Dubai: Joe Biden is set to become the 46th president of the United States after a nail-biting wait for the US election results. Reacting to the outcome of the US election results, UAE expats welcomed Biden and the new administration set to govern the world’s oldest democracy. Here is what they have to say.
Irish expat Gareth Bacon, 35, general manager for a UAE-based company said he was happy to welcome a US President with Irish roots and that it is a great outcome for Northern Ireland and The Republic of Ireland. “Biden has been a strong supporter of peace and progress in our countries and in particular the Good Friday agreement, which has brought about so much change across the island. Trade relations with Biden governing should also bring a lot of change for the Irish economy after a very bleak summer period, which saw tourism in the country drastically reduced, which was a main source of income for so many.”
Bacon said as an expat living in the UAE, President Trump’s agreement of normalising the relationships with Israel was great as it opened new trade and business opportunities and I sincerely hope Biden continues to bring stability and growth to the region. Besides, he also felt that as part of an Northern Irish family living in the UAE, the result will bring about more stability in the region and the GCC. “We are likely to see Biden’s administration support the move away from oil and gas more towards green energy, if his campaigning is anything to go by.”
He added: “As a father of two young girls I need to mention Kamala Harris who is a big force in the Presidency. Having already smashed down a number of class ceilings, she now sits a door away from a very powerful office.”
Mohammed Shabbir Khan, 60, a Pakistani-American businessman who has met Biden in person in Iraq, said the US President-elect was a ‘thorough gentleman’. “I had the opportunity to serve the US army in Baghdad. I was commissioned there as a food service contractor and had the chance to meet Biden. He is a fine gentleman and hope he will do well for the economy.”
He said the US has been more divided than ever before. “I hope Biden fixes this. Little focus was given on the health impact of COVID-19 during Trump’s administration. I hope that is shifted. Biden must enforce strict social distancing protocols to reduce the impact of the pandemic. As expats living in the UAE we don’t demand anything extra. We want peace and stability. No racism and violence please.”
Indian entrepreneur in Dubai, Anoop Bhargava said: “This is clearly a victory for democracy and for the American people. President-elect Joe Biden is an experienced statesman and administrator who will definitely address the current domestic challenges and international issues effectively. More importantly, the election of Kamala Harris is reflective of the equal opportunities offered to diverse groups in the US. I firmly believe that the new administration will assume a mature leadership role globally and enhance and consolidate cooperation and collaboration with countries across the world. UAE is a key partner and a modern vibrant economy which will clearly benefit from the new administration. In addition, as an expat I believe that the US will continue to grow and promote educational opportunities for students from the region and India.”
Briton Anthony Martland, 32, marketing director a UAE-based fitness centre, said the appointment of Biden to Oval Office will have a positive impact on global economies. The USA and UAE have enjoyed a strong bilateral relationship and we hope this will continue further. “Biden seems to have a fairly predictable nature and his actions surrounding global issues will hopefully help stabilise economies further in what is a tough period for everyone.”
Finnish expat, Tomi Saikkonen-Williams, 39, vice president for a Dubai company said the immediate change will be with respect to the tone across media. “Biden is long-term career politician and we will see less controversies in the media. With regards to US policies, I believe the strict line with China and Russia will stay. And of course Biden has said he’ll rejoin US to the Paris climate change agreement and World Health Organisation (WHO). So that is something to look forward to as well.”
American expats react
An American expat living in UAE, Akousa Fox, an educator and artist, said she has been glued to her television the past days eagerly waiting for the results to come through. “No one can deny that the atmosphere of confusion, hostility, anger, deceit, demonising anger and contempt for our fellow human being has faded away with a new day of faith, hope and inspiration. Not only in the USA but all over the world I have never seen so much celebration after an election. I stood by proudly and watched a woman of colour, Kamala Harris, through hard work education, discipline and commitment find herself in one of the most influential positions of the world. This reminds me to keep encouraging my children and students to do their best. It’s especially gratifying for me, because we have similar immigrant stories of Jamaican parentage and USA upbringing. Hopefully, young ladies here will also remember women in the UAE in their own right have faced outstanding success.”
Fox said the representation in the USA for last four years was a dismal example of someone you do not want on world stage. “Being a “bully does not make you a good person. We tell our children and students that every day, we tell them not to lie, cheat, swear and we remind them to be respectful. A leader in my opinion should emulate those characteristics. Presidential-elect Biden appears to have the right character. I am more hopefully that he will heal the nation, restore the economy.”
Thomas Koenig, a Dubai-based construction director for a private company in the UAE, said: “I am surprised how Donald Trump had a heavy lead well into the early morning hours on the night of the election only to wake up to an unprecedented spike in mail in votes exclusively all for Biden and coincidentally, all in battleground states. Can anyone spell “fraud and corruption”? Spikes in quantities just enough to project a victory for Biden? Hundreds of thousands of those mailed in ballots, all in a row, were all for Biden. Democrat votes in some cases exceeding the total number of registered voters in those states; thousands of democratic votes from those who had been deceased for years; software glitches in counting machines that transposed thousands of Trump votes to Biden votes in as many as 47 different battleground counties. All this and no mention of possible voter fraud or ballot harvesting from the American mainstream media.
“Now the projection has been made, ahead of the official electoral college vote and ahead of the outcome of the many lawsuits filed to recount the many close states after all the above is taken into consideration. World leaders have expressed their congratulations — all a bit premature don’t you think?,” asked Koenig.
“I am very disappointed. This election was a travesty. They’ve made it a personal matter as they just don’t like Trump and clearly don’t know all that he done to help the USA. Our country is about to become socialist America as the large conglomerates and tech companies become stronger and control us!”