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‘Dubai is like a second home to Malayalis’

Special Correspondent
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Vayalar Ravi in praise for UAE during release of Malayalam translation of Venu Rajamani’s book

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy (left) presents a copy of Venu Rajamani's (second from right) book on Indo-UAE relations at a function in Kochi on Sunday to Union Minister Vayalar Ravi. Also seen Minister K.C Joseph.— Photo: by Special Arrangement
Chief Minister Oommen Chandy (left) presents a copy of Venu Rajamani's (second from right) book on Indo-UAE relations at a function in Kochi on Sunday to Union Minister Vayalar Ravi. Also seen Minister K.C Joseph.— Photo: by Special Arrangement

Dubai is like a second home to Malayalis, according to Union Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi.

At a function here on Sunday to release the Malayalam translation of Venu Rajamani’s book ‘India and the UAE: A Legendary Friendship’ Mr. Ravi said millions of Malayalees worked and lived in the United Arab Emirates and other Gulf countries.

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, who released the book by presenting a copy to Mr. Ravi, praised Mr. Rajamani’s contribution to the welfare of Malayalees in the UAE when he was the consul general of India there. He is currently the press secretary to the President.

Mr. Chandy said a decision on the location the UAE consulate, to be opened in Kerala, would be taken soon. He said the UAE and Saudi Arabia together housed the largest number of non-resident Keralites.

Union Minister of State for Foreign Affairs E. Ahmed said of the 6.5 million Indians working in the Gulf around 3.5 million were Malayalees. Of late, the percentage of Malayalees in the Gulf was coming down. He said Gulf was the best investment destination for Indians.

Historian MGS Narayanan said Kerala’s relationship with the Arabian Peninsula dated back to many centuries. The two major monsoon winds in the Arabian Sea provided cheap and fast maritime transportation for the Arabs visiting Kerala for trade.

Mr. Narayanan also pointed out that the conversion to Islam of Cheraman Perumal, who ruled Kerala in the early 12{+t}{+h}century, and his departure for Mecca was not a myth, but a reality. When the West was embroiled in the Crusades, the Arab-Kerala relationship carried on strongly.

Galfar Mohammedali said India contributed heavily to the development of the Gulf region and the Indians living there helped India to recover from the foreign exchange crisis of the early 1990s.

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