1 May 2006, Khaleej Times, Dubai, U.A.E
Expatriates are treated with contempt: AN ARAB national, R, who lived in Europe for some time and came to live in the UAE, complained to Khaleej Times Hotline that the Human Rights in the UAE are not well enforced. Priority in services is given to the UAE nationals, while expatriates are getting second rate treatment, he said.
“Some of the government officials treat expatriates with contempt. The expatriates usually face difficulties in getting decent services and end up standing for long periods in endless queues at the Ministry of Labour, while the Emiratis who come late get services first. They impose higher fees on services to expats; and if you ask for reasons, the officials get upset as if the expatriate has no right to ask them,” said the complainant.
Furthermore, children of expats are denied admission to some universities even when they secure higher scores, he claimed, adding that some of the officials are discriminating between the nationals and the expats.
CAPTAIN Ali Mohamed Ali, Head of Social and Human Services at the Human Rights Department of Dubai Police, said that the UAE takes special care to protect human rights which is the reason why millions of expatriates come to live in the UAE and they have never complained about any discrimination.
“The expatriates have the right to study, work and own businesses here in the UAE and some of them get more opportunities than the UAE citizens. It is obvious that the government gives priority in offering services to its nationals as is the case in many other countries around the world. However, the government treats people equally irrespective of their nationalities,” Captain Ali explained.
“If some officials mistreat expatriates, this can be considered as an isolated personal behaviour and attitude and it doesn’t reflect the government’s policy towards the foreigners living on this land. As far as the matter is concerned we here at the Dubai police treat people equally,” he reiterated.