Dubai/Abu Dhabi: One thing that none of us can avoid, unless we are unfortunate and die early in life, is old age. But while old age hopefully comes to everyone, do old people get the respect they deserve from the younger generation?
City Talk took to the streets of Dubai and Abu Dhabi to ask residents their views about how old people are treated in the UAE.
Mohammad Tawalbih, 28, an administrator from Jordan, said there was a lack of respect towards elders and said technology was to blame. He said a lot of freedom is displayed on the internet for instance and some people practise that freedom with their parents, leading to disrespect.
Nasser Abdullah, 50, a shop owner from Iran, said he too felt that old people were not treated well by young people. "They have forgotten their religion, their culture, their upbringing. Most of the young Arabs I see are not well behaved. The best behaved Arabs are the UAE citizens ... the rest need to learn manners," he said.
Administrator Pinky Jose, 24, from India, took a different view, saying that she felt that there was respect for older residents. "The values are still there among people. I believe it varies from one person to the other. It has a lot to do with upbringing and where you come from."
Sangeeta Sabharwal, a 24-year-old engineer from India, had the same opinion as Jose. She said: "I don't really detect lack of respect towards elders, no. We have a lot of culture [ingrained] in ourselves that is hard to ignore.
"I guess it depends on [people] but overall I don't see a major problem with respecting older people nowadays."
Jelena Bundesmann, 43, a German finance manager, said she thought respect for old people was coming back slowly after being absent for many years. "In Europe, family was not as important as other things in a person's life. Now it's slowly coming back."
British project manager Darren Balls, 32, said he did not think youngsters here were particularly badly behaved or disrespectful towards old people. "According to what you read in the papers, respect towards old people across the world seems to be declining but in the UAE I am not so sure," he said.
Amir Hussain, 29, a Canadian of Persian origin, said back in his home country there were more services tailored towards old people.
"In Canada we have a lot of services for over-65s that I have not heard of here - things like [cheaper] bus tickets or special days with 20 per cent off for them," he said.
Sri Lankan stock controller Sumedha Ranga, 22, said attitude towards old people varied a lot from one person to the next. "Sometimes people are not kind to [old people] and they don't care for them."
Accountant Ali Shaikh, 33, from India, said old people were treated "very well" in the UAE. "They are not insulted and people are not disrespectful to them, although we don't see many people going to give them a helping hand," he told City Talk.