Here We Start

Iman Ben Chaibah (@ImanBenChaibah)

Iman Ben Chaibah (@ImanBenChaibah)

Iman Ben Chaibah, founder of Sail Publishing, a digital publishing house for online magazines and ebooks, and editor in chief of the Emirati Sail Magazine, an online magazine about community and culture written in English by Emirati columnists. Iman is a multi award winner in digital publishing, entrepreneurship, and literature. Iman has also completed the Leadership Strategies in Magazine Media Course in Yale University. Besides her work in publishing, she also lectures in Canadian University in Dubai.
Iman Ben Chaibah (@ImanBenChaibah)
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Dear Sail Readers,

As some of you know, April was a busy month with the magazine’s team participating in the Archive80 exhibition. The experience to the team was unique from its kind where most of the team come without art background yet created amazing artworks for the exhibition. Of course, all thanks goes to Alia AlShamsi who curated the exhibition and supported the team in their artworks.

We also have an announcement to make in this month. We have a new member joining Sail team; it is our friend Khalid AlAmeri. He joins us with his column: “Community Talk” in which he aspires to generate healthy discussions, spark positive change surrounding social issues that affect our everyday lives, and more importantly how we can improve and develop as a society to a better tomorrow.

Shaima AlTamimi, one of the initial team members of Sail eMagazine and who supported the magazine since its inception, joins us with a new column: “Food for thought”, in which she aims to touch upon certain topics from the society and entice us to think deeper about them.

Without further due, here are the columns of this month’s issue:

  • Archive80 Report: A report on Sail eMagazine’s collaboration with Archive80 and the artwork shown in the exhibition.
  • Community Talk: Khalid AlAmeri Discusses the issues around young Emirati’s taking up debt to finance an unnecessary high end lifestyle
  • Food for Thought: Shaima AlTamimi sheds some light on the issue of poor maternity policies in the UAE and examines their impact on working mothers and society overall.
  • Just Another Undergrad: Fatma Bujsaim writes about workload exceeding the amount of time we have, and that time management is the best solution.
  • Living Through The Eyes of Art: Hamda AlHashemi explains how standing too close to situations can blur our vision, and the importance of taking a step back to get a wider view, and then taking an action.
  • Scenes From Life: Rawan Albina explores why the new generation of young women in so many cases lacks gumption, how and why.
  • To The Point: Mohammed Kazim shows a different side of the famous and positively portrayed Emiratization. He tries to prove why Emiratization is detrimental to young, qualified, and talented Emiratis.
  • Words, Observations, and Ramblings: Reem Abdalla researches on birth order and how it affects the personality, traits and psychology of a child and shapes their adulthood.


May 2011’s issue:

Here We StartArchive80 ReportCommunity TalkFood for Thought
Just Another UndergradLiving Through The Eyes of Art
Scenes From LifeTo The PointWords, Observations, and Ramblings

Enjoy the reads!

Iman Ben Chaibah
Editor in Chief


Archive80 Exhibition & Sail’s Team Contributions

Iman Ben Chaibah (@ImanBenChaibah)

Iman Ben Chaibah (@ImanBenChaibah)

Iman Ben Chaibah, founder of Sail Publishing, a digital publishing house for online magazines and ebooks, and editor in chief of the Emirati Sail Magazine, an online magazine about community and culture written in English by Emirati columnists. Iman is a multi award winner in digital publishing, entrepreneurship, and literature. Iman has also completed the Leadership Strategies in Magazine Media Course in Yale University. Besides her work in publishing, she also lectures in Canadian University in Dubai.
Iman Ben Chaibah (@ImanBenChaibah)
Reading Time: 4 minutes

As we have announced in last month’s issue, Sail eMagazine’s team participated with Archive80 Exhibition, which was curated by Alia AlShamsi. To view the announcement post, click here.

As the exhibition was about growing up during the 80s in the UAE, Sail team contributed with a total of 4 artworks among many other big names in the community.

