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Who am I?
Emirati culture is under threat – and news that UAE nationals will soon account for just 13.3 percent of the population could make this identity crisis more severe.
January 25, 2010 1:23 by Aarti Nagraj
The ministry has formed a committee which will meet these children and conduct DNA tests to prove claims of Emirati parentage. If the claims prove to be true, the children will be given UAE citizenship and allowed to live in the country. “Once here, the children will be enrolled in program to strengthen their national identity and teach them Emirati culture and traditions,” said The National’s report.
“We don’t have that problem with the children who will be coming from GCC countries,” Major Gen Nasser al-Minhali, the head of the committee told the newspaper. “But those who lived for a long time in Mumbai, Egypt or Syria, some of which are high school students, got influenced by the culture there so their national identity needs to be asserted,” he said.
In November last year, Abdul Aziz al-Ghurair, the Federal National Council (FNC) spokesperson asserted that the UAE was working toward reducing its dependence on expatriate workers, and shifting the workload onto Emiratis. Speaking a conference promoting the UAE’s National Day, he said that the local population will be aided by technology and a handful of highly-skilled expatriate professionals in the future.
“We are a minority in our own country. With a large expat population it is very easy to lose your identity… It is important that we maintain our own national identity,” said al-Ghurair. He added that the FNC has established the Federal Demographics Council to monitor and study the effects of the nation’s growing expatriate population.