Indians now number around 420,000 in Qatar

August 7th, 2008 - 3:48 pm ICT by IANS  

Dubai, Aug 7 (IANS) The population of expatriate Indians in Qatar stood at 419,096 as of July 31, more than double that of the local Qatari population, a minister said. The country’s Minister of State for Interior Affairs Sheikh Abdullah Bin Nasser Bin Khalifa Al-Thani revealed the figure in the course of a meeting with India’s Ambassador to Qatar George Joseph, the Gulf Times newspaper reported.

The meeting was part of a series of farewell calls the ambassador is making prior to his departure from the Gulf nation.

He will be succeeded by India’s Ambassador to Sweden Deepa Gopalan Wadhwa in October even as he takes over as ambassador to Lebanon.

Appreciating the role of the Indian community in Qatar, Sheikh Abdullah said that an additional protocol signed by the two countries to the 25-year-old labour welfare agreement would be implemented soon.

A vast majority of the Indians in Qatar work as contract labourers in the booming construction industry.

With the new figure of the expatriate Indian population in Qatar being released, the total Indian population in the Gulf now stands at around 4.82 million.

Saudi Arabia is home to the largest expatriate Indian population in the region at 1.56 million, followed by the United Arab Emirates (1.5 million), Kuwait (550,000), Oman (500,000), Qatar (419,096) and Bahrain (290,000).

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