Font Size

- Aa +

Thu 11 May 2017 11:26 AM

Font Size

- Aa +

Expatriates are not a source of threat, says UAE official

Emirates continues to remain an “open, tolerant and hospitable community” for foreigners

Expatriates are not a source of threat, says UAE official
(Image: WAM)

Expatriates
are not a source of threat to the UAE, country’s United Nations ambassador
stated on Thursday.

Speaking
at the “Inter-governmental forum on human rights of all migrants”, Obaid Salem
Al Zaabi, UAE permanent representative to the UN and other international
organisations in Geneva, said the UAE continues to remain an “open, tolerant
and hospitable community” for expatriates from 200 nationalities and will
promote them as “contributors to development”.

The
UAE population is estimated at about 9.15 million, according to World Bank, with
about 80 percent being expats.

“Since
the establishment of federation in 1971, the UAE managed to create a smooth
change in its demographic structure that led to a high level of diversity and
multi-culturalism and contributed to enhancing the country's social and
economic development,” he said.

The
UAE’s ability to manage the changes has been based on two pillars: commitment
to tolerance and focussing on how best UAE citizens can benefit from such
demographic changes.

Al
Zaabi said the UAE leadership’s vision for the country has been as an open,
tolerant and hospitable society, while maintaining its unity and coherence and
the commitment to promote expatriates as true contributors to development.

In
fact, the UAE is the country with a “ministry for tolerance”, he said.

The
national programme for tolerance, launched in June 2016, is part of Vision 2021
and focuses on five pillars: strengthening the government’s role as an
incubator of tolerance; the consolidation of the inter-related role of the
family in nation building; promoting tolerance among young people and
preventing fanaticism and extremism; contributing to international efforts to
promote tolerance and enriching scientific and cultural tolerance content.

“We
are a tolerant and hospitable society and will continue to attract highly
skilled expatriates from all over the world,” he said.