Recent remarks by Dubai's chief of police have angered the Emirate state's large expat community.
Lieutenant General Dahi Khalfan Tamim recently spoke out about the amount of expats working in the United Arab Emirates, and he suggested that perhaps a quota system should be introduced to regulate the amount of foreign workers that are allowed in to the country.
The comments are part of the ongoing debate between native Emiratis and overseas employees. Some people in the UAE are worried that too many foreign workers are diluting the strong national identity of the UAE.
Speaking on a television talk show, Lieutenant General Dahi Khalfan Tamim said: “To keep the balance, I recommended a quota system that would ensure that the number of other nationalities should not be more than UAE nationals and Arabs. We are concerned about losing our identity, heritage and language. The new generation of Emiratis feels increasingly isolated.”
Skilled foreign workers are so popular in the UAE that native Emiratis are fast becoming the minority in their own country. However the chief's comments, which have generally been seen as somewhat extreme, have been slammed by working expats in the country.
Property worker Carmen Smith said: “It is an attack on professionals. I am sure he will still welcome expats from India and other parts of Asia who do the menial jobs that Emiratis don’t want to do.”