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Hey everyone,

So I recently got a job offer in Dubai. It was not something I was really considering, but my Resume ended up with a company in Dubai and I received an extremely tempting job offer. Since I saw the offer I have been doing my research and I'm really leaning towards moving there.

So earlier today, I got into a conversation with an international student here in Canada (where I currently reside) and I happened to mention about my job offer. He is from India, who used to live in Dubai. He immediately cautioned me about the racism he faced for being Indian there. He also mentioned, when it comes to the matter of dating, there is quite a bit of prejudice against Indian men as well.

Now I am 23 year old Canadian, who was raised in England. I am ethnically of an Indian background. Hearing his account has discouraged me quite a bit. But I don't want to make a decision based on one persons opinion. I am also a single male and I want to also give my love life consideration in regards to moving there.

So I was hoping to hear from people who live there before I make decision

Cheers
 

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You got an offer from a Company that never face to face interviewed you?

And you think this is legit?
 

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Hi,
If you earn enough money to be able to dress correctly and frequent the places that eligible bachelors and ladies go to - then dating won't be a problem (as long as you don't look like the hunchback of Norte dame and have the personality of an accountant!)
Regarding racism - then this is one of the most racist places that I have ever lived - but - it all depends on your passport, job title, status, attitude and circles you mix in.
I have plenty of Indian friends here that own their own companies and don't have any problems at all. However - they can be pretty racist against lower caste and status fellow countrymen!
Cheers
Steve
 

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Watch out for the system. I work for a European company, all western European and the one Dutch guy with a Moroccan family name is having a nightmare sorting his entry permit.

We're all in, entry permit, medical, Emirates ID, visa, driving licence, liquor licence, bank accounts, done. He still hasn't got his entry permit because they don't believe his surname is Dutch, had to have all his papers attested and translated, originals submitted. 8 weeks in and he still hasn't got the piece of paper I was able to pick up at the airport desk on arrival. When he asks why his process is taking so long, the only answer he gets is 'Different rules for you, sir'. Racism/ classism, call it what you want, there are 2 systems here and if it works in your favour it's a great place to be. If it doesn't then life is a struggle.

Being Indian-Canadian, it can go one of two ways for you - absolutely fine, or a bloody nightmare.
 

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I'm liable to agree with Steve, it's often less about nationality and more about socio-economic status. Admittedly nationality does feed into that though.
 

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Racism is a factor and it's not always what you expect.

I have a friend who is British Indian (married to a white Canadian) he struggled at first as he was getting established locally in his field because people always assumed he was their to assist as an engineer rather than him being the main guy. This is was quickly dispelled when he started talking as he has a British accent and is very capable but never the less his appearance and his name initially worked against him.

Where it counts though I don't think it's that big a deal and it is a great experience to work here albeit a frustrating one and as they say if it doesn't kill you...
 

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It used to bother me as well as I felt everywhere I went, I was judged first on the fact that I am brown. From security guards to valet attendants, to bank staff and even my clients. It's been bad enough that at first a security guard or a receptionist would speak to me in Hindi and in a very rude way - until I would say 'excuse me?' and upon hearing my accent, they'd straighten up and say 'sorry sir'.

It exists. Racism is everywhere!

Having said that, it doesn't bother me much anymore. If you are the kind of person who will start arguments over equality with everyone on 'principle' (nothing wrong with the concept) then you might have a tough time out here. If you are the kind to understand and accept that you are in a melting pot of several nationalities and cultures (not justifying racism but...) then you will be fine.

Personally, I wouldn't refuse a Dubai assignment on the notion of racism. It's not as bad as it is in America :p
 

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I'm liable to agree with Steve, it's often less about nationality and more about socio-economic status. Admittedly nationality does feed into that though.
I would disagree with that.

In the case of the guy I work with, same level western European masters degree qualified engineer, around 15 years experience. I arrived in the country a month after him and flew through the process of getting the paperwork sorted and he is still struggling to get his entry permit after being here 2 months.

It's not socio-economics or education. The only difference between me and him is the colour of his skin.
 

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I would disagree with that.

In the case of the guy I work with, same level western European masters degree qualified engineer, around 15 years experience. I arrived in the country a month after him and flew through the process of getting the paperwork sorted and he is still struggling to get his entry permit after being here 2 months.

It's not socio-economics or education. The only difference between me and him is the colour of his skin.
Hi,
Not really color of skin - more his passport and ancestry at play.
The UAE is very fussy about ancestry - especially people with Western passports but ancestry from certain countries and more especially any that have been involved in Arab spring movement.
Not racism - more to do with national security.
Cheers
Steve
 

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As others have said, the racism here isn't the kind of racism you may find in North America. There's no "whites only" neighbourhoods or restaurants or clubs.

Indians are the largest expatriate group in the UAE, with nearly half the country's population of Indian ancestry. Many are poor. Many are rich. There are more rich Asians than there are affluent western expats.

But this country does respond to social classes. I don't know how familiar you are with India, but if you are you surely know that the behaviours and attitudes between well off Indians and poor Indians is enormous, and this carries over to the UAE, and there's much more discrimination, both ingrained and casual, against poorer Asians, and this includes the treatment of poorer Asians by affluent Asians, who are the worst offendors. It's a class bound society, not race bound society.

How you are treated by the general population will come down to how you talk, dress and body language, which will pigeonhole you into a certain socioeconomic class.
 