Here is a listing of the Sail’s team contribution and some snapshots:

1. Trip to the 80’s

Through her pieces, Reem Abdalla takes a trip back to the 80’s and the memories she had of it. She used different techniques to bring her art alive using Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator.  The concept idea was formulated after reminiscing the special memories of the 80’s: the music, the movies, the cartoons and of course her favorite food/drinks from her childhood.  Each piece holds a special memory to Reem.  In her pieces she incorporated her favorite movie, her favorite food and her favorite music artists from the 80’s.

Queen of “Vogue”


Memories through a Pop Artist


80’s Tree


2. A Walk Down Memory Lane

The memory lane is a wonderful place where one can remember all the beautiful things he/she once had. The brain has a way of organizing memories and combining them to come up with a big picture that says it all. This mosaic artwork is constructed from the memories of Sail eMagazine’s Team and their days in the 1980s.
Designed by: Hamda AlHashemi
Pictures collected from: Mohammed AlJuneibi, Mohammed Kazim, Reem Abdalla, Rooda AlNeama, Shaima AlTamimi, & Iman Ben Chaibah

A Walk Down Memory Lane


3. Boom Box Pixilated Explosion:

Thinking about the 80s makes us think of a simpler time, where everyone liked the same candies, watched the same cartoons, played the same games, and sang the same songs.  The idea came to Rooda AlNeama as she realized that there are certain icons that when we see we are immediately transformed into our memories from the 80s.  She dug up those icons to remind everyone of some of the lost memories that are only triggered by sight.  No matter how many times we remember our childhood, it is the joy of relating to others and realizing you experienced similar things that truly makes it never get old or boring. Rooda made the icons pixilated as a reminder of the simple times when games where pixilated compared to the present where everything is in high definition and detailed.


Boom Box Pixilated Explosion


4. Flashbacks

“This piece is about the sights and sounds of the decade that gave us outrageous visions of the future; the sounds were electronic, the TV shows were real & simple, and the video game culture was going mainstream.
Concept by: Mohamemd AlJuneibi
Executed by: Fatma Bujsaim
The gallery was generous enough to transfer one its display rooms into a theater room to show the video. Here is the video:

May 2011’s issue:

Here We Start – Archive80 Report – Community TalkFood for Thought
Just Another UndergradLiving Through The Eyes of Art
Scenes From LifeTo The PointWords, Observations, and Ramblings


Going Into Debt To Fake Luxurious Lifestyle

Khaled Al Ameri (@KhalidAlAmeri)

Khaled Al Ameri (@KhalidAlAmeri)

Emirati. Columnist. MBA @StanfordBiz. On a journey to make the world more beautiful. Khalid aspires to generate healthy discussions, spark positive change surrounding social issues that affect our everyday lives, and more importantly how we can improve and develop as a society to a better tomorrow.
Khaled Al Ameri (@KhalidAlAmeri)

Latest posts by Khaled Al Ameri (@KhalidAlAmeri) (see all)

Reading Time: 5 minutes

By Khalid AlAmeri (@KhalidAlAmeri)

Whilst visiting Abu Dhabi during my university days, my friends and I were relaxing in a tent set up outside when a shiny new Range Rover pulls up into the driveway. A young man jumps out the car sporting a freshly pressed kandoora & a crisp white-checkered headgear. As he walks into the tent the crowd stands up to say their hellos and it is then that I recognize him.  ‘Ahmed!’ I yell excitedly. I was happily surprised at how one year could change someone; new car, new look, and the accessories to go with it; one could not help but notice the shiny watch he took off when we were about to dig into a midnight meal.

Let me give you a little background on Ahmed. Ahmed has been a friend of mine since high school, upon school’s graduation he went to a local university for a year before he decided to drop out and take up an administrative role within a governmental department.  Being 19 years old and on a government salary with no expenses leaves a young bachelor with a lot to spend, so Ahmed goes out and buys a car that could have easily bought him an apartment back in the good old days.

Then, on another evening, Ahmed gets dropped off at the tent and we ask him where his fancy new car is, “I got a flat tire” he replied, “and it costs 2,500 dirhams to be replaced”.  As almost half his salary had already gone to car payments and with one week left till payday; Ahmed could not afford to change the tire.

