GRM 2010 GRM 2011

Abstract Details

Family Name:
First Name:
Dr. Musa
Title of Paper:
The Sudanese Immigrant Families Structure and living arrangements in the UAE
Paper Proposal Text :
Sudanese international migration is comparatively a new one, though some historical small scale migrations to Egypt, Lebanon, and Greece were documented. However, only a few studies tried to investigate migratory phenomena (Hassan & Elkenani, 2002). The oil-rich Arab countries of the Gulf have been the main destination for recent Sudanese expatriates (Abusharaf, 1997). The similarity between Sudanese culture and that of the Gulf countries (Islam and Arabic language) facilitated this migration because differences in social lifestyle were minimal (Briks & Sinclair, 1980). This similarity is expected to facilitate the process of acculturation. There are many factors that may contribute to the Sudanese migration such as economy, political instability, and military repression (Abusharaf, 1997).
This paper is based on the data collected five years ago from 1689 Sudanese expatriates in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Using nonprobability sampling methods, they were selected from the population of Sudanese moved to the United Arab Emirates. They live in Al Ain town (24.6%), Abu Dhabi (24.8%), Dubai (24.5%), Sharjah (6.8%), Fujayrah (5.1%), Ajman (3.1%), Ras Al Khaymah (6.0%), and Umm Al Qaywayn (5.1%). Male participants comprised 83.6%, while female participants comprised 16.4% of the sample. Participants age ranged between 18 and 75. About 71.9% of the participants were married, 25.1%, single, 1.9% divorced, and 1.1% widowed. Forty percent of the participants were university graduates, 8.1% with postgraduate degrees, 27.2% with high school certificates, 13.2% completed general secondary school, 7.9% completed primary school, and 4.3with no formal education or did not complete primary school.
The immigrant Sudanese family structure and living arrangements are faced with some difficulties. About 38% of husband left their wife back home and visit them at least once a year. Some other families preferred to send their children to Sudan for educational purposes while the parents stayed in the UAE working. These types of arrangement , according to the respondents is not the ideal one; families are forced by a number of reasons, such as economic so as to save more money needed either for the education of the children or for constructing a house for the family. A third group of families are all living in the UAE and having their children with them. Of the total number of the respondents about 21% stated that they don’t wish to go back to Sudan, and prefer to stay in the UAE if possible. This study aims at investigating the situation and living arrangements of the Sudanese immigrant families in the United Arab Emirates after about four decades away from home.