently I mean it could be in 1950 or 1980 which is true and are seen all over the country. When they apply for a citizenship, they go through a long process to get one. Why? Would you like to see some blond Emarati? For God’s sake you hardly see Emarati’s in major cities, now you want to see some blond X-British lived since 1970 for example wearing a dish-dash, hardly speaking the language or dialect properly and saying I’m a pure Emarati and have the citizenship? Haha, have a Kit Kat will you!

Tomorrow we might see an Indian (no offense) wearing a dish-dash just because they worked in the UAE for lets say 30 years and his children were born here and educated here. What would you call this guy? Indian-American… Ops I mean Indian-Emarati citizen? huh! If that’s how it is in UK, USA or other countries that allow that and make that country loses its ethnicity, I assure you that the UAE is NOT.

Citizenship is only given and hardly given nowadays to Bidouns without any history of violence, crime etc. and have proven that they have done great achievements for this country. Now the majority of Bidouns are immigrants from Iran and Balushistan if you want to know. Not accepted back there, nor here with an X nationality. Who to blame? Them off course. Why? They hide information about there background/history, which doesn’t help.

If that Bidoun lived here for very long, born, educated and see this land as there only future home. I agree on giving them a proper home to own and a job to secure a life. But citizenship? (yes i do feel sorry for them but give me a break will you)

True, Emarati’s are barely 1 million in the UAE. But are not desperate to naturalize random ethnic people!

02 January, 2008 02:37  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You can't become a citizen of Dubai, Inc. because corporations don't take on citizens - just employees. I'm not sure why anyone would even care enough to try.

02 January, 2008 09:11  
Blogger halfmanhalfbeer said...

Interesting post and one that does raise a lot of questions at the very heart of expat life.

Hong Kong has a system which I think is pretty fair; after seven years of continuous residency (and a crime-free stay) you are entitled to 'Permanent Resident' status. You can live and work in HK without need for either work or residence visas though you would never be entitled to HK (now PRC) nationality.

I had two sons born in HK and a daughter born in Dubai and none of them are entitled to take the nationality from either place, and frankly I absolutely agree with that.

If everything continues to go okay we would hope to remain in Dubai for quite some years to come and so it is possible that Dubai really will be the only place my children will know properly and it will be their ‘home’. However, I would not expect that just because I have chosen to leave my homeland and live long-term somewhere else that I and my family should be granted nationality of that place. I have come here to work and earn better money than I would elsewhere, to live a quality of life higher than elsewhere and to raise my family in a safer environment than found elsewhere. It’s a choice that I have made (and by extension have forced upon my children) but I would never expect to be granted citizenship as a result of that choice.

What I would like though is something like a ‘P.R.’ status where we don’t have to go through the nonsense of visa renewals and are not bound, gagged and chained to an employer.


02 January, 2008 11:29  
Blogger Al Sinjab said...

If the Balunchis are not going to be given citizenship here, then where? Some have been here for generations. They can't do any formal work or travel without a passport. And they live in squalid conditions. Something should be done and I think the government should step up and take responsibility here. If the UAE govt doesn't help them, who will?

02 January, 2008 13:51  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is in response to Emarati:

I think yours are by far the funnniest comments on here.

Just because you're a citizen does not mean you have all the answers. If anything, it's just luck on the part of your ancestors dropping in here at the right time. I've done some reading on the history of this place. Since you point out that "the UAE only gave citizenship to families/tribes that have been around for centuries on that land"
let me point out that the only original people of the UAE are those belonging to the the Bani Yas confederation of tribes, the Al Qasimi clan of Sharjah and the other ruling tribal heads/clans. Even within these tribes, the average tribesmen was migratory, moving from the edges of the Empty Quarter to the coast as the seasons moved, so they were not living in these places on a permanent basis, being of course, nomads. The bulk of emaratis are not members of these tribes but simply early expats, from the neighbouring regions of Iran, Baluchistan, Oman and Yemen as well as former African slaves who came to work as fishermen, pearl divers, traders and caravan merchants. Many of the leading merchant families of the UAE are not even true Bedu Arabs of the above-mentioned tribes. They are of Iranian origin. So let me repeat your phrase, slightly altered for dates..."Now why should someone get it just because they came and worked sometime in the" early 1900s and when the Trucial States became the UAE they were lucky to obtain citizenship.
"Tell me, why?"

If these many non-Arab emiratis are so loyal to their land they should have returned to Iran, Yemen or Oman but I guess the smell of oil overpowered them.

Another point you mention: "Would you like to see some blond Emarati? For God’s sake you hardly see Emarati’s in major cities, now you want to see some blond X-British lived since 1970 for example wearing a dish-dash, hardly speaking the language or dialect properly and saying I’m a pure Emarati and have the citizenship?"

So it comes down to blatant racism. Perhaps the average WASP American should ask the same thing when he sees Mexicans, Asians and Arabs come looking for nationality...they fit the description above, not being the stereotypical white person of European descent who were the founding fathers of America, not being fluent in English and wearing suits and jeans and claiming they are Americans and if you drive through some neighbourhoods you will not even see a white person. But most people in American accept people that work hard to build the nation.

Now you will argue that the UAE is different. It is not. The Middle East comprises of new nation states and not ancient countries. The only ancient countries in the region are Iran and Yemen. There were no states in ancient Arabia as the migratory Arabs never coalesced into a nation state since they were moving around so much. It is only in the 19th and 20th century, when resourceful tribal leaders realised that they had to settle territories to claim them for their assets and the modern Gulf states came into being. This was done with the explicit help of the fading British rulers and the nascent American state. The only related Semitic peoples that ever claimed a nation state structure were the Assyrians, Babylonians and Phoenicians but they were not Arabs.

The UAE has grown because of the immense far-sighted vision of its leaders but sadly some of their citizens are extremely myopic. This region has grown due to the co-operation of all the people here. Even if citizenship is not on the cards, some form of permanency should be.

You said "Emarati’s ...are not desperate to naturalize random ethnic people!" Read your own history, open your mind and stop creating was random ethnic people that make the citizenry of your country today.

02 January, 2008 16:59  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good debate going on here.

UAE will have to, at some point, grasp some thorny issues. These include taxation, civil society and integration. The simple fact is that UAE now exists in a global market place for labour and resources. Without the development of a proper civil society funded through taxation the UAE will simple be seen as a giant burger king in the desert with no social and cultural capital. All the best labour will head to places where things are better. After all we are not all investors - most people want a decent quality of life, to feel valued, raise a family in relative security and to feel they belong to a wider community. Creating an apartheid system based on race, religion, colour is doomed to failure. The flipside to the globalisation of capital is the globalisation of rights. Awareness of what our rights could and should be is now becoming universal.
The most successful city-states - Venice, Hong Kong, Singapore and even the Hanseatic trading ports of earlier times - all had to invest in cultural and social programmes. This is what made them successful and enduring.