The moral of the story, “do not spend what you cannot afford” and it was not until reading an article titled  “locals spending on luxury items and building up debt” in a local newspaper that Ahmed’s story came storming back to me.  The article talked about working youth taking out loans for luxury items such as cars, jewellery and high-end mobile phones; you know the brand I am talking about and I know what you are thinking. Why?  Well according to those interviewed it was either to fit into a certain social circle or to seek attention. Really?  Has our rich society become so cheap that they now judge people on the varying price tags of the products they drive, wear and carry? Do the individuals taking debt to fit into these circles realize that they are merely putting a price on themselves rather that giving people the opportunity to see the richness in their character?

Now looking at debt from a different perspective it does have its upsides, a friend of mine, let us call him Mohammed, works crazy hours at his ‘9 to 5’ job while in parallel he is trying to start his own private business.  Mohammed is relaxed in saying that he is up to his eyeballs in debt which was necessary to pay for his higher education and provide the money needed to jump start his business. In his case, rather than take out debt to fake a better life, he is using debt to create a better life both for him and his loved ones.

Moving on to banks, who make it so easy for young executives to take out loans to finance their high-end lifestyles, can you imagine a bank offered me AED 500,000 preapproved car loan just one month after buying a car with their financing?  Shocking I know! But that is guerilla marketing for you.  So where does it all end? When does a bank say enough is enough? Fortunately through Central Bank involvement early this year a limit on personal loans in the country is now set at a limit of 20 times the monthly salary. We can only hope this somewhat limits the financed high-end lifestyle enjoyed by so many.

Believe me, I am aware of the materialistic world we live in, where respect is earned by the way you dress or the car you drive. What saddens me is that while majorities of our young workforce are solely focused on materialistic ambitions, our leadership is working hard to realize a beautiful vision for our country’s future based on economic, educational, and social development.

I cannot help but think of our role model the Late Sheikh Zayed who created great monetary wealth for our country and its people but chose to live a modest and traditional lifestyle.  Through his international contributions, charities and development initiatives; Sheikh Zayed left a legacy in the hearts of people around the world that will live on far beyond our times.

So when you take out that loan for a car you can barely afford or the latest Vertu phone, think to yourself “how do I want to be remembered”? For ‘debt financed’ materialistic lifestyle you led or for the legacy you left? The choice is yours.


May 2011’s issue:

Here We StartArchive80 Report – Community Talk – Food for Thought
Just Another UndergradLiving Through The Eyes of Art
Scenes From LifeTo The PointWords, Observations, and Ramblings


The Insufficiency of Current Maternal Policies

Shaima Al Tamimi (@iamshaima)

Shaima Al Tamimi (@iamshaima)

Shaima, a 20 something year old who loves to immerse herself in all things fresh and interesting. She loves to travel, observe people and experience new cultures. Her quarterly column “Food for Thought” discusses important social topics from thought provoking perspectives. Shaima is also a food blogger
Shaima Al Tamimi (@iamshaima)
Reading Time: 5 minutes

By Shaima AlTamimi (@iamshaima)

The UAE’s leadership has been instrumental in the growth of women entering the workforce by providing ample support to kick-start the dreams of ambitious women through educational funding, training, and attractive job placements. Nonetheless, despite such initiatives, the government may have overlooked one major issue; women resorting to long breaks from the workforce due to unfriendly maternity laws.

Ironically, the most attractive maternal leave policies are implemented within Europe. Since April 2010, the UK provides women (citizens or non citizens) a year’s paid maternity leave with the first 6 weeks paid at 90% of full pay and the remainder at a fixed rate. They also get an additional unpaid leave of up to 4 weeks per year by either parent. A friend of mine, who happens to be a single mother, is currently benefiting from this policy, and has expressed immense satisfaction in bonding with her baby without the stress of hiring help.

Subsequently, such policies ensure child to parent bonding, whilst fostering healthy child development within the infant’s life, a right that should be embedded in society to ensure the success of nurturing the future generations.

