Consulate staff helping Indian expats during the Open House in Dubai on Saturday Image Credit: X/cgidubai

Dubai: In an attempt to widen the reach of its grievance redressal forum, the Indian Consulate in Dubai intends to extend the ‘Weekend Open House’ to northern emirates.

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The press wing of the consulate confirmed this to Gulf News on Saturday after the mission resumed the Weekend Open House session after a long gap. It said that the sessions in other emirates under the consulate’s jurisdiction would be held in cooperation with the Indian community associations in respective emirates. The dates and venues would be announced later.

Chaired by the Consul General of India in Dubai, Satish Kumar Sivan, the interactive event on Saturday provided a direct platform for more than 100 Indian expats to voice their grievances and seek assistance in receiving timely resolution.

Issues regarding passport and related services, visa, OCI card, education, labour and welfare, housemaid issues, trade and commerce were also addressed on the occasion.

“The Weekend Open House allows us to stay connected with the needs and concerns of our vast diaspora in Dubai and the northern emirates,” said Sivan. “We aim to offer timely resolution to issues faced by our community members.” The Consul General also expressed gratitude towards the UAE authorities and the Indian community for their steadfast support to the Consulate’s efforts.

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A team of legal experts and community volunteers were also present to assist in queries related to consular and legal matters affecting Indian expatriates in the UAE. Several grievances were addressed on the spot, while others requiring further intervention were duly noted.

“The resumption of the Open House underscores the Consulate’s commitment to proactively addressing issues impacting the well-being of the Indian expatriate community under its jurisdiction,” the mission stated.

The mission had introduced a 365-day work policy from August 2020, ensuring consular officers are available daily to address the issues of the diaspora including weekends and public holidays. The consulate also operates emergency services round the clock via the helpline number 800 INDIA (80046342) of the Pravasi Bharatiya Sahayata Kendra (PBSK).

The mission said it continues to provide financial assistance in certain deserving cases to distressed Indian nationals through the Indian Community Welfare Fund (ICWF), and also aids Indian housemaids in need.

With an estimated 3.5 million Indians residing in the UAE, a majority concentrated in Dubai and the northern emirates, the Open House serves as a vital communication channel between the mission and the diaspora, it added.