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Expatriates are not a source of threat, says UAE official
May 11, 2017, 12:10 pm

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.

Source: Arabian Business

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