What Are Dubai Citizens Called

Sharing is caring!

Dubai is a city of wonders. It has the tallest building in the world, an indoor ski resort, and even some of the most luxurious hotels you could imagine. But beyond its amazing structures and attractions lies a diverse population that makes up this magnificent city.

As someone who has lived in Dubai for several years, I have come to appreciate the unique blend of cultures that coexist here. One thing that stands out about Dubai is how people from different nationalities live together harmoniously. It’s like one big melting pot where everyone brings their distinct culture and traditions to create a vibrant community.

However, amidst all this diversity lies one question – what are Dubai citizens called? This may seem like a straightforward question, but it’s not as simple as you might think. In this article, we’ll explore the various terms used to describe people living in Dubai and understand the social and cultural significance behind them.

Understanding Dubai’s Diverse Population

You’re about to explore the diverse population of Dubai and learn about the different cultures that make up this vibrant city. Dubai is home to a mix of nationalities such as Emiratis, Indians, Pakistanis, Filipinos, and many others. It’s fascinating how all these people from multiple backgrounds come together and coexist in one place.

Emiratis are the native citizens of Dubai who form a minority group in their own country. They’re known for their hospitality and generosity towards visitors. The government provides them with various benefits like free education, healthcare, housing, and land grants. Emirati culture is deeply rooted in tradition, religion, and family values.

Apart from Emiratis, there are expats from over 200 countries living in Dubai. Many of them have been living here for years or even decades but still maintain strong ties with their homeland. You can see this diversity reflected in the culinary offerings around town with different ethnic foods available at every corner.

Dubai’s cultural blend is an essential part of its identity as an international city that welcomes everyone regardless of race or religion. This makes it an exciting place to live or visit as you get to experience many cultures without leaving one place behind.

Moving forward into the political structure of Dubai; let’s take a closer look at how this city functions under its unique governance system.

The Political Structure of Dubai

As I delve into the political structure of Dubai, it’s important to understand that the United Arab Emirates is a federation made up of seven emirates. Each emirate has its own ruler and government, but they come together to form a unified UAE government.

Dubai plays a significant role in the country as it is not only one of the most populous emirates but also an economic powerhouse with its thriving tourism industry and infrastructure development projects.

United Arab Emirates as a Federation

The UAE is like a bouquet of flowers, where each emirate adds its unique scent and beauty to the overall arrangement. As a federation, the country consists of seven emirates, each with its own ruling family and government structure.

The emirates are Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah. Despite being united under one flag and federal government system since 1971, each emirate has retained a degree of autonomy in managing its internal affairs.

While there are federal laws that apply to all seven emirates equally, individual emirates have their own governing bodies that handle local issues such as healthcare and education. This decentralized approach allows for greater flexibility in addressing the unique needs of each community within the UAE.

As we explore more about the role of Dubai in the UAE, it’s important to understand how this federation operates as a whole.

The Role of Dubai in the UAE

Dubai plays a pivotal role within the UAE, and its contributions are integral to the success of this federation. As one of the seven emirates that make up this dynamic country, Dubai is renowned for its bustling economy, opulent lifestyle, and world-class infrastructure. It is home to some of the most iconic landmarks in the world, such as Burj Khalifa, Palm Jumeirah, and Dubai Mall.

Moreover, it has emerged as a hub for commerce, trade, tourism, and innovation in the Middle East. Dubai’s strategic location at the crossroads between Europe, Asia, and Africa has made it an important trading port for centuries. Today, it continues to be a major gateway for businesses looking to expand their footprint in these regions. Its modern infrastructure consisting of airports, seaports, and highways further bolsters its position as a global business hub. Dubai’s government policies aimed at attracting foreign investment have also been instrumental in boosting economic growth. All these factors combined make Dubai an indispensable part of the UAE’s success story.

Emiratis constitute only a small percentage of Dubai’s population, with expatriates comprising over 85% of its total inhabitants. Despite this multicultural demographic profile, Emiratis play an important role in shaping Dubai’s culture and traditions.

The next section will explore who Emiratis are and how they contribute to this vibrant city-state’s identity, as well as their unique customs that define them as a people.

Who are Emiratis?

Emiratis are the native people of the UAE, and they have a rich cultural heritage. With their roots stemming back to the Bedouin tribes that once roamed the desert sands, Emiratis have a deep connection to their land and history. They take pride in their traditions, such as camel racing, falconry, and Arabic calligraphy.

As a society that values hospitality and generosity, Emiratis welcome visitors with open arms. Their warmth and kindness are evident in their daily interactions with others. They enjoy sharing aspects of their culture with outsiders through events such as Ramadan iftars or traditional dances like the Yowla.

In modern times, Emiratis continue to adapt to changes brought about by globalization while still preserving their customs and identity. Dubai has played a significant role in this evolution as it has become an international hub for commerce and tourism. As Emirati society becomes more diverse, it remains grounded in its roots while embracing new perspectives from expats living in Dubai.

Without further ado, let’s delve into the next topic: expats in Dubai.

Expats in Dubai

Now, let’s talk about what you’ll find if you decide to become an expat in this bustling city. Dubai is a melting pot of cultures and nationalities, with over 80% of the population being made up of expats. This means that there is a diverse range of people to meet and learn from, which can be incredibly enriching.