In stark contrast, women in UAE get 45 days of paid leave and a one-hour reduction in working time for nursing.

As the west excel onto further improving maternity laws for mothers, one can not help but wonder why this issue is not given enough attention in a region where motherhood is of monumental value in both cultural and religious contexts.

True, some women have the choice of resigning from their jobs in order to spend quality, uninterrupted time with their babies. However, for some, the luxury of giving up a steady source of income is simply a mythological concept.  Therefore, women are in dire need of improved policy system in regards to maternity leave.

Yes, it is something that will require corporate and government spending, albeit it is money well spent. However, if companies do not feel obliged to pay for extended maternity leave in lieu of reducing costs, the least that can be done to support female employees is a longer time of half salary or unpaid leave beyond the 45 days. It is unfair to be faced with the ultimatum of continuing your job or missing out on the earliest stages of your child’s development. Where is the boost in employees’ morale there?

There are several factors that further halt the progression of women in the workforce. It is worth noting that a decade ago, being a working mother in the UAE was less stressful than it is now, since several companies operated from 7am to 2 pm. However, with the sudden boom of companies on the 9 to 5 run, being a working mother has become difficult to juggle without support from the in-laws or live-in maids.

It seems authorities forgot to consider the social implications of a 9 to 5 job. Mothers can no longer be home in time for lunch with their kids nor have the energy to start their homework at a decent time. How does that support our mothers or family orientated culture? To top it off, there is a distinct lack of day care nurseries that are within close range of work places. Ideally, such day care centers would have to be located in the same building as their offices, for mothers to be able to peek in every once in a while.

It comes as no surprise that women are mocked by society for transferring the child-rearing burden to the maids. Some women are patronized by their employers when they leave work early to care for their kids. With the further influx of foreign managers in the UAE, it has come to my attention that many do not realize that Arabs have a family oriented society, yet with that said, why does it feel like the policies implemented are in contrast to Arab culture?

Adjusting policies is more than just giving extra weeks off, but also about ensuring the protection of new or expectant mothers against corporate discrimination in promotions. For authorities to put together successful policies, they will have to conduct research with women in organizations, create focus groups and consult women who have been through such forms of disloyalty within the workforce.

Perhaps the Federal National Council (FNC) need to treat such campaigns as a top priority, rather than work on fighting for early female retirement in the workplace as announced in the news recently. Not that it is not welcome, however, there are issues of vital importance to tackle first, one of them being improved maternity leave policies. This will no doubt strengthen family relationships and enhance employee loyalty in the workplace.


May 2011’s issue:

Here We StartArchive80 ReportCommunity Talk – Food for Thought
Just Another UndergradLiving Through The Eyes of Art
Scenes From LifeTo The PointWords, Observations, and Ramblings


The Importance of Managing Your Time

Fatma Bujsaim (@FatmaBujsaim)

Senior Editor. Ex- Column: Just Another Undergrad

After graduating with a Bachelor degree in International Studies and a minor in converged media, Fatma still finds herself hungry for knowledge, which led to her enrolling in a postgraduate program. Her passion for both reading and writing has made her extend her stay in Sail eMagazine so that she can learn & develop her skills. When not buried in her books and novels, Fatma is found on tennis courts or in a classroom learning a new language.
She wrote her previous column: “Just another undergrad” hoping she can give what she didn’t have when she was a freshman: comfort and guidance, and also bring back memories to all those graduates out there. She wonders if things are going to be the same after graduation.

Latest posts by Fatma Bujsaim (@FatmaBujsaim) (see all)

Reading Time: 3 minutes

By Fatma Bujsaim (@FatmaBujsaim)

Every now and then, we find ourselves sitting on the floor in a pile of papers, documents and books, while our laptop is right in front of us with tens of windows on the screen. We seem to forget when this mess started; when did the books that need reading pile up, and when did the due date of the papers that needed to be submitted get so close. We ask ourselves: where has our time gone?

