Indian citizens living in Dubai tell Vision.ae how their community is creative, active, and growing at a remarkable pace.
Dubai’s largest expat community is made up of Indians – nearly 1.5 million according to the Indian Consulate. While the majority come to Dubai seeking better opportunities, additional factors are making them comfortable enough to call it their second home.
“I was very keen to move to a global exhibitions marketplace to add value to my professional career. Dubai has world-class MICE facilities and that was my key motivation,” says Anu Bhatnaga, a PR strategist who moved to Dubai from New Delhi in 2003.
Since then, Anu has led and contributed to substantial projects, including an outreach campaign for diabetes prevention, in which she played a catalysing role by raising awareness of the disease at a national level. “Living in Dubai inspires me to push myself more. I’ve been blessed to pursue a great career and hobbies in a vibrant, multicultural and extremely safe city,” notes Anu.
Moving to Dubai was easier for Veathika Jain, a media professional who was headhunted by Arabian Radio Network in Mumbai. “My parents have been in Dubai for the last 14 years, so I already knew the place”. That was eight years ago. Today, Veathika runs Dubai Dates – a video blog showcasing all types of events from around the city – after working with Martha Stewart Weddings magazine and Zee TV.
“The best things about Dubai are the greenery, cleanliness and infrastructure. It’s also easy to visit India as the distance is short – you’re anywhere in the country in 2-3 hours”. Meanwhile, Sunita Sharma, who originates from Rajasthan, also moved to Dubai for the “life style and fortunes”, but what kept her in the city for 15 years was the vibrant mix of cultures.
“I got to know India better living here as I met people from different states. I also made friends with different nationalities and the one-world one-family concept is part of my life now. Never did I feel that I was away from my country”. Sunita has been working with Art of Living in Dubai for the past 10 years, teaching yoga and breathing techniques.
Some Indians plan to stay in Dubai indefinitely, but some have others aspirations. “We don’t have plans now to move back to India, but we may move to another country to gain international exposure,” says Veathika. Similarly, Anu has long-term plans to stay in Dubai. “At some stage though, I would like to establish a charity in India, so perhaps I will spend more time there in the future”.
Nevertheless, she admits that moving to Dubai 11 years ago was well worth it. “My decision proved to be one of the best I had taken in my life”.