One of the main benefits of living in Dubai as an expat is the tax-free income. This means that your take-home pay will be higher than it would be in many other parts of the world. Additionally, Dubai has a high standard of living with excellent infrastructure and amenities such as world-class healthcare facilities and top-rated international schools.

Living as an expat in Dubai can also come with some challenges. The cost of living can be quite high, particularly for housing and transportation. Additionally, cultural differences and language barriers may pose obstacles when trying to navigate daily life. However, these challenges are easily overcome by immersing oneself in the local community and taking advantage of all that this vibrant city has to offer.

As you settle into life in Dubai, you may find yourself wondering about the different terms used to refer to its citizens. In the next section, we’ll explore what residents call themselves and how they identify within their unique culture.

Terms Used to Refer to Dubai Citizens

It’s important to understand the terminology used to refer to the local population in Dubai, especially if you’re planning a visit or moving there.

The term most commonly used is Emirati, which refers to citizens of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as a whole, not just Dubai specifically. Emiratis make up only about 11% of the total population in Dubai, but they hold an important place in society and culture.

Another term used to refer to locals in Dubai is Khaleeji, which means ‘of the Gulf’ and generally includes people from all six Gulf Cooperation Council countries: Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and UAE. This term has a wider scope than just Emiratis and can include other Arabs who have lived in this region for generations. It’s often used when referring to cultural practices that are shared across these countries.

Lastly, there is also a term called Hadari that’s sometimes used by locals themselves when referring to those who have grown up within city limits rather than those from rural areas or smaller towns. However, this term is not widely known outside of local circles and may not be appropriate for outsiders to use without prior understanding of its context.

Understanding these terms can help visitors appreciate and respect the unique culture of Dubai. In subsequent sections, we’ll explore further into the social and cultural significance of these terms.

Social and Cultural Significance of These Terms

Exploring the social and cultural significance of terms used to refer to Dubai citizens is like peeling back layers of a delicious onion, revealing the complex and diverse nature of the local population in this vibrant city.

The most common term used to refer to Dubai citizens is ‘Emirati,’ which refers specifically to those who are native-born or naturalized citizens of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). This term carries great pride and prestige, as it connects individuals with their country’s rich history and traditions.

Another commonly used term in Dubai is ‘Khaleeji,’ which refers more broadly to people from the Gulf region. This term has become increasingly popular due to the large number of expatriates from other countries within the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) who have made Dubai their home. Using this term helps create a sense of community and belonging among people who share similar cultural values and experiences.

Finally, there are also terms that are specific to certain groups within Dubai’s diverse population. For example, those who identify as African or Afro-Arab may refer to themselves as ‘Swahili’ or ‘Hadrami,’ while those with South Asian heritage may use terms like ‘Pakistani’ or ‘Indian.’ These terms help individuals connect with others who share similar backgrounds and experiences, creating a sense of community within a broader multicultural context.

As we explore these various terms used in Dubai, we can see how they play an important role in shaping social dynamics and creating a sense of identity among different groups. Embracing diversity means recognizing these differences while also celebrating our shared humanity.

In conclusion, by acknowledging and respecting each other’s unique identities, we can build stronger connections across cultures and promote greater understanding within our communities.

Conclusion: Embracing Diversity in Dubai

You can fully embrace the diverse cultures and identities in this vibrant city by celebrating our differences and recognizing the shared humanity that brings us together.

Dubai is home to a melting pot of nationalities, races, and religions, making it one of the most multicultural cities in the world. As a resident of Dubai, I’ve learned to appreciate the beauty of diversity and how it enriches our lives.

Living in Dubai has taught me to be open-minded and accepting towards people from different backgrounds. It’s fascinating to learn about other cultures’ customs, traditions, and languages.

Being able to interact with people from all corners of the world has broadened my perspective on life. Through these experiences, I’ve come to realize that despite our differences in beliefs or values, we share more similarities than we think.

In this cosmopolitan city where diversity is celebrated, it’s essential for us as citizens to continue promoting inclusivity and respect for one another’s identity. We must recognize that each person is unique and contributes their own distinct flavor to make Dubai an exciting place to live.

By embracing diversity with open arms, we can create a sense of belongingness among people from different walks of life – something that makes living in this city truly special.


In conclusion, living in Dubai has taught me the importance of embracing diversity. The city is home to a diverse population, comprising Emiratis and expats from all over the world.

It’s essential to understand the social and cultural significance of terms used to refer to Dubai citizens. While Emiratis are often referred to as locals or nationals, expats are called residents or foreigners.

As the adage goes, “unity in diversity.” This phrase perfectly captures Dubai’s spirit, where people from different backgrounds come together to create a vibrant community. Whether you’re an Emirati or an expat, it’s crucial to respect each other’s cultures and traditions. By doing so, we can build bridges and foster mutual understanding within our communities.

Living in Dubai has been a remarkable experience for me. It has opened my eyes to new cultures and perspectives that have enriched my life beyond measure. I hope that by sharing my insights with you today, you’ll be inspired to embrace diversity wherever you go and appreciate the unique qualities that make us who we are.

Sharing is caring!

Scroll to Top