Abu Dhabi: Romanian expats in Abu Dhabi have found that traffic jams are a blessing in disguise for their community members in the UAE.
"We don't have a community organisation to meet each other but we meet our people at traffic signals. We can easily identify a Romanian as his or her car windshield will have a sticker of Romanian national emblem or flag", Buduresou Corneliu, 23, a real estate broker in Dubai told Gulf News. "I met many of my compatriots at traffic signals and they became my good friends".
He spoke to Gulf News during 90th Romanian National Day celebrations in Abu Dhabi recently. Mohammad Bin Dha'en Al Hamili, UAE Minister of Energy was the chief guest in the function.
The community is waiting for an approval from Romanian Government to set up a formal community organisation in the UAE, a senior Romanian expat said.
"The national elections are just over. We are waiting for the visit of top officials from the new Romanian Government to set up the organisation under its (government's) patronage", said Dr. Adrian Dzubaila, Head of Technical Support Department at a Construction Company in Abu Dhabi.
The Government's support is essential to sort out even minor issues of expats, with the cooperation of diplomatic missions, Dzubaila explained. "When I reached the UAE in 1991, I found just four or five Romanians but now the population has grown up to about 4,000".
About 80 per cent of Romanians in the UAE are graduates or post graduates and the rest of them have professional qualifications, he said.
The Romanian labourers like carpenters never come to the Middle East as they get better salaries in other European countries such as Italy and Germany, Dzubaila said.
The community were excited for a display of traditional Romanian dance and music during the celebrations. "We put on suits and modern dress but we never ditch what we had a thousand years ago", according to Adriam Iom Bratu, while enjoying a popular Romanian folkdance. "You see the cheerful response of our people to Hora, a traditional dance which symbolises unity!"
When the dancers started performing Calusarii, the most popular folkdance in northern Romania, the audience also joined them.
All of them were immersed in Ciocarlia, a folk music imitating the song of a bird.
We will keep it forever because this is a part of our rich heritage, reiterated Bratu.
The professional dancers from Romania are visiting here on an invitation from UAE Ministry of Culture, Niculaie Goia, Romanian Ambassador told Gulf News.
Romania's international standing has improved after the country's integration into the European Union in 2007".
Economic and political relations between Romania and the UAE are improving as annual trade has reaches $500 million. "Exports from Romania has reached $400 million", said the Ambassador.
Some Romanians who returned home for good have again returned to the UAE as they miss the comfortable life here, said George Epure, Minister Counsellor at Romanian Embassy who has been living in Abu Dhabi for past three years.
Elena Ceaus, a nurse in Abu Dhabi was an example. "I left for good last year at the behest of my children. But after joining them at a school in Romania, I had to surrender myself to my urge to come back here", said Ceaus who reached Abu Dhabi eight years ago. "Although cost of living has increased, you cannot make a comfortable life like this anywhere else".
Michaela Marcea, a homemaker enjoys the summer in the UAE very much. "I liked the people and weather here", said Marcea who migrated from Canada a year ago.