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Tue 8 Mar 2011 05:12 PM

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Mix of nationalities shields UAE from Arab unrest, says police chief

'There are so many nationalities present. We are not afraid,' says Dhahi Khalfan Tamim

Mix of nationalities shields UAE from Arab unrest, says police chief
Lt Gen Dahi Khalfan Tamim, Dubai police chief

The UAE is stable despite a wave of Arab protests that has reached other Gulf Arab countries, and is not considering new initiatives to reinforce security, Dubai's police chief said on Tuesday.

"The situation in the UAE is stable. There is no fear with regard to security," Dhahi Khalfan Tamim, Dubai's police chief and a member of the emirate's Executive Council, said on the sidelines of a conference.

Gulf Arab countries, whose oil wealth has provided a high standard of living compared to the rest of the Arab world, were once thought immune from spreading Arab protests that toppled leaders in Tunisia and Egypt and triggered revolt in Libya.

But anti-government protests have now spread to several Gulf countries including Bahrain, Oman and Saudi Arabia although there have been no signs so far of protest in the UAE, which includes business hub Dubai and oil-exporting Abu Dhabi.

"There are so many nationalities present. We are not afraid, and we aren't taking any new initiative to reinforce security," Tamim said.

The UAE, the world's third-largest oil exporter, along with Qatar, the world's top liquefied natural gas exporter, are seen as the Gulf states least vulnerable to the political unrest.

The UAE's local population of around 15 percent of its total estimated five million is dwarfed by a larger number of expatriates in the seven-emirate federation, which has one of the world's highest gross domestic products per capita at over $47,000.

Were there to be discontent in the UAE, analysts say it likely would appear in less developed emirates whose citizens have benefited less from the capital Abu Dhabi's vast oil wealth or trade and property-fuelled development in Dubai.

Earlier this month, state media said the UAE will invest $1.6bn to improve infrastructure in less developed regions of the country.

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Patrick 9 years ago

Dahi Khalfan is one of the greatest assets the UAE can have. Very honorable and respected man by UAE citizens and expats alike.

N Konnola 9 years ago

So the reason is the mix of nationalities? So that means having more foreigners is a good thing?

Kat 9 years ago

So now it's good to have a mixed population - I wish this man would make his mind up!

Ali 9 years ago

I'm puzzled! sometimes back Mr. Khalfan was recommending to cap expatriate presence, since they have bad impact on UAE society! Now he is for them since they bring security!?

Ozimandius 9 years ago

There are so many nationalities here only because of the number of the opportunities offered to us expats. Do they still want to replace the majority of expats with an Emirati work force?

jdubai 9 years ago

At last it is acknowledged that the expatriate work force shields UAE from Arab unrest.

ridiculous 9 years ago

Ridiculous!! the people who have revolted in other arab states were nationals of that country!!! Dhahi's is saying in other words, "we have a very small local population, and they cant make much difference to the insecurity of the country"Expats in uae would be the last to revolt and the first to leave if there was a revolt.

ernie 9 years ago

It is a wise decision. Thanking the UAE Rulers for the job opportunities, government concerns for everyone, tolerance and lifestyle being enjoyed.

Marco 9 years ago

I dont think that the UAE will face similar unrests as other arab countries; for once because the dynamics are completely different.

Quality of life for UAE citizens is far superior than in the rest of the region and even than in many so called "first world" countries. Its true that expats may have contributed to achieve this, but we have to recognize that its mainly part of the policies implemented by local and federal governments.

saif 9 years ago

i hope some concession are given to expats like the nationals.