Came across this post on Local Expat's blog.
It's true and funny at the same time. I relate a lot to what he says. It is strange how many newer folks are moving into the UAE today, and more strange that some think the place was perhaps uninhabited 2 decades ago :)
When I was in the UAE this past March-June on project work, every single person at work, would ask - "is this your first time to Dubai" and I'd say, "no, I was raised in the UAE". With a perplexed look, most would ask, rather inquisitively -"how long was that ago, and how old are you?". And to be honest, some are quite fascinated/happy to meet people who were born or raised in the UAE, primarily 'cause, today one hardly comes across many who've been in the UAE for more than 5 years or actually come from the UAE.
I remember this one time last Christmas, whilst at a desert safari campfire & dinner, my friends and I were introduced to some newer expats who've been in the UAE between 2-3 years, mostly from the UK, EU, India and Canada. When friends & I said we were raised in the UAE, they went - "Finally! some people who actually from this place".
The next question/phrase usually goes - "I didn't know people lived here back then, how was it here back in the days".