Prominent Expats Back Move for Visa Test on Culture

ABU DHABI — Prominent expatriates in the Capital have welcomed the proposal for introducing a test on the culture and traditions of the UAE, for expatriates seeking residence visas.

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Published: Sun 12 Jul 2009, 1:06 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 7:56 PM

Mohamad Saad Obeid, outgoing Ambassador of Egypt to the UAE said having lived some years in the UAE he was able to experience Arab life and the human values based on sincerity.

“That helps spread love and goodness among whoever lives in the UAE,” he said. He advocated for a cultural test so that expats are able to recognise the customs and traditions of the UAE community.

Khairy Al Areidi, Ambassador of Palestine to the UAE, told Khaleej Times that the UAE was making a move in the right direction as it would bring together different people to a better understanding of the country.

He added that it will also help remove the levels of ignorance that prevail in the world about Arab culture, the UAE and the GCC.

Dr. J.R. Gangaramani, a businessman said, “I travelled to the UAE almost 35 years back. My progeny were born and got married here. My grandchildren will be also born here on this good land. I had learned great values worth to be recognised through being included into the UAE society such as mutual respect between the rich and the poor, the young and the old.”

He added that the UAE is famous for the values of tolerance, love and goodness. Besides, in the UAE people always stick to their promises.

For example, when one says he is going to do something, he must comply with the word uttered as they believe that a word given by mouth is a written contract, he continued. The UAE culture is enriched with good deeds and is helpful to the poor, Gangaramani pointed out. “I myself benefited from such an amazing culture in my life. A UAE father allows his sons to accompany him to the Majlis and provide entertainment for the visitors. I intended to follow such a tradition where a youngster is brought up and becomes a wise man at a young age. I did this with my offspring and the result was fantastic.”

Recognising the customs and traditions of a country where a foreigner lives helps expedite his/her inclusion in the new society and that will provide with him/her with better chances for a successful practical and social life in the UAE. Gangaramani said that residents should not think of the culture test as an exam, saying they have to recognise the UAE customs and values and know that the UAE culture has noble human values on which an Arab is raised.

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