The United Arab Emirates has experienced massive social change within a relatively short period of time since the commercial exploitation of oil began in the 1960s. This has been accompanied by large-scale inward migration, with non-nationals comprising 88.5% of the population and an even higher proportion of the workforce. The attainment of citizenship is extremely difficult and non-citizens’ residence in the country is conditional on their employment, resulting in a high turnover of population. This makes the UAE a fascinating case study of ‘homing’ in the context of a world where mobility, rather than settlement, is increasingly the norm. This article is based on a large-scale, mixed-methods study of homing among both Emirati nationals and resident professionals undertaken from 2018 to 2020. It conceptualises their differential strategies of home-making along a scale from ‘centred’ to ‘distributed’ experiences of home and deploys the theoretical lens of liminality to explore the implications of ‘dwelling-in-mobility’.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Sociology and Political Science