London: Hamid Beloushi was looking for jeans in the Levi store on Regent Street. His size wasn’t in stock, so the 27-year-old chemical engineer from Cairo was going to continue his shopping expedition further down the crowded curving street.

“I don’t understand why Britain wants to leave the European Union,” he says. “There’s nothing like it anywhere else. You can move freely. No visas. No paperwork or waiting to get things done. You don’t need to pay a bribe to make things happen.”

His family have a long-standing relationship with London and the UK. He grandfather worked with the British in Egypt during the Second World War, and they have kept a home in Chiswick ever since.

“My grandfather met the Queen when she was a princess and there’s an old black and white photograph of that in the dining room. I don’t understand why [Boris] Johnson doesn’t like Muslims and why there is so much anger in Brexit.”

Beloushi says it’s Ramadan and he shouldn’t be getting angry, but that’s hard not to do when the referendum comes up.

“I don’t have a vote but if I did I would vote [Remain] and tell all my family and friends to vote the same,” he says.

Mohammad Mohammad Al Mousa, his wife and three children had to call into the Kuwaiti embassy that’s located almost across the busy Knightsbridge Street from Harrod’s, the world famous store. That’s their next port of call, but Mohammad and his family stop long enough to tell Gulf News that he thinks Britain is a strong enough country to stand on its own.

“The UK is a very powerful country and it doesn’t need to be told what to do by Europe. We come here every summer. We love it. The people are always so nice to us.”

His wife, Sameena, injects in Arabic that she hopes that her family will always be welcome in the UK.

In nearby Hyde Park, the elderly Hassan was walking under the sycamores and maples, wearing a brown tweed jacket over his kandoura, and a red-and-white gouthra. A Palestinian originally, he has lived in Jordan for nearly 40 years, and his son is a doctor now in London.

“I come every few months and stay for weeks,” he tells Gulf News. His wife is dead and if he could live in the Uk for good, he would do so. He’s hoping his son can organise a long-term visa.

London, Hassan says, is the best city in the world, with so many parks, and beautiful buildings.

“It has culture,” he says. And London is nice in the summer, perfect for walking, not with the heat of Jordan. He likes the rain too but finds the cold bothers his bones sometimes in winter.

Yes, Hassan has read that the UK is having a vote on the European Union, and he has mixed feelings.

“If the UK are out then that will make it harder for my son to make a visa for me,” he says. “If they vote stay then I can still keep coming here and, inshallah, everything will be good.”

He says he comes to the park most days and he sees some people every day and they say hello to him and smile.

“One woman even said Salaam and that made me smile,” Hassan said. “The British are very friendly. Why do they fight between themselves over this election?”