What’s the fuss about?

There’s been a lot of fuss about a recent edition of Oprah that featured an Emirati lady speaking about her life. You can watch is here.

Here are a couple of articles covering people’s reactions.

I don’t really see what the issue is. A very eloquent lady gave a very positive picture about Dubai. Great PR. I do feel she should have made more of an emphasis on the fact that a lot of the benefits she mentioned were for Emiratis and that expats make up 85% or so of Dubai’s residents. She also got her facts a little wrong – I believe local Emiratis get subsidised utilities, rather than getting them for free.*

As usual, the topic of women’s clothing came up and that is what seems to have annoyed people the most. It’s probably dangerous for me to dip my toe into the water here, but she mentioned that her style of dressing was cultural rather than specifically mandated by her religion. I think this point is well illustrated by the fact that we see her mother-in-law wearing the metal burka, something that you do not see younger Emirati ladies wearing. Does that not prove her point?

I like Dr Lamees’ husband’s comments on his clothing. He has a simple, comfy way of dressing that fits every occasion. Noone’s complained about what he said.

* If I understand correctly, everyone’s utilities are subsidised, just to different levels depending on whether you are a local or an expat.

3 Responses to “What’s the fuss about?”

  1. Seabee Says:

    I’m also a bit mystified by the fuss, and particularly because so many people seem to be blaming the show. In fact the show simply gave airtime to an individual to tell them about where she lives.
    Unfortunately she lives in some parallel universe and got a lot wrong, but then people being unaware of what’s happening around them and getting the facts wrong is hardly news!
    The lady obviously has little idea of the reality, her husband presumably pays the bills and she’s unaware of it so assumes the services are all free.
    Huge drama about it here but the rest of the world is not in the least interested.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    Please forgive me for being fussy, but the old-fashioned burka face covering is not metal, it is heavily starched fabric.
    I think it’s unfair to say she lives in a parallel universe and got her facts wrong. She was talking about how she lives, as a local in Dubai, and she did that. UAE nationals do not pay any utility bills or municipality taxes. I think she represented life for locals in the UAE extremely well, just because our lives as expats are different doesnt mean she has ‘little idea of reality’
    Thanks for posting the link Chris, I hadnt had a chance to see it!

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