Non-profit organisation held football tournament to connect Greek expatriates in UAE
By Janice Ponce de Leon
Dubai: There has been an increase in the number of Greek professionals migrating to the UAE and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region for employment for the past two years, according to Emfasis Foundation, an organisation founded by Greeks living overseas.
The non-profit organisation in Dubai is encouraging Greek expatriates, who have recently relocated in the UAE due to the economic recession in Greece, to remain in touch with their motherland.
Maria Karra, founding member of the Emfasis Foundation, which has an office in Athens and Dubai, said: “The Greek community has been growing rapidly in the UAE. We don’t have confirmed numbers but we know from our daily dealings from the community that the Greek population here has been increasing daily over the last two years.”
Karra has been in Dubai for the past eight years. The last 12 months, Karra said, has seen the largest influx of Greek professionals because of higher remuneration packages and because GCC countries offer many levels of employment opportunities.
The foundation estimates that there are now between 6,000 and 8,000 Greeks in the UAE, a majority of whom reside in Dubai and work in banking and finance, construction, health, and hospitality sectors. No official figures were immediately available from the Greek Embassy in Abu Dhabi.
“My biggest dream is for our people not to lose touch with their country and people, to be active citizens of Greece and continue to remain sensitive to what’s happening back home although they’re living overseas,”Karra said.
The foundation recently held the first mini Greek Football Tournament at Al Safa Park.
Karra said more Greek community projects will be organised in the coming months.
A two-day theatrical performance about Greece will be featured in Dubai in June and Greek expatriates are encouraged to volunteer.
For more information, visit www.emfasisfoundation.org.
Source: Gulf News, 06 April 2014 (LINK)