Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Discrimination in Dubai

I expect this comment will stir up some unrest...

The question of discrimination in Dubai based on ethnicity comes up all the time, which came to mind as I walked around Satwa the other day.

The unpalatable fact that many refuse to accept is that it's largely imported by expatriates who bring their prejudices with them.

What I find ironic is that the group which in my experience complains longest and loudest is itself one of the most guilty of practicing discrimination.

For example, I came across many signs in Satwa demonstrating discrimination based on not only nationality but also by which area of a country people come from, and by religion.

You'll find the same thing in the Domestic Employment ads in Gulf News, where the majority exclude most job-seekers by specifying nationality and/or area and/or religion. For example:

"Housemaid, South Indian, preferably Keralite, required for a family residing in Sharjah.

Full-time Housemaid, Indian, urgently required for an Indian family in Karama.

Housemaid, Indian / Filipino, required for an Indian family residing Deira.

Think I'm exagerating when I say 'the majority' of ads? Check them out for yourself here.

Yes folks, discrimination is alive and well in Dubai.


LDU said...

Jeez. There must be high ethnic tensions over there.

Seabee said...

No, actually there aren't any tensions, we all get on very well with each other. It's just complaints, mainly about the differences in salary based on where you come from.

CV said...

... and that sounds lot like what I call discrimination.
But ok, a population cannot easily jump from pre-pre-industrial society into a post-industrial society by investing some billion dollers in the last 20 years. And I also heard that it is hard for Indians to go out, e.g. they are beeing told the club is to growded, et cetera. While we Europeans can enter without poblems. But I am sick of this regarding applications: "UAE driving license required" and how do I aquire a UAE licens? - by having an accommodation, how do I get accommodation? by having a job - sick sick world man
regards jens
ps: I bet there are tensions, at least I recognised the long strikes

Seabee said...

CV, of course there are tensions in a general sense, as there are in any society. LDU said specifically "ethnic tensions" and that we don't have. Just think of ethnic tensions in places like France and the UK, we have nothing like that in Dubai.

Anonymous said...

When they say bed space, it is literally 'bedspace' only which means you are using the same bed as another, just at different times. So why not choose who is in essence 'sharing your bed'. You would definitely pick somebody from your own community rather than one from another that may be offensive to my beliefs!

Seabee said...

anon, discrimination is discrimination. The excuses for it don't change the fact.

i*maginate said...

Then I admit to discriminating myself, seabee, because I prefer your blog over others ;-)

CV said...

I have to admit, that at least the educated arab society trying to endure tolerance. Hence, Abu Dhabi constructs bridges to connect east and western cultures - e.g. Guggenheim Museum on the Cultural District of Saadiyat Island... et cetera. But all that will take some time. Well and India itself is still frozen in kind of a feudalistic-capitalism stage - so perhaps the issue about disciminating Indians, must be tackled right in India on the first hand... regards jens

Anonymous said...


They can share their Supermarket

bill as they tend to eat same type of food ,thus increasing savings.

If they rent a DVD they can share its cost.

It is all abt saving money.

Same Indians who are studying in USA universities tend to stay with other groups.For them money is not important.

If u r a Brit

Look at
Manc,Brim,Liverpool etc then talk abt your so called Industrial society.They r rusting for too long now...


CV said...

pardon me, so you ponder it is good to support that racism, cause of saving money??? I simply do not get this point.
And what is rosting? We Europeans are all living in a service society, ... we call that post-industrial! It has no feudalistic rules and industrial production is not dominating since the service sector produces over 70% of the GDP. If you want to read about Indias dispers and sprawled level of development click here:
Local origins of Hyderabad's development Sanjaya Baru.

I am German and I like Indian cuisin as much as Arabic cookings and German or Chinese culinaries, hence - I could share my supermarket bill with anyone who shares my flat (merely has to be equate regarding to consuption).
No matter what race!!! GOT THAT - so next time you better contemplate your words...

I prefer having my own bed indeed, uhh man disgusting thought to share the bed with another person, than my girlfriend ... sorry, but I must admit to asure you: "I do not want to hear/know more about your beliefs in any relation".

i*maginate said...

CV/Anon, don't misinterpret eachother's words. You both get the same meaning across, except anon's comment is rather rushed: CV, gauge that.

cv - in a society where you can choose your bedspace nationality, heck, why not?

The UAE is not Germany. We have a different mindset. Your history is different to our present.