The whole edifice on Dubai/UAE will crash into the sea at some point unless it comes to terms with the realities of the 21st Century. To have a proper functioning population and society you MUST extend voting rights, citizenship, taxation, accountability and functioning civil institutes. The alternative is a failed state in the future.

Dubai/UAE is still at a very early stage of development and despite its physical wealth its culture and social values are very very backward. The question that the UAE has to face is whether it is going to allow this physical wealth hold it back culturally and socially or whether it can grow up and become a citystate of global significance rather than an Arab Disneyworld. The childlish racist rants of its spoilt offspring reveal its ultimate failings and show that the UAE still has a long way to go.

02 January, 2008 17:44  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Smell the Coffee:
Well to me yours is by far full of nonsense!
I know better & know the system better & history well! Just because you read some random articles doesn't make you know better than I do. Open your mind & wake up it is different & its not blatant racism as you say.

Don’t start rambling about with the UAE history & tribes. You think I don’t know that? You simply know very little about the Bani Yas tribe and how it consists of over 20 sub-tribes which each also divide into hundreds of families that are linked to. Get some proper information. Ask an Emarati, not yourself! This makes by far more than half of the Emarati population excluding people who came from Iran & Baluchistan that are citizens. If you want to know more, the tribes of Bani Yas were nomads moving all over the Gulf (all the way from Yemen to Oman). It is one ethnic group. How many do YOU want to create in this world? The internet isn’t always a reliable source.

You simply took this whole thing too personal. It’s a matter of securing the countries ethnicity. This is what I’m getting at. You will never understand this place. Simply because you want to interpret your own country's way over the UAE. Ignorance!

Well said I totally agree with you & glad that there are some people here who understand & are not ignorant! Some expats have lived here for quite a long time & deserve a home to own & visit without all those procedures. *Praise*

02 January, 2008 17:46  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

why in the hell would anybody want citizenship in UAE? Some of you are so stupid, serves you right UAE doesnt give you citizenship! And then you go begging some more !! Please take me...please take me...I am a beggar...I am a sucker for monster suv's...plastic trees...birdsong through speakers...i love the heat...i will do anything...please make me a i can rest in 6 ft of hot earth when this life ends

02 January, 2008 18:27  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In reply to the comment about Indians applying for Citizenship: Please do not make me laugh. Emiratis are a mix of Pakistanis, Iranians, INDIANS,Zanzibaris and non descript Arab. How come you guys all speak Hindi or Urdu as a second language with English and some would say Arabic a distant third. I have live two years in KSA and have Saudi friends. After ten year in the UAE, I have no Emirati friends. I think this problem of assimilating other cultures is endemic to the UAE. On this subject an Emirati made a comment to a friend of mine. He said... "Ma lana azzeez." Roughly translated as "We hold no one dear."

02 January, 2008 20:02  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One must be really desperate to want the UAE nationality. The passport sucks, unless you got a big fat bank account you probably won't get a visa to anywhere in europe/states and frankly risking getting strip searched when I visit the US because I have an arab passport is a definite no-no for me. :)

Lebanese got it right. Scam as much money as you can in Dubai, save it and move your family to Canada and profit from nice scenery, social security and human right in a country that will actually give you something back.

Those I don't understand are Indian who despite the fact that the rules of the game have been clear "expats are shit with rights equivalent to the amount of money they earn divided by their skin color." keep trying to ask for citizenship or permanent visa.

Guess what -You won't get it-. At best what you'll get is the government to impose a new "consecutive stay" limit of 5 years with a mandatory 2 years break. Just to be sure no one gets to say they've been here for long.

And to Emarati, I am glad you expressed yourself and proved the world at large that your are in fact at least 50 years late compared to most european, east asian or American state (including south). I loved that little comment: "matter of securing the countries ethnicity". It reminded me of a small guy with a mustache who fucked the world over about 60 years ago.

02 January, 2008 23:53  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous @ 02 January, 2008 20:02:
- (Please do not make me laugh. Emiratis are a mix of Pakistanis, Iranians, INDIANS,Zanzibaris and non descript Arab. How come you guys all speak Hindi or Urdu as a second language with English and some would say Arabic a distant third.)

I won’t reply to you saying we are a mix of this or that. I already made it clear above. All I would add is that yes some of the men back then early 1900’s married Muslim women mostly from India as second/third wives. Why? Why not? (does that make us racist as well).

I can clearly see that you are an Arab. Don’t get me started about ‘Shami’ people & how they are for a fact non descript Arabs as you say. (Kurdish, Armenian descendant?). Does that ring a bell on why many of you speak those languages fluently?

Please don’t offend those nationalities that you just mentioned above. Simply shows that you are such a twat with no mentality. No we don’t all speak Hindi/Urdu as a second language. I for sure don’t & if some of us do, that’s because we spend a lot of time with Pakistani’s, Indians (why on earth did you capitalize it above?) and communicate with them. We both learn each others languages. Zanzibari’s? I think you are confused between Oman & the UAE. Really. You are!

Isn’t being able to speak languages a good thing regardless of what it is? Isn’t that some sort of an education & open to learn? What’s the problem with that?


Anonymous @ 02 January, 2008 23:53:
The passport sucks? I really haven’t had any problems with having the UAE passport, having traveled to Europe & the States. You get to be searched at Dubai Int’l. Airport even if you’re an Emarati. No difference. It’s international airport security. Where do you get this nonsense from? Really!

“Lebanese got it right”, well I wonder why they are by far the most less favored by all Arabs. That’s not a personal view. It’s a fact unfortunately. They are racist amongst themselves & people of different sects of the same religion. Now you really think they don’t want a better life out in the West?

About that “….small guy with a mustache” he seems very dear to you. Don’t resemble his racism with what is in the UAE. We are by far away from what he has done to the world.

50 years late compared to this & that country?
Economy, Education, Health, etc.? I don’t think so. But I do believe that Judicially we are. You don’t climb the ladder from the top don’t you?

Enough prejudice, stick to the topic & your opinion about that!

03 January, 2008 01:31  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi "Emarati"

Errrr - slightly confused - your country is spelt "Emirates" not "Emarates". This would make you an "Emirati" not an "Emarati". Maybe you should pay attention to the simple basic details like this. It might help others take you more seriously. Rather than as a moron who can't even spell the name of their own country.

Also, weren't most of the original Emirati's pirates and thieves? And weren't most of the tribes originally Persian? I am only repeating what I've read. I could be wrong.

Just as a point of reflection - there is a programme on UK television called "Footballers' Wives" - you should watch it. Your country will soon be filled with these kinds of people. That's because all the really smart, cool civilized people wouldn't touch your lump of concrete in the desert with a barge pole.

