Thursday, 28 May 2009

A home that never was - revisited*


With a fairly even split between the UK, Dubai and Beirut, I come from a different perspective so had a couple of questions for you.

When we were growing up in the 80’s and early 90’s, it was understood that expats were playing a key role in the UAE’s growth and, in turn, were presented with viable business opportunities. It was a wave to be ridden and, at the time, no one was sure how long it would last.

But things are different now. So, for you – what is belonging and what would it entail? Changes in property and land ownership laws mean expats can now stay in the UAE indefinitely – although it sounds like a convoluted process. In terms of demographics, what would happen to the local population if the government started offering citizenship?

An ambitious development plan that moved on a completely different track from natural social development coupled with a large influx of very different cultures and influences would have a massive impact on any small community. Considering the alternatives, hasn’t it all gone fairly well?

* Mai's original post (26 May)


  1. In the context of my post, perhaps 'belonging' is the wrong word. Maybe 'welcome' is more appropriate. So regardless of what the government lays down as the ground rules for expat living in terms of legislation, I'm rather more concerned about the sentiment among the indigineous population.

    I don't really believe that anyone whose born here should get citizenship, because that would destroy the local identity and it would quickly fade into oblivion.

    So yes, I agree, all things considered, it's gone great so far. But I'm just wondering whether we're simple unwelcome guests in their eyes now...

  2. It seems the crunch has also meant a large exodus of expats - it will be interesting to see if and how the recession will play a role in this