Sei nicht so blau; schreib mir, wenn Du willst (trans: "don't be so angry, write to me, if you'd like)

Seabee said...

Princess, thank you - I like your kind of discrimination

Anonymous said...

To CV (German)

How many days in a year you eat non german food?

Do you eat them 3* 365 days in a year.

If so Then I am 100 % sure ,u must spending most of your time in Toilet. Happy times…..

Muslims do not eat pork europeans eat them.
This is just one reason which is more than enough stay with their particular group/race etc.

Working with particular race is different from living/sharing with them,because way of living is different at home .

This below comment was not posted by me.
I prefer having my own bed indeed, uhh man disgusting thought to share the bed with another person, than my girlfriend .

I am different anon.

Anonymous said...

a population cannot easily jump from pre-pre-industrial society into a post-industrial society by investing some billion dollers in the last 20 years

Industrial society still exists every where in the form of nano tech, IPOD, PS3
, embedded systems, Google, Google news (Find it out who invented urself), hotmail but unfortunately they don’t exists in European countries so u think that there is no industrial society. Change is the only constant thing.Some how europeans countries failed in modern industries and no longer have any say in the world.

It is all AMERICA,INDIA,CHINA.......Bye bye Dear

CV said...

for one, the muslims I know over here, they gonna eat pork very much and there is nothing bad about it. Why should I stay on the toilet again?

Well as I said, I dont mind how many Indians are sharing there bed with each other ... I just had to swallow that... and it is not my problem. Only now, I am warned and able to better judge why they in particularly ask for the same race.

Still, I do not get what google, Ipod and PS3 would have to do with the subject of industrial society? since they are a creation of a service society and almost all involved workers are performing services, contributing to create those products. And if you are absolutely unaware of what I am chatting about, then I advise you to better "be quiet".
since I soon start with my PhD about fighting the remaining poverty in India, I really do hope their strong economical growth will (finally) pertinent spread to the poor, to help ending their suffering and discrimination (also of woman)...

i*maginate said...

I think when it comes to ads for housemaids and cooks it's more to do with a preference of cooking style and perhaps a common language, also to do with the "market rate" of the nationality in question.

I can't imagine why there should be any discrimination re: bedspace. OK, perhaps the same religion, but why does nationality then matter.

I don't agree with anon's comment that everyone has a different style of living: I believe everyone has a common "way of living" and it doesn't make so much difference from nationality to nationality - that's my experience.

Living with a German wouldn't be too bad...the house would always be neat & orderly hehe

shammydharamy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
shammydharamy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
CV said...

I can i`maginate living with an arabi princess ktir niha keman. I would become spoiled with arabic food all day and perhaps could watch wahid enchanting magnificiant dancing belly... in return the house would certainly be neat & orderly and perhaps the princess does get spoiled by long massages every leilla too. ohh, off topic again, stop it man :)

nevertheless, all people deserve to be treated fair, honest, and dignified. thus, the main regulator for ending to condone the blatant racism, could be a higher education and social equality/justice (such as health care, free education, free kindergarden, unemployment money, et cetera).

I indeed agree with i`maginate, on the point about peoples habit, they have many things in common once they get acquainted with a certain way of living.

Anonymous said...

Child poverty in Germany

Germany could soon become a geriatric society with a crumbling economy that depends on a dwindling supply of increasingly sickly and poorly educated workers unless things change fast.

This is the bleak scenario depicted by the authors of a new report on children's welfare in Germany published this week.

"Germany is a colossus on the verge of collapse," Juergen Borchert, a judge and expert on welfare law who co-authored the report, told Reuters. "Economically, this country is heading down the tubes fast because the children are no longer there."

The study, Kinderreport Deutschland 2007, said the proportion of children living off the lowest level of welfare support was nearly 16 times higher today than it was in 1965.

Over the same period, the number of births has nearly halved, and it fell again in the first six months of 2007.

Yet though child poverty is rising, unemployment is falling as the economy posts its strongest sustained growth in years.

Germany, the home of the Kindergarten, is now the worst developed country in which to raise children, said Borchert.

"This individualistic attitude goes back to the post-war period as society took a stand against the Nazi era," he said. "Family policy still suffers from the fact that Hitler adopted a specifically pro-family policy for the soldiers."

Adolf Butler

Anonymous said...

