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Migration and reverse migration: Gulf-Malayalees’ perceptions during the Covid-19 pandemic

The United Arab Emirates has witnessed an exodus of long-term non-resident Indians, especially Malayalees, due to unforeseen impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020. The Emirates’ consequent economic setbacks, including a fear of the virus and falling job and financial security, threatened the survival of Indians–the largest expatriate demographic in the world and the Emirates. While apprehensive about their homeland’s ability to accommodate a mass reverse migrant population, the reverse migrants still retained attributes and values they associated with migration to the Emirates.