With its endless sun, sand and higher salaries, it’s understandable why the Middle East remains a firm favourite amongst UK expats, but what about its notorious reputation of racism, patriarchy and hierarchy of nationality? Can Black women really thrive in the Middle East? Speaking to two Londoners on their relocation to West Asia, I’m keen to find out what life is like for Black women living in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Qatar.
It has been well documented that countries within the Middle East view those from the West in high regard, creating a hierarchy of nationality and citizenship. As an example, those from African countries are often perceived as less important and capable when compared to Western expats who enjoy privileges such as higher wages and greater work opportunities. The Kafala system also enables the abuse and exploitation of migrant domestic workers from African and Asian countries.