Who counts as “People of the Gulf”? Disputes over the Arab status of Zanzibaris in the UAE

Who counts as “People of the Gulf”? Disputes over the Arab status of Zanzibaris in the UAE

Noora Lori, Boston University[1] & Yoana Kuzmova, Boston University[2]


This paper[3] begins with what seems like a descriptive question about a group: are Zanzibaris “Arabs” who count as “people of the Gulf”? The question is of critical importance to people of Zanzibari descent in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), because this designation historically underpinned their access to Emirati citizenship.[4] We contend that thisdesignation is not exclusively (or even primarily) determined by group characteristics. “Arab” and “people of the Gulf” are not simply categories determined by shared attributes like language, religion, customs, territory, ethnicity, phenotype, genealogy, or nationality. Instead, “Arab” represents a claim to authenticity–one that must be recognized by the political entities that have monopolized the authority over a territory and its inhabitants. As Gulf states consolidated in the late twentieth century, ethnic minorities on the Arab side of the Persian Gulf were increasingly pressured to perform and prove Arab identity to fit into the racial hierarchy codified in new citizenship regimes. As Al-Dailami argues, minorities must claim “being Arab as opposed to Persian,” and such claims are “necessitated by, and increasingly encoded within, the postcolonial state-building projects of the Gulf at particular historical watersheds.”[5] In this chapter, we draw upon the experiences of Zanzibaris to highlight the African minorities that have been largely neglected in discussions of national identity in the Persian Gulf.  We illustrate the competing pressures they faced to self-identify or be identified as either “Arab” or “African,” and the stakes of falling into one category or another. In so doing, we tie contestations over the “Arab” status of groups to political allegiances and the shifting balance of power accompanying state formation in the Gulf.

In so doing, we heed calls by political scientists to shift from the study of interactions between groups (“race relations”) and adopt a “comparative racial politics” framework that foregrounds politics by connecting race to the state, sovereignty, and political competition over territories and populations.[6] In addition to identifying the domestic politics that determine in-group parameters, we highlight the role of external actors and foreign relations, showing how external actors’ racialized perceptions influenced group status and how organizations like the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) wielded the language of racial similarity to advance their humanitarian missions.

By reflecting on the contested status of Zanzibaris, we follow Vora and Le Renard’s call (this volume) to show how racial hierarchy in the Gulf can deepen our understanding of global racial formations. Exploring the same period of displacement out of Zanzibar as Nathaniel Mathews (this volume), we center the politics undergirding regional racial hierarchies in what he terms the “overlap between an ethnic conception of citizenship and the logics of race” in Oman and the UAE. As Alshaif also shows in her study of the Muhamasheen in Yemen, the category of “Arab” is not a stable one, and the salience of skin color or genealogy intersect in dynamic ways at different moments in time. The tortuous incorporation of African people such as the Zanzibaris—or Ethiopian Jews in Efrat Yerdey’s study (this volume)— exposes the racialized vision of the citizenry in states as outwardly distinct as the UAE and Israel. In both instances, foundational ideas about authentic belonging erected a presumption against the inclusion of African “returnees.” The examination of these groups’ Jewishness or Arabness wasn’t an individualistic determination but a collective examination of the community, showing how people of African descent faced heightened scrutiny in national incorporation across the Middle East.


Data Sources

Our documentary sources include the British Records of the Emirates, UNHCR archives, and documents from Dubai Ruler’s Court about displaced persons arriving in Dubai 1967–2013. This archive originated as the records of William Duff, a British advisor to Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum (ruler of Dubai 1958 – 1990) and his successors. Duff held several portfolios, including refugee affairs. He was the principal UNHCR contact when thousands of Zanzibaris disembarked to Dubai in 1964-68 and continued in this role for the duration of his tenure, until the early 2000s.

