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For centuries, families of transnational Sunni Arabs, or Persians both Sunni and Shiite, have migrated from southern Iran to the Arab coast of the Persian Gulf. In fact, Iranian groups living on the coast of the Persian Gulf have generally looked more to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) than to Iranian groups inland (Potter, 2009). They have maintained a "dual existence", owning houses in two or more countries and speaking multiple languages (Nadjmabadi, 2010). This has been a source of economic benefit to both Iran and the UAE, at least until the recent political unrest in the region. Many Iranians and Emirati citizens of Iranian origin in Dubai and other UAE cities come from towns in the department (shahrestiin) known as Larestan, and from towns in the Iranian province of Hormozgan. These populations are generally called Larestani, from the name of the region, or by the name of their town of origin: Evazi, Khonji, Bastaki, etc. In the UAE they are also described by the interchangeable Farsi terms: Khodmooni and Achami; the former means "of our own kind", or in a broader sense "those familiar to us". These Farsi terms emerged in the Arab areas of the Persian Gulf and show the strong mutual attachment of Larestani transnational immigrant families and UAE native families.
Khazaeli, M. & Barrett, M. (2014). Case study: the al-Awadhi brothers: the story of two Emirati entrepreneurs. In D. Halkias & C. Adendorff (Eds.), Governance in Immigrant Family Businesses: Enterprise, Ethnicity and Family Dynamics (pp. 10-13). Farnham, United Kingdom: Gower. http://www.ashgate.com/isbn/9781472402394