Expats in Dubai fearing fake news may be true

Published:  9 Jan at 6 PM
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Dubai claims fake news on report that it’s unsafe for expats.

As a result of the US’s assassination of Soleimani, expats in Dubai are concerned violence may spread across the Gulf State region, but the UAE’s Media Office is claiming recent reports of Dubai as a possible Iranian target are simply fake news. British media outlets have been highlighting the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s travel warning to UK tourists headed for the Gulf States as well as Turkey, but Dubai officials are denying Iran has issued any security threats involving the UAE or Dubai itself.

Rumours that Iranian attacks on Dubai were in the planning stage were rife following the assassination, but are now being strenuously denied by the emirate’s authorities. At present, at least 240,000 British expatriates live and work in the city, with some 1.5 million tourists from the UK visiting every year. The official stance on religious and nationalistic tolerance is that all expatriates co-exist in harmony with Emiratis, with breaches of this status quo being met with large fines.

However, the recent events are unprecedented, leaving expats not knowing who to believe, and Trump’s reassurances that all is fine aren’t calming their fears. Dubai’s local English language media outlets are hitting out at UK newspapers for stoking expat residents’ concerns, saying London adores trashing Dubai in print and putting the activity down to jealousy over the emirate’s better weather.

However, none of these varied stances are helping Western expat professionals deal with the possible outcomes of this past week, especially if they’ve their families with them. Dubai holds the third largest concentration of British expats on the planet, with misinformation, disinformation and scaremongering helping no-one at this juncture, no matter where it originates.
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