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Indians in UAE: The largest expat community

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UAE
Image source: newindianexpress.com

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UAE: 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. The UAE is home to 2.6 million Indian expats, 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.

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.

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 a 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.

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!

(The article was first published in littleindia.com)

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Have Indians been ‘Bad’ Passengers while Travelling Abroad?

Flight attendants are often complaining when they have Indian passengers on an international flight

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Indian Passengers have been doing certain things wrongly that often lead to complaints from flight attendants. Wikimedia
  • Flights attendants are often sharing stories and complaining about passengers from India 
  • The problem is not just their behavior, but what they carry for travel as well
  • A couple of studies reveal exactly why Indian passengers drive the flight attendants crazy 

July 07, 2017: Flight attendants are often sharing funny and weird stories about Indian passengers on board to an international flight. They often complain about Indians being ‘different passengers’ that others.

A middle aged man once peed on the aisle as he got drunk out of his mind. Another time, on a flight from Melbourne to Delhi, a man got drunk and assaulted two passengers as a result of which he had to be tied down to his seat.

And surveys and study has revealed it is not only what Indians do on board, but also what they carry along with their travel. Recent study and survey show exactly what is wrong.

Virgin Atlantic, a UK based airline, studied the most bizarre check in requests from all over the world. It reveals about the Indians’ requests to carry beddings and broom on their travel. Bed-heads, folding beds and brooms are often requested by Indians on their travel to the UK.

ALSO READ: Trees worth Rs 742 Crore to be Cut for Building Metro-3 Car Shed in Mumbai

Another study about the 2016 crash-landing of Emirates flight (consisting 80% Indians on board) and more broadly about passenger behavior carried out by UAE aviation authorities highlight that Indians do not follow instructions, even at the times of crisis. For example, Indians carry their handbags during evacuation after repeated requests by the crew not to do so.

Not putting phones on airplane mode, stealing in-flight headphones and blankets, not making way for fellow passengers and of course taking too many selfies are some of the other things listen out by UAE authorities.

– prepared by a Staff Writer of NewsGram

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June 21 Marks Third International Yoga Day: UAE Celebrates too!

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The third International Yoga Day is celebrated on June 21. VOA

June 21, 2017: Thousands of people of different nationalities took part in various events organized in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on the eve of the International Yoga Day.

The third International Yoga Day is celebrated on June 21 but the events in the UAE were held a day earlier.

There were multiple venues across the UAE for the day. As the sun set down, participants trooped to the main venues in Dubai such as Burj Park, Zabeel Park and Burhani Complex in Al Nahda, at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium and at ADNEC in Abu Dhabi.

Warm-up sessions such as stretching, breathing exercises and exercise meditation were held prior to the main yoga session, which spilled over until midnight, the daily said.

The events in Dubai were organised by the Indian Consulate General with support from several schools and yoga associations such as The Art of Living.

Indian Consul General Vipul joined the Burj Park event where UAE Minister of Happiness Ohood Al Roumi and Dubai Sports Council Secretary General Saeed Hareb were also present.

The daily quoted Anand Mungre, a management executive who had come with his wife and child to participate, as saying: “I have been practising yoga for seven years and I can say that it has become a big stress-reliever for me. I also feel strong and healthy.”

Yoga has also contributed to international solidarity, said Rashi Datt of The Art of Living. “We see here people coming from various nationalities and they move in sync,” Datt said.

The UN declared June 21 as International Day of Yoga in 2014 after Prime Minister Narendra Modi called for the day to be declared as a global celebration of yoga. (IANS)

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Islamic Terrorism: 4 countries list Qatar-linked Terrorists and Organisations

The list was drawn up in the light of the shared commitment of the four countries to the fight against terrorism and its funding sources

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4 countries list Qatar linked terrorism organisations and individuals, Wikimedia
  • Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain have listed individuals and institutions that have financed terrorist organisations and received support from Qatar
  • The list was drawn up in the light of the shared commitment of the four countries to the fight against terrorism and its funding sources
  • Qatar announced it is fighting terrorism while financing, supporting and harbouring various terrorist organisations

Riyadh, June 9, 2017: Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain designated on Friday 59 individuals and 12 institutions that have financed terrorist organisations and received support from Qatar.

The step was taken days after several nations severed diplomatic ties with Qatar for allegations that it was supporting terrorist and extremist groups in the region, which Qatar called “unjustified” and “baseless”.

The list was drawn up in the light of the shared commitment of the four countries to the fight against terrorism and its funding sources, Al Arabiya cited a statement posted by the Bahrain News Agency.

The list was also a result of “the continued violation by the authorities in Doha of its signed commitments and agreements that included a pledge not to support or harbour elements or organisations that threatened the security of states”, it said.

The majority of those entities sanctioned were linked to Qatar and were a manifestation of a Qatari government policy of duplicity, the statement read.

ALSO READFour Arab Nations Put Qatar on Terror Finance Watch List, Qatar Says No

“Such attitudes put the national security of the four countries at risk as targets for acts of sabotage and chaos by members of terrorist organisations that Qatar either hosts or supports.”

It criticised Qatar’s “double standard policy”, saying that the country announced it is fighting terrorism while financing, supporting and harbouring various terrorist organisations.

The four countries reaffirmed in the statement their commitment to consolidating all efforts to combat terrorism and to relentlessly pursue the individuals and groups on the list.

Most of the blacklisted individuals in the list are Qataris along with Qatari charitable organisations. A Libyan extremist group and four Bahraini groups were also listed as terrorist cells. (IANS)