People say when you are having fun time flies very fast, and when you are working it moves very slowly. The first part of the saying is proven to be true all the time, but the last part I think is somewhat wrong and especially when we enter university. While classes might sometimes be boring and long, and we feel like we have spent forever in the classroom, we usually find time slipping through our fingers and we cannot keep up with our work; things pile up so fast that we cannot remember how time went by to begin with.

We face a lot of problems when we lose track of time; we miss deadlines, which means losing grades no matter how good our work is. We also lose the privilege of having a social life; we find ourselves locked in our room/office working non-stop trying to focus. We also lose the ability to produce something of high quality/standards because our only focus is to get things over with.

At some point along the way, we learn to value time; we start to appreciate it. And the key here is to master time management. It is the only way we are ever going to get through all the work with good results. According to the Business Dictionary, Time Management is a priority-based structuring of time distribution among demands. So we basically control the amount of time we spend on a specific activity to increase our efficiency and productivity.

As cliché as this may sound, time management does not only help us get our work done, but it also helps us develop a sense of responsibility. A lot of us tend to procrastinate, and that is fine every now and then, but when it becomes a habit we fall back to being in the middle of a pile of work just siting there waiting for someone to get it all done. Learning how to manage one’s time shows that a person is responsible.

If you have been in that situation were your work requires you to have more than 24 hours in one day, it is alright. We have all went through it at some point in our life, whether in high school or university. Some of us are fortunate enough to learn from the beginning that the secret lies in managing our time wisely, the rest learn it later on with experience.

This, my friends, is what I found out while I’m on campus; I wonder if that’s going to change after graduation.


May 2011’s issue:

Here We StartArchive80 ReportCommunity TalkFood for Thought
Just Another Undergrad – Living Through The Eyes of Art
Scenes From LifeTo The PointWords, Observations, and Ramblings


Look Beyond What You See

Hamda Al Hashemi (@Hamda_alhashemi)

Column: Art of Living 101. Previously as: Living Through The Eyes of Art
Hamda AlHashemi is a 20 something year old interior design graduate, and an SZHP employee. She appreciates art, food, psychology and culture. For her, Arabic calligraphy is music for the eyes; beautiful and calming. She thrives to become an entrepreneur of her own furniture line and aims to get her Phd on the long run. Hamda’s articles revolve around how our psychological thoughts influence our actions, and how to use them to our advantage.

Latest posts by Hamda Al Hashemi (@Hamda_alhashemi) (see all)

Reading Time: 4 minutes

By Hamda AlHashemi (@Hamda_AlHashemi)

“To see what is in front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle,” said George in his essay, ‘In Front of Your Nose’ in 1964. In the journey of life we undergo different situations where we tend to take the wrong course of action because we lack a clear vision of what the situation is really about. Not everything is always as it seems, and sometimes we need to step back and look at things from a different perspective.

One of the artists, whom I have examined their work, has a lot of work that revolves around this problem; how human beings can look beyond what is in front of them to reach a state of mind where they can find a new perspective on life in itself, and how they can improve themselves through that perspective.

Timo Nasseri, a sculptor, photographer, and an ink-drawing artist, was born to a German father and an Iranian mother. His mixed cultural background resulted in him using elements of Islamic architecture, the Muqarans, and displaying them in new and creative ways. He extracts the geometrical shapes and rebuilds them into a complicated, yet aesthetically interesting way.

Another part of his work revolves around using Arabic/ Iranian words and building them into a wall sculptor. He manipulates the material used in building the word to reflect the meaning of the word itself, literarily and emotionally.

His largest piece, called “Fadjr”, built in 2007, was one of the most impressive ones I have seen.  The piece is made out of polished stainless steel, and has the dimensions of 500 x 160 x 200 cm. The word “Fadjr” means dawn in Arabic, and it is also the first of the Muslim daily prayers. The material used gives a reflection similar to that of the sun at dawn. And since the piece is magnificent, one has to walk around it, step back, and stand at different levels to actually be able to read it.

