Middle East Media Educator


Though the Indian diaspora is scattered all over the world, the GCC countries have a remarkably high presence of Indian expatriates. The number of Non Resident Indians or NRIs in the GCC alone is an astounding six million (Shamnad, 2011). Unlike in the US, UK, Canada and other favourite NRI destinations, NRIs in the GCC countries are mainly from the southern Indian states of Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu with Kerala the main contributor. The favoured destination for Keralites in the Arabian Gulf is the UAE. In 2007 42 percent of emigrants from Kerala chose to work in the UAE (Zachariah and Rajan, 2007). Along with the states of Punjab and Gujarat, Kerala has for centuries engaged in trade with far-away lands. In the early 20th century there was a considerable influx into Ceylon and Malaysia. Most of the emigrants were semi-skilled workers who picked up jobs in tea and rubber plantations. In the mid 1970s the Arabian Gulf emerged as a favourite destination for job seekers. Professionals - especially nurses, teachers, doctors and IT specialists - from Kerala have sought occupation in Germany, US, UK and various African countries for decades (Samuel, 2011). The