Opinion and Editorial

KT edit: Feel at home, here in the UAE

Filed on November 8, 2020 | Last updated on November 8, 2020 at 12.55 am

The government has made the UAE more welcoming to foreigners and shown acceptance to the way of life of many others

For a country as diverse as the UAE, which also happens to have transiency in its population, nation-building is an on-going process through constant assessment and calibration of laws and strategies. People, no matter where they come from, have always been at the heart of governance in the country. When the vision is to raise the bar of development and progress with every achievement and attract the best talent, the leadership is committed to walking the extra mile and they have. The changes announced on Saturday to some of the civil and criminal laws are among the biggest overhauls of the legal system in years and cover a range of aspects, including the protection of women, laws applicable to divorce and cases of separation, wills, inheritance, consumption of alcohol, and more.

The changes highlight the progressive nature of the country that has been leading by example in the region. By allowing expatriates to have their personal affairs dealt with according to the law of their home country, the government has made the UAE more welcoming to foreigners and shown acceptance to the way of life of many others. The law has also hardened its claws on crimes against women and introduced tougher offences for harassment. Honour crime will be considered what it should be, a crime, and will be dealt with in the same way as other killings are. The government has also taken note of the linguistic barriers that non-Arabic speaking people face in courts, and has announced availability of translators for defendants and witnesses in courts, which will afford the legal system more fairness in its proceedings.

Politics and governance are separate from religion in the UAE, as it should be in any country that wants its people to thrive. While the emirates takes pride in its cultural and religious roots, and the Emiratis are perfect flagbearers of the values and principles that the emirates stand for, the leadership is also cognizant and sensitive to the needs of million others who call this place their second home, and perhaps find a sense of belongingness to this land more than to the country that gives them a national identity. The changes announced is a nod to the foreigners who are contributing to the culture and progress of the emirates and abide by the law of the land. These changes further cement the UAE’s status as a global destination for talent and investment. There’s no stopping a country that is so welcoming to people from foreign lands and is working assiduously to make them feel at home.

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