Extreme Shopping: Could Brits in Dubai become copy-cat rioters?

Picture the scene: looters running across the marble floor of the Mall of the Emirates, heading for Harvey Nicks. When done there, making their way across the city on the Metro to rampage around the Dubai Mall, helping themselves to cushions and lampshades at Galleries Lafayette. Then hot footing it to the Gold Souk for some free bling.

It doesn’t sound very plausible, does it?

I was fascinated to read today that a top UAE police official has warned that “What happens in Britain could happen here,” citing the large expatriate worker population.

He went on to tell Reuters that Dubai police were monitoring social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook for signs of attempts to organise protests or strikes.

Now, nothing has appeared on my Facebook wall yet and I doubt it will because my Dubai friends are either too busy entertaining their kids during the long summer holiday, or are travelling at the moment – and the last time I looked, none of my friends in the UAE were sporting hoodies.

If there are any troublesome Brits looking for a fight in Dubai (you do go totally stir crazy indoors over the summer, after all), they should read up on the Dubai Police first. As Annabel Kantaria, one of my favourite bloggers at Expat Telegraph, points out: it may be a coincidence, but since the London riots, the English-language media in Dubai has published a slew of articles on the Dubai Police, including how they’re equipped to deal with any riots and how, if negotiation fails, they have special electric truncheons that can stun up to 100 people at a time.

Wow, we’ve been warned!

Certainly, the expat community in Dubai is huge: 80 per cent of the population, in fact. But to think that hooligan Brits might start rioting in the UAE is rather far-fetched. To put it bluntly, chavs don’t move to Dubai, and with year-round sunshine, a tax-free salary and so many other benefits to the ‘expat lifestyle’, most Brits in Dubai are perfectly content with their lot.

This is not to say that there aren’t people in Dubai who would, with good reason, revolt. Asian labourers, mostly from the Indian subcontinent, have held strikes in the past over poor wages and bad conditions. But British teenagers breaking off from their tennis lessons and pool parties to have a pop, I don’t think so.

Quite tempting, no?

Gold Souk credit: http://www.dubai-information-site.com