chapter
8 Pages

Parallel Lives and the Interpretation of Cultural Difference

In both the time periods analysed, pre-and post-Federation, the socialising practices

of British migrants in Dubai were, at least for the vast majority, characterised by a low

level of interaction with Emirati nationals and a high level of interaction with fellow-

nationals. Often transnational migrants maintain relatively coherent boundaries

between Self and Other through their socialising practices and, in the case of

Westerners, this has been widely documented not only in the colonial context but in

postcolonial expatriate writings (Coles and Fechter 2007). In our analysis, we first

describe the socialising practices in both time periods, including the important

role of expatriate clubs, and then consider how the (re)production of imagina-

tive geographies of Self/Other through other cultural practices*dress, food and excursions*contributes to the seeming normality and naturalness of socialising separately.