Dubai's biggest expat community is made up of Indians. Time Out spoke to Indian expats about their life in Dubai 12 Comments
Clayton Savio Coehlo, 26
‘Now that I live here, my mother back in Mumbai says she can hold her head up proudly and tell everyone her son has a good job in Dubai. I’ve been here working as a night watchman for 10 months. I saw the job advert in the newspaper in India, applied for it and got it. I’d not been able to hold down a good job before.
I stay here in staff accommodation in Al Quoz; we sleep 10 to a room, in bunk beds. We’re all watchmen – five of us do nights and five do days. Everyone in the room is married apart from me. Alex sleeps in the bed beneath mine. He was in the Indian Army for 40 years and then found his pension wasn’t enough, so came here. He won’t go home. He’s used to being away from his family.
My usual day involves getting up at 2pm to get ready for my shift. I might have time to watch some TV in the communal room (the camp owners decide the channel so we don’t argue about it), eat some of the food, normally rice and curry, and maybe read. I’m always reading newspapers, normally 7days. If something really interests me, I’ll cut it out and try to learn from it. Then at 5pm the car picks me up and takes me to my work, an apartment building in Jumeirah. I stay in the lobby area and watch people coming in and out until 6am. It’s always busy, right through the night. Everyone’s very nice though, and from all over the world: Europe, Australia, Egypt, Russia. To keep occupied when it’s quiet, I trace and copy pictures from magazines. I have a whole book now. I also write articles.
I don’t really have spare time, as I work seven days a week, sometimes straight shifts. I’ve had one day off since I’ve been here, and that was because I was exhausted.
I came here to earn money. Now I send some to my parents, who use it to pay the bank loan I got out to pay recruiters to come here. The recruiters asked for Dhs8,000. Then you don’t get paid for the first two months you’re here. But my company pays me exactly what they promised. I don’t understand why people argue about being duped. I get paid exactly the amount I was told in my interview.’
‘Before I came here I was very excited but nervous, because I did not know what was going to be in store for me. I was away from my family for the first time in my life and hence fear engulfed my entire body. In India my parents were there for me and I was treated like someone special.
On landing at Dubai Airport, I was taken to the head office of my new company where all the formalities and paper work were completed. Then I went to the quarters given by the company. I was appointed as a security guard. The very next day my first post was for Dubai Flower Center from 6am to 6pm for the next two months. I had to be on my toes for any suspicious activity. Whether hot or cold I had to be upright and alert.
Eight months later I was moved to work in my current building in Jumeirah. The work is very hard and survival is harder, but all this is priceless for whatever I have achieved by getting a very good post as a security guard. Through my experience I can say that Dubai is a beautiful and happening place where we can learn, earn and experience life everyday in a wonderful way. I have learned that without trying we cannot get success and also that hard work is never done in vain. I hope this lovely, wonderful journey continues till the end.’
* Personal details have been blacked out
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