View of part of the Fujairah Corniche and the Hajar Mountains in the Background

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Emiratis Feel Isolated and Culturally Swamped

According to a new survey, a burgeoning expatriate population and high levels of consumerism pose the greatest threats to national identity.

The wide-ranging study, conducted by the market research company YouGovSiraj, found 60 per cent of Emiratis said they felt a sense of isolation as their cultural identity became increasingly diluted by huge numbers of expatriates flooding into the country attracted by tax-free salaries and career opportunities.

In contrast, 71 per cent of the Westerners surveyed said the greatest threat to Emirati culture and identity was the country’s “highly materialistic and consumerist society.”

Link: Threat to UAE’s National Identity, The National, 4 October 2008

Dr Geoff Pound