Opinion

Priviledged UAE Expat says UAE is Home

Farah Andrews, a British female journalist working for The National, has written an article where she states that “UAE is home”. Her article goes by the title “Why we should all stop asking ourselves ‘when are we going home?’“.

I slowly paused after reading the title, and thought to myself, this person was either paid to write this, or just plain delusional – hopefully it was paid. Finishing the article, I prayed to God that no one actually believes that nonsense and makes the mistake of following her self-destructing path. 

She writes: “I have no plans to go “home”. In fact, over the past eight years, Dubai has become my home. I have lived here for most of my adult life and only ever really worked in the UAE. My years spent waitressing, barista-ing and interning were in London, but it is in Dubai that I built a career.”

A holder of a white passport, and a female (good looking, I must say), who only managed waitressing and “barista-ing” jobs in her country, arrives in the UAE and gets hired at The National, to write about Lifestyle and Arts&Culture, which the UAE has neither of, and probably paid double or triple her non-white colleagues. White privilege.

After living 8 years in the country, she writes: “I have established roots in the Emirates … and I have built relationships that I know will last for life.”

Tell that to those who have been here for 30 years, thrown out once they have been used up or because they belonged to a certain demographic/faction that is no longer wanted, and not even even receive a single message from their “friends” after a month of leaving – let alone lifetime.

Roots are for trees, and trees ‘settle’. Settling in the UAE is a non-existant concept. Yes you may never choose to leave, no one that is privileged makes that choice, but you will be thrown out, one way or the other, sooner or later, and then you will realize you made no back up plans, and are buried to your neck in debt, and that your UAE “career” will do you no good but being part of a nice bartender story.

Living with the stance that ” you do not plan to go home” leaves you unprepared and unequipped when you’re forced to move back home, an expat’s worst nightmare. No matter how well you are doing, you should always be prepared as if next week is your last. See what happened to the Qataris? Only those prepared survived.

She continues: “Now, call me crazy, but a stable life, home of my own and weekends in the sunshine spent diving, hiking or at the beach quash any urges I may have had to fly back and live among the confused in a time of major uncertainty for the UK”.

Yes, you are crazy. Your life is far from stable, you’ll never own a home here, and diving/hiking? Please!
The UK, a giant country full of adventures, culture and history, that guarantees you your human rights, fair trials, welfare and women’s rights is less desirable and facing a time of uncertainty?

Are you sure you’re a journalist? Because, if you haven’t yet heard, you live in a country that is constantly shamed at UN human rights meetings, at a time where, as we speak, people are rotting in jails with no access to lawyers or families, and yes you could be next (be careful what you write), no welfare, in a region this close to becoming a war zone (they’re already killing each other!).

As if the article wasn’t outrageous enough, she ends it with: “For me, the weather we have in autumn, winter and spring in the UAE is consistently fantastic.”

I’m not sure if I’ve been living in the same UAE you’ve been living, but out here there’s no autumn, winter, and spring. That’s exactly why the UAE is paying billions on cloud seeding, importing an ice glacier, and building snow cities. Not to forget, biodiversity is non existent, and even animals and insects hide from the heat, which is exactly what you do in your air-conditioned car that most residents cannot afford to get.

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