When people think of the UAE, they almost always think of Dubai. There’s a reason for that. Dubai’s ports and international financial institutions bring in a great deal of revenue, and Dubai’s landmarks like the Palm Islands, the Burj Al Arab and the Burj Khalifa are known throughout the world. However, Dubai is just one of seven Emirates, none of which are exactly alike.
Archived posts from category ‘Kevin in the UAE’
Kevin in the UAE: The Dubai PD
Dubai is one of the most metropolitan cities on earth. People from all over the world come here to travel and work. You see and hear dozens of nationalities and languages on the street. It’s impressive. It’s also incredibly confusing and chaotic. People are constantly jaywalking and driving too fast. This should come as no surprise: many of the expats come from developing countries with little infrastructure, and now find themselves in a massive metropolis.
Kevin in the UAE: The Emirate System
The UAE is not a democracy. It’s important to remember this. Though the Emirates are in many ways a beacon for liberal values and is freer than many nations in the region, there are still restrictions on speech and expression. For instance, I quickly learned that Flickr is banned by the Emirati government. The government can also be incredibly secretive.
The military of the UAE traces its origins to the Trucial Oman Scouts, who used to maintain order under British rule. It was led mostly by British officers and Jordanian NCOs. Arabs from the trucial coast made up only about 40 percent of the force, with the rest coming from Oman, Pakistan, India and Iran. After the Emirates gained independence, the Scouts came under the command of the Emirati, who reformed it into the Union Defense Force (UDF).
Dubai is very much an international city. A quick stroll through the old city or the souks — the markets — make this abundantly clear. One minute you feel like you’re in Mumbai, the next it’s like you’re in Kabul. In my time here, I’ve encountered Iranians, Indians, Afghans, Pakistanis, Kenyans, Bangladeshis, Filipinos, Sri Lankans, Italians and countless others. The Emirati are outnumbered roughly four to one by expats.
Kevin in the UAE: Expats
The UAE’s expat population is filled with people looking for a new start. They come for a variety of reasons. Some expats come looking for adventure, to be someplace different. For many, coming here is a way to escape poverty or war in their home countries. There are sizable populations from war-torn regions, including Afghanistan, northern Pakistan, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Iraq and Lebanon. For such people, the UAE is a refuge.
Kevin in the UAE: Port Whine
War Is Boring’s youngest contributor, Kevin Knodell, is on a school trip to the UAE, where he’ll be exploring security topics while no doubt mulling lucrative real-estate deals and working on his tan. You can read about his classmates’ exploits at Pacific Lutheran University’s Sojourner blog. by KEVIN KNODELL Many people think of Dubai as [...]
For the past week I’ve been staying at the Sun and Sands hotel in Dubai, an Iranian-owned establishment in an older section of the city. Though the clientele is fairly diverse, it’s no surprise that the vast majority are Iranians. Some come for business, others for pleasure. It is not uncommon to see Iranians enjoying the nightlife, and indulging in activities that would be frowned upon back in Iran (if not illegal altogether). Not long ago, I overheard a band playing Metallica’s “Nothing Else Matters” in the Iranian night club inside the hotel. Alcohol is also very readily accessible.
War Is Boring‘s youngest contributor, Kevin Knodell, is on a school trip to the UAE, where he’ll be exploring security topics while no doubt mulling lucrative real-estate deals and working on his tan. You can read about his classmates’ exploits at Pacific Lutheran University’s Sojourner blog. by KEVIN KNODELL The United Arab Emirates (UAE), is [...]