Republic of Yemen is located at SW Asia, at the southern edge of the Arabian Peninsula. The present nation of Yemen was formed in 1990, when the Yemen Arab Republic (the former Yemen or Southern Yemen) were unified. Yemen is bordered on the north by Saudi Arabia, on the east by Oman, on the south by the Gulf of Aden, and on the west by the Red Sea. Yemen is the most populous country on the Arabian Peninsula. The great majority of the population is Arab (90%); some are Afro‐Arab. Minorities include Indians, Egyptians, Ethiopians, Somalis and Europeans. Islam is the main religion, with Sunnis being the predominant sect constituting around 90% of the population.
India and Yemen have deep rooted historical, cultural and trade relations. Both countries have a long history of people‐to‐people contacts dating back to several centuries. Yemeni traders were intermediaries for Indian trade with the Roman Empire. Subsequently, the contacts were intensified with the Hajj route from India running through Yemen, particularly Aden and Mocha. The Indians form the most dominant group among the expatriates in Yemen. They are held in high esteemed in Yemen for their expertise, hard work and non‐ interference in local affairs or politics. Since many Yemenis, including some ministers and senior government officials, have studied in India, they generally have a positive attitude towards the Indians.
Yemen is traditionally not a favoured destination for foreign workers as it has its own large unemployed population2 and the salary packages offered by it in different categories are not lucrative when compared to those of the other GCC countries. Nevertheless, foreign doctors, nurses, professors, engineers and technicians have been working in Yemen for decades. The total expatriate population in Yemen was estimated to be 26,000, of which the Indians form the biggest group (around 5000).
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