Indians comprise 42.5 percent of labour force in UAE

June 18th, 2008 - 7:31 pm ICT by IANS  

By Aroonim Bhuyan
Dubai, June 18 (IANS) Indians comprise 42.5 percent of the total labour force in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and most of them are in the blue-collar category. “Indians workers comprise 42.5 percent of the total labour force in the UAE and 65 percent of them are in the blue-collar category,” India’s Consul General to Dubai Venu Rajamony said here Wednesday in the course of a presentation on ‘India-UAE Labour Relations: Striving for a Partnership and Win-Win Situations’.

The presentation was part of a conference on labour management in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries organised by Construction Week magazine.

The consul general said the UAE was the single important destination for Indian workers going abroad for employment and there was a 117.4 percent increase in the number of workers going abroad in the last five years.

Of the estimated 1.5 million expatriate Indians in the UAE, a vast majority are engaged as contract labourers in the country’s booming construction industry. Most of these workers are concentrated in Dubai and the five northern emirates of Sharjah, Ajman, Fujairah, Ras Al Khailah and Umm Al Qawain.

In 2007, 312,695 Indian workers went abroad, a rise of 22.7 percent from the previous year.

“The UAE was followed by the Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait, Malaysia and Bahrain as destinations of choice for Indian workers,” Rajamony said.

“Around 95,000 illegal Indian workers availed an amnesty scheme launched by the UAE government last year and returned to India,” he said.

The scheme was launched to enable all illegal foreign workers in this Gulf nation to either regularise their status or leave the country.

“Another 45,000 Indians regularised their status,” he said.

In all, 174,366 illegal foreign workers left the country under the scheme while 95,000 others regularised their status.

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