Our reading of the records is guided by our legal advocacy for stateless populations in the UAE. From 2016-2019, Kuzmova led a project at the International Human Rights Clinic at Boston University’s School of Law during which her team interviewed minorities who received Comoros passports from the UAE government, including Zanzibaris.[7] Since these interviews were conducted for the purposes of advocacy and resettlement options (rather than research), we draw upon these conversations to identify dates, trends, group dynamics, or differences between treatment of individuals in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, but refrain from quoting individuals.


Imperial Breakdown, State Formation, and Zanzibari Migration to the UAE

While minorities are largely absent from the dominant UAE historiography, Indian Ocean historians have shown the Gulf shoreline has always been ethnically heterogeneous. Populations from three continents circulated for centuries before decolonization swept the Indian subcontinent, Persian Gulf, and East Africa between World War II and the 1970s. Newly-minted nationality laws led to incorporation of certain residents as “citizens,” while rendering others suspect for having a subversive bloodline that did not fit into the imagined “national” communities of these new states. We tie the persisting ambiguous legal status of the Zanzibari community in the UAE to this period of state formation, which led to the displacement of groups deemed not “African” enough to stay in East Africa, forcing them to prove they were “Arab” enough to be recognized as citizens of the Arab Gulf states.

Omanis had moved to Zanzibar during the Sultanate’s eighteenth-century maritime expansion, and continued migrating to Zanzibar throughout the nineteenth century.[8] The first significant migration of Zanzibaris into Dubai and Abu Dhabi began in 1964 when they were violently ousted from political control over the islands and fled in ships back to the Arabian Peninsula.[9] Our discussion primarily focuses on Abu Dhabi and Dubai because they were the two largest population centers in the region, and their ruling elites (Al Maktoum of Dubai and Al Nahyan of Abu Dhabi) were the most powerful brokers in the formation of the UAE federation. Of note, at the time when Zanzibaris first started arriving in large numbers, the UAE had not formed, and border demarcation between what would become the UAE in 1971 and the Sultanate of Oman was a work in progress (see figure 1).[10]

Figure 1: 1965 Map of Trucial States (Trucial Oman) and Sultanate of Oman and Muscat  [11]

To be recognized as citizens by Oman, Zanzibaris had to trace their genealogies to specific Arab tribes. Often “sheikhs who had stayed in Oman played a key role in validating the genealogies of members who came back after three or four generations.”[12] The “return” to Oman was not possible for those without Omani passports or tribal references that could validate their Arab status, and many ended up arriving at the port of Dubai where the local ruler, Sheikh Rashid, welcomed them as refugees. Others sought refuge and employment in Abu Dhabi over subsequent years.

“Returnees” from Zanzibar to Oman faced fewer hurdles after 1970 when Sultan Qaboos called upon the Omani elite abroad to return, “inviting them to contribute to the ‘awakening’ of the country.”[13] Approximately 10,000 Omanis in Zanzibar moved to Oman by 1975, and their treatment reveals the malleability of racial categories, and the ways political elites strategically elevate or erase group differences when it serves economic or political objectives. The fact that “most of the expatriate Omani did not speak Arabic fluently” did not stop Qaboos from granting these elites Omani citizenship “as soon as they returned, without any consideration of the time their family had spent abroad.”[14]

By 1975, around 3,000 Zanzibari refugees resided in the UAE, but under different regimes in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.[15]On the eve of the UAE’s federation in 1971, UNHCR archives indicate Zanzibaris were no longer welcome to enter Abu Dhabi as refugees, and needed visas. As a result of the generous welcome the presumed Omani descendants received in Dubai, the 1970s saw more arrivals from Zanzibar (at times arriving there after a brief stay in Oman) who settled and were documented by the Zanzibar Association in Dubai. Many Zanzibaris first entered Oman and then settled in the UAE because it was difficult for them to prove Omani citizenship or in search of economic opportunities.[16] Populations of Zanzibari descent now form a large proportion of the UAE’s stateless population.[17]


Zanzibari “Arab” Identity and Citizenship in the UAE: Key Actors and Competing Narratives 

