Emiratis and Asian residents believe they are unfairly stereotyped

A majority of respondents agree that residents stereotype people based on difference in cultural backgrounds, nationality, social status, ethnicity or religion.

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ABU DHABI // Emiratis and Asian residents believe they are often unfairly stereotyped.

Most respondents agree that residents stereotype people based on difference in cultural backgrounds, nationality, social status, ethnicity or religion.

People from Asian countries are believed to be the most stereotyped nationality group, according to 50 per cent of respondents.

UAE nationals believe they are the second most stereotyped after Asians, with 40 per cent saying they feel this way.

To ensure stereotypes are dispelled, respondents suggest equal treatment for residents and more interaction between people from different cultures.

“The first thing is for people to realise what the stereotypes are,” says Dr Jane Bristol-Rhys. “I think part of it is jealousy.

“We all stereotype each other. There are stereotypes about every nationality. Getting to know people and interacting helps.”

Aqif Halim, 26, a Pakistani, believes other nationalities often have unfair beliefs about his compatriots. “People think that we are lazy, moody and have an attitude,” Mr Halim says. “These are people who don’t know us.”

Vijay Kumar is from India and works in a finance company in Abu Dhabi.

“A stereotype I see is that people think Indians don’t really want to come and live here,” Mr Kumar says. “They are of the opinion that Indians come here, stay for a couple of years, complete their contracts and go back home.”

The longer people have been living in the UAE, the less they think people are stereotyped.

Nearly half of those asked admit stereotyping people from other nationality groups.

Alaeddine Ghazouani says: “There is a general consensus that greater interaction across cultures, treating everyone equally and better cross-cultural awareness and education programmes would best promote understanding across cultures and reduce possible misconceptions.”

jbell@thenational.ae

ARizvi2@thenational.ae

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A survey, commissioned by The National and carried out by YouGov, polled 1,056 Emiratis and expatriates on social integration in the UAE. Results showed that respondents believed expatriates had an obligation to gain a basic knowledge of Arabic culture and Islamic influence before relocating to the UAE. The survey showed that UAE residents are willing to mix with different nationalities however differences become apparent at the workplace where salary disparities exist depending on an employees nationality.

Read more on our social integration survery here:

Expats should be more aware of UAE culture, survey respondents say

UAE residents stress importance of preserving Arabic language

UAE residents happy to mix with different nationalities, survey shows

'Western workers favoured in UAE', survey respondents say