03 January, 2008 01:36  
Blogger screwed.mind said...

@ Emarati
I don’t see any problem calling someone Indian-Eamarti or Pakistani-Emarati if he/she grants citizenship. You might want to unroll phony family trees going to 1900s and debate about none-existent pure Emarati blood (this is what you meant just didn’t dare to say it!!) but this just works in societies where tents, camels and swords rule not where you depend on a foreigner for your toilet paper, petrol you burn in your car or the system you use to run integrated management of your stock market.
You are much tantalized by the prospect of the utopia growing in the shape of concrete, glass and metal that you are forgetting very basic survival kits you need to run this jungle of fund. Remember, UAE has followed a path that no other country has taken so far. Benefits are overwhelming now and of course people like you bluntly and arrogantly legalize discrimination because of ascending numbers in the bank accounts. But is this going to sustain like this? Show me one economist in UAE that has a consistent plan for the next 15 years!! They are even not capable of balancing simple demand and supply formula for the very basic human need which is housing. They have shown absolute ignorance in urban development, road system and infrastructure. List goes on and on. I just wonder what would happen once Iran’s market opens up!!
It’s a proven fact; the only successful society is a just civil society. All theoretician of superlative race, blood or tribe are resting in piece or carry labels of crimes against humanity. So please don’t preach this, get a more realistic approach like your other comrades take: “you don’t like it?, fook off!!”..
Yeah I did that and am happy indeed! Thanks to them!!

PS : when is the last time you travelled to Europe, a country like UK? Compared to Dubai airport, Heathrow carries 5 folds more passengers. On every minutes of the day, security check queue is always few hundred people. Do you think they racially profile people to search?! No, they do search everyone for security. I would imagine the mayhem next time a security threat is initialized via Dubai Airport! BTW, what happened to retina scans in Dubai airport?! Please give us an update, who uses that machine to get scanned and who is not? Maybe it’s good to see what other friendly government thinks of UAE :
The world “third-country” in this report makes me puke!

03 January, 2008 03:20  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the reason emiratis dont emigrate is not because they are loyal to their land, but because they get economic benefits and handouts in the UAE. Also there is nothing like "emirati ethnicity". Emiratis are a mixture of ethnicities

03 January, 2008 09:03  
Blogger Al Sinjab said...

Why would somebody want a UAE passport?

Well, there are people who have lived here for generations who didn't get Emirati citizenship when the country was formed and who have no other country. A passport (UAE or otherwise) would give them the right to participate in the formal economy, to travel, to get health care. Considering they have been here for generations, I think it would make sense for them to be granted UAE citizenship. The poverty they live in only highlights the need for government action.

Also, like halfmanhalfbeer said, it would be nice for people who have grown up here or worked here for 30+ years to have a little security beyond the whim of their employer. Employers can be capricious here and it is stressful to always know that at any time you could be banned from a place that isn't yours but is certainly home. I think the idea of PR status is a brilliant one.

03 January, 2008 12:59  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous @ 03 January, 2008 01:36:
Waw! You really made the effort to even type all this.
Don’t give me this Emarati or Emirati thing.
Here’s something. Mohammed or Mohammad or even Muhammad?

Anonymous @ 03 January, 2008 09:03:
Who said that there is something called "emirati ethnicity”. Go back & read what I wrote. All I’m saying is that maybe tomorrow we might see a Chinese person (no offense) with a UAE passport claiming he is an Arab & Emarati. It doesn’t make sense! ……..Arab? Yah & I’m Korean!

Errrr, that should get (Anonymous @ 03 January, 2008 01:36) slightly confused now, rather than about some differences in letters!

If this goes on, it would sound like a game of Risk!
Scenario: It’s 1975 I feel like becoming Italian. OK I’ll go spend 30 years of my life in Italy, learn the language, live, work & have children there. Oh wait. It’s 2000 & been 25 years so far. I feel like becoming Russian (the economy is boosting). Let’s go to Russia & have all this done over again! etc. etc. etc.

Now what are you exactly? That should be a wake up call..

Another person like yourself who is simply ignorant! Your name says it all to be honest.
Don’t PS me about something I already know & discussed. Get your mind unscrewed first of all! People like you who came to the UAE & befitted something or less just relocate & start criticizing. I wonder if in a couple of year’s time you would be criticizing the place you are in now? People like you don’t have anything else better to do.

03 January, 2008 13:29  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Your arrogance is hysterical.

Here's a link to how your government choose to spell the word "Emirates".

You will see, unequivocally, it is "Emirates".

The very simple fact that you can't even be bothered to spell the name of your country properly says it all.

You do come across as a spoilt teenager. Maybe you should try getting out a bit. Not live on handouts or an inflated sense of your own importance. Personally, I don't even bother reading what you write as I have so little regard for you.

03 January, 2008 13:37  
Blogger secretdubai said...

Just to weigh in here - there are a lot of instances of the transliteration "emarat" being used.

I view it as a kind of transliterated Arabic, opposed to the romanised transliterated Arabic "emirate".

The petrol stations are called Emarat, and I have seen the UAE's Arabic name transliterated as something like Al Emarat Al Ittihad Al Arabiya. I probably have the word order wrong, but definitely it's emarat with a final a in that versions.

That said, I think one of the UAE's biggest branding mistakes was using the very Arabic word "Etihad" for Abu Dhabi's carrier. "Emirates", being such a romanised transliteration, sounds far more international and westernised than "Al Emarat" would. Even though when you translate the Arabic Emirates logo, that's what you actually get.

Whereas "Etihad" sounds obscurely Arabic to a lot of (ignorant, perhaps) foreigners. Fine I think for a local or regional carrier, but for an international airline I think they needed a way better name.

What I think they should have done is bought out Gulf Air or at least its brand, and gone with that. Much better name.

03 January, 2008 13:51  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is pathetic. The topic turned into some sort of a spelling enigma!

Anonymous @ 03 January, 2008 13:37:
You are bothered to read what I wrote. That’s why you are replying. What’s with the name calling? That is a teenage characteristic. Yes I should be arrogant. Shouldn’t I be when someone is spreading ridiculous fiction about my country? Don’t we all. Glad to make you feel hysterical. What’s life like without that? eh.

Secret Dubai:
They used Etihad, because in Arabic the UAE is called "Al Emarat Al Arabiya Al Mutahida" the Emirates the Arab the United.

Etihad is Unity in Arabic. That’s it. It all goes back to the name of the country. Why get another name to resemble the national carrier? Emirates has been taken by Dubai. Arab, somehow is by Sharjah “Al Arabiya”. The resemblance of the name Etihad is far more significant to the UAE than the name Gulf Air.

Yah, Emarat is spelt in so many different ways. Emirates is the English version & it’s a plural. Emarat is a noun. Simple. The Arabic language grammar is very strict & changes the meaning a lot. Organizations decided to use the Arabic instead of the English version also because of repetitive names & trademarks.