The concept is that sometimes we might be so close to a certain situation, but our actions are misguided because we cannot understand the situation very well. Being too close does not always work for our benefit. We need to step back, take some time to think about what is in front of us, look at it from different angles, and then make our decision based on what we see.

During the time we take to study the condition, our entire mentality changes. Our opinion might be altered. And our feelings can take more time to settle down, and we will have the chance to react wiser to the situation.

Not everything we see is at it seems. There is always a different side to everything, and not giving each factor enough time to tell its story, we will make hasty judgments that we will regret. Just take off those glasses, and give them a good wipe. When you wear them again you will the see the whole world from new eyes.


May 2011’s issue:

Here We StartArchive80 ReportCommunity TalkFood for Thought
Just Another Undergrad – Living Through The Eyes of Art
Scenes From LifeTo The PointWords, Observations, and Ramblings



Are Young Women Lacking Gumption?

Rawan Albina (@RawanAlbina)

Rawan, CPCC, ACC, is a Professional Certified Coach, owner of Leap Coaching & Training whose life’s mission is to help women achieve their dreams.
Her strongly positive nature and calm demeanor enables her to gently draw out a person’s full potential as she helps them get in touch with their passions, find their purpose and LEAP into a truly fulfilling and extraordinary life.
Women who are at a crossroads in life, young women ‘Entreprenettes’ and teenagers have all found a strong guide in Rawan who has helped them discover the life skills needed to begin the new phases in their life with confidence.

Latest posts by Rawan Albina (@RawanAlbina) (see all)

Reading Time: 4 minutes

By Rawan Albina (@RawanAlbina)

Gumption has got to be my new favourite word! I was watching the movie “The Holiday” again yesterday. I watched it a long time ago but thought I would see it with my mother since she is in Dubai visiting and had not seen it before. The movie has great characters and a very interesting plot. The old man, who used to be an Oscar-winning script-writer suggests to Kate Winslet to watch some old movies where the heroines are women with a lot of Gumption! The word just leaped at me the moment I heard it. I knew it had to be the subject of my next piece.

Last March, Dubai Women’s College (DWC) was celebrating International Women’s day. I was giving the closing speech at the event and had the chance to have a discussion with the president of DWC and the other speakers. One thing he said really striked me: Women thirty years ago had to fight in order to go places and climb to higher positions but today’s generation of young women seem to be “more attached to their Blackberries and handbags than their own future”!

This was a hard fact to hear and absorb. It got me wondering what exactly could have gone wrong? Is the new generation just happily riding the wave of success of the older generation? Are they getting everything so easily that they do not feel the need to make the effort anymore? Do they lack dreams and ambition? Do they feel that they cannot match the achievements of the women who have preceded them and whom they regard as their role models.

It could be a combination of all the above but one thing is for sure; some of them must lack “Gumption” which, according to means courage, guts, spunk, resourcefulness, aggressiveness, common sense and shrewdness.

So naturally, some questions would pop up at this stage like when did today’s young female generation decide to be gumptionless and why?

When did appearances really start replacing the need of having an ambition and a vision of who you want to become? It seems as long as you look the way you are expected to, behave in a way that your peers find impressive and you start getting what you want there is no need to look further or go elsewhere! There is a box that these young girls seem to have found themselves in but it is self-built; tailor-made to their own short-sightedness.

I believe that the entire future of a nation depends on women. Margaret Thatcher once said: “ If you want something said, ask a man. If you want something done, ask a woman”. So how can we rely on future generations to lead the way when the majority lacks initiative, courage, ambition and basically gumption?

Today’s issues do not require yesterday’s solutions. So if yesterday’s solutions are not working, today’s generation of women need to use their imagination and resourcefulness in order to create a vision that best suits the future they want to create.

There is a way to be trendy, cool and beautiful and have gumption at the same time. One does not exclude the other. In order to be the best female version of themselves, women need to honour both their male and feminine sides, their yin and yang. Remove the masks that women probably had to wear in the past in order to succeed and take advantage of their gumption and femininity at the same time. There is definitely a way to marry both that will differ from one individual to the other. One size will not fit all but when imagination and passion come together great visions can be created and then all that is needed is some gumption to keep moving forward.


