Dubai: Though small in numbers compared to other nationalities, Turkish community members in the UAE are also making their mark with a number of vibrant activities.
The UAE now hosts around 8,000 Turks and their number is increasing with the every passing day for more people are coming to live and work here.
"But, there is a big difference between the Turkish workforce coming to the UAE and the one in Europe," said Turkish Ambassador Vural Altay.
"Unlike Europe, we don't have blue-collared Turkish workers in the UAE as most of our people are either businessmen, investors or professionals working for various local and Turkish companies across the UAE," Altay told Gulf News.
He said the numbers of Turkish expatriates are growing due to the increasing business ties between the UAE and Turkey.
"Our bilateral trade has reached $9 billion (Dh33 billion) and it includes $7.5 billion exports from Turkey to the UAE," he added.
Also, he noted that there has been sharp increase in number of tourists from the UAE to Turkey and vice versa.
The ambassador expects a higher number of tourists going from the UAE to Turkey this year.
More than a thousand members of the Turkish community gathered at the special night organised by BilgiDubai, the largest Turkish community group in the UAE, to mark its fourth anniversary.
BilgiDubai in Turkish means "knowledge Dubai".
Turkey's Consul-General to Dubai Umit Yalcin, a number of diplomats and prominent Turkish community members were also present at the function.
"I am delighted to see the enormous interest from the Turkish community in UAE in social and cultural activities organised by BilgiDubai," he said
He noted: "BilgiDubai not only serves as a platform to keep the Turkish community in UAE well connected and updated but also represents Turkey and the Turkish culture in the best manners which support the embassy's endeavours to contribute to the friendly relations between Turkey and the UAE."
Mehmet Can Eronat, founder of the BilgiDubai Turkish Community explained: "BilgiDubai's aim is for Turkish citizens of the United Arab Emirates to get to know each other, offer help and advice to each other and ensure that everybody in the community is informed about interesting activities, festivities and important announcements."
He said the group is growing day by day.
"The bigger we grow the more we serve our members and the community," he added.
BilgiDubai was established in June 2006 and has more than 2,100 members. Its membership list consists not only of Turkish investors and professionals working in the UAE but also Turkish-speaking American, British, Mongolian, Japanese, Azeri, Moroccan, German, Syrian, Kazakh, Turkmen and Dutch citizens.