Fine, that has started confusing & stressing mostly non-Arabic speakers about the name. Do we really care about the English syntax translation of Arabic words? No! The name would mean something else, then.

03 January, 2008 14:45  
Blogger LocalExpat said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

03 January, 2008 15:45  
Blogger LocalExpat said...

What can I say that I haven't already gone on about in my blog....

What many people don't realise is that Emarati's view are accurately representative of the UAE Nationals as a whole.

Its not their fault ( or Emarati). They are a byproduct of a society that systematically and continuously reminds everyone in this land of the segregation that exists between nationals and expats.

When you are always taught that you are better than the rest and society considers you to be more equal than others, how do you expect to ever consider someone to be your equal?

The question you must ask, and purely for the betterment of this nation, is if a minority ruling over the majority is a sustainable sociological construct in the long run.

03 January, 2008 15:47  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't think why any Indian (I'm Indian) would want to give up Indian Citizenship (you lose it automatically if you take up an passport - and it's a crime if you continue to hold both) to take up UAE or any Arab nationality.

An Indian passport gets you visas from almost any country and you have no security issues. Plus as becuase you are an non resident Indian, you don't pay tax in India.

For me, although I grew up here, I'm happy to be an Indian in letter and spirit.

03 January, 2008 17:01  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Emarati, what you think about this hadith?

The Messenger of Allah (saw) said, "Undoubtedly Allah has removed from you the pride of arrogance of the age of Jahilliyah (ignorance) and the glorification of ancestors. Now people are of two kinds. Either believers who are aware or transgressors who do wrong. You are all the children of Adam and Adam was made of clay. People should give up their pride in nations because that is a coal from the coals of Hell-fire. If they do not give this up Allah (swt) will consider them lower than the lowly worm which pushes itself through Khara (dung)." (Abu Dawud and Tirmidhi)


03 January, 2008 18:37  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dubai Guy:
Don't give me some Hadith or verses of the Quran, of which I already know.

You might want to enlighten yourself on the idea that we Muslims belong to one religion, but not all belong to the same group (which in this case Nationality). The Quran said that we Muslims should not be divided (into groups thus countries). Why have we?

Many of the modern borders of the Arab World were drawn by European imperial powers during the 19th and early 20th century.

As former director of the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad, Efraim Halevy, now a director at the Hebrew University said:
The borders, which if you look on the maps of the middle-east are very straight lines, were drawn by British and French draftsmen who sat with maps and drew the lines of the frontiers with rulers. If the ruler for some reason or other moved on the map, because of some person's hand shaking, then the frontier moved (with the hand).

Historian Jim Crow, of Newcastle University, has said:
Without that imperial carve-up, Iraq would not be in the state it is in today...Gertrude Bell was one of two or three Britons who were instrumental in the creation of the Arab states in the Middle East that were favourable to Britain.

want the source?

Now what do you think of this?
“O people, we created you from the same male and female, and rendered you distinct peoples and tribes, that you may recognize one another. The best among you in the sight of GOD is the most righteous. GOD is Omniscient, Cognizant.”
The Quran 49:13 (Al-Hujurat)

03 January, 2008 20:05  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Emirati: Wow, that's a new one, even for you guys. Using God to justify your xenophobia and superiority complex when your culture is really a mix of that of your neighboors.
Fact: You guys use Urdu words such as Seeda and Biryani, instead of the Arabic Ala Tool and Kebsa.
Fact: India, Pakistan, (and soon Iran will) have access to Nuclear weapons.
I would be humble if I were you and embrace other cultures before the oil runs out and India and Pakistan become Economic and Military powerhouses in this century.

03 January, 2008 20:21  
Blogger screwed.mind said...


It's good to see you're Mr Know it all, just read up and see you have turned down everyone by saying one thing: "Don't say something I already know", repeated over and over.

Well good for you that you know it all and it's a pity that you simply don't understand what you know!!

Else, you're just trying to mock being a silly pan-arab but sorry, that was born, tried, failed and died in the previous century. So get real and open your mind for a civil society who pays tax and grants citizenship to Blonds in a near future . There is no way around it and poppet masters already are sensing it.

03 January, 2008 20:35  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

many of the comments are written by secretdubai using anon and different user names


03 January, 2008 20:43  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I sympathise with alot of people who are here a long time ago, but dont have citizenship. I think they should have stayed and make their money, and then have the foresight to move back.

I personally think it will be a disaster economically to grant citizenship to alot of people. This country is a welfare state, whose pie is fixed per the price of oil multiplied by the output.
It has nothing to do with the potential and education of the people. Everything of value we produce and can sell overseas is already on the ground, adding more people will simply mean we have to divide the pie amongst more people.

So now you know the pie is fixed, however you have the Royal families take a big chunk of the nations revenue as luxuries for themselves. Now these Royal families are expanding exponentially. And these royal people steal like their is no tomorrow. Now given all that, you can see that Nationalising alot of people will be a fiscal disaster.

People might know it, but we are in a disaster at the moment. Just watch this place

03 January, 2008 20:58  
Blogger Bravecat said...

After reading Emarati's comments, normal people would steer clear of obtaining Emirati citizenship. Who would want their kids to grow up thinking and talking like Emarati does?? Not me, not anyone I know. It's fun living here for a while and getting work experience, but turning into a certified local? God forbid.

04 January, 2008 00:10  
Blogger Unknown said...

First & Foremost, SECRETDUBAI - you got a great blog with some interesting articles.

Recently, an agency that I work for has initiated a survey to be conducted on the social needs of the community in Dubai. This is being carried out on behalf of the 'Social Development Committee' to determine the level of awareness of social services present and to prioritize the provision of 'new services' that may benefit everyone.

After the reading the comments in the post, I felt that they could be used in a more constructive manner.

I would be more than happy if anyone would be willing to take part in the survey. Those interested may mail me, and then I could arrange to conduct the questionnaire.

Thanking You,
sidart87 AT

To the mod: Unsure if giving away my email on the blog is legal, please do inform me if it is.

04 January, 2008 01:25  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Citizenship entails assimilation in every country. Are you ready to learn Arabic, possibly convert to Islam and embrace the Arab culture as your own? Are you ready to live by Shariah law, and protect the Emirati heritage?

Think about it long and hard before you ask for something you might not be able to handle in the first place.

04 January, 2008 01:57  
Blogger screwed.mind said...

@ plato

Ofcoure Arabic language is a must; but, having a specific religion to be able to become any country's citizen is so 19th century. Except for very few countries in the same peninsula as UAE, you wouldn't find that anywhere else in the world.

If by Sharia law, you meant marriage and inheritance(else every residence is already under "Sharia"), you have a valid point.

The biggest problem with UAE is that the constitution is not complete enough to recognize a multi-ethnicity and multi-religion society and consequently, friends like Emarati above are still living in dark ages thinking the world would be upside down if you have Kurds and Arabs in the same country calling themselves a citizen of the same country.