77-Year-Old Files Age Discrimination Charges Against 19-Year-Old Who Wouldn't Have Sex With Him
Germany: Rolf Eden, the man who popularised stripteases and ruled Berlin night life back in the middle part of last century, has filed age discrimination charges against a 19-year-old woman who refused to sleep with him because he was too old.

According to the aging playboy the 19-year-old returned home with him after a night out but refused to sleep with him because 'he was too old for her'. Eden says that the young woman should have been more diplomatic in her refusal.

Eden claims he was "crushed" by the rebuff. "That was shattering. No woman has ever said that to me before," he said. German courts have seen a rise in age discrimination charges, most of which stem from the workplace.

Some more topics for your Phd

Adolf Butler

CV said...

dear adolf, of topic but I give you a quick answer...

you are right, there could be slightly more kindergardens in certain parts of germany, i.e. amid rural locations (if you would have been visiting a german kindergarden lately, you would have found a surprisingly futuristic scenario, many other european service countries are far away of this level of development, folks please stay on ground and dont exaggerate unnecessarily). but in average 1/3 of the children between 3-6 years will find a kindgarden place. what makes the situation really bad nowadays, is that there are not enough kindergrippen places (1-3 years). hence, it is discussed to pay mothers the potential cost of such a kindergarden for either staying at home by themself or paying a babysitter (please show me a developing country that can afford this).

to the TFR, it is not neither valid nor reliable or objective to correlate the total fertility rate of a country to available kindergarden places. Changes in TFR are caused by far more complicated processes, you need to monitor much more indicators and definitely acquire more knowledge about individual biographical sequences. when you are really interested read herwig birg.

your last post is very sweet. I contemplated and now honestly cross my fingers ... for you will finally find a german girl that does not refuse :) mere advice you: to take advantage of the broad availability of contact exchange portals over the www, so you will find that girl which better suits you.

CV said...

ohh adolf, ... by the way
it would not merely make me happy to see all kids of the world as "poor" as as german children.

Anonymous said...

The report was by UNICEF, so they must have considered more parameters than
What you can think. Whether it is rural location or urban it is still Germany not Israel
So you need exclusion? .Development must be 100 % as you claim to be developed nation. Who is hyping here ?

“ Siemens had paid a whopping sum of 12 million Euros as bribes to top Nigerian government officials in exchange for lucrative contracts “ I think this is not the way to do things by a company from a developed world.

We have more billionaires than your country .Compare their net worth our top 5 can net more than 15 of your list .

We do not need babysitters because of our strong family/society values. Parents do not go to pub leaving the kids to babysitters as you do.

We have enough people in our country where I have more choices rather than choosing some one from little Germany ;). I leave them to people like the person who is suing that little girl.

Oil or Gold is not going to help any country as it used to be.
It is all about hard working people and their brain. We have enough people to take any country in this world.

We can carry on like this but we have better job to do I guess.


Adolf. ( aka Anon.)

i*maginate said...

Anon & CV, what on earth are you both talking about?

i*maginate said...

Hehe OK CV I got your point to me. Actually I forgot you are German when I hinted Germans are known for "order" ;-) Thanks for the offer. In return for a glimpse of my belly, do I get rollmops and sauerkraut for breakfast? hehe

Hmm on your point about education and its link to racism, what is the point of education when there's discrimination amongst the same race? Take for example a North Indian advertising for bedshare with a fellow North Indian.

And plus, nobody's specifically mentioned the caste system in India and the "untouchables". Maybe there's even discrimination amongst the untouchables in relation to bedspace-sharing!

rosh said...

Seabee - quite honestly I agree with what you say. There is discrimination amongst the subcons and yup, it is quite largely imported by expatriates who bring home bred prejudices with them. It's also true most subcons discriminate fellow citizens, mixed breed and foreigners. I say so, given personal experiences (my folks are from different nations - mom's Indian). Quite a few subcons have used it derogatorily in recent years - even the church. It wasn't so bad back in the day - quite sad really.

Anonymous said...

...just think about this simple fact...using all the senses of the body...try to judge people by how they smell...funny huh...or funny smell...though you might have no prejudice in your heart ...can you stand the stink?

that's why there is discrimination there....

Seabee said...

anon are you saying that people quite rightly discriminate against others because if they're not the same ethnicity or religion they smell?

Anonymous said...