The categorization of Zanzibaris as Arabs was not simply a question of self-identification, or whether language, customs, settlement patterns, skin color, or genealogies marked them as “Arab.” The breakdown of the Omani and British empires and shifting political objectives and perceptions of elites in East Africa and Oman all factored into how Zanzibaris were classified and, accordingly, where they could reside and what rights they could have. Abu Dhabi and Dubai had competing conceptions of whether Zanzibaris were Arabs who fell under the jurisdiction of the local rulers and would be granted Emirati citizenship (Dubai’s view), or foreigners who needed residence permits and visas to remain in the UAE’s territories (Abu Dhabi’s view).

We summarize how the British, UNHCR, Abu Dhabi, and Dubai answered the question of whether Zanzibaris were “Arab” and “people of the Gulf,” as well as how Zanzibaris negotiated these conflicting narratives of identity and citizenship over the past four decades.


British Authorities and the United Nations

British authorities had contradictory policies towards Zanzibaris, who were at times framed as “people of the Gulf” outside their jurisdiction and at other times as “foreigners” who fell under British jurisdiction.[18] As Arab nationalism gained traction in the 1960s, the British government was concerned with stymying pan-Arabism in the Gulf. This concern was reflected in insistence on curbing “illegal migration,” with a more extensive system of residency permits and visas. As UNHCR Representative Leslie Goodyear explained:

The Zanzibari community continues to flourish in the country. It is growing slowly, thanks both to the arrival of new families directly from Zanzibar and the arrival in Dubai of Zanzibaris from other parts of the Gulf … who are dissatisfied in those areas. These latter cases are creating some difficulties for the authorities. During the recent Middle East War, there was an outbreak of demonstrations and riots, apparently instigated by a group of pro-Nasser traders, but physically carried out by Pakistanis and Baluchis (‘the have-nots’). … The principal outcome of these events, which were not of a particularly serious nature, was to shake the complacency of many of the resident British advisers and members of the Government. It has also enabled the British Political Agent to convince the ruler to be less generous in his treatment of illegal entrants and foreign groups generally and so has created some difficulties for the refugees.[19]

Thus, in one instance, the travel of Zanzibari families was securitized as that of Arab migrants of ambiguous status. At other times, Zanzibari families’ entry into Dubai was barred precisely because they weren’t considered “of the Gulf” and thus required to apply for entry visas to the British authorities. After an initial group of refugees arrived in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, the UNHCR attempted to facilitate family reunification with relatives waiting in Zanzibar and Kenya. In this process, they met resistance from a British political agent reluctant to grant visas to family members before they received valid travel documents.[20] Here, family members (often African wives and children) were considered “foreigners” from Zanzibar and Kenya who fell under British jurisdiction (instead of that of local rulers) and would require visas issued by the British before arriving in the Trucial States. The British thus upheld administrative practices that entrenched racial divides even within the same family.

In the first years of the UAE, UNHCR persistently advocated for Zanzibari naturalization in the UAE as “Gulf Arabs returning home,” but still took care to segment them on the basis of genealogies.[21] Having learned the new naturalization framework (drafted by a former head of the Lebanese Aliens Service), UNHCR surveyed Zanzibaris in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, and determined that about ten percent in both groups did not report Arab ancestry. This small number of non-Arabs, according to UNHCR assessment, would be unlikely to access naturalization. In formal and informal communications UNHCR officials took care to describe the group as Arabs, or Zanzibaris of Omani origin. Because most did not speak fluent Arabic, the UNHCR proposed to provide resources for language courses and vocational training, even convincing Sheikh Rashid to send some members of the Zanzibari community to Beirut.[22]


