UAE security

IN HIS autobiography, His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, rightly implied that those bickering about a possible clash of civilisations have obviously not spent much time studying or living in the UAE, specifically the hub of diverse nationalities that is Dubai. Recent studies indicate that the Emirates host one of the most diverse mix of people anywhere on the planet.

While the place may not be unique but one of a handful in that respect, there can be no denying that the level of security and safe living it provides to such a diverse collection of individuals definitely scores higher than contemporaries. Therefore, the recent US-UK warning about an imminent terrorist threat to its nationals, though well within their rights, came as a surprise.

That each country is mandated with responsibility for its citizens abroad is common understanding to all expatriates, especially where diversity of culture is so strong. However, embassies operating in different countries ought to take the host government into confidence if their intelligence picks chatter that is cause for serious concern. Clearly, if the US-UK groups had consulted with relevant UAE government agencies prior to their security warning, the matter would have been handled in a much better way. The simplest proof of this lies in the panic caused in the immediate aftermath of the announcement, and the way calm was restored once the government got hold of things.

The aim of all terrorism prevention is keeping calm. Some agencies often overreact in their zeal to be a step ahead of the bad guys. While their intent in preventing foul play is always appreciated and respected, it is noted with concern that perhaps there are sometimes better ways of carrying out operations that remain elusive to them. However, when they sidestep the most basic modus-operandi, a slight dose of procedural sense appears in order.

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