Emirates Sets World Record For Most Nationalities On A Flight

Filed Under: Emirates

Emirates has just rolled out an A380 with a very special livery. Specifically, this five year old A380 is now sporting a “Year Of Tolerance” livery, which depicts people from diverse backgrounds and cultures holding hands in solidarity.

This is intended to celebrate “the UAE’s message of multiculturalism,” as 2019 is the “Year of Tolerance” in the UAE. This is being done just ahead of the UAE National Day, which is on Monday.

Yes, perhaps there’s a bit of irony to the UAE being a champion for tolerance, but I do think it’s a pretty livery, at least, and in theory I appreciate the message.

Today this A380 operated a very special 90 minute flight, with flight number EK2019. The A380 flew at low altitudes across the UAE, including over Um Al Quwain, Ras Al Khaimah, Fujairah, Al Ain, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, and Ajman.

Emirates even set the Guinness World Record for the most nationalities on an aircraft. The over 540 passengers on the plane were 145 different nationalities.

There were three pilots — Captain Abbas Shaban (Emirates’ Chief Pilot), Captain Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum (I think the title needs no introduction), and First Officer Karin Arning (from Germany).

Meanwhile the 22 cabin crew were from 18 countries, and interestingly enough were led by an Emirati national (Emirates has very few “local” flight attendants).

Again, maybe it’s just me, but if the goal is to promote multiculturalism, why are three of the four highest ranking people onboard locals? Shouldn’t they be doing everything they can to promote how people from all over the world make the country run?

Emirates notes that the average Emirates flight has about 15 nationalities among the crew, and carries an average of more than 50 nationalities in total.

Bottom Line

This is a cool initiative, and there’s no doubt that the UAE has a lot of nationalities. It’s probably what I like most about the UAE, because there aren’t many places where you’ll naturally interact with people from so many countries in a given day.

At the same time, the concept of the UAE championing tolerance is interesting. Don’t get me wrong, as far as countries in the region go, the UAE is progressive, but I’m not sure I’d go so far as to say that the country is openly “entrenching the values of tolerance, dialogue, coexistence and openness to different cultures” in the way that this initiative is intended to.

On a day-to-day basis I do find the country to be pretty “open” to people, but I wouldn’t say that’s systematically reflected in the laws.

Sorry, that probably ended up getting a bit more political than it should have. Just my two cents…

  1. I’m guessing the UAE’s message of “multiculturalism” didn’t include any “tolerance” for Jews and/or those from Israel.

  2. There are no restrictions on Jewish people entering the UAE. Try to differentiate between Jews and Israel
    Some have no interest in the country , no links and don’t support its government
    How about Qatar seeing as there is an embargo between there and the UAE

  3. I would have liked to be on that flight. Love sitting next to someone from another country than my own.

  4. You’re probably less likely to be hated on, spat at, shamed, ignored or discriminated against for being a non-native complexion than in the US

  5. Quite a coup in copting, in a most cynical fashion tiresome diversity for diversity’s sake.

    But diversity for diversity’s sake is so ethically banrukpt that this mockery is appropriate.

  6. A more accurate slogan might be “We’re more tolerant than the Saudis”, since women who have been raped in Dubai have been imprisoned for adultery when the rapists were married.

  7. Give the UAE a bit of credit for once. The Pope was here earlier this year and they are opening up an Abrahamic Family House in Abu Dhabi, with synagogue, church, and mosque all together in one place.
    There is already a synagogue in Dubai, and Israel is participating in the Dubai 2020 expo.

    I get that the liberals hate this place because they aren’t “woke” enough and do not accept the extreme LGBTQ agenda that being forced down every ones throat in the US.

  8. Most Americans who work in UAE seem to be people who couldn’t find good jobs or did not graduate from good schools in the US. They work in that oppressive environment to feel special, something they will not achieve in the US. Then when they are done working in UAE, they can’t even stay there. They don’t have retirement benefits. So they come back to the US to be a burden on the hardworking Americans who stayed in the US since we have to subsidize their healthcare as they get none of that from UAE. But hey, they lived a luxurious life with nannies and shit.