May 2011’s issue:

Here We StartArchive80 ReportCommunity TalkFood for Thought
Just Another UndergradLiving Through The Eyes of Art
Scenes From Life – To The PointWords, Observations, and Ramblings


The Detrimental Side of Emiratization

Mohammed Kazim (@MAKazim)

Mohammed Kazim (@MAKazim)

Mohammed, an Emirati involved in healthcare business development, comes with a background in biomedical & clinical engineering, technology management, finance, and business setup related project management. Mohammed has a keen interest in relevant social, religious, economic, and cultural affairs.
Mohammed’s bi-monthly column aims to openly and honestly target issues around the native culture, society, religion, economy, and policy that have resulted as a consequence of the constantly changing demographics of the region. The column is characterized by a point-like articulate approach that gives the reader a comprehensive understanding of the discussed issues.
Mohammed Kazim (@MAKazim)

Latest posts by Mohammed Kazim (@MAKazim) (see all)

Reading Time: 4 minutes

By Mohammed Kazim (@MAKazim)

If you are a UAE national or an expatriate resident of the UAE, you must be very familiar with the term Emiratization, a topic that has received a great deal of positive hype in the media ever since its inception. Never specifically defined, Emiratization is generally any initiative by organizations (both public and private) to employ, develop, and retain Emirati employees.

Over the years, Emiratization has manifested itself in companies in the form of diploma programs, intensive classrooms, and on-the-job training for the “fresh-graduate” employees that are “fit” to be placed in the work field. In addition, some Emiratization programs have also secured entry-level positions for Emiratis giving them exclusivity and priority over non-nationals.

So you must be thinking, why does the title here say “detrimental”? Although Emiratization may have been very helpful to some fresh graduates and new employees, it has had the opposite effect on young Emirati professionals and middle managers, specifically those who have undergone the highest standards of education as well as gained foreign and local experiences. Below are some of my observations with regards to this matter.

First, for organizations to establish these development programs, enormous efforts and significant monetary investments had to be made. Some of these efforts include making the commercial case, developing processes, allocating space, and much more. As a result, like any private educational institution, a minimum number of Emirati enrollees has to be met to prove the success of these programs. Keep in mind that in most cases, the same people who devise these programs are the people who hire Emiratis. Therefore, many talented and experienced Emiratis, who are qualified to join at more senior levels, get placed in entry-level positions.

Second, having exclusivity of entry-level positions for Emiratis causes Emiratis to remain in their positions for longer periods of time without any clear progression. This is mainly due to the fact that higher employee positions are filled with expatriates to introduce diversity and experience into the team. In many cases, these expatriates are less qualified and less experienced! Then why does this happen? With a high paced work environment and a shortage of skilled employees in the region, it is incumbent to hire an expatriate workforce. However, due to Emiratization, the organization has no choice but to employ them at higher levels, which sometimes comes at the expense of qualified and experienced Emiratis.

Third, I believe that all of the above causes Emiratis in organizations to be viewed as “special” cases that require “special” attention. The entire nature of the programs creates a perception that Emiratis are not qualified and cannot be trusted with real tasks. Qualified and talented Emiratis are then given trivial administrative tasks and deprived from responsibility they deserve in building their own nation. This in turn can lead to severe demotivation and as a result a lack of performance from Emirati employees.

Last but not least, I believe that with the current educational infrastructure and foreign exposure of Emiratis, Emiratization programs should cease to exist in their present nature and Emiratis should be given the opportunity to compete side by side with expatriate talent. However, Emiratization can take an alternate form. For example, Emiratis who feel they require enrolling in training programs should have the option to do so in the areas of their choice.

In summary, although I may have used extreme examples and generalizations to prove some points, I believe that Emiratization has proven to be detrimental for young, qualified, and talented Emiratis. Not only has it slowed their career progression through lengthy training programs and grounding in entry level positions but also it has led to severe demotivation. I believe this can be reversed by allowing Emiratis to compete with expatriates equally and giving them the option to enroll in development/training programs should they deem it necessary. This would not only save organizations millions of Dirhams annually but also create a more competitive, collaborative, and productive workforce.