It's just the fact that UAE has been a country since 70s and compared to neighboring states like Iran, Iraq and Pakistan, it's pacing its cultural infancy period.

It's a learning curve for UAE that they are going through but unfortunately the prospect of money and luxury has made them some so self-absorbed that they easily fall behind the curve.

I would say for instance, our friend Emarati above would require a major brain transplant from a Russian blond to get it right!! I doubt even government pays that for Emaratis! :D so no hope!

04 January, 2008 05:01  
Blogger Unknown said...

dubai is doomed to be an immense white elephant of a city if it does not integrate workers and grant full citizenship rights...

otherwise they will have to continually import new labor of all skill levels and training to make the societ run.

all this building seems to be for a projected doubling of the current populations which seems to be at least 80% expats and will only grow in the future...

Emiratis are delusional if they think their fat bank accounts can sustain this beyond 50 years into the future without granting citizenship rights...

Here in the USA I'm proud to see AMERICANS of Mexican, Irish, German, Polish, Russian, African, Italian, Pakistani, Indian, Chinese, Cuban origins...among many countless others.... oh yes..and British!

America would never have achieved it's greatness if it did not readily assimilate such widely various groups into its society

It seems like most in Dubai are there for $$$ and once they make some they cannot wait to leave... I have yet to hear of any expat that loves it so much they want to become a citizen...

04 January, 2008 08:09  
Blogger Unknown said...

what drives many people nutso about all the "Dubai hype" is that none of the growth has actually been made possible by Emiratis..other than their bank accounts... They are not actually building the country...running the firms... it's all a facade being operated behind the scenes by NON-Emiratis.... this is why I personally am NOT that awestruck by Dubai...none of it has been achieved on the backs of Emiratis... it's just them writing checks.... who cares??

the burj dubai for me is not all that different from having the world's largest yacht.... most americans would not build that because it would be a WASTE of $$$ .... and we don't really have to prove anything to anybody...

please list one actual physical product produced in Dubai? top universities? plays? movies? you even have to BUY part of the Louvre to get any culture...

and I"m absolutely offended by the idea of citizenship being ranked/given based on one's bank account/income.... this just shows how soulless dubai must be...

04 January, 2008 08:21  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Emaratis are in fact running many of the firms you see. For that matter, Sheikh Mohammed is an Emarati who is running the Dubai firm! Emaratis are running most of the big and well known companies from Etisalat, to DU to Emaar to Nakheel etc etc.

It does not mean that we should be nationalistic and stupid like others and insist that everyone from the janitor to the CEO is Emarati! Instead, we do run the firms but we use the best workers and managers from all over the world and all are paid top dirhams for their service and are not doing anything for free! After all, no one wants to be in a country where the temperature reaches 55C in the summer just to 'build the country' like we say here 'for our black eyes"!

For the construction workers, which I think you mean when you say 'building the country', now tell me who has done the construction in the West? England subways and its infrastructure were built by the slaves and the Indians. America's infrastructure was also built by the sweat and blood of slaves and Chinese immigrants. Now, in the US no American will work as a construction worker to 'build' the skyscraper, that's the job they left to the Mexicans and most of which are illegal immigrants with no rights whatsoever! In Europe it is the Moroccans, the Indians, the Pakistanis, the Turks and other 3rd generation immigrants which are still being enslaved for these jobs just like their ancestors were some 200 years back!

04 January, 2008 09:17  
Blogger Unknown said...

An Emirati with a job title is not the same as actually running a company.... you do realize there is a difference? All those companies you listed are quasi-government firms ..."dubai inc." if you will.... expats are actually running all of these firms in are delusional to think otherwise...

and yes...much of America was built on the backs of slaves and chinese workers... and we generally agree it WAS horrible..but that was over 100 years ago...this is the 21st century... and dubai is doing it what is YOUR excuse??

and America built the Empire State Building and General Motors with UNION labor.... and believe me... many of the construction workers in the current building boom in Chicago are mexican in origin and are paid quite handsomely! I see them everyday in my store ... they are buying homes, cars, and I see their offspring going to college here .... so please don't even try to compare how America treats immigrants... we are not perfect by any means but no society on earth I would say accepts immigrants as well as the USA

I meet people everyday whose parents came from India, Brazil, Cuba, China, Poland and nobody every questions if they are an "American"...

to bring up past injustices on the part of "western powers" does not give the UAE a free pass to abuse your current workforce just because they are poor south asians

04 January, 2008 11:11  
Blogger Ammaro said...

although i agree with a lot of the stuff you write here, this is probably a little extreme. citizenship is given based on specific rules, depending on how long you stay in the country, what you are doing, and so on. remember, citizens are also a drain on the government, and even with the millions that they have, every other nationalized person is a drain.

each country has its own rules for nationalization. you think some people are above others? try to be an arab muslim and get a US passport nowadays. it can be done in some cases, but they sure as hell will make your life tough trying to get it.

here in bahrain we've nationalized so many people that the locals are starting to feel the pressure. not enough housing. not enough government subsidies. not enough schooling. the people here aren't as rich as the emaraties and the sting is felt, strongly.

04 January, 2008 14:26  
Blogger al-republican said...


I really don't understand the point you are making here. Your generalization of how non-expats are the real decision-makers here is laughable and quite frankly ignorant.

So going by your logic, all these "crazy" laws and projects are the handiwork of white people? And I thought we subcontinentors were supposed to be conspiracy-theorists!

Plato took the words out of my mouth actually. I would like to see how many people would want to assimilate into the Arab culture and laws before they started screaming out for nationality. And I don't get why UAE nationality is such a big deal? You all keep saying Dubai is a bubble that is about to burst. So you want to be nationals of a country that is about to descend into the waste bin of history? Make up your minds!!

Let us not draw parallas with America please. If you want to do so, don't forget America was owned by the Red-Indians. UAE is owned by the Arabs. If you really want a client American state copy/pasting all things american then I suggest we can start with the systematic destruction of the indigenous Arab people by the expats.

Jokes aside, from an Islamic perspective, this border and nationality thing is a farce. We Muslims are Muslims first. As believers in an eternal life after the end of this temporal life, we know that God will not figure our "race" and nationality in deciding our abode in the Hereafter. Yes, race and ethnicities identify us and we should be proud of our roots. Had God made us all the SAME (in looks, thoughts etc) then we humans wouldn't have needed communication because we wouldn't have differing opinions and new ideas to share.

While there is nothing wrong with identifying oneself with his ethnicity, I think we all can agree that any race that thinks they are superior to another is making complete clowns of themselves. In an ideal Islamic World, we will not have visas, passports and all those other crazy things. Islam is for true liberation. Allah's Earth is vast and has been spread out for all the children of Adam (and Eve before the feminist freak out!).