  9. @Matt You’re insulting us in the wrong way. Most people in the USA “who couldn’t find good jobs or did not graduate from good schools…” probably can’t locate the UAE on a map, let alone have the foresight to pursue employment there.

    Could you let me know how to get some of that subsidized healthcare, though? I work full time in a corporate role in the US for a Fortune 10 company and let me tell you, my healthcare benefits are pretty lousy. I’d love some of the free stuff you (and apparently all my other countrymen) are paying for.

  10. @Barry:

    The LGBTQ+ agenda? Like brunch and bottomless mimosas…? Because I know a lot of straight people who are also on board with that agenda. You should try it; it can be a lot of fun. Otherwise, I’m unsure what agenda the alphabet crowd is pushing. Is it the whole “demanding equal rights” thing you have a problem with? Because that’s less agenda and more an equality thing, just so ya know.

  11. @AR:
    That’s how the agenda looks in Britain.
    “In October last year, comedy writer Graham Linehan was given a verbal warning by police for failing to use a trans activist’s preferred pronouns on Twitter. In February, Kate Scottow was arrested and locked in a cell for the crime of ‘deadnaming’ (referring to a trans person by the name he or she used before transitioning).”

  12. > This is intended to celebrate “the UAE’s message of multiculturalism,” as 2019 is the “Year of Tolerance” in the UAE.

    So on January 1 2020, after the Year Of Tolerance has concluded, they can check the “Tolerance” box, and it’s back to business as usual?

  13. How can they possibly know that there’s never been a flight with more nationalities?

    Made up PR. Just sayin’

  14. The People’s Republic of China is NOT a country. It is a renegade group of provinces that belong to the Republic of China (on Taiwan).

    Instead, those renegade provinces try to bully America, the Republic of China, Hong Kong, and the world.

  15. @Matt Sorry you didn’t get that high paying job in the UAE. No need to be such a baby and go around insulting others due to jealousy 😉

  16. “Who gets to define what hate speech is and who gets to decide if and when it is criminalized and to what penalty?”

    Certainly not homophobic persons such as yourself. I mean, if you are still making comments like

    “Calling a person that is so confused that the surgically and chemically change there lives”

    No, that isn’t what it is. At all.

    “Calling for death or injury of another person is quite different than calling someone Patrick when they now consider himself to be Patricia.”

    It is still hateful, and coming from a hateful place.

  17. I never understand why bigoted, hate filled people like Bandmeeting try so hard to pretend they’re actually nice, normal people…

    You know you aren’t, we know you aren’t – why on Earth are we going through all this pointless arguing?

    Even if you somehow think you’re correct, you can’t possibly be so stupid as to think that’s appropriate in a civilised society?

  18. All spin and hype of course, but the message, unintentionally, is that “we may not like you, but we tolerate you (unless you’re gay, then we don’t even do that.)”
    Maybe “Year of Inclusion” was more the aim?

  19. Sam. You are a good guy. You should know better than to buy into and support this propaganda coming from a country that is one of the leaders in Human Rights violations.

  20. @Bandmeeting “Who gets to define what hate speech is and who gets to decide if and when it is criminalized and to what penalty?”

    In a Parliamentary Democracy like the UK it would be the Parliament. You’re welcome!

