x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

UAE expats are to blame for lack of communication

Letter writers discuss the findings of a report that the UAE is an unfriendly place for expats. Other topics include a court case in India against internet giants, the US football and the discount on traffic fines.

A talk about Islam, for non-Muslims visiting a Dubai mosque. Opportunities for expatriates to learn about the country and its people are common, readers say, rejecting poll findings that said the UAE is unwelcoming. Kamran Jebreili / AP
A talk about Islam, for non-Muslims visiting a Dubai mosque. Opportunities for expatriates to learn about the country and its people are common, readers say, rejecting poll findings that said the UAE is unwelcoming. Kamran Jebreili / AP

The UAE is certainly not unwelcoming to expatriates (Unfriendly? That's not our UAE, say expats, January 16).

However, a closer look at how the question was framed may explain the results.

Arabic is, for westerners, not as easy to learn as a second western language - French for an American, for example - and your columnist Khalid Al Ameri has a good point (The most unfriendly country? No, just a country in change, January 15) - there is little incentive to learn Arabic, which ironically is one of the things that makes the UAE welcoming.

Nabil ElBustan, Abu Dhabi

Unfriendly? No. It can be hard to meet Emiratis socially but chance encounters have allowed me to make several acquaintances and one or two real friends. It just takes patience and effort.

Allan Marshall, Dubai

By far the largest proportion of the UAE's population is made up of labourers from the subcontinent.

If the Forbes poll was representative the sample would have had to have been in proportion to the demographic mix of the population.

Would the majority of those polled find it easy to meet Emiratis socially?

Jeremy P Weeks, Abu Dhabi

If one actually reads the article in question, the UAE is mentioned twice.

It was also mentioned as a place where pay and career prospects are among the highest and apparently that is enough to make UAE among the "top three overall scorers" since these things are very important to expats.

The survey might have been designed to encourage employees to take jobs in more "friendly" cities rather than where people want to go to make money.

As the article said, they do not take into account the globalised nature of this city and the fact that English is the lingua franca but not the local language as in the "friendliest" cities mentioned.

That expats don't know about Emirati culture is more a result of reticence from the expatriates (who are apparently more focused on money and career).

Emiratis love to show off their culture and their dialect to anyone who is interested to learn. Ali Al Saloom (aka Ask Ali) has been a champion for spreading the Emirati culture through various media available to the expat community.

If expats don't know about local culture and language, then it is by choice.

If someone knocks on your door and you don't answer, who is the unfriendly one?

Donald Glass, Abu Dhabi

Early rise ended with a letdown

How many other fans of US football made the same mistake I did on Sunday morning, getting up at 5am to watch the "classic confrontation" between Tim Tebow and Tom Brady in the National Football League playoffs (New England and San Francisco triumph in the NFL play-offs, January 14)?

When the score got to 35-7 I went back to bed. What a disappointment.

William Brown, Dubai

Threat of car loss deters motorists

I have to agree with the letter from Zahra Khan (Do no favours for traffic offenders, January 15) but cannot understand why this issue has not been better tackled in the past.

In the UK if you speed you are fined and you get points assessed against your licence. If you continue to speed then the threat of losing your licence is very real.

Given that the car is king in the UAE, surely the threat of losing your independence should be incentive enough to comply with speed limits (even though 120km/h means 140) and the amount you would have accrued in fine payments can then be spent on employing a driver.

Ian Walker, Abu Dhabi

Internet giants must not give in

I refer to the article internet giants Google and Facebook in Indian court battle (Januar 6). Google and Facebook should close down their operations in India and move out, rather than compromise their freedom of expression.

KB Vijayakumar, Ras Al Khaimah

Add Indian firms to Dubai bourse

I refer to the business-section story Gloom on Dubai bourse (January 16).

The number of companies with publicly traded equity is not encouraging. The Government and the bourses would do well to consider including Indian equity trading into the portfolio.

There would all of a sudden be many times more highly esteemed companies with high volume traded equity enriching the market.

With Europe in the doldrums and US companies losing their shine, this will be the best viable option that will start getting the investors in flocks into the bourse.

Elcy Suleiman, Dubai