By: Ashley Thompson
While development projects are being delayed and tourism numbers are expected to plummet, the United Arab Emirates sees the crashing economy as a blessing in disguise, the New York Times’ Michael Slackman reportsNew York Times’ Michael Slackman reports. Finally, native Emiratis say, they have a chance to reclaim their identity, which has become endangered by the influx of foreigners who have come to capitalize on the nation’s booming economy. Many natives are hoping to see some of these foreigners leave, allowing them to regain a cultural foothold in their own homeland. As the country with the world’s largest per-capita ecological footprint, perhaps this economic cool-down can quell a culture in crisis.
It is estimated that Emirati natives, who have nomadic Bedouin lineage, make up only 10 percent of the UAE population today. Several spoke fervently with Slackman about their fleeting traditions. “We are Bedouins, developed Bedouins, but we still have our traditions. It’s all changing and disappearing,” one says in the article.
Read the entire article here. IT wants to know: Where do you see the Emirates’ future going? Will natives be able to reclaim part of their identity as the economy tumbles?
Photo via Saad S. Fayoumi’s Flickr
- Nat Geo Expeditions