Abu Dhabi vs. Dubai

Regarding UAE residency and citizenship, the degree to which Zanzibaris could successfully claim Omani origin and Arab ethnicity varied according to where they settled and from which ruler they sought recognition. Article 6 of the UAE’s constitution defines the federation as an “Arab nation,” [23] but the rulers of its constituent emirates had competing understandings of who was “Arab.” Abu Dhabi’s vision of citizenship was more focused on Arab genealogy than those of other emirates.[24] This discord was reflected in the UAE’s lack of a unified citizenship and immigration policy at its formation. Naturalization was stratified, with individuals becoming citizens first through their emirate of residency before gaining federal nationality.[25] The result is some groups (including Zanzibaris) gained citizenship from the rulers of Dubai, Sharjah, Ras al Khaimah, Fujairah, Ajman, and Umm Al Quwain but never received federal approval of their citizenship claims from Abu Dhabi.[26]

Zanzibaris were already in Dubai and Abu Dhabi when final arrangements were made concerning unification of the seven emirates. In 1969, the Trucial Council contemplated including “Arabs of Omani origin” with some tenure in the Emirates on the list of persons automatically recognized as citizens: “Any Arab of Omani origin not in possession of any other nationality, who has lived in one of the states of the Union, with the intention of settling, for a period of not less than three years at the date on which this law comes into effect shall be a citizen of the Union.”[27] The British political agent explained an adviser to one of the rulers fell into this precise category of Omani descendants. The expansive inclusion of Arabs of Omani origin in the definition of the Emirati citizen was removed from the final version of the law.[28] Rather than citizens by operation of law, persons of Omani, Qatari, or Bahraini origin could be naturalized if they resided in a constituent emirate for three years immediately before applying for citizenship, and only when they could prove they had work and no criminal record. The causes for this change are unknown but suggest contestation among the drafters as to the status of Arabs of Omani origin.

Records from the Dubai Ruler’s Court reveal how political allegiances were tied to ethnic identity. Rulers like Shaikh Rashid attempted to integrate minorities by documenting them as Arabs, in ways that echo efforts on part of Sultan Qaboos to facilitate the integration of Zanzibaris in the early 1970s.[29] In general, it was more challenging for Zanzibaris to be recognized as citizens by Abu Dhabi, although records suggest it was possible when an applicant could prove belonging to one of the recognized Arab tribes of the Emirates.[30] For example, in 1997, a refugee representative presented Duff with the names of several tribes whose members often received help from the Abu Dhabi Ruler’s Diwan in naturalization matters, including with naturalization of refugees. So complete was their integration that their birthplace was changed to Al Ain.[31] Meanwhile, most Zanzibaris who sought naturalization from emirates other than Abu Dhabi have yet to be recognized as citizens by the federal government and are effectively stateless.

The contested status of Zanzibaris illustrates how inclusion is determined by whether a political entity recognizes a group as “Arab” and “from the Gulf.” UAE naturalization policy structured inclusion as a patron-client relationship between emirate-level political authorities and individuals or groups seeking naturalization. However, this also meant inclusion was contingent upon the strength of their patron. As Dubai’s power has waxed and waned since the 1960s, so have prospects for inclusion of Zanzibaris in Dubai.


Community and its dissolution: the Zanzibar Association

For Zanzibaris in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and other parts of the Gulf, being recognized as “Omani” would mean legal residency and eligibility for citizenship, as was afforded to people from the Gulf states. Various Zanzibari groups asserted this origin despite being unable to show Omani passports or residency permits. As Mathews finds in his reading of UNHCR records, Zanzibari refugees in Saudi Arabia strategically positioned themselves as refugees of Omani origin to UNHCR officials. Addressing Saudi representatives, they argued, “it was not correct to claim there has been expulsion of Zanzibaris. The issue is one of expulsion of Omani Arabs of Zanzibar origin.” Refugees in Saudi Arabia, although not legally Omani citizens, protested they have been granted the privilege to settle as Omanis and not as Zanzibaris or refugees from Zanzibar.[32]

The Zanzibar Association was founded in Dubai in 1964-65 to represent the interests of the fast-growing Zanzibari community in its dealings before the Ruler’s Court and agencies like UNHCR. Archival sources tell of an organization with the mission to advance members’ inclusion in Dubai. It elected officers, issued identity cards, and maintained a census. The identity cards were significant given Zanzibaris were treated as guests of the Sheikh of Dubai and afforded permits and land not readily available to other migrants.

