Ray Addison, bulletin editor and presenter Emirates News

Ray Addison

“As someone who has lived, worked and raised a family in the UAE for the last 10 years, I’ve always felt extremely safe. Clickbait stories like these, which rely on one source, spread unnecessary fear and do not represent reality.”

Tom Urquhart – host of The Agenda on Dubai Eye 103.8

Tom Urquhart

Crunching the latest numbers, I suppose my family and I are five of the registered ‘Brits’ living in Dubai, but when I last checked none of the other 101,995 had contacted me to say they were on the next plane and we should do the same. Having been here almost two decades, I can confidently say that this is certainly not the first time that regional tensions have resulted in knee-jerk negativity elsewhere. That is not to suggest, for a moment, that I have fallen into some comfortable coma of expat complacency. We all have access to global media sources here and we can all make up our own minds. However, what I do have to go on is 15 years of broadcast experience with Dubai Eye and other media platforms in the city and one of the recurring stories I have reported on in that time is why expats choose to live here, to return here, to stay for longer than expected here. The most common answers… safety, security and a sense of belonging regardless of your nationality. That’s good enough for me until otherwise told.”

Neil Petch, founder and chairman of Virtuzone

Neil Petch

“I’ve lived in Dubai the past 25 years and came over just after the Gulf War. I think we Brits sometimes forget that we’ve seen action a lot closer to home than the UAE and sometimes the press in the UK like to sensationalise things because they need to sell copies. One of the wonders of Dubai is its multiculturalism and the fact we all get on. We feel very safe and the UAE has always been careful to be neutral to allow trade to continue. That’s been the case for the last 60 years and it will always continue. I feel much safer in Dubai than Paris and from a business point of view there’s no better time to come over. With the UAE committing more funds to making sure 25 million people come and visit in 2020, those not looking to taking advantage of that expected growth would be falling victim to that sensationalism that sometimes sells red tops.”

Harry Tregoning, Dubai real estate agent

Harry Tregoning

“The situation is obviously very serious and we’re all watching carefully the development. But at present, in the UAE, we feel very safe and we don’t expect that situation to change, even as British citizens. The UAE provides us with a safe country and as far as we’re aware they’re not involved in this dispute between the USA and Iran, so we see no reason to be in danger. We’re not concerned at all.”

John Martin St. Valery, chair and CEO of British Business Group, Dubai

John Martin St. Valery

It’s business as usual for the British Business Group. Yes, we are aware of some uncertainty in the region and are sensitive to concerns but 2020 is a year of real focus for British business as we and our membership are at full speed ahead for Expo 2020 and the opportunities that it presents as a world stage for showcasing UK excellence. The BBG supports UK businesses here in Dubai and also those looking at entering the region from the UK. Towards the end of last year we experienced a wave of enthusiasm and high volume of contact from the British Chamber of Commerce network and have planned our 2020 activity to support this refreshed interest in the region as we believe that Dubai is a buoyant and dynamic market for business owners to flourish.”