The UAE has firmly established itself as a global drawcard both for expats and tourists, thanks to its thriving economy, forward-thinking business community, and world-class infrastructure.
Whether relocating to the Emirates or just visiting, there is a plethora of venues and activities to fill your spare time, including beautiful beaches (both natural and man-made); glittering architecture and skyscrapers; and astonishing attractions such as desert safaris, water sports, skydiving, and more.
It is, therefore, no surprise that our nation is home to more than 200 nationalities, with expats accounting for approximately 80% of the overall population. Indeed, when it comes to inclusivity, the UAE is more than capable of walking the walk as well as talking the talk, which is why it now counts itself among the most multicultural nations on the planet.
This got me thinking: why has the UAE been so successful in persuading people from across the globe to make it their destination of choice, whether for a vacation or a more permanent relocation?
Why choose the UAE?
Firstly, the UAE has long since embraced the many benefits offered by cultural diversity; indeed, it prides itself on its traditional hospitality and welcoming nature. The roots of our nation’s attitude of tolerance can be traced back to the UAE’s Founding Father, His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who welcomed all cultures and religions, providing them with a place in which they could peacefully coexist and thrive. This philosophy has remained a central tenet of our country ever since.
What’s more, people have found that working in the UAE can be a fantastic springboard for their careers. Job opportunities can be found across the Emirates within a dizzying range of sectors, not least in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, which have succeeded in establishing thriving economies. And of course, there’s the bonus of tax-free personal income, which has and will continue to attract top talent from across the world.
Our country also offers some of the most beautiful homes in the world, and while the luxury real estate sector is certainly thriving, there are high-quality offerings to suit all budgets. Then there is the UAE’s willingness to invest in and embrace the latest design and technology, providing world-class public spaces and amenities for residents and visitors alike.
The UAE’s commitment to high-quality education is another important factor when it comes to attracting visitors, especially those looking to put down roots or relocate their families. For instance, our nation’s approach to learning emphasises the right to education as well as the importance of respecting those with different religions and cultural backgrounds – not only when it comes to students, but also their parents.
Thanks in no small part to its commitment to diversification, the UAE’s current educational curriculum features modules designed to accommodate students from various nationalities and backgrounds. What’s more, our country is home to a broad range of world-class international schools, with British, Indian, Pakistani, American, French, and other curricula on offer to young people.
Similar inclusivity-focused efforts exist on a societal level too, with the Community Development Authority in Dubai encouraging private organisations to provide cultural awareness programmes on social inclusion, language learning, tolerance, and communication between different cultures.
Why prioritise diversity?
Cultural diversity benefits any society by enabling people from different places and backgrounds to join, share ideas, and build a better future.
But it also offers an array of peripheral benefits. Just think of the array of delicious cuisines available to sample in the UAE at the click of a button, or the vast selection of fashions on offer at our local retail outlets. It is possible to embark on a world tour without even leaving the country.
But what does the future hold for the UAE? Is it reasonable to expect a similar emphasis on cultural diversity over the longer term?
An inclusive future
Personally, I cannot imagine our nation without cultural diversity; it’s part of the very fabric of our nation. That’s why the UAE has and is continuing to take significant steps to embed inclusivity within its society, with a range of plans to spearhead and boost the implementation of cultural initiatives. One ongoing example of such efforts includes the 2018 launch of the UAE’s Cultural Development Fund, which has placed culture as part of our central, ongoing national narrative.
Building on our nation’s willingness to embrace and leverage innovation, the integration of technologies today is likely to be just the tip of the iceberg. Just imagine the benefits that future capabilities with language translation could offer, not only when it comes to using government platforms but also in terms of forging bonds between our existing local and expat communities.
In summary, the UAE has made incredible strides in terms of promoting cultural diversity and is already among the leading nations on earth when it comes to multiculturism. With continued investment in this sphere and an overarching national acknowledgement of the advantages brought about by inclusivity, I see no reason whatsoever why our nation cannot continue to lead the world in this respect for generations to come.