New Delhi: As India prepares to repatriate some of its 10 million citizens from the Gulf countries this month, more than 150,000 Indians in the United Arab Emirates have registered with India’s diplomatic mission to fly back home.

A quarter of those who want to return from the UAE have lost their jobs, while the remainder include short-term visa holders, medical emergency patients and students, according to people familiar with the development.

“As of 6 pm on Saturday, we received more than 150,000 registrations,” Consul General of India in Dubai, Vipul, told The Gulf News on Saturday. “About 40% of the applicants are workers and 20% are professionals. Overall, 25% have cited job loss as the reason for leaving the country.”

The Indian embassy in Abu Dhabi and the Indian Consulate in Dubai started e-registrations on Wednesday night to form a database of those wanting to return to India. Over 50% of the applicants are from Kerala. Malayalees comprise more than 1 million of the 3.4 million Indians in the UAE.

According to a report in the Khaleej Times on Sunday, about 40% of the registered applicants are blue-collared workers and 20% are professionals.

“Roughly 20% have suffered job losses and about 55% of the total applicants are from Kerala,” Neeraj Aggarwal, Consul, Press, Information, Culture in the Indian Consulate in Dubai, was quoted as saying in the report.

Aggarwal said the figures will change as they expect registrations from workers from other states including Telangana, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

Meanwhile, Kerala has received 398,000 applications from Malayalees around the globe who wish to return home.

“The highest numbers are from the UAE. At least 175,423 applicants have signed up from the UAE,” the Department of Non-Resident Keralite Affairs (NORKA) said in an official statement on Saturday.

It also received 54,305 registrations from Saudi Arabia, 2,437 from the UK, 2,255 from the US, and 1,958 from Ukraine, the Khaleej Times reported.

Transport planes of the Indian Air Force and warships belonging to the Indian Navy are said to be getting prepared to aid in bringing Indians back from overseas, apart from commercial airlines including Air India.

The first phase of evacuation will focus on 24 countries including those in the Gulf.

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