Identity cards issued by the Zanzibar Association were convertible into passports prior to unification.[33] According to our informants, an assurance Zanzibaris would receive Emirati passports after 1971 was made by the Sheikhs themselves to the UNHCR early in the resettlement process when the UNHCR offered to supply Zanzibaris with UNHCR Convention Travel Documents. As one Zanzibar Association member recalls, Sheikh Zayed of Abu Dhabi and Sheikh Rashid of Dubai informed High Commissioner Prince Sadrudin that Zanzibaris would receive UAE passports as they are “our children and we are bound to them historically by bonds of blood.”[34]

Members of the Zanzibar Association asserted that regulations of the first law on Nationality and Passports identified them as eligible for citizenship. The fact that Zanzibaris operated through a government-recognized association meant they could procure special treatment, but naturalization was contingent on relationships with members of the royalty and on their ability to “prove to be of Oman or Yemen descent.”[35]

In 1980, the Zanzibar Association President carried out a census of the Zanzibaris in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Sharjah at the request of Sheikh Zayed, president of the UAE. Results of this count were handed to the authorities, but no federal naturalizations followed. In 1999-2000 Dubai Ruler Sheikh Maktoum issued naturalization decrees for Zanzibaris in Dubai. Zanzibaris were left only one step away from the final attribute to UAE citizenship, the khulāṣat al-qayd (family book). The timing of when these decrees were issued is significant. By 1999, most of the Zanzibaris had already been in the UAE for at least thirty years, suggesting their naturalization was handled as non-Arabs, and not under the provision which allowed Arabs from the Gulf to naturalize after three years of UAE residence.[36]

In 2008-2009, as Zanzibaris awaited the khulāṣat al-qayd, the federal government launched a registration campaign for persons without nationality in which Zanzibaris were told to participate. Like thousands of long-standing UAE residents without proof of nationality, they underwent an enrollment process which included numerous interviews and a DNA sample. At the end, they received registration cards that were later unwillingly traded for passports from the Union of Comoros, an archipelago federation about 500 miles farther southeast of Zanzibar.[37]

Zanzibaris only retained UAE passports, if they agreed to supplement them with the Comoros passports. These secondary Comorian passports were deposited with the authorities and Zanzibaris took UAE passports with two-year validity. In two years, Zanzibaris would appear with the expiring passports, pick up Comoros passports, and live with them as primary forms of identification until the UAE passports were renewed. After the Comorian passport scheme was curtailed in 2018, the expiration of Comoros passports entailed non-renewal of Emirati passports, and thus loss of health insurance, cell phone accounts, and employment.

In the 1990s, as Zanzibaris felt integrated in Emirati society, the Zanzibar Association had dissolved. Whereas Zanzibaris were, at least between 1964 and the mid-1970s, a group of some privilege that the Dubai Ruler welcomed, Abu Dhabi has subjected Zanzibaris to numerous naturalization interviews, during which, year after year, their files have been reexamined and put away. The Comoros passports presented a calamitous turn for the group, whose “Zanzibari” identity had largely been diluted as second and third generations born in the UAE grew up speaking Arabic and inter-marrying with Emiratis. Paradoxically, these true “people of the Gulf” find themselves farther from full incorporation than their grandparents were fifty years ago. Like those returning to Oman in Mathews’ contribution to this study, members of the Zanzibar Association of Dubai, and their descendants, faced and continue to endure repeated probes into the authenticity of their claims to belong to the Gulf. The UAE federal government’s issuance of Comoros Islands passports to this group effectively re-categorizes them as “African,” and they have unwillingly (and artificially) become legal “foreign residents” despite their cultural and linguistic assimilation as Emiratis.

