Monday, June 26, 2006

Native Expats or a UAEian

Native expatriate - souls born & raised in the UAE - second/third generation UAE expats who perhaps are at a rather unsettling position. Wanting to call a place home they've lived their entire lives - however cannot - primarily given the naturalization & immigration laws (or lack there of) in the UAE - hence may have to rather move on for stability - often out of choice and/or stay on and hope the future brings 'em some much needed stability.

Given the current development & growth and bearing in mind the future of this nation - I truly feel it perhaps is high time the UAE government pay attention or give some sort of recognition to Native expat souls - who've been born, raised and have lived in the UAE all their lives. Individuals who have fantastic global experiences and education from reputable international schools be given some sort of a stable preference/recognition.

I am not calling for immediate citizenship and rights equal to Emaratis - however some sort of stability to work and live in the nation of their birth - something that offers them more stability - if not immediate rights as citizen.

I request Emarati souls to put themselves in shoes of "expat" souls similar to myself - who are 2nd/3rd generation expats residents of the UAE - going back 30 – 40+ years. We may hold international citizenships - may have fantastic careers elsewhere - and perhaps not be choice. However, how do you tell someone and their parents who have spent their entire lives in a land - thank you for your wonderful help, it is time to please move on and by the way you have got xx amount of time to do so?

The UAE government has a plan to grow this country - they need permanent human resources who are familiar with the land, the ways of working - and respect the place, second to none. I know there exists second & third generation expat souls who, as much as Emaratis are willing to participate in order to put the UAE above all (and some above their own self development) - so that this nation and it's future generations both Emaratis and "Native expats" alike can have a solid nation supported by a buoyant and growing economy with peaceful coexistence.


secretdubai said...

Hello - I added you to the blogroll at UAE community blog - if you would like a member invitation there, just email me at [my username here] at gmail.

3lo G said...

Very good point indeed.

Bloglingo said...

Totally agree with you. For a lot of people this is home.
I was also wondering what happens to people who have a loan here, but have no choice but to leave the country now.
You get black listed at the airport when they find out that you resigned from your job but still got a loan to pay off. It just happened to a friend of mine last month.

blogrosh said...

I am even more confused, that real estate props are cropping all over the place - they are looking to sell these properties, however I am completely baffled what is in their minds? i.e. do they expect people to purchase properties and sell them or abandon them when out of a job after 3 years or even after 30 years.

I read this article on GN today

I cannot understand Mr Kaabi - how does he or his government classify second/third generation expats and folks who've lived in the UAE for 30 to 40 years as "temporary".

I am curious to know the UN's response to all this.

I am also curious to know, why is Mr Kaabi and company so damn wary and afraid of accepting souls who've lived their entire lives in the UAE?

MD said...

very well-put. u coined it well: 'native expats'.

Tainted Female said...

Amen to that.

Tainted Female said...
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Tainted Female said...
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nativeinformant said...

ooh. I just popped over to your blog after responding on the Bollywood thread at the UAE community. Your term "native expats" is *exactly* what I am trying to look at in my dissertation work - the fact that people do belong, even if they aren't recognized formally by gov't through citizenship and other forms. Anyway, would love to discuss with you further. And invite you to visit my blog on research and living experiences in Dubai:

archer14 said...

Very well written, blogrosh. I think the authorities know why they wouldn't think twice of granting citizenship to expats. Imagine a country whose expats outnumber the locals by a landslide, and the tie reversing when citizenship is granted. Sheikdom would cease to exist.

localexpat said...

Hey seems like we are talking about identical issues on our blogs :-)

nice job..

A Blessing in Tragedy said...

Although I agree that somewhat with this post your wishful thinking goes against the current trend of the UAE government.

For example, NBAD was recently ORDERED to achive at least 25% nationals.

Because of this Many expats, including UAE born ones were laid off.

The idea in the UAE govt is "use these people because of their know how and education UNTIL a national can take their place."

Sad, but true. the "mafias" as stated in localexpats post's comments is something they are also trying to get rid of, but not by multi-cultural workers. by nationalization.

The fact of the matter is that the UAE has, is, and will probably always run on wasta. and even though it is unethical it is a way to make sure that only specific people get ahead.

Think about it, how many last names are heads of companies in Abu-Dhabi? 20? 30? thats it.

I dont agree wih he fact that a friend of mine has a masters degree for cal state and cant get a job but my brother gets a job with one phone call. but I also didnt put this system into place.

