This is one of THOSE widespread rumors and comments which I constantly hear from friends, visitors, guests etc..
“Does this white garment mean they are ‘Sheikhs’?”
Fortunately or unfortunately (matter of opinion) not everyone wearing a “white garment” (= Kandura) is a ‘Sheikh’.
The Kandura is the official UAE national dress which consists of a long, white shirt-like garment, a red checkered or white headdress (ghutra) and a black cord (agal).
As mentioned, the UAE manages pretty well to tie a not between MODERNISM and TRADITION – yes, many locals do have the most recent phone, the most expensive watch & drive fancy cars but they still identify themselves with their roots/traditions by for eg. wearing the Kandura in public.
“They seem so arrogant, untouchable”; “They are not friendly and have no good manners”
In this diverse world you will ALWAYS find “good” and “less good” people.
Generally speaking I’ve encountered mainly genuine, welcoming and kind Emiratis here in the UAE, who are thankful for what they have today and are “equipped” with an open mind due to overseas studies.
The reputation of an Emirati on “annual leave” is not the best but as I like to compare: does the German behave back home the same way he does in “Mallorca”? 😉
..second-hand embarrassment..just sayin’..
..you get what you give..
Once my car and I (yes, I drive, as mentioned earlier) had a battery issue at the petrol station. It was quite hard to find a helping hand due to the tinted windows of the XXL Nissan Patrols and Mitsubishi Pajeros which surrounded my VW Polo. After knocking on several windows I got two local helpers who were not “too arrogant” to help a “Blondie” or “too afraid” to sully their hands/garment! 😉