Republicans look to the future while Democrats worry
There were long faces and shattered hopes for some, smiles and laughter for others as American expats came together to watch history in the making yesterday morning.
At DIFC’s Capital Club, and also in the JW Marriott Marquis, government officials, hedge fund managers, businessmen and students alike watched Donald Trump defeat Hillary Clinton.
Noor Naji, who organised the Marriott event, said even as the hours passed and it got to 11am, viewers stayed glued to the screens.
“It felt like people just didn’t have jobs to go to today,” he said. One Democrat voter shed tears as the result came in and others walked out in frustration.
Among those at the Capital Club was Trump supporter Noel Harmon, 25, a post-graduate student studying in Dubai who is originally from Illinois. Harmon has a “lot of faith” in Trump.
Looking to the near future, Harmon said the cost of education is among her greatest concerns, adding she has racked up about $60,000 in student debt.
She said: “I’m a Republican, I did vote for Donald Trump this year. And I’m supporting him because I believe our middle class is weakening in the US. I think that Trump will be the best candidate to help pull the middle class together. “He has proposed and promised tax cuts for large businesses as well as small businesses. He’s also proposed tax cuts and deductions for students, the elderly and people who need assistance with childcare.” She said that she did not believe claims from a number of women in the US that Trump inappropriately touched them. Harmon said: “I ran for Miss Illinois and that was a Donald Trump pageant. He gave us a really great platform. It had an excellent message of strength and community for women.
“Politics in the US are extremely corrupt so it’s nice that we’ll have a fresh face.”
Dr Bill Wechsler, Professor and Dean of Arts and Sciences at the American University in Dubai, said: “I think some of the businessmen involved were trying to make sense of this from an economic perspective. There’s no question it was a historic moment.”
Andrew Mash, 32, originally from New York, who is a partner at Dubai’s Tandem Syndicate Partners, was also in the crowd.
He said: “I voted for Hillary, the lesser evil. But I woke up this morning and saw this and it felt right. The decision has been made, the people have spoken and who knows maybe Trump will make America great again. It’s like the Reagan times, he was from Hollywood, he had no experience and he was a great President.
“It’s not the end of the world. We have to move quickly though, not like Brexit.”