Impossible Citizens: Dubai's Indian Diaspora


WHEN November 26, 2013
6:30-8 PM WHERE NYUAD Downtown Campus, Abu Dhabi Part of "New Scholarship on the Arabian Peninsula" WHO NYU Abu Dhabi Institute Open to the Public

Indian communities have existed in Dubai for more than a century. Since the 1970s, workers from South Asia have flooded into the emirate, enabling Dubai's huge construction boom. Though many migrant families are middle-class and second-, third-, or even fourth-generation residents, they cannot become legal citizens of the UAE. While their legal status defines them as perpetual outsiders, Indians are integral to Dubai’s economy. Yet even those who have established thriving diasporic neighborhoods in the emirate disavow any interest in formally belonging to Dubai and consider India their home. This lecture draws on ethnographic research to explore how these multiple and conflicting logics of belonging contribute to new understandings of contemporary citizenship, migration, and national identity.

Simultaneous Arabic translation will be provided

Neha Vora Author, Impossible Citizens: Dubai's Indian Diaspora (Duke University Press Books, 2013); Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Department of Anthropology & Sociology, Lafayette College


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