Video: Half Emirati, half Filipino resident tells KT why he loves Dubai

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Video: Half Emirati, half Filipino resident tells KT why he loves Dubai

Dubai - The son of a former UAE Air Force pilot talks about his dual heritage.

By Keith Pereña

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Published: Fri 19 Oct 2018, 8:48 PM

An Emirati-Filipino man has recently been the talk of the town for showcasing his dual heritage.
Speaking to Khaleej Times, Dubai-resident Saeed Al Mehairi talks about his Emirati-Filipino roots and the similarities between Emirati and Filipino cultures. On the outset, Saeed looks mostly Filipino with the sole exception that he wears a kandora, and this combo sure gets attention. "Strangely, it's not Filipinos nor Emiratis who are surprised of my appearance," Saeed says. He then narrates how it becomes a fun guessing game where he asks people if they can determine his lineage. "Eighty per cent of the time people get it right but sometimes some say I'm half Indonesian or Malaysian."
Philippine news outlet GMA news online also touches on how his father helped him get accustomed to Islamic traditions such as salah (prayers) and fasting.
Also read: Dubai-based Filipino-Emirati man narrates journey to accepting Islam
Al Mehairi's father also inspired him to pursue a career in the aviation industry. "I had a close relationship with the aviation industry since my father was a pilot for the UAE Armed Forces and my mother used to work for Emirates." Like her mother, Saeed also works for Emirates. Working as a sales support manager, it allows him to meet and interact with the many Filipino expats around town.

Speaking both Filipino and Arabic languages fluently, Al Mehairi says Filipino expats are constantly surprised when he speaks to them in the vernacular. I say phrases like "Taga saan po kayo?" (Where are you from?) and Filipinos are always surprised.
Asked about what he loves most about having two cultures he says: "Emiratis, like Filipinos, have strong family ties - both cultures treat their parents and children with utmost respect. Apart from that, they are also very cheerful."

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