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Dubai Expats Team Up to 
Show their Love for Dubai

DUBAI — Fed up, annoyed and maddened by the Dubai-bashing in the Western media, two expats — Prateek Chaudhry and Austin D’Costa — decided to get back at those who annoyed them in their own way.

By Patrick Michael

Published: Wed 13 Jan 2010, 11:05 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 2:28 PM

They launched the ‘mydubaimyhome’ web site, printed T-shirts and made badges that proclaimed their love and support for the city. And they wore them with pride.

They then asked other Dubaiites to team up and show their love for the emirate and just two days after the launch the response has been overwhelming.

It was pay back time. It was time for residents to show they care about Dubai. And they did, getting back with a kind of quiet vengeance at the global media for their anti-Dubai tirade.

“When a section of the global media is up in arms, and when your home is Dubai, the best defence is not offence – but solidarity,” says Prateek.

mudubaimyhome.com, is an online interactive portal dedicated to all Dubaiites who wish to declare their support and love for the city. For a city with nearly 200 nationalities, the web site could not have come at a more opportune time. And the response to the initiative has been heartwarming. Britons, Lebanese, South Africans, Indians and other nationalities have all joined the ‘My Dubai My Home’ support group. And the numbers are growing.

Several second and third-generation expatriates have lived all their lives in Dubai. For them, ‘homeland’ is not ‘home’ – it is only a place to spend idle vacations.

Dubai is where they earn their livelihood, make friends, go to school and work to live. Dubai is where their heart is, and by extension, where their home is. “Dubai feels like home now, it’s the place where I got to start my business, evolve my thinking, change my beliefs, express my thoughts freely, connect with real friends, all of that and have lots of fun all the time.

“My Dubai My Home” initiative is important because it sends the message that despite all the negative coverage and sentiment about Dubai, it will always remain our home and we will always work on making it the best place on earth and to live our lives to the fullest,” said Dr Baher Hakim, a Syrian.

The Dubai support group has not been formed to prove any points. Neither is it an organised response against the global media that lashes out at Dubai. It’s just their gentle way of saying that despite the negative stories coming out, their faith and love of the city will always be there.

“For me, Dubai is a vibrant city full of sights and sounds from around the world, a great example of collaboration. I arrived here four-and-a-half years ago, incongruous with the surroundings, enthused by Dubai’s future prospects and amazed by the difference of lifestyle I was accustomed to. Even now, after a few years, I feel very welcomed here, I enjoy my life and work, I consider Dubai my home,” said Lewis Adams of the British Isles.

Reem Aboulhosn is a Lebanese, but she was born here and this city is her home. “I was born in Rashid Hospital in 1981, and I have called Dubai my home ever since. I am always grateful to have grown up in a city so culturally diverse and rich. While our homelands may be elsewhere, our hearts remain here,” she said. The initiative has touched hearts and aroused a sense of pride about the city. The sentiments about what Dubai means to them are simple, but they come straight from the heart.

“I consider myself to be a positive person and I surround myself with positive people. Thirteen years ago I chose to move to Dubai as I knew it would have a positive impact on my life. Today, Dubai is my home. By focussing on and developing the positive attributes of the city, we can build an even better place for the future,” said South African Jim Wallace.

In the opening post, ‘My Dubai My Home’ Prateek Chaudhry writes: “Life is full of choices. And Dubai was a deliberate and conscious one that I made. In hindsight, it was like manna from heaven.”

The portal asks people living in Dubai to simply share what they feel about Dubai, the city that they call home.

The group’s online portal is simply a place where you jot down why you love this city. And in doing so, it also gives a befitting reply to the city’s critiques, who do not understand its ethos.

Perhaps it is indeed time for all Dubai residents to show they support. Visit mydubaimyhome.com and show you care. —patrick@khaleejtimes.com

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