US expats in UAE cast early votes

Published:  7 Nov at 6 PM
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Tagged: USA, Citizenship, UAE
As the big day looms, tens of thousands of US citizens living and working in the UAE have already cast their presidential election postal votes.

Somewhere between 50,000 and 70,000 US expat citizens are living in the UAE, with exact expat numbers hard to evaluate as they are not obliged to register with American diplomatic missions in the region. However, as the controversial campaigns opened up, more and more from both sides of the contest have been showing unprecedented interest in the goings-on between the two candidates.

Representatives from both Republicans overseas and Democrats Abroad have been amazed by the level of involvement of expats in the UAE, with both saying it’s the most vocal and participatory event in living memory. Both organisations are thrilled with the massive response to their ‘get the vote out’ local campaigns.

Supporters of Trump have to most to gain, as their unpredictable candidate has promised to repeal the hated FATCA tax reporting laws, calling their effect an unfair and unnecessary burden on US expats as well as on foreign banks. Whilst even the staunchest Democrat supporter wouldn’t hesitate to agree with that statement, some are concerned that Trump is simply trumpeting and might well forget about his promise.

Democratically-inclined expats aren’t exactly over-impressed by Clinton, but are scared rigid about the possibility of a Trump White House, given a good number of the TV star’s views and comments. The official line is that a Clinton victory will reinforce the USA’s relationships with its allies, a stance which may well benefit US expats overseas.

One huge difference between Republican and Democrat supporters in the UAE and those back in the home country is that there’s very little animosity here, with cool heads prevailing over passions. Americans here, it seems, are united by American ideas and values, and will be happy to get back to business and move on, no matter who wins on Tuesday.
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