KUWAIT: The number of emigration clearances granted to Indians headed to GCC states for employment considerably dropped in 2018, according to a report in the Times of India, noting that a 21 percent drop was detected with only 295,000 clearances issued in 2018 compared to 374,000 in 2017. According to statistics, the total number of Indians emigrating to Kuwait dropped by 7 percent in 2018 to 52,000 compared to 56,000 in 2017.

Statistics also showed that there had been a sharp drop of 62 percent in the number of Indians emigrating to GCC states over the past five years (2014-2018), and a 35 percent drop in those coming to Kuwait in the same period. The newspaper noted that UAE issued the largest number of work permits for Indians in 2018, followed by Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.

The study showed Saudi Arabia lost its spot as most attractive destination for Indian labor. The total number of Indians travelling to Saudi Arabia was 329,000 in 2014, but dropped by 80 percent over the past five years to around 65,000. On the other hand, the newspaper showed Qatar is the only GCC state to which the number of Indian workers increased in 2018 to reach 32,000, compared to 25,000 in 2017. TOI also quoted the Indian ministry of foreign affairs explaining the drop to economic problems in some GCC states as a result of the drop in oil prices, in addition to policies of nationalizing jobs in both the public and the private sectors.

By A Saleh