Joudi suggests no issue with Miss Daisy and Shaback performing at Expo 2020 as UAE is adapting to Western cultures
NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Cultural differences between The Bahamas and the United Arab Emirates are not a concern as the countries seek to expand their diplomatic relationships, assured Tony Salim Joudi, non-resident ambassador for the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the State of Qatar.
Joudi was responding to questions from members of the media regarding the country’s recent participation at the global cultural exchange Expo 2020 Dubai, UAE, last month.
It used to be a concern, but — as we see it now happening — the UAE is now adapting more liberty.
– Ambassador Tony Salim Joudi
Some members of society expressed concern and anger over the government’s decision to include popular Bahamian entertainer Miss Daisy, who is well-known across the country for her rants and vulgarness, and a praise and worship choir, which were potentially in contravention of the UAE’s Islamic practices and laws.
However, Joudi said yesterday that cultural difference between the two countries is not a “big factor for them or for us because they are enhancing and adapting to the new rules of the Western world”.
“It used to be a concern, but — as we see it now happening — the UAE is now adapting more liberty,” he said.
“Just to give an example, they used to have a weekend Friday and Saturday; now the weekend is Saturday and Sunday.
“They used to have no allowances for marriages out of wedlock; now they allow people to get married and even have children, which means you could have a civil marriage.
“So, they are really easing up on their cultural restrictions, which is adapted by the west.”
The Bahamas is among the 192 country pavilions to showcase the best in the country’s culture, music and food at Expo 2020 Dubai, held between October 2021 to March 2022.
The country celebrated its National Day at the expo on January 17, featuring hundreds of Bahamian artists and artisans, including a Junkanoo group, the Royal Bahamas Police Force Band, the Bahamas All-Stars Band and the Shaback gospel choir.
Last month, the Emirates signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to explore joint initiatives to promote tourism to the island nation.
The MOU was signed by Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Emirates group chairman and chief executive officer, and Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Public Service Fred Mitchell.