We strive for the cause of Rasulullah (SAW) wherein every race is equal and the superior are only those who attain higher level of spirituality. But that is not what the present system teaches us. These days, mocking spiritual people is being championed as "freedom of speech". How sad!

Are our "superior" westerners willing to strive for a system that recognizes no borders and boundaries?

04 January, 2008 15:43  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually on the assimilation debate Plato's post got it wrong. No culture has ever been a fixed, frozen artifact, never growing or changing. The entire history of humanity has been about immigration, change, movement and new things. Even the notion of nation states - and thereby nationalism - didn't even exist as a definable concept until the 18th Century. So, immigrants will always bring change. If you want to grow as a community, as a society that has to be accepted. Assimilation is a two-way process. Moving to UAE shouldn't involve new citizens becoming clones of the locals. Rather, at its best, a society should have the maturity and strength to accept new peoples with little fuss. Escaping the narrow confines of nation is the big challenge facing humanity, whether you're on the left or the right. Trying to pretend that we need to keep things as they are is deeply politicised and just a bit dumb.

As for immigrants being a drain on a society - I find it incredible that any UAE citizen should even dare to look down their noses at any foreigner residing in their country. If we all went home tomorrow all you'd have left is just a very big, unfinished, building site in the desert.
Having said that the UAE does have the potential to offer something new to the world. The point is does this young country have the maturity to pull that off. At the moment I am drawn to that quote by Oscar Wilde (someone who'd be imprisoned in UAE were he alive and living there), "Youth? It's wasted on the young".

04 January, 2008 17:25  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Also, for the 'Bedoun' although I am sympathetic with this group and I think many of them should be granted citizenship. I see that the US has the most 'bedoun' population in the world! What do you call these thousands of illegal immigrants, some of them were brought to the US when they were 1 or 2 years old and don't know any other home! These people have grown up in the US without paperwork, without rights, without medical treatment, without legal protection, and are on their own living in the shadows of society. I am talking about the ones which were 1 or 2 years old and their parents brought them to the US illegally. They still get deported back to Mexico or Guatemala, and now imagine if the UAE does the same with our bedoun and send them to Iran!
For most of the 'bedouns' in the UAE, they are people who have come illegally to the country and now are demanding citizenship. The only difference in the UAE is that we do not have so many of them like the US and also we do not grant automatic citizenship on berth and also we do not send them back home which is the US is doing. Some people in the US are actually demanding that automatic citizenship on berth should be stopped especially for illegal immigrants.
Finally, the UAE laws do not permit dual citizenship. Also, although I think we should let anyone who is qualified to become a citizen, but without the luxury of having his original citizenship which he should revoke in his home country to be granted UAE citizenship. To live in this part of the world is not easy my friends. You cannot keep your American or Canadian citizenship and be here during the 'bubble' and claim all rights of citizenship and once the bubble bursts run back to your home country on the first airplane.

04 January, 2008 18:09  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think the issue is so much citizenship as segregation. The UAE is set up to be a segregated society - a form of apartheid exists that is doomed to social, cultural and economical failure.
Of course not everyone will want to be nor should be granted full citizenship.
But what exists now is ridiculous - you have a country almost completely dependent on foreign labour and skills for its development treating that same pool of labour with contempt.
It is completely unsustainable and is storing up many problems for the UAE.
What is worrying is that almost none of the UAE nationals who I"ve met or who post on here even think this is an issue worth discussing.
You have all this money, this big chance to create something truly amazing, rather than just a watered down pastiche and all you can think of is shopping. Someone once said that without culture we are just monkeys with car keys.

04 January, 2008 18:28  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All I hear is 'segregation'

Here is something. It's the 21st century. Why is the world still segregated & being segregated by the so called 1st world, largest & powerful countries?

I enjoyed reading your rational comments, regards to you:

04 January, 2008 20:11  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous said:
No culture has ever been a fixed, frozen artifact, never growing or changing.

How abot Frozen Yoghurt?

mmmmm.... Frozen Yoghurt.... (homer simpson drool....)

04 January, 2008 21:11  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The US and UK have made a mess of their countries by allowing so many immigrants. Its a shame that a Caucasian British is treated the same as some 3rd world gold digger in the UK.

The UAE on the other hand has rightly restricted citizenship to pure Emiratis.

Emiratis also receive preferential treatment by police and everywhere else and thats the way it should be: foreigners should always be below natives.

04 January, 2008 21:54  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The US and UK have made a mess of their countries by allowing so many immigrants. Its a shame that a Caucasian British is treated the same as some 3rd world gold digger in the UK."

This is the dumbest thing you're likely to read on this subject.

What immigrants are you talking about? The Celts? The Romans? The Anglo-Saxons? The Normans? The Hugenots?

Or do you just mean 'dark skinned people"?

Or do you just mean "people not like me"?

Or do you just mean anyone who doesn't fit in your narrow world view?


So, you really need to deal with that rather than looking for someone to blame for your very minor problems.

04 January, 2008 22:13  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

>To Emarati:
if you have a lot of money then you should keep in mind that people will try to make you feel guilty/ashamed/unworthy/fearful so that they make you drop your guard by not thinking objectively with your head and thinking emotionally with your heart...and then they get money/benefits out of you.

if you have a vulnerability/obsession/weakness, then they will exlpoit it, for example, the UAE has a lot of pride, which means that a lot of companies will try to sell you expensive projects by telling you that if you don't buy this expensive project then you are primitive/dumb and not "1st world"

it's just marketing manipulation

>secretdubai takes things out of context to make them a joke and locals don't like having to "explain" their lifestyles to strangers while in their own (UAE)city/country

>well-paid workers complaining and insulting uae and it's people are just to proud to feel gratitude to the city/people that gave these well-paid workers a great life (perhaps deep down they think they would make more money in usa, they imagine a more glamorous life in the usa)

in england the price of home heating gas and electricity is going up during th winter when it's needed the most (that might make secretdubai happy!!) is that what dubai expats would like?!

>there's only 3 real ways to deal with your frustrations: drink, sex or exercise

>happy new year and thank you for your well wishes for better times for the region (and just incase you were being cynical, it looks like usa/uk are in for a bumpy financial 2008 aswell)

05 January, 2008 04:17  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The US and UK have made a mess of their countries by allowing so many immigrants. “
Yeah right! I agree with this part of the sentence. If you are talking about the recent terrorists attacks made by those who have been granted residency in this beautiful country called the UK.
These acts are done out of jealousy. The cowards who cannot compete with these countries (even America) can only think of destruction. I think UK, USA and other nations granting citizenship to immigrants should definitely think twice as a national security concern. Having the passports of these nations does not require you to have any specific religion…What if the requirement was for only Christians or Jews… Just like you have it here in the UAE…..Muslims only kind of thing??