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I am Indian, speak with an Indian accent (though not a "thick" accent).
My visa took 3-4 days: it depends on the company/PRO and issues like Steve mentioned above (ancestry, being Arab or not, etc).
The max. amount of racism I have faced is from taxi drivers who would ignore me and pick up the next guy on the street. Really p!ssed me off, as I didn't have a car in the beginning and sometimes the waits could be long.
I am sure there is a lot of subtle amount of racism, but I generally ignore it.

Since the OPs question was more focussed on dating/ social life, I am sure it really depends on him. Dating would not be as easy as back home (simply because the number of people here is smaller, and not all of the single population comes from a dating culture). However, i have single Indian and non Indian friends who love it here and have a very active social/ dating life.

Just don't blame poor moves on your part on your ethnicity :p
 

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I would disagree with that.

In the case of the guy I work with, same level western European masters degree qualified engineer, around 15 years experience. I arrived in the country a month after him and flew through the process of getting the paperwork sorted and he is still struggling to get his entry permit after being here 2 months.

It's not socio-economics or education. The only difference between me and him is the colour of his skin.
The problem with the guy you're working with is different, it's being an Arab. Usually indians and other asian nationalities don't have the same security problems we Arabs have, and this is apparently due to the ongoing unrest allover the place et al.
 

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Also since this issue was brought up, I personally believe part of this problem is due to self perception. In my workplace, we'd rather see 1000 clients and get hit by a speeding bus than to deal with clients from certain countries carrying a different, usually british or american passport.

Just come and act yourself and you should be fine.
 

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It all depends on YOU. Just keep a thick skin. If you are good at work, you will do well at work. if you are good in dating, you will do well in dating. For most people its in their own head.
 

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Interestingly, having grown up in a society where it is illegal to discriminate, when I arrived here, one of the first words I learned in Hindi was gori. I worked in a company where I was one of the few Europeans and I had to learn to deal with the color of my skin being something that was referred to openly. It took me a while to get used to it, but I did and, eventually, it was of no matter. I think discrimination exists everywhere - it's whether you are openly a 'victim' of it and how you cope with it that counts. People here, most of whom are from South Asia, will openly tell you you've put on weight, your hairstyle isn't nice, what you're wearing doesn't suit you. You just have to become a little more thick skinned and ignore it. I'd say one of the bigger issues is workplace bullying. That's very common here and, more often than not, not addressed correctly, if at all. There was a poster here recently (a Brit) who was being treated appallingly by his employer and he is a qualified professional who has, unwittingly, found himself In a horrid situation.
 

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There are only 2 westerners (including me) in our office, all the rest are Indian.

The MD likes us to sit together when having lunch, suppose it's his idea of team building. Now, I'm not that keen on this given I'm a grumpy unsociable so and so but I go along with it, but it's a bit difficult when they're all talking to each other in Hindi.

It got to a point the last week when the other westerner shouted to them "speak in f***ing English!" and stormed back in his office. The Indians didn't retaliate, they just sniggered behind his back.

Has it made a difference? Has it nelly.
 

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There are only 2 westerners (including me) in our office, all the rest are Indian.

The MD likes us to sit together when having lunch, suppose it's his idea of team building. Now, I'm not that keen on this given I'm a grumpy unsociable so and so but I go along with it, but it's a bit difficult when they're all talking to each other in Hindi.

It got to a point the last week when the other westerner shouted to them "speak in f***ing English!" and stormed back in his office. The Indians didn't retaliate, they just sniggered behind his back.

Has it made a difference? Has it nelly.
Hi,
Secretly learn some Hindi - then speak back to them one day!
My wife was born in India and speaks Hindi & Bengali perfectly.
Once, in Karama, she asked the price of something and the guy looked at us and spoke to his boss in Hindi asking him what price to charge. The boss looked at us and said in Hindi "just tell her 1000 dirhams" (the item was worth about 200 dirhams.)
She immediately replied in Hindi "so you take one look at us and try to rip us off with a high price"
The look on their faces was one of those priceless moments!
Try it yourself!!
Cheers
Steve
 

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I am an Indian and have lived here most of my life. I've never had any issues with visas or security type stuff, but I've spent a considerable amount of time looking for a job here and been severely discriminated against.

To be fair, it wasn't all for being Indian. Some of it was for being a woman or for being married. Following are some of the appalling questions I've been asked at interviews:

1) When will you get pregnant (this guy actually wanted some sort of timeline).
2) Will your husband allow you to work late?
3) Will your husband allow you to work with other men?
4) Will your husband allow you to travel, if that is required?
5) Do you know that you may not be able to leave at 5 on some days?

People have openly told me that it would have helped me more if I had a different passport. I have a degree from a western university and sometimes I get flak for that too! As in, don't think you are better than us just because your education was from so and so.
 

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Hi,
Secretly learn some Hindi - then speak back to them one day!
My wife was born in India and speaks Hindi & Bengali perfectly.
Once, in Karama, she asked the price of something and the guy looked at us and spoke to his boss in Hindi asking him what price to charge. The boss looked at us and said in Hindi "just tell her 1000 dirhams" (the item was worth about 200 dirhams.)
She immediately replied in Hindi "so you take one look at us and try to rip us off with a high price"
The look on their faces was one of those priceless moments!
Try it yourself!!
Cheers
Steve
Good idea! Thanks for the tip :D

Or..... I might stop toning down my accent. That'll confuse em ;)
 
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