Reflecting on the Zanzibari case allows us to broaden our understanding of racial formations beyond the Transatlantic experience, while learning from the rich literature on race in the Americas. The secondary literature has tended to focus on the centrality of phenotype and a fixation with blackness in determining racial categories in the Americas, such as the “one-drop” rule in the United States, or attempts to create a spectrum of status based on levels of “blackness” in Brazil.[38] In the context of the Arabian Peninsula and Persian Gulf, “the construction of “Arab” and “black” happens at the dynamic intersections of imagined genealogies and skin color,” as Alshaif explains in her study of the Muhamisheen in Yemen (this volume). When it comes to the Zanzibari community, their belonging into the category of “Arab” changes at different moments of time and based on which political authority vouches for a group and how powerful that authority is. Members of the same group become “Arab” when they are “adopted” or written into a tribe by Abu Dhabi, and their “blackness” is ignored or minimized. Meanwhile, those who fall under the jurisdiction of Dubai are othered as “non-Arabs” with questionable genealogy, making characteristics like skin color more salient. At present, Zanzibaris and other East African minorities who may be construed as “black” are not the only ethnic minorities who now carry an “African” status as Comoros Islands passport-holders. Persians, Baluchis, indigenous stateless groups (bidun), and children of Emirati women were all grouped together in the federal state’s creation of an “other” category for those whose genealogy is being questioned.[39] This case helps show how racial categories underpin modern citizenship regimes and statehood, regardless of how salient skin color is in the formation of those categories. As the literature on racial formation in other parts of the world has shown, race is about power. And in all instances, racial categorizations matter because they are deeply connected to distributions of power, money, land, labor, and rights.




[1] Assistant Professor of International Relations, Boston University nlori@bu.edu.

[2] Immigration attorney at Northeast Justice Center, and Forced Migration and Human Trafficking (FMHT), Legal Fellow, Boston University ykuzmova@bu.edu.

[3] We thank Nathaniel Mathews for generously sharing primary documents on the treatment of Zanzibaris in the UAE.

[4] This term derives from the British Records of the Emirates and Order in Council agreements determining British jurisdiction over the Trucial states (the UAE’s territories prior to independence). The “people of the Gulf” designation placed a population under the jurisdiction of local Trucial state rulers, while “foreigners” fell under British jurisdiction. The UAE was formed in 1971 as a federation of seven Trucial states: Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Fujairah, Umm Al-Quwain, and Ras Al-Khaimah. Lori, Noora. Offshore Citizens: Permanent Temporary Status in the Gulf.Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2019, 49-96.

[5] Al Dailami, Ahmed. “‘Purity and Confusion’: The Hawala between Persians and Arabs in the Contemporary Gulf.” In The Persian Gulf in Modern Times: People, Ports, and History, edited by Lawrence Potter, 299–326. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014, 301.

[6] Hanchard, Michael and Erin Chung. “From Race Relations to Comparative Racial Politics: A Survey of Cross-National Scholarship on Race in the Social Sciences.” Du Bois Review: Social Science Research on Race 1, no. 2 (2004): 319–43.

[7] Lori, Offshore Citizens, 194-234, on the UAE government’s issuance of Comoros Islands passports to ethnic minorities.

[8] Valeri, Marc. “Nation-Building and Communities in Oman since 1970: The Swahili-Speaking Omani in Search of Identity.” African Affairs 106, No. 424 (Jul. 2007), pp. 479-496, 485.

[9] Mathews, Nathaniel. “The Zinjibari Diaspora, 1698-2014: Citizenship, Migration and Revolution in Zanzibar, Oman and the Post-War Indian Ocean.” PhD Dissertation. Northwestern University, 2016.

[10] The British archives reveal that the latecomer to the UAE union—Ras Al Khaimah—which only joined the federation in 1972, made overtures to be incorporated into Oman in 1971. The records suggest that the border delineation was incomplete until at least the mid-1980s.

