Travel & Expat Lifestyle Magazine

What Should Emiratis do About Expat Behaviour?

Falcon in Dubai

No other country has experienced such rapid growth in modern times as the United Arab Emirates. Dubai in particular has welcomed other nationalities to join them in building more skyscrapers, developing business and growing their reputation as a paradise of economic glory in the sun and sand.

The usual expectation of an expat anywhere is that they learn the customs of the host country and respect those customs. An expat arriving in Britain and expecting everyone to bend to his cultural needs would not make many local friends.

So why then do expats in Dubai behave as if they were in their home countries—worse even? Drinking and drug taking and use of prostitutes are common among many expats in Dubai, even though this is a Muslim country. No effort is made to learn Arabic; English is spoken as a given by many. Expectations of expats include a convenience culture, a playground, and an escape from the day-to-day realities of their home country, freeing them to behave in sometimes incredibly bad ways.

However, in fairness to expats arriving in Dubai, they receive mixed messages. Clubs are open all over the city and both foreign and local nationals can be found drinking and partying and paying for prostitutes in these clubs. An atmosphere positively encouraging excess with massive centres of entertainment including shopping malls, water parks, even indoor snow skiing. Skimpy clothes are sold in the shopping malls and an ostentatious poolside culture is found at hotels every few meters along the beach.

The foreign nationals were invited in—almost lured in by the wonderful incentives that were designed to be attractive to people from Western cultures. How can the Emiratis offer all of this then expect the expats to behave any differently? Many locals complain that their culture is being destroyed, their language is disappearing, and that the expats treat them with disrespect.

Now what? The disparity is reaching a crescendo. The Emirates do not want to lose foreign money, and yet they very much do want to maintain their culture. While all cultures evolve and change over time, the process of turning this once small trading port into an International Business Leviathan was bound to have casualties. Sadly, the beautiful culture of Dubai was not mentioned on the business plan when the area first welcomed in foreign business on this grand scale.

Rather than expats be angry with the locals for complaining, and rather than the locals complain about the expats, perhaps both need to look to the Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates, and monarch of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. Surely it is his responsibility to find a compromise between Dubai’s financial and cultural survival.


3 thoughts on “What Should Emiratis do About Expat Behaviour?

  1. I defenitely agree that all expats here working in the UAE should respect the culture and follow thier laws of this country. I was converted as Muslim here a month ago March. And i was terminated because the company that i was working before don’t hire Muslim employees because of the prayer timings For us Muslims that can affect their own interests to leave your post during prayer time. And that is a big No,NO for them thats why in my previous company we only have less than 10% Muslim Colleagues.This company is runned by Americans, and Western people. They should respect the court of Abu Dhabi from which i was converted and the law as well because we are here in their country making money and many collegues in our company said that after a week i was terminated because of my new religion and that is Islam.I should say that if these people whos working here in UAE cannot follow their rules and respect the people especially Emiratis too.Better go back to your origin and spread your nasty smell.If you can’t resits them. This company is located in Yas Island a newly opened In-door theme park. The place is Huge and attractive to tourists and Locals to, But behind the beautiful extravagant stracture their hidding the fangs and greed to the emiratis and muslim people while their taking advantage because what they said to us it’s business and even locals that resigned on that company can attest to what i wrote here. Shukarn Jazeelan..May Allah gives us peace.

  2. They are the ones who should Go!! i must say is be a shame of what you are doing here in their country,,These Local emiratis also go to your country they even respect and follow the law of your country.So better if you can’t resist stay away here they don’t need you while you slowly damaging their culture, religion and laws.

  3. Dubai, the city where enything is possible. THat is why many expats like it.
    They do not respect the law and even use the local law just to have advantages like the fact that men have all rights over women (actually this is wrong, a woman is protected in UAE).
    Mybe the companies are the ones to blame, they let their employees do whatever they want, giving them all the possibilities and protecting them in case of problem.
    Many european companies do not respect the law just because they think they are doing good businness.
    What do you think of this CEO of Middle East for a well knowen French company in the gas industry (AL not to name it) who is taking all the advantages of his situation, position, money,to seduce young girls (preferably Eastern European)in bars, take them with some of his young collegues to his nice house (lent to him by the company), offering them alcohol and other prohibited products, having sex and even promising some of them marriage lying about their own marital status. WHAT TO DO THEN, LET THEM CONTINUE, DESTROYING THEIR FAMILIES AND ONLY HAVING FUN IN DUBAI? They should be deported and their companies taking the responsabilty for this, don’t you think ? There is no where to denonce this behaviour unfortunately.

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