The effect of English language on the Emirati identity in the context of UAE national security

  • Hamad Alyammahi

    Student thesis: Master's Thesis


    The President Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan announced the year 2008 as the year of Emirati identity. This highlights the growing importance of the Emirati identity. Since then there have been a number of identity initiatives which have contributed to the national goal, as defined in the UAE Vision 2021, of developing a cohesive society and preserving identity. These are key elements of the UAE's broader national security agenda. National identity has four key element, notably language, heritage, values and culture. In the UAE, these elements are affected by a host of factors including demography, globalization and the widely use of English language in the UAE in general. The thesis answers the research question of - To what extent does the wide use of English language in the UAE negatively affects Emirati national identity? A mixed method approach of surveys and interviews were used to answer this question. Based on the study's results, the answer to the research question is that the wide use of English language negatively affects in a significant way only the language elements, moderately effects the culture and values elements, and had minimal effect on heritage element.
    Date of AwardApr 2017
    Original languageAmerican English
    SupervisorAthol Yates (Supervisor)


    • National identity
    • national security
    • culture
    • language
    • heritage and values.

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