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Indian origin population in UAE

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the flags of both the countries as a sign of their harmony

Don’t know Arabic or fluent English? You’ll still get by in the UAE if you know Hindi or Malayalam — a line often repeated in jest here. But mind you, there’s a whole lot of truth in that. 2.6 million Indian origin population in UAE have made their homes, the largest expat community constituting 30 percent of the total population.

Little wonder that an overwhelming 48,000 Indians signed up to see and hear Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday at the Dubai Cricket Stadium despite the scorching heat. The excitement is palpable with Modi being the first Indian prime minister to visit this Gulf nation in 34 years.

Modi’s visit primarily seeks to enhance cooperation in energy and trade and reach out to investors. The India-UAE trade totals around $60 billion. This makes the UAE India’s third largest trading partner for 2013-14 after China and the US.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (L) shakes hand with United Arab Emirates Prime Minister and Dubai Ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum during his visit in Dubai August 17, 2015
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (L) shakes hand with United Arab Emirates Prime Minister and Dubai Ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum during his visit in Dubai August 17, 2015

India is the top receiver of remittances from its worldwide diaspora at $70.4 billion in 2014. Indians living and working in the UAE are the biggest source of remittances to India, contributing $12.6 billion, according to the World Bank. In comparison, about $11.2 billion of remittances for India originated in the US, which has a larger Indian origin population with much higher incomes.

And the contribution of Indians to the UAE growth story too has been immense, whether it is the hard work of thousands of unskilled laborers, those in the service sector or the contribution of Indian businessmen and professionals in fields like health, retail, education or real estate.

Indians emerged as the leading professional migrants to the UAE in 2014, representing 28 percent, according to a global study by professional networking site LinkedIn.

The demographics are interesting. According to the Indian embassy, in the 1970s and 1980s, when the principal requirement was for blue-collar workers, 85-90 percent of them were Indians. In the 1990s, the profile of the community changed. Today, 15-20 percent of Indians are professionally qualified personnel.

Known as the playground of the rich, the UAE is home to six Indians named in the Forbes’ 2015 Billionaires List: businessmen Mickey Jagtiani, M.A. Yusuff Ali, real estate tycoon Ravi Pillai, educationist Sunny Varkey, healthcare and foreign exchange czar B.R. Shetty and pioneering healthcare tycoon Azad Moopen.

The UAE has seen a rapid increase in Indian schools and colleges. Earlier, NRIs in the UAE had no choice but to send their children back to India or abroad elsewhere for higher education. It’s a different story now with the presence of well known institutes offering graduate and post-graduate courses at campuses in the Dubai International Academic City.

What makes the Indian in the UAE unique from those settled elsewhere in the world is they know they have to go back to India eventually as expats don’t get citizenship or permanent residency. So they are Indian at heart and Indian by passport!

At the same time, Indians are top investors in UAE’s real estate now. According to a Dubai Land Department report, foreign investment in Dubai’s realty market by Indians amounted to AED 18.12 billion ($5 billion) last year.

A group of Malayalis in UAE
A group of Malayalis in UAE

Malayalis form nearly 40 percent of the 2.6 million Indians in the UAE, making Kerala the biggest benefactor of the remittances. The country is also home to diverse Indian communities.

Sindhis and Gujaratis dominate most family-run businesses. There are also sizeable number of Punjabis, Tamils and Goans.

Where Indians go, they are bound to take their food along. The bustling locality of Karama in the heart of Dubai, nicknamed “Little India,” is dotted with enticing eateries offering menus from nearly 15 Indian states, including Karnataka, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Goa and Rajasthan.

For an average Indian, religion is an important part of life. And Dubai shines as a beacon of religious tolerance in the Gulf. In 1958, Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed al Maktoum, father of Dubai’s current ruler, permitted a Hindu temple to be built on the first floor of a bylane in Bur Dubai.

The 50,000 Sikhs in the UAE got their own grand Gurdwara in 2012, thanks to land donated by Sheikh Mohamed bin Rashid al Maktoum, the Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai. The UAE also hosts several churches frequented by the Malayali Syrian Christians.

The most glamorous business is of course show business. The UAE is a huge source of box office revenue for Bollywood and the Malayalam film industry. Generations of Emiratis grew up watching Hindi movies as staple entertainment, idolizing Amitabh Bachchan and, later, Shah Rukh Khan.

the el dorado cinema in Abu Dhabi
the el dorado cinema in Abu Dhabi

Indian movie stars fly down to the UAE for film premieres a day before it releases even in India. Not to forget the routine store inaugurations and stage shows, one can say that the chances of running into an Indian film star are more in Dubai than in India!

Credits- little India

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The Best Destinations for a Perfect Travel Experience

Here are some offbeat Indian destinations for backpackers

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Travel destinations
For millennials, travel is not just a means of escaping a busy lifestyle, but an end in itself. Pixabay

Millennials are seekers of wholesome experiences. For them, travel is not just a means of escaping a busy lifestyle, but an end in itself. It’s an essential part of life, not a break away from it.

In sync with the new taste and preferences of young adventure-seekers, the following places are rising up to the occasion by enhancing their travel experiences:

Wayanad- travel
Wayanad is the perfect travel destination for nature-lovers. Pixabay

Aurangabad
An exquisite confluence of history and culture, Aurangabad is home to the renowned Ajanta and Ellora Caves, a lot of old forts, art galleries, and museums. Besides this, the place is a bubbling, simmering pot of a range of dishes that no food-lover can afford to miss.

Mukteshwar
What could be better than mountains and peace? Mukteshwar is the stuff that a nature lover’s dreams are made of. It is the perfect place to chill alongside Nature within the folds of mighty mountains while enjoying the soul-soothing embrace of sunlight and the skin-tingling kiss of wintry waft. Mukteshwar is less than an eight-hour drive from Delhi, making it one of the closest hill stations to the Capital.

Wayanad
Wayanad is another treat for nature-lovers who also seek unique cultural experiences. Situated at a distance of 76 kilometers from the beaches of Kozhikode, the region is popular among backpackers on account of its near-perfect weather and scenic setting punctuated with dams, lakes, and hike trails. The town paints a quaint and soothing picture with the lush green of mountainous plateaus, picturesque jungles, and idyllic valleys dominating. Squatting atop the Western Ghats and enclosing part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, Wayanad is not considered the most beautiful district in Kerala in vain.

Alleppey- travel
Alleppey is a famous travel destination known for its backwaters and houseboats. Pixabay

Pokhara
Pokhara is often called the tourism capital of Nepal – and it is not in vain that it has received this moniker. It serves as a gateway to the renowned Annapurna Circuit, is among the most exciting paragliding destinations the world over, and offers the entrancing sight of the beautiful lake framed by sky-piercing mountains. What crystallizes its reputation as the ultimate ‘Adventure Land of Nepal’ is that it cuts a less busy version of Kathmandu while holding on its own as a must-visit backpacker’s paradise.

Also Read- Marine Animals Can Help Humans Monitor Oceans: Study

Alleppey
It is only when one has explored the intricate network of waterways which can only have been knitted by Mother Chaos that one realizes that the tag ‘Venice of the East’ does Alleppey injustice. Perpetually carrying the fascinating look of a forest having just emerged from a spell of rain, the region is famous for its toddy shops, punted boats, coir industry, paddy fields, the floating villages, and houseboats! (IANS)