Reasons for preferring same nationality / ethinicity for bed space:

1) same food habits
2) same language
3) similar background

its just a matter of finding someone whom you can relate to . . . . . just a matter of convenience . . . . . . .

there was no discrimination when andrew symonds collected his $1.5 million check from the IPL . . . . was there?

Seabee said...

anon: there was no discrimination when andrew symonds collected his $1.5 million check from the IPL . . . . was there?

Er, no. Your point escapes me.

Anonymous said...

Seabee: I do agree with you and others that the expats bring their share of discrimination to this country

My only argument is that choosing a particular religion / nationality / ethnicity for sharing a flat is not discrimination per se.

And the Andrew Symonds / IPL thing was in relation to the adjective "most" in this . . . .

"What I find ironic is that the group which in my experience complains longest and loudest is itself one of the most guilty of practicing discrimination."

The Asian said...

These ads are not discrimination per se... India is a very big country with lots of languages. Moreover since the guys are working the ladies are the ones who are around in the house. They may not know languages other than their mother tongue. So it is natural for them to want someone whom they can communicate with easily...
Secondly other than Indians, the only other people who are in Dubai for domestic help are from the sub continent and Philippines.. The languagge barrier exists for Filipinos. So there is no racial discrimination.
On the other hand look at the discrmination in Dubai.. It starts from the salaries you get to the benefits the govt gives you. Why else u think the Europeans are able to transfer their licenses directly (even if they are from UK where you drive on the left side of the road) but Asians are forced to go through a long and excruciating process to get the same...

Seabee said...

The Asian, you've confirmed the point I made - Asians discriminating against others, including other Asians, always say that's not discrimination. The usual old excuses for it are language, food, habits. The word discrimination only applies if Asians are discriminated against by non-Asians.
Discrimination is discrimination, regardless of who is doing it and who is receiving it.

Christine Fernandes said...

Brazilians are discriminated against in the United Arab Emirates, the international airport when we arrive, we are already targeted for the airport police for investigation, despite being with all the necessary documents and visa for entry into the country.
Many Brazilians are suffering and torture prisoners in Al Wathba prison without charge.
I think the natives of the Emirates is afraid to promote the joy in that country, since we are a lively and captivating people and they do not like it.

Liza said...

it is not "discrimination". To share friendly and comfortable your living room, you need to know other people"s habits. Selection is not discimination. Morover, foreigners do not even understand the language of the other. One ought to be very dull to think, it does not matter with whoom you share your accomodation.

Seabee said...

Liza, so if 'selection is not discrimination' then it is not discrimination to deny people an opportunity for a job because I want to select an American. Or a Brit, or a Filipino, or an Indian - at the exclusion of all other nationalities.

An advertisement saying 'Americans only' is discrimination against all others, even though the employer is 'selecting'

Seabee said...

Liza, so if 'selection is not discrimination' then it is not discrimination to deny people an opportunity for a job because I want to select an American. Or a Brit, or a Filipino, or an Indian - at the exclusion of all other nationalities.

An advertisement saying 'Americans only' is discrimination against all others, even though the employer is 'selecting'

Anonymous said...

Interesting conversations, may i please request anon #1 to lay off CV and germany in general.

Anyway in general, the arab world reeks of discrimination, the social setup is totally
whites -> local arabs -> jews/africans/indians in that order.
(if you are white being a jew is ok unless you display your religion in a public fashion).

As far the pics are concerned, i think its more about local languages, the way food is cooked etc. Inhibitions from a society percieved as discriminating are pretty natural, you don't see the same community do it in a place like USA.

@seabee, access to work/college or any public places should be public, if its not accessible to everyone then yeah it is discrimination, access to a private place is off less importance, if someone can't converse properly in english, which is a good percentage of the audience the pics aim at, it would be really dull/hard to live with someone not from their local community.

Anonymous said...

What the hell "discrimination in dubai" turns out to obuse....come on guys, grow up

Anonymous said...

well said....i agree with liza

Dubai Jazz said...

Great post SeaBee, and as always, I totally agree with you :)

Anonymous said...

I have to disagree -

we always discriminate in whatever we do:

The blog post itself runs in danger to be hypocritical.

Lets say you want to employ someone:

to be indiscriminate you would have to select by a random double blind process.

Lets say you wan to marry:

to be indiscriminate you would have to select by a random double blind process.

If you don't, you discriminate.

If you discriminate - why do you post against it ?

Seabee said...

Anon@11.45, you can't see the difference between your examples and those in the post?