Indian Dubai

Dubai's biggest expat community is made up of Indians. Time Out spoke to Indian expats about their life in Dubai 12 Comments

© ITP Images
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

By Becky Lucas
Time Out Dubai,

User reviews:

Posted by: sandeep on 04 Apr ' 13 at 13:43

I am an indian. I am coming to sharja next month. @ 1030AM i will reach sharja airport. I need to go dubai air port terminal 1. Is there any Public transport bus available from the sharja airport to Dubai air port Terminal 1. I know there is taxi available, but they take hight taxi rate. So please help me to find a Bus.

Posted by: Roy on 09 Jan ' 13 at 08:06

Well i just wanna meet and make some Indian friends although i have some south Indian buddies staying along with me but want to see and meet some Indian female friends as well.

Posted by: Abhishek Das on 03 Dec ' 12 at 04:03

I stay in Vadodara Gujarat. I would like go to Dubai for work. I have work experience in BPO. Please guide me.

Posted by: Raju on 27 Jun ' 12 at 07:48

I came to Dubai very recently..I am alone....looking for a genuine friend for short/long term. Pl write to ...

Posted by: rehan on 24 Jan ' 12 at 14:13


im interested in friendship any alone mature female wana friendship

reply me on (

Posted by: puneeth kumar.s on 26 Sep ' 11 at 23:52

hi my name is puneeth i need a job in dubai, i have done my B.E in Computer Science but have 3 back logs, i need to work in abroad especially in dubai, i can do any work, if i get good training, my knowledge on Engineering is also not good, i don have much knowledge, if anyone of dubai consultancies or dubai indians or anyone of dubai willing to give chance to work in dubai, am ready thank you. not only for engineering jobs, any jobs that suits me on the basis of capability and ability and on my physical and mental prepareness........

Posted by: jeya on 23 Jun ' 11 at 12:35

how long indians are the servants for others. Be Like a leaders,,we want to make our own companies and make employment oppurunities for our fellow indian brothers and sisters.earn well and do investments in india.this is the basic duty of every educated indian.

if we follow this,in near will follow us...

Posted by: Siddu on 17 Mar ' 11 at 16:39

May be he is one of those thousand of Indians in Dubai but this guy's life is very much similar to most of the Indians in Arab countries. Even well educated guys also goes to Dubai and other Arab countries for better life and yes they do get better pay and wealthy lifestyle but Dubai and other Arab countries are more famous for poor Indian people who can afford to travel there and make their life style better. If you talk about Europe and America - God!! the poor Indians only can dream these places..these places only for techies and very well educated guys not for poor people

Posted by: Abad on 24 Jan ' 11 at 07:20

You couldn’t find someone worsen than this poor watchman. I think only Indian community is the one among the expat enjoying the luxurious life in Dubai. Please be fare.

Posted by: Nasrullah on 10 Aug ' 10 at 06:56

Do you think these 3 represent the "indian community " in dubai ? On come on, you could have interviewed few more and could have come up with a better write up !

Posted by: Lav on 30 Jun ' 09 at 12:21

i agree! a worker, a trading guy and a person workin in property - that does not describe the luxurious and glamorous lifestyle indians have in Dubai.

Posted by: Nazia on 19 May ' 09 at 14:00

What??? this is the only Indian you got out of so manyliving here..reason being?? He isnt the correct representative of "indian Community" in Dubai

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