UAE Indian Community

Overview

The Indian community in the UAE, numbering 1.75 million, constitutes 30 per cent of the total population. It is the largest expatriate community in the country. It uniquely provides a breadth in terms of numbers and depth in terms of categories of workers employed which distinguishes it from every other expatriate community in the UAE.

The profile of the community has changed with the evolving needs of the country: in the 1970s and 1980s, when the principal requirement here was for blue – collar workers, the Indian community was blue - collar to the extent of 85-90 per cent, with a negligible percentage of professionals. In the 1990s, as the need for professionals to meet the need of the expanding Service sector emerged, the profile of the community changed, and today, 15-20 per cent of the Indian community is made up of professionally qualified personnel!

Up to the early 1990s, the Indian workers used to face serious problems in regard to the failure to implement contractual obligations by employers as also in respect of their working and living conditions. Grievance redressal mechanisms were also grossly inadequate and frequently biased in favor of the employer.

Over the last five years there has been a steady improvement in the situation both in respect of the treatment of workers as also with regard to grievance redressal mechanisms. Today, the UAE Ministry of Labour and the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs are working closely to evolve a new arrangement that would make the system of recruitment and contracting more transparent.

In 2007, the UAE authorities were deeply concerned when two strikes involving Indian workers took place. In one instance, there was violence on the streets against police personnel, while in the other, Indians, along with workers of other nationalities were involved in a coordinated “sit-in” involving over 40 thousand workers at 26 sites across the UAE. While initially the UAE authorities tended to think in terms of extremist conspiracies, we were able to persuade them that the principal source of the workers’ anger was the fact that the UAE Dirham was pegged to the US Dollar and was thus yielding for the lowest category of workers at least Rs. 1000/- less per month than what his wages had yielded earlier. The grievances of these striking workers were settled through a ten per cent increase in wages across the board.

An analysis of the situation of the workers reveals the need for considerable reform at home, particularly in regard to the functioning of recruiting agencies and their role in promoting the scourge of “illegal”, as also the need to finalise legally binding and enforceable contracts in India itself before the workers reach the UAE. Happily, given the positive and constructive approach of the UAE Government, the stage is now set for a significant improve in regard to the welfare of our people in this country.

Demographic Profile

The UAE population presently is estimated to be around five million of which 2/3rd are immigrants from foreign countries, including India. The break-up of Indian emigrants in UAE is as follows:

65% belong to the blue-collar category (employed mostly in construction companies, municipalities, agricultural farms)

✔ 20% belong to the white collar non-professional (clerical staff, shop assistants, sales men, accountants, etc…) and

✔ 15% are professionals and businessmen and their family members. The breakup of Indians from different States prepared on the basis of data of remittances sent to India is as follows:

Sl. No State % Population Remarks
1 Kerala 50% 8.75 lakhs Employed mainly in jobs in offices, schools, receptionist-secretaries, small business establishments, salesmen, van drivers, watchmen, etc.
2 Tamil Nadu 15% 2.6 lakhs Employed in field jobs, construction and offices
3 Andhra Pradesh 10% 1.7 lakhs Employed in construction and other blue collar jobs
4 Punjab 8% 1.4 lakhs Mainly in construction sector, aluminum and steel works, business, carpentry, crane and heavy vehicle drivers, etc.
5 Others(incl. Rajasthan, UP, Bihar, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa) 12% 2.1 lakhs Gujaratis are mainly in business sector. Goans are mainly in hotel industry.
    Total 17.50 lakhs  

Indian Associations and Prominent Indians in UAE

The Indian community has played a major role in the economic development of the UAE over the last 35 years. The Indian community is respected for its technical competence, sense of discipline and its minimal involvement with criminal activity compared to other expatriate communities. However, the main point in its favour is its non-involvement in local and regional political issues. In view of these qualities, Indian expatriates enjoy an advantage over other nationalities like Chinese, Koreans, Filipino, Pakistani, Bangladeshi or Arab expatriates.

Five eminent Indians from UAE- Yussuf Ali, Syed M. Salahuddin, B.R. Shetty, K.Kumar and Dr. J.R. Gangaramani have been honoured with the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award. In 2008, Mr.Yussuf Ali, was conferred the Padma Shri by the President of India. In 2009, Padma Shree has been awarded to Dr. B.R. Shetty and Sunny Varkey.

UAE has a system of registering social organizations of the expatriate community and, within the guidelines laid down by the UAE Government, such associations can function freely. There are 5 registered Indian Associations in Abu Dhabi, and one each in the other six Emirates. The registered Associations are umbrella bodies and smaller cultural/ethnic groupings (affiliated to the registered Associations) also function under them. These Associations take care of the welfare of the Indian community and conduct cultural/welfare activities regularly, including sports activities.

ABU DHABI Emirate - Community Associations

S.No Name Office Bearer Contact No. E MAIL Year of inception Members
1 INDIA SOCIAL CENTRE P.O. Box 816, Abu Dhabi Ramesh Panicker
Hon. President
050-6127384 tvarghese@eminsco.com president@iscabudhabi.com 1967 2200
INDIAN SOCIAL CENTRE – AL AIN P.O. Box 1620, Al Ain T.V.N Kutty Hon. President 050-6186985 jkutty@tawamhospital.ae 1975 2400
3 INDIA ISLAMIC CENTRE P.O. Box 4190, Abu Dhabi P. Bava Haji Hon. President 050-6421862 bavahaji@gmail.com 1973 500
4 KERALA SOCIAL CENTRE P.O. Box 3584, Abu Dhabi Muralee K. B Hon. President 050-6679690 ksc@eim.ae 1971 1100
5 ABU DHABI MALAYALI SMAJAM P.O. Box 2779, Abu Dhabi Manoj Pushkar Hon. President 050-6161458 --------- 1968 925
6 INDIAN LADIES ASSOCIATION P.O. Box 3660, Abu Dhabi Jonia Mathews Hon. President 050-7610579 055-8386594 mervszoj@eim.ae 1967 200