People in power here are there because the ruling family wants them there. a company's CEO is not hired because he is the best candidate, but because he is "close" and "trustworthy" because they "know he is a good man" and "know his family."

Now that CEO will try to better the company WHILE doing what the people who placed him there want.

I come from a pretty well off family. we all work for major companies and (the majority) in the govt.

The govt's attitude is nationalization. pure and simple. its harder to get a job today than 10 years ago because roughly 10,000 uae nationals graduate every year and they are given 1st dibs.

I have seen local woman straight ou of college with a degree in history be given a job instead of an expat with a business degree and 4 years experience.

That is all that this is about, to the govt, an expat is a welcomed asset, but as soon as a national substitute is found, a switch is made.

It is being done slowly, but it is being done.

I have with my own eyes seen my father fire expat after expat eiher on the spot or by not renewing their contracts and moving a local in their place.

these orders are straight from the ruling family.

Those who can leave, are ask to, those who, for political reasons, such as Palestinians and egyptians, cannot be asked to leave, and so they are... here.

These are some clarifications and insights from a family that is pretty high up on the corporate and military ladder.

One reason why I blog is because I dont agree with it fully. I mean, if you're 20, were born here, and can ASSIMILATE into the UAE culture, I see no reason why not. but that's not the case.

some people got mad when I said this once, but it is the simple truth and I mean no disrespect. to the UAE, an expat, no matter his or her origin, is an asset till a replacement national is found.

After that they are simply visitors or refugees.

blogrosh said...
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blogrosh said...

Many thanks for your comments A Blessing in Tragedy.

It is comforting to know, there are Emirati's out there who think along the lines as you.

I realize ways of working in the UAE may not change for a while, and it shall take time. Time always brings about change. Perhaps these changes may not come in my lifetime - and I should learn to reconcile or make peace with it, no matter how hard the process is or how fantastic my shrink's skillset.

I have seen a large majority of friends I've grown up with and their parents - "move on" after 25 - 30 plus years because of the laws (or lack of laws) in the UAE. I am not saying it's a fault, in it's ways of working. At the same time, I have seen several expats, use the UAE as a steppng stone to better pastures. The CFO at the firm I worked for whilst in Dubai, tells me, he has had 70% employee turnover the past year. Do you know what that can do to a firm and the economy?

Hence, I am just, confused, as to why the above processes is "encouraged" directly and/or indirectly by the UAE?

Sincerely, I do not feel any place as "home" besides Sharjah. I am at peace, at ease and there is a strong sense of belonging when I am at my parents home (a home, I've lived for 27 years). 90% of my life's memoirs is in that house and in the UAE.
The process to have to give it all up and move to another land, and start fresh, in making a new home - is something no individual should have to do, without being given a choice. Because quite often, human nature/sentiments, does not allow one to forget the growing up years and memoirs, that made them what they are.

Anyhow, I could go on. I just want to say, thank you for your comments. I hope someday there is a change for a positive tomorrow in the UAE, and even if does not happen, I shall always love the UAE - in my heart, it's my home.

DoTs... said...

rosh.. blogrosh.. its youuuu!! i knew i saw you somewhere.. i meant your nick !

okay gotcha.. !

why aren't you blogging btw !!


BuJ said...

Most interesting!

Maybe native expats and local expat is the same thing :) by the same person :D

A world of Symphony said...

hey bro, you ought to post more often!

BuJ said...

seems i gotcha before too!

is this you, same rosh on aethoughts?

why not post more often mr new york new york!

Mansoor said...

I totally agree with this blog. Now check this out, I was born and raised in Dubai, U.A.E , spent all my life there. In 2004 i came here in Houston,Texas on a Student visa.

By the end of 2005 i was really missin my family in Dubai.So i went back to "homeland" Dubai. But i had enter the U.A.E on a Visit Visa. (U.A.E law states that if a person resides outside U.A.E for over 6 months, then his/her residence gets expired).

What an irony! I had to enter my birth country , a country which i have lived all my life, on a VISIT VISA?!!!

This is ridiculous!

If not citizenship, then atleast they should grant Permanent Residence... Heck what do they expect? In order to keep my Residence Visa Status i keep comin back to U.A.E every 6 months , all the way from U.S?!!!! Nonsense!!

Anonymous said...

I agree with Mansoor. I've lived in Dubai for over 18 yrs, and came to US for school and gradschool, and have to apply for a visit visa to go back! :(
I know the roads of Dubai much better than Bombay or Bangalore! :D
We should have a permanent residence if not a citizenship, as I understand they want to maintain the Arab majority