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Thu 9 Jul 2009 09:22 AM

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About 150,000 Gulf Indian expats return home - minister

Minister for Indian overseas affairs says workers in the UAE seem most affected.

An estimated 150,000 Indian expatriate workers have returned home from the Gulf following the financial downturn, the country’s lower house was told on Wednesday.

India’s minister for overseas Indian affairs Vayalar Ravi informed the parliament that an estimated 50,000 to 150,000 workers, employed in the Gulf have returned to India due to delay in execution of projects in the region, news agencies reported. In his written reply to a question, the minister told the Lok Sabha that the workers in the UAE seemed to be most affected.

He said most of the workers have returned to India on leave without pay with the expectation that they would be able to go back to the Gulf country once the situation improves.

However, Ravi added that Indian Missions in Saudi Arabia, Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain and Qatar have informed that there have been some job losses in these countries.

“Information received from Indian Missions in Afghanistan, Syria, Sudan, Brunei, Libya, Jordan and Lebanon indicate that there is no report of Indians affected by the recession,” The Financial Express quoted the minister as saying.

The Indian embassy in the UAE could not give precise figures of returnees, but indicated that the number was very large, according to the IANS newswire.

Replying to a separate question, Ravi said the government has already strengthened the Indian embassies in the UAE by posting counsellors to provide assistance to the Indian workers.

“They will be assisted by local Indian professionals in extending legal, medical and financial counselling to the workers in need,” he said.

The number of Indians in the Gulf is estimated to be about four million.

Arabian Business: why we're going behind a paywall

andrew 11 years ago

I was travelling back from the Terminal 1 at night yesterday and there were hordes of Asians lining up for Visa Cancellations. This is just at that time of the day when thre were atleast20 people lined up. So we can imagine the number of visas cancelled.. My office is in DAFZA and recently I renewed the license. Every other day I can see that the officials are dealing with atleast 2 to 3 companies terminating contracts in the DAFZA. I think by end of the year the Dubai will become an empty place..

John Smith II 11 years ago

Thats rite, this is very sad that many people are returning home. Makes me think that if there are no people, there would be no money in dubai plus the AED 6,000 rule has been changed to AED 10,000 PM for getting their families. Remember - no people - no revenue.

Vineet 11 years ago

My family and I left the UAE permanently on 6th July 2009 and the reason was not because of a job loss. We left because we're moving to a place we can call home where life is not dependent on a work visa and security is not measured by the amount of money in your bank account. In the UAE, the lure of the tax free dirham certainly helped get us in but soon enough we realized that the sacrifice for the money was not worth it, specially with kids around. I believe this recession has been a good eye-opener to a lot of us who realize that when the bubble bursts, the UAE is not geared to deal with the consequences and we don't intend hanging around to be part of the collateral damage.

ahmer 11 years ago

This is just a small phase of correction. It has nothing to do with the future growth of the Emirates or the Gulf. Needless to mention that Islamic Banks are more widely used here and they are the ones that are not at all effected by the current crisis. I think the whole world will have to turn to the Gulf Muslim countries for help, initiatives already taken by Britain !! The present growth is only the tip of the iceberg.

Manan 11 years ago

Look at the positive side , the reality in the Real Estate industry has finally come to terms on the pricing . Dubai will recover and will be back to normal in the next two years , its the real estate and banks that went overboard and the financial crash in America has effected , even in India the real estate is having a tough time . Now is the time to rethink strategies and understand this time to better ourselves with the harsh realities of life .

Naveen 11 years ago

Arabian Business need to be more sensitive publishing these kind of information. Here's wishing all the best to people who have left already for whatever reasons.

Manan 11 years ago

Its very important that the Real Estate developers and contractors give Humane treatment to the workers here in Dubai and this is monitored by an Government agency , besides the per month salaries , they should have a law that a salary certificate is given every month and monies transferred to a bank account as proof of payment direct to the worker bank account and if not done , then a fine to the employer , Jafza has this rule why cannot the same be implemented in this sector or non Jafza companies .

Intisar 11 years ago

Hi Manan, it seems that you don't read AB on a daily bases, I don't want to say the media in general. get a look to this weblink: http://www.arabianbusiness.com/556801-govt-to-enforce-new-wage-protection-system---minister Cheers Intisar

Abu Ali 11 years ago

Hope the number doubles to 300,000

Amira 11 years ago

Naveen, how is the headline misleading?! It is a completely accurate summary of the story! The Indian minister for overseas affairs believes 150,000 Gulf Indian expats have returned home. And although you clearly fall into the category of people who believe news should be sugar-coated (do you work for the government perchance?) it is AB's job to report the news; not play it down because it might offend sensitive souls such as you. What a ridiculous thing to say. Oh, and people haven't left for "whatever reason" - they have left because the UAE, like the majority of the rest of the world, is in a downturn. Regardless of what official sources claim to the contrary.