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OPINION: The West Might Expect War But It Feels Like Dubai Has A Whole Other Focus

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‘Iran will feel it must retaliate against US, say military analysts’  – The Guardian

‘Consequences mount after U.S killing of senior Iranian commando’ – The New York Times

The high-profile hit by US forces on Iranian General Qasem Soleimani means Iran may have no choice but to retaliate. #WorldWar3 is trending on Twitter but does that spell war?

And what does it mean for UAE residents?

The whole world is shouting ‘World War 3,’ and while the internet laughs, the thought of a senseless war in the region is terrifying. For UAE residents, most of whom are expats, we’re in unknown territory. Shaky ground means a dip in the local stock market and rise of oil prices internationally, so is now the time to up-ship and return home in panic? Not just yet.

Thousands took to the streets in Iran to mourn the death of Qassim Suleimani on Sunday

Tensions will rise but how likely is all-out war?

The hit on the Iranian commander was significant. It was, in fact, deemed too risky a move by previous US Presidents, and with thousands of Iranians in the streets mourning the death of the prominent figure, it leaves Iran with an open wound, prime to target US interests in Iraq, Syria or Lebanon or the already hostile Strait of Hormuz.

History shows Iran won’t rush to respond, but calculated attacks on key US outposts or a major upgrade in its nuclear weapons programme (following Iraq’s announcement on Sunday it was pulling out of the US nuclear agreement) could be likely.

The next year is crucial for tourism in the UAE and to be honest, the focus is on other things

Here in the UAE, there’s been no official response, no talk of troops being deployed… and why would there be? The country thrives on tourism, 2020 is a huge year for the UAE in which EXPO 2020 hopes to woo 25 million visitors during a six month period.

Transparent as always, HH Sheikh Mohammed just declared a new council which will work towards outlining the next 50 years, this summer the UAE aims to launch the Hope probe to Mars along with projects including major developments in sustainability and Blockchain technology.

As the UAE is steering towards peace, European leaders are also calling for restraint

Britain’s Boris Johnson, Germany’s Angela Merkel and France’s Emmanuel Macron released a joint statement urging restraint to all parties, they also called on Iran to restrain from violent actions. All parties hoping to a peaceful end, rather than further escalation.

The 2019 Arab Youth survey showed a generation that’s fed up with regional conflict

200 million young Arabs make up the region (the survey didn’t include Syria and Qatar) and 5th on the list of priorities from the younger generation is a need to put an end to conflict in the region.

It’s clear the majority have no interest in increasing tensions, which in turn affect other high priorities, like funds for education, healthcare.

The Year of Tolerance may be over but it highlighted how one country can be an example to others

Following in the footsteps of great leadership, over 200 nationalities continue to live harmoniously in the UAE.

If we have one New Year’s hope for 2020, it’s to keep the UAE conflict-free.

Main image via Twitter

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