About the UAE citizenship, its not very easy for an immigrant. The national anthem says something about being a muslim and that Islam my religion etc..(who knows it better, pls correct me if I am wrong).
By the way, if National security is a concern here.....then I should be ROTFLOL. Who the hell is jealous of this backward thinking nation? All that is developed is concrete and the mindsets of people are of 19th century ..

05 January, 2008 13:57  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To all the delusional idiots here. Not every emarati is wealthy. There are tons of pure emaratis that you dont see when you visit the malls. There are many many unemployed emarati men too. So please get off your delusional ideas.

I can only extrapulate most of you do not know any emaratis, as their is no way to explain your dumb comments.

The vast majority of emarati are civil servants, thats not exactly a career that makes you loaded is it?

05 January, 2008 17:50  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with tightening controls for citizenship in usa/uk, randomness leads to disintegration

05 January, 2008 22:38  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why shouldn't the UAE also tighten controls for citizenship? We all learn from our mistakes and other people’s mistakes.

05 January, 2008 23:31  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"There are tons of pure emaratis that you dont see when you visit the malls."

Pure Emaratis. LOL.

06 January, 2008 09:05  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

With all due respect to anonymous and everyone else that shares his view.

it looks like a touch of sour grapes.

As a as an “EMARATI” (the correct pronunciation) I wouldn’t like to have other fellow citizens that cannot speak Arabic and especially are not Muslims. This is our identity and we want to preserve it. Accept the fact that we don’t want you to become one of us if you dont fit the criteria. If they started handing out citizen ships left right and centre it would loose its value.

The only reason many expatriates want to become citizens is for financial benefit. They have no love for the land or any sort of loyalty. Some don’t even know who Sheikh Zayed is for gods sake!! . Most of them would rather be in the Americans or Europeans but they won’t have them.

Anyways the moral of the story is, if you don’t like it please leave!!!! And if you want to stay …ahlan wa sahlan .

06 January, 2008 12:16  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

jus a thought..If pure Emiratis are in the malls...then the impure ones are probably running after whores in the naif street...LOLZZ

06 January, 2008 19:21  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh my... it's a heated discussion out here. But it was rather enjoyable reading all of your comments, it took me about an hour to finish it, and it was most illuminating! ^_^

Personally, I would stick to my citizenship and to my passport, thank you very much. I mean, living in Dubai, I reckon the most effect it has on the expats is a sense of nationalism for their own. Well, that's what it did for me. The culture here is so diverse that you go out of your way to truly identify yourself and your ethnicity. And that's one of the good thing here in Dubai. Each is an individual, and have their identity. Try your hand out in naming the nationalities of people in a TAXI queue and you can't help but be delighted.!lolz!^_^

Anyway, it's true that all countries have their own standard in granting Citizenship. So i agree on "halfmanhalfbeer", that PR would be a good solution. I mean, in my country, we're also not granting citizenship, only PR.

Also, in matters of Dubai economomy and such, i still can't see a sustainable growth for the nation. As of the moment, Real Estate is the much exhausted commodtity being sold, but there's only much sand that you can build on, it will eventually be saturated. And frankly, it’s beginning to look like supply is outsripping demand.. There's no Agricultural Sector that you can utilize, The Industrial and Service sector is growing, but the questions is, woudl it be sustainable? And in the midst of all the hubble to prove themselves to the world with seven-star hotels and skyscrapers, Dubai may have forgotten one thing which is of utmost importance, HUMAN CAPITAL. I reckon that should be the primal investment that it should work on, if it wants sustainable groth for its posterity.

Oh well.. nuff' said. Happy New Year to all!

06 January, 2008 21:30  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What people forget when they come to the UAE is that it is in essence a very exclusive by which all members (even expats who are ''temporary' members) have to play by the rules and eventually leave when their membership (economic usefullness)runs out.

So don't get too comfortable even after 30 years.

Expats also forget that this country has achieved in less than 40 years what many nations too two centuries to. Of course that doesnt mean to say the country cannot improve and Emiratis should not use bad examples from failed states (Pakistan) or historic abuses (US Slave trade, racism etc) to defend their record. Two rights dont make a wrong. Just because the 'west' did it doesn't suddenly legitamize Human rights abuses that can go on here. The UAE has the benefit of learning from history rather than using examples to prop up backward thinking. Thankfully the leadership knows this but unfortunately the people (like Emirati) havent quite caught up with the speed at which things need to chamge if the development of the nation is to be sustained.

06 January, 2008 21:58  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I never was at Dibai but it appears that it is beautiful. I would like to go there one day. I love this Blog. Please forgive my poor English, I'm au french speaker.

Happy new year!

07 January, 2008 03:48  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Expats also forget that this country has achieved in less than 40 years what many nations too two centuries to".

i think that should read the country has purchased in less than... remember there is virtually unlimited wealth here and the country is a dictatorship (benign admittedly)the rulers don't have to answer to anyone so this "amazing progress" is down to the top boys deciding thats what i want and i want it now. There is no one to say no, no political process etc so it just gets done. Hong Kong and Singapore are two citystates that have made real progress. Dubai has bought theirs. Oh, and of course all the expats are here to make money, no one would move anywhere otherwise, just see how many would stick around if tax is introduced. anyone who says they love it here more than home is either lying or livesw in a shithole

08 January, 2008 16:39  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


13 January, 2008 07:32  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry to say this . but I hope they introduce taxes so that most xpact will leave . and we can have our country back ....

15 January, 2008 07:54  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

have our country back ....

is it invaded? lo0o0o0o0ol

16 January, 2008 09:08  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yes , by dim whits like you. or maybe i should say infected !!!! :)

16 January, 2008 09:14  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

HAHAHA, it is the same here

16 January, 2008 22:30  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We've heard it from an emarati who is clearly the worst example of emarati's; we've heard it from expats who have only been here for 5 years or so; lets hear it from another side:

I am palestinian. My family came here in '64. they didnt come here for the money (the moved to Ajman back then, which had absolutly nothing to offer); they didnt go after the money because they didnt come to work in any of the fields that made money back then (oil exploration, trading and business). They came here for lack of an available homeland. They came here because this place was calm, quite and was lead by sheikhs who had good reputation throughout the middle east at that time. The family moved around and some stayed in ajman, others moved to Dubai and Abu Dhabi; thats where i was born and raised.

To those who say expats came for the money: what money was there in '64? what money was there in '71? Hamdan street was not even paved until the mid 70's! what kind of jobs were there back then? My family came here not looking to make money, but to find stability and a decent life.

here's a funny story: my family owns (yes, owns) several pieces of land in UAQ, Ajman, AND dubai (not freehold) and we are NOT citizens!!! they were given to us by the sheikhs a long time ago, and we bought several of them witht he money we made; and you know why we did that? because sooo many baluchis, pakistanis, iranis, and zanzibaris around us were getting citizenships that we thought we'd eventually get it too and call this place our real home. What happened? To say that no one got citizenships here is PRETTY ridiculous; Dubai had a massive campaign of granting citizenships not more than 2-3 years ago; those people - i know several families - cannot speak arabic, refuse to wear the dishdashas, refuse to eat arabic food and dont even know the history of this country. worst of all, they've been here at LEAST 20 years after we came!!!! how is it possible that this could happen???

