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Can a woman head a household in Dubai? Our reporter ventures to find out

Margaret Coker writes, “DUBAI — Grifters looking for a big score. Laborers keeping their families back home afloat. Middle-class couples seeking to raise their children free from the Mideast’s war zones.

Dubai, with its Bright Lights, Big City aura, and the six other city states that make up the United Arab Emirates, attract millions of job seekers each year.

I am one of them.

As the Baghdad bureau chief for The New York Times, my work life takes place in Iraq, where I travel frequently. But my family life is in Dubai, where my husband, a fellow journalist who covers Afghanistan, and I can enjoy the finer things in life like reliable electricity, supermarkets, multiplexes and beach walks.

To reside here, however, foreigners need a sponsor, either their employer or a family. And for me, as a woman, that was a problem — and a challenge.”



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