chapter  8
1 Pages

From ‘Trucial State’ to ‘Postcolonial’ City? The Imaginative Geographies of British Expatriates in Dubai

ByAnne Coles, Katie Walsh

This collaborative article adopts a postcolonial theoretical framework to examine the

imaginative geographies of British expatriates in Dubai. The analysis compares

qualitative data from two time periods: 196871, immediately prior to the Federation of the United Arab Emirates when this area of the Arabian Peninsular was known as the

‘Trucial States’, and 200204, some 30 years post-Federation. We argue that imaginative geographies of Self/Other are evident in the practices and discourses of both time periods,

and, in spite of their being reconfigured, there are strong continuities in evidence. These

imaginative geographies help to constitute the British (expatriate) Self, while contribut-

ing to the separateness of the British expatriate community in the colonial and

postcolonial contexts. In order to trace the dis/continuities in this process, we focus on

four sets of cultural practices and the discourses that surround them: social clubs, dress,

food, and excursions.