DUBAI (Reuters) – Louisa Sumagui and her family wanted a final momento of their 12 years in Dubai before returning to Australia after losing jobs in the tourism industry due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The moment was captured for Sumagui, her husband and two children on a sun-drenched beach courtesy of photographer Paula Hainey, who is offering free photo sessions to some of the tens of thousands of expatriates leaving the United Arab Emirates.
“The majority of the families I have been photographing are senior staff that have been fired. They have lived in Dubai for 15-20 years, its their life, and they are being sent home. But here is home,” Hainey told Reuters.
The photographer, whose own business slowed as weddings were cancelled and people practiced social distancing, has done 60 free shoots and plans another 100.
Expats make up the majority of the population of the UAE, which includes Dubai emirate. Residency is tied to employment and the Gulf Arab state does not offer citizenship routes to non-nationals.
A regional tourism and business hub, Dubai has been hit hard by the pandemic though authorities recently lifted a curfew and have removed most restrictions, including allowing foreign visitors to enter the emirate from July 7.
But many expatriates have no option but to leave after job losses, and for some the future is uncertain.
Muhammad, a pilot with a UAE airline, is returning to Egypt with his American wife, toddler and 3-month old son, after being made redundant.
Fellow Egyptian Muhammad Shehata and his South African wife have not yet decided where they will go after four years in Dubai. His attempt to start a business was hit by the pandemic.
“Now I don’t have the opportunity to be here unfortunately, but I think we will probably be back one day.”
(Reporting by Lisa Barrington and Abdel Hadi Ramahi; Editing by Alexandra Hudson for Reuters).
more recommended stories
These are the different varieties of “pib” that are offered for Hanal Pixán
Hanal Pixán is almost here and.
What is the “ofrenda” all about?
You’re probably familiar with popular Day.
PM set to announce month-long England lockdown
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set.
Can Donald Trump win a second term? Yes he can.
Four years ago, the vast majority.
Actor Sean Connery dies at 90 years old.
He will be remembered mostly for.
Heavy rains and storms for the Yucatan Peninsula
MERIDA Yucatan (Times Media Mexico/CONAGUA) –.
Why Guillermo del Toro and Alfonso Cuarón Love Mexican Discovery ‘I’m No Longer Here’
For filmmakers, the process of getting.
Hacienda Kankabchén: a story of love and witchcraft in Mérida
Located east of the Mérida-Motul highway,.
Querreke organizes the First Yucatecan Craft Beer Festival in Merida
Querreke gastro bar organizes the 1st. Yucatecan.
The Inexorable Rise of the Latinx Vote
Each year, the minority population in.