Dubai grabs the headlines for the audacity of its construction projects and, on occasion, for its troubling labor issues, as the majority of its workforce is comprised of low-wage South Asian guest workers. But lost amid the glitter of the city is a very strong expatriate Indian population -- with roots going back fifty years or more -- of traders, managers, and other professionals who have built the community infrastructure that often makes the place seem like a suburb of Mumbai.
Resident Indians have long been part of Dubai's growth, first as gold traders and shopkeepers, then as import-export middlemen, and now as bankers and finance professionals, while their guest-worker countrymen have been working oil rigs and construction sites. The local Indian community has built schools, clubs, and cultural associations, planting firm roots in the desert sands.
Gold merchants in Dubai's famous Gold Souq
Students at the Indian High School practice for a celebration of India's Republic Day
Students at the Indian High School
Boys learn proper fielding technique at a cricket camp in the desert
An underpass (subway)