Picture used for illustrative purpose only.
There is something about the UAE that appeals to a huge number of people in India. Whether it is its amazing creature comforts, relaxed lifestyle, superb mod cons or its industrial strength safety and security – or all of this combined – the fact is that it has immense magnetic appeal for Indians.
So do the other nations of the Gulf Cooperation Council. Which is why Parliament in India has admitted that a whopping 65 per cent of Indian expatriates have made the six Gulf Cooperation Council, GCC, states their home.
The Lok Sabha, the lower House of Indian Parliament, was informed of this heart-warming fact during its ongoing budget session.
Of these six GCC states, the UAE tops the list as home to the largest number of Indians, closely followed by Saudi Arabia. The third largest concentration of Indians is in the United States, but their number is way behind, at a mere one-fifth of the combined total for the UAE and Saudi Arabia.
Data from India’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of India, also given to Parliament simultaneously, said $76.4 billion flowed into India by way of remittances from Indians living abroad. This is the figure for the financial year 2018-19, the last year for which full statistics are available. No country-wise source for the remittances was provided.
Worldwide, the UAE topped the list of countries hosting Indians at 3.42 million. This an increase of over 3.1 million Indian residents at the end of 2018 showing the UAE as the most popular destination for those in India seeking opportunities abroad.
Separate statistics show that 55 per cent of Indians travelling abroad pass through the UAE at some point in their journey. Simultaneously, the number of Indian tourists to the UAE and hotel occupancy by them in Abu Dhabi and Dubai also soared.
With big publicity campaigns under way for Expo 2020 Dubai, the expectation in India is that the number of Indians visiting the UAE this year and the next will reach record levels.
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The new flights were celebrated with a cake cutting ceremony on Wednesday and was attended by key representatives from Abu Dhabi International Airport and IndiGo.
Sheikh Abdullah and his accompanying delegation met Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday as part of their official visit to the country.
Recent measures in Pakistan to widen the tax net, initiating a number of proposals like an amnesty scheme to allow people to declare their ‘unknown’ assets, and changes in tariff in many services and products, have created confusion among the Pakistani expatriates in the UAE.
Instead, the court found Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh guilty of the lesser charge of kidnapping and sentenced him to seven years in prison. One of his lawyers, Khwaja Naveed, said he could go free unless the government chooses to challenge the court decision.
About half the country's roughly 110 million people are currently under quarantine — including millions in deep poverty, left jobless by tough restrictions on movement.
The first phase testing would take around three months, CSIRO's director of health Rob Grenfell told Reuters, adding that any resulting vaccine would not be available to the public before late next year.