To the moronic emarati who was posting on here; i ask you this: you say you dont want to see blonde emaratis; but do u have ANY idea on how many halflings are walking around the emirates? yes, halflings: father is emarati, mother is russian or brit or american or or or. They care tribal last names and some of them are part of the royal family, are you denying that they exist because you are so fcuked up in the head??

People see this country as the cash cow of the region. MANY others, who came here as early as my family did, simply viewed it as a calm place that was not ruled by despotic people. sometimes thats all thats needed to attract someone here. Money is not everything.


18 January, 2008 12:51  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The UAE on the other hand has rightly restricted citizenship to pure Emiratis.
<-- HAHAHAHA If you beleive that, i have a bridge to sell you in Liwa. Define 'pure' emarati! I went to school with several halflings who have the citizenship; are they pure emaratis? What about the black people, u know, former slaves and ones who came from zanzibar and tanzania?? what about the iranians " 3yem as locals call them"? u know who they are, the zarooni family, al futtaim and al mazrooi? i can continue mentioning names of families you THINK are 100% pure local but infact are of iranian roots. Some of the biggest families in Dubai are Iranians, not pure emaraties, not pure blooded bedouins. do you claim that they dont really exist, that they're just an illusion?

"The vast majority of emarati are civil servants, thats not exactly a career that makes you loaded is it?"
<-- I got to know a local working in the Abu Dhabi Municipality..his job would be considered 'junior' level (just above entry level) in the West, and guess what he makes a month? 35,000 (in addition to getting land to build his houes on and an interest free loan to build that house!) so yea, 35K a month is enough to make ANYONE loaded.

"The only reason many expatriates want to become citizens is for financial benefit. They have no love for the land or any sort of loyalty. Some don’t even know who Sheikh Zayed is for gods sake!! . Most of them would rather be in the Americans or Europeans but they won’t have them. "
<-- As i said in my earlier post; we came when even YOUR own family was taking a shit on a land they didnt know had an ocean of oil underneath it. ARe you telling me we came for money? You speak of loyalty; why was it in 1990 during the gulf war EVERY channel based from the UAE had ads saying "ana jahez, inta jahez?" (I am ready, are YOU ready?) Where was the loyalty of the emaratis back then to join the military and defend the country? why was the military FILLED with bedouns, palestinians, moroccans and sudanese?? You speak of loyalty yet you display none.


To SEcretDubai: "Whereas "Etihad" sounds obscurely Arabic to a lot of (ignorant, perhaps) foreigners. Fine I think for a local or regional carrier, but for an international airline I think they needed a way better name.
Hmm....Lufthansa? Aer Lingus? Varig? Aeroflot? all of those are international airlines with decades of international experience and have been around for a very long time..and the names are 'obscurely'..native lol. Etihad, as someone pointed out, represents an integral part of the UAE. And for an airline that, in only 3 years, has had such great success, i think itd be ridiculous to talk about its name and ignore what it has accomplished.

18 January, 2008 13:19  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

to Expatited,

A quick history lesson ..most people that came from Zanzibar or Tanzania are Arabs from Oman and have the same tribal names as many of the "original" locals... most of the east cost of afrika and Zanzibar and much of the UAE (formaly trucial states of oman) was part of the Omani colony for hundreds of years & and zanzibar was the capital of Oman in the not so distant past. People fled after the genocide in 1960's....


I said “many” not “every” xpat comes here for money. I’m refering to the new wave of immigrants that have been flooding in the last 5 years or so, since Dubai became famous.I have nothing against them I just think that they have no right to demand citizenship .

As I said before if you are an Arab/can speak Arabic fluently and a Muslim and you have been a resident for a long time then you should have the right to become a citizen.

I personally think that your family should have a right to be citizens especially that fact that you are Palestinians.

For your information. about the "ana jahiz inta jahiz" "Im ready "."are you ready "..almost every able male in my family went to the voluntary military service at the time. so check your facts pls.


Another thing is you should be grateful to god that your family has lands.... many emirates including my self don’t even have one. And many of your Palestinian brothers don’t have anything .

20 January, 2008 14:56  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you SD for paying attention to this comment, actually I am the person who posted it, and it's just the case of many residents in the GCC.
I still look at my birth certificate issued by the Iranian hospital and remember regretfully that there are people who really don't want me here. I want my children shall be born in their country, away from here.
To those who suggest I may first ask my self if I can learn Arabic, become Muslim, and so on, then I am already all of these, I am Muslim, Arab, and when I speak with locals I speak with them in their local dialect as a compliment, nothing more, I don't think of my self a citizen or pretend to be, it's nothing I should be proud of until poeple like us are recognized by the government, whom shall consider those people who dedicated them selves and their entire lives and families to serving this country, or at least some visa royalties. I have relatives who've already gained citizenship, but that was back in the day when things were a bit moderate.
I know what the government doesn't like, it doesn't like residents like myself sending their money outside, and invites tourists to bring in their money with them, so they put up toll gates targeting money and savings of the residents, then an official introduces it to us by sayng 'I'll be the first in line to stick the tag on my windshield', but we know, the money is going back to your pocket.
Whoever wishes to come and reside here thinking 'there are no taxes' is blind, I would rather pay taxes and reside in a place where I am not oppressed or discrminated against, where my rights are protected, not neglicted, where I am free to speak rather than live with a new definition of 'freedom' where you are 'free to speak, but only positively!', what does this mean? does it mean that 'you want me to praise you for free'?! I am not going to do that! Praise comes with a price.
When I see that no property or land can be fully owned by an expatriate, I see how 'rents' are the most reliable source of preserving and maintaining GDP income hence it's channeled to the country through its citizen owners.
On a second thought I would rather not want citizenship, and will continue to work here and forward my money back 'home', just like the whole lots of residents, until the government realises that converting residents into citizens is actually a step forward, not backward.
I wonder how come a Muslim country gives no preference whatsoever to Arabs and Muslims as like it is in America and EU, where Christians in 'reality' do enjoy royalties.
Keep it that way and no need for some locals here to get all aggressive and negative about how the main steel holding structure of Burj Al Arab facing the sea was 'delibrately designed to look like a cross', thats pure uncivilized madness!
If citizenship is totally out of the question, can't they at least levvy the visa requirements so we can enjoy a bit of royalty? I still need a work visa to live here, do you believe that?

31 January, 2008 16:28  

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