May 2011’s issue:

Here We StartArchive80 ReportCommunity TalkFood for Thought
Just Another UndergradLiving Through The Eyes of Art
Scenes From Life – To The Point – Words, Observations, and Ramblings


The First Child, The First Experiment

Reem Abdalla (@Reem096)

Reem, a 24 years old Emirati female who will stand up for any cause she believes in and is curious by nature. She believes in connecting the dots and coloring the world with her magic markers. As a marketer, she likes to sell her ideas. As a female, she tends to listen and support. As a UAE National, she stands by her country and religion.
Reem aims through her quarterly column to explore issues in society and discuss emerging new trends. Listen to other people’s thought and view their perspectives about the subject. Then raise questions and form unbiased conclusions about it.

Latest posts by Reem Abdalla (@Reem096) (see all)

Reading Time: 4 minutes

By Reem Abdalla (@Reem096)

As the eldest child, I was my parent’s guinea pig, their trial and error. They experienced everything for the first time with me. Got excited when I did unrecognizable baby sounds. Ran behind me with a camera at every step I would take. Mom always told me they were so fascinated by me that the entire family would take me to play.

Being the first child has many pros, however it also has its cons. A first child means all the responsibilities of the younger siblings automatically is seen as your own. Anything that the younger siblings did either good or bad is reflected on the eldest child and they always get reprimanded on it.

The eldest child has to be the role model for all the younger siblings and in my case the entire paternal cousins since I am the eldest of the group. Therefore, the eldest child has enormous pressure put on him/her from the moment they are born.

In my case, I had to fight for everything I wanted. My parents were scared to make decisions and used to think a million time before making one. As for my sister, she had it much easier as my parents had seen results in me. For example, I was not allowed to go out with friends in high school. My parents used to refuse without any reason. I am sure now that they were scared of letting go. Keeping me around them means they have more control on the teenager I was then.

Would my life have been any different if I was the middle or the youngest child? I was then interested to learn more about birth order and if it makes a difference in a person’s characteristics and traits.

Some experts believe that birth order is an important tool in shaping an adult. After digging into research, I found that the birth order concept was first developed by Alfred Adler. He developed an overview for five major birth order positions: only, oldest, second, middle, and youngest child. Each one of these orders has its own personality traits, ingrained psychological issues, and effects later in life.

According to Adler’s classifications, the only child is the center of attention. Since they are the only child, they usually become over protected, spoiled and have problem with sharing.  While the eldest child is usually seen as “the responsible” one. High expectations are always expected of them and they are given responsibilities at a younger age. As a result they become authoritarian.

Second child is usually the peacemaker of the family. They are more competitive and want to take over the eldest child. They may become rebellious. Adler classified the middle child as they are “sandwiched” in between their siblings. They might feel under privileged and insignificant. Also may be even-tempered, have a “take it or leave it” attitude. Middle children may also have trouble finding a place or become a fighter of injustice.

Youngest child is the baby of the family. Always wants to be bigger than the others. They may have huge plans that never work out.  Since they are the youngest they can stay the “baby” as responsibilities are usually given to the older siblings. They are frequently spoiled.

I was fascinated at how Adler has explained the personalities so correctly and to the point. As the eldest child, I always wanted to be in charge and take care of the rest of my siblings. I guess this is what I learnt to do at a younger age when given the responsibility of my sibling’s actions to be treated as my own.

Will I ever want to be any other birth order? I would have loved to be any other birth order to take the pressure off me for a millisecond. However, I know that the pressure is never off when it comes to parents. They always expect more of their children. Therefore, the eldest child I will always be.


May 2011’s issue:

Here We StartArchive80 ReportCommunity TalkFood for Thought
Just Another UndergradLiving Through The Eyes of Art
Scenes From LifeTo The Point – Words, Observations, and Ramblings