NRIs have fond memories as UAE celebrates golden jubilee

The GCC nation is a land of opportunities for Indians, they say

As the United Arab Emirates (UAE) celebrates its 50th National Day on Thursday, thousands of Non-Resident Indians (NRIs), especially Keralites, have fond memories of life in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) nation.

For entrepreneur Harrison Albert, who has been working in Dubai since 1996, the UAE has been a land of opportunities for expatriates. “The dramatic transformation of the nation shows its leadership with vision,” he said, adding that perhaps no nation offered such safety and security to its residents.

A proud owner of the recently introduced golden visa and the first licensed Ayurveda practitioner in the UAE, Shyam Viswanathan felt that Dubai was home to multicultural ethnicity. “About 30% of the population in that country are Indians. It is the most welcoming place in the world and embraces Indian heritage, sciences and culture. Indian professionals, skilled workers, and investors have huge opportunities to grow in the UAE,” Dr. Viswanathan said.

Mohammed Hashim, who is associated with book publishing, said opportunities were available in the UAE to those with aspirations and goals. “I came here to relieve myself from staying afloat at home to sailing happily. My dream has come true,” he said.

India-born Australian citizen Balu Bhasker, who is the chief of Care Critical Services at Fakeeh University Hospital, said he was amazed at the way the UAE dealt with the pandemic with proper planning and an early vaccination programme and the way the country got back on its feet. “Which nation would have held an IPL, a world cup, and an EXPO during a pandemic smoothly and successfully?” Dr. Bhasker asked.

Rajesh Chankoor, who works with a petroleum company, felt that the UAE offered a true globalisation concept valuing its culture and respecting those of others. “The permission for the construction of a temple in Abu Dhabi is a classic example of secularism,” he said.

Business consultant Santosh Raj said when everyone wrote the UAE off, it bounced back stronger after the world financial debacle in the first decade of the century. “The pandemic has been dealt with efficiently, and the country set an example for the rest of the world to follow.”

Ainel Aloysius, who has been working in the automobile sector in Dubai for the past 27 years, said the emirate was a gateway to all continents. “It has been able to tap the potential of the tourism sector. As part of this strategy, the UAE government has issued long-term residence and visit visas to all nationals.”

M.R. Rajesh, a lawyer, said the UAE was a unique fusion of heritage and modernism. “It is a window to the ever-widening opportunities and a safe place to live.”

IT expert Suresh Kumar said every Indian who went to the UAE had a neatly packaged dream that involved a good job with growth prospects, building a house back home, bettering the financial state of the family, and then returning to retire in comfort.

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