[11] Boundaries of the Sheikhdoms of Trucial Oman—Boundaries of the Sultanate of Muscat & Oman, 1965, found in “Sharjah oil concession,” page 66, 1965 Jan 01 – 1965 Dec 31, FO 1016/844 /66, available at: https://www.agda.ae/en/catalogue/tna/fco/8/3145/n/2

[12] Ibid, 487.

[13] Ibid, 485.

[14] Ibid.

[15] UNHCR, High Commissioner’s Report to the General Assembly, 1 May 1975, A/10012, https://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae68c6b4.html.

[16] Valeri, “Nation-Building and Communities in Oman,” 491.

[17]Ibid.; Lori, Offshore Citizens; Al-Barazi, Zahra & Yoana Kuzmova. “Trafficking in Non-Citizenship in the Gulf.” In Routledge Handbook on Citizenship in the Middle East and North Africa, edited by Zahra Babar, Roel Meijer & James Sater, 2020, 349–377.

[18] Lori, Offshore Citizens, 66-77.

[19] 30 Jan 1968 Leslie Goodyear UNHCR report on visit to Iran, Dubai and Qatar to Mr. David Roberts, British Political Agent, Dubai, Records of Oman, 642 Fonds 11 Series 1 Box 182 6/2/Dubai Protection – Travel Documents.

[20] Ibid.

[21] Leslie Goodyear, Report on Visit to Abu Dhabi and Dubai in Connection with Zanzibar Refugees 27 March 1974 – 1 April 1974, UNHCR File Ref. 656.UGA, Fonds 11 Series 1 Box 1292L Social Rights – Nationality and Naturalisation.

[22] UNHCR, High Commissioner’s Report to the General Assembly.

[23]  https://www.refworld.org/pdfid/3fba182d0.pdf; accessed August 22, 2020.

[24] Lori, Offshore Citizens, 77-83.

[25] Ibid, 88-96.

[26] Ibid, 50-96, 160-234.

[27] From H.B.M. Political Agency Trucial States Dubai, Report of the Committee on Immigration, Nationality & Unification of Passports meeting in Umm al Qaiwain, 1-3 September 1969, FCO 8/993, https://www.agda.ae/en/catalogue/tna/fco/8/993

[28] Federal Law No. 17 of 1972 Concerning Nationality and Passports, Art. 5. https://www.refworld.org/pdfid/3fba182d0.pdf; (accessed March 18, 2021).

[29] Mathews, this volume.

[30] See, e.g. Goodyear, “Report on Visit to Abu Dhabi and Dubai in Connection with Zanzibar Refugees.”

[31] Al Ain is a town in the eastern region of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, on the UAE’s border with Oman.

[32] Mathews, this volume.

[33] In a report from 1970, the UNHCR representative observed the Zanzibar Association in Dubai had learned a case-by-case approach to petitioning the authorities for passports is preferable to demanding that all Zanzibaris be issued passports. Universal documentation was left to the Association itself. “Temporary documents of one-year validity and not conveying nationality are issued liberally and, in fact, are used by all Zanzibaris in other Trucial States who could not get other papers.” Goodyear visit to Trucial States, Qatar, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, 25 March-5 April 1970.

[34] Correspondence on file with authors.

[35] Anonymous author. “10. Ugandan refugees in the United Arab Emirates.” Refugee Participation Network (now “Forced Migration Review”) 18 (Jan. 1995), available at http://www.fmreview.org/sites/fmr/files/HTMLcontent/rpn1810.htm

[36] Article 8 of the Nationality and Passports Law provides for naturalization of persons not covered by Articles 5 and 6 and who “resided in a continuous and statutory manner in the member Emirates for a period not less than thirty years, of which twenty years at least after this law enters into force.”

[37] AlBarazi & Kuzmova, 2020, 357.

[38]FitzGerald,  David Scott and David Cook-Martin, Culling the Masses: The Democratic Origins of Racist

Immigration Policy in the Americas, Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2014.

[39] Lori, Offshore Citizens, 195-234.