Unregistered Associations

S.No Name Office Bearer Contact No. E MAIL
1 ISLAHI CENTRE, ABU DHABI P.O. Box 816, Abu Dhabi Salahudeen P. K. Hon. President 050-2645424 salahudeenpk@hotmail.com
MAHARASTRA MANDAL P.O. Box 2286, Abu Dhabi Sanjay Kushe
 President
050-5913062 sanjakushe@yahoo.co.in
3 TELUGU ASSOCIATION Prithiviraj Cherukku
President
050-6602466
 050-3268788
bavahaji@gmail.com
4 KARNATAK SANGH Sarvotham Shetty Hon. President 050-6125464 sarvo@eim.ae
5 ABU DHABI TAMIL SANGHAM Reginald Samson
 President
050-1294869 reginald_samson@yahoo.com
6 BHARATHI TAMIL ASSOCIATION Ramakrishnan
 President
050-4459769 radhikadham@gmail.com
7 WORLD PUNJABI ORGANISATION Surjit Singh,
 President
050-6129811 surjitmax@gmail.com; wpoabudhabi@hotmail.com
8 ANANTHAPURAM NON-RESIDENT ASSOCIATION Sarat Chandran Nair
 President
050-6147095 srisylam@emirates.net.ae
9 BENGALI ASSOCIATION Pinaki Sarkar
President
050-6147095 psarkar@zadco.ae

Commercial Associations

S.No Name Office Bearer Contact No. E MAIL
1 INDIAN PHARMACEUTIAL FORUM, UAE K.G. Anil Kumar
 General Secretary
050-4430334 kganil@eim.ae
THE INSTITUTE OF CHARTERED ACCOUNTANTS OF INDIA Vikas Puri
Chairman
050-7624476 vikaspuri@icaiauh.org
3 INDIA BUSINESS PROFESSIONAL GROUP, ABU DHABI Mohan Jashanmal
Chairman
050-6670508 mjashanmal@jashanmal.ae

CGI, Dubai’s Justridiction

Community Associations

S.No Name Office Bearer Contact No. E MAIL
1 Indian Association \RAS AL Khaimah A.M.M. Noorudheen President O50-6273368
 050-6904994
ammnoor@hotmail.com
INDIAN ASSOCIATION, UMM AL QUWAIN Varghese Rajan
 President
050-6281663 varghese@ntde-uae.com
3 DUBAI KERELA MUSLIM CULTURAL CENTRE (KMCC) Ibrahim Elettil
 President
050-6785845 dubakmcc@emirates.net.ae
4 GUJARATI SAMAJ J. R. Hadani
 President
050-6453514 jrhadani@eastwestad.com
5 INDIAN SOCIAL AND CULTURAL CLUB KALBA T. P. Mohan 050-6493637 ibrahimva@gmail.com
6 MAHARASHTRA MANDAL Pradeep Kesar
 President
pnkesar@gmail.com
7 MANGALORE KONKANS Santosh Kevin Nazreth President 050-6443036 kevinsan@eim.ae
8 NAIR SERVICE SOCIETY Vijaya Mohan
 President
050-6165872 vijaytvm@hotmail.com
9 INDIAN ARTS SOCEITY Abdul Kalam
President
050-6252701 toyworld@faisalholding.net
10  HARYANA CULTURAL ASSOCIATION Vipin Maloo
President
050-6794199 vmaloo@eim.ae
11 INDIAN CULTURAL ASSOICATION B. Mohan Kumar
 President
050-4510702 mohan_kiumar@emirates.ae
12 BHAVNA ARTS SOCIETY P.S. Chandaran
President
050-7746579 omchand@emirates.net.ae
13 WORLD MALAYALEE COUNCIL Michael Stephen
President
050-4534429 Michael.stephen@ymail.com
14 VISWAKARMA, UAE Santosh Palakkad
 President
050-7923100 Upasana786@yahoo.com
15 FRIENDS OF INDIA N. Mohan
President
050-5517848 msvlinks@gmail.com
16 ALIGARH MUSLIM UNIVERSITY ALUMNI FORUM-UAE Anis Ahmad
 President
050-6562325 Anis.ahmad@diamondleease.com
17 SAATHI Dr. Saroj Thapa
President
050-9456526 sarojthapa1@gmail.com
18 BIHAR FOUNDATION Omer Hejazeen
 President
050-4528448 omer@oryxfilms.com
19 PAN IIM ALUMNI ASSOCIATION Nita Das
President
050-5082078 marketways@eim.ae
20 INDIA RELIEF COMMITTEE Bevinja Abdulla
 President
050-6246972 bevinja@gmail.com
21 SEVANAM M.K. Rajan
 President
050-6146346 sevanam@eim.ae

Business Associations

S.No Name Office Bearer Contact No. E MAIL
1 IBPC, DUBAI
Paras Shahdapuri President 050-6450464 chairman@nikai.com
Dr. G.M. Bajpai Vice President 050-6242927 gmbajpai@yahoo.com
Prashant Gulati Secretary General 050-6413134 pkgulati@pkgulati.com
IBPC, SHARJAH Sudesh K. Agarwal
 Chairman
06-5304404 ibpc@eim.ae
3 INSTITUTE OF CHARTERED ACCOUNTANTS OF INDIA, DUBAI CHAPTER Mr. Surendra Jain
 Chairman
050-6535412 sjain@aaagroup.ae