  21. @AR – Actually, I do enjoy a good brunch, although I would trade out the bottomless mimosas for bottomless bubbly!
    In all seriousness though, its not equality or common sense decency that I am against, its the continual thought policing that the LGBTQ’s are pushing, which is a big problem. Such as, insisting on laws that “he” and “she” shall no longer be used in favor of “they”; threatening parents who wont give hormones to the young children who may be gender confused; “cancelling” – and actually firing – persons who supported “traditional” marriage years ago (when President Obama still had an official position of “states decide” on same sex marriage); credible Democratic POTUS candidates threatening to ban religious groups who follow traditional marriage rules; forcing “genderless” bathrooms in high school, etc..
    It goes on and on. Instead of “live and let live”, it is now “live and you better engage, support and join in with our beliefs, or we will make your lives hell”

  22. This is an incredible gesture. The UAE is TRYING to be tolerant and accepting of diversity at a time when intolerance and xenophobia is growing everywhere, not least in the US where the openly white nationalist Trump is trying to ban entire nationalities and religions, put Mexicans in concentration camps, supporting Israeli apartheid against Palestinians as well as pardoning white war criminals and demanding tough sentences against black people even when they are innocent ( remember the Central Park Five )

    You want politics ? We can insert politics and we can point out people who live in glass houses should not throw stones.

  23. @CJ wrong.

    Yes there is a political issue with Israel (although it participates in sport competitions and has been invited (and accepted) to participate at the 2020 Expo. In November 2019, the UAE permitted Israeli passport holder to enter the country during Expo 2020. Israelis were allowed to have their own pavilion at the event and to even visit the country afterwards. But again, frictions between the two countries is only politically motivated. In fact jews from any nationality can enter the UAE through visa waver or even obtaining a visa without any issue in accordance to its immigration policies. Want to know more? There is a synagogue in Dubai which has been opened since 2008. The synagogue also welcomes visitors. As of 2019, according to Rabbi Marc Schneier, it is estimated that there are about 150 families to 3,000 Jews who live and worship freely in the UAE.

    In conclusion, yes, the UAE is a multicultural and tolerant country by all means and I can witness this after living in it for over the last 16 years.

  24. @Nicole

    Your response and comment is by far the most mature over here. Not least because you have been living in the United Arab Emirates for the past 16 years and hence are better placed to talk about race relations there, much better than people who may not have even set foot in the UAE or any other Middle Eastern country.

    What is surprising is that at a time when the UAE is TRYING to be accepting of diversity, you have Western nations like the UK and US headed by characters like Trump and Boris Johnson who openly use dog whistle xenophobic language and then their denizens act like their respective countries are models of acceptance, which in fact they are not. One could talk about how the US’s human rights record is infinitely worse than the UAE’s but at least the UAE is attempting to be accepting of diversity, which at this time the US is NOT.

  25. Wow! After reading some of the posts on here, I think I will chance it and side with the UAE. So much hate in the former posts (BTW, I am gay, white, and American). Did I mention we are just as xenophobic and ethnocentric as the next country? Not to mention that we are sexist, racist, and unable to think meta-cognitively or critically about anything. Most Americans think a primary source is whomever or whatever feeds them the information they ingest. Of course, most accept this information as factual. Who can blame them, we are most certainly one of the most ignorant nations on earth due to a complete collapse in funding for education. BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE!

  26. At the bottom line, none of the 9 million Israeli citizens can enter the UAE, unless this particular Israeli has another nationality. This is ugly discrimination, and the national airline celebrating “Year Of Tolerance” as long as no Israelis taking part in it its nothing but hypocritical joke.

  27. @Jonathan

    As far as I am concerned, passport holder from the following countries aren’t also allowed to Israel: Algeria, Bangladesh, Brunei, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Lebanon. It is political and to your disappointment it works both ways. Each country according to its foreign policy has the right to impose restriction at its borders and to implement immigration policies that best suits them. So you are complaining against the fact that Israelis aren’t allowed in some countries but for you it’s ok if Israel decides to impose a ban on some passport or individuals? Isn’t it a bit of double standard?

  28. @ Johnathan Israeli citizens CAN enter the UAE but they need to apply for visas first. The Israelis treat Palestinians hideously so they have only themselves to blame if they are not welcome in other areas of the world.

Leave a Reply

If you'd like to participate in the discussion, please adhere to our commenting guidelines. Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *