Gulf NRIs, businessmen evince interest in Kashmir after abrogation of 370

Published: Published Date – 05:12 PM, Sat – 6 August 22

Gulf NRIs, businessmen evince interest in Kashmir after abrogation of 370

Jeddah: Touting itself as “Paradise on Earth”, Kashmir now attracts many Indian tourists including NRIs from the Gulf region keen to visit it. Some Kashmiris living abroad and also playing their part of role to promote tourism and investments in their state amidst the improving situation since the abrogation of Article 370.

In the latest webinar, some prominent NRIs in the port city of Jeddah have been impressed by latest developments in Jammu and Kashmir.

The webinar, hosted by a prominent NRI, Pradeep Sharma, hails from Jammu, has explained the changes in terms of development and economic prosperity in Jammu and Kashmir since abrogation of the article 370.

Sharma said that for the first time after a gap of decades, people from Saudi Arabia and other gulf countries evince their interest in Kashmir and, also keen to visit. He said that according to many hoteliers and houseboat owners, tourists have booked rooms in advance for the next couple of months, and the earnings helped them to pay part of their debts.

After a gap of years, hoteliers, taxi drivers and tour operators are doing a brisk business, he added. Sharma said that it is not easy now to find hotel rooms in good locations and also heavy demand for houseboats.

The NRI businessman also noted that the Indian government has decided to hold G20 summit in the Kashmir valley in 2023. The summit in Kashmir will bolster the confidence level of international investors and travelers, he highlighted. He emphasised that it has been possible only with an improved security situation in Kashmir.

Sharma told the webinar that since the abrogation of Article 370, the Jammu and Kashmir administration, which is under the presidential rule under Lt Governor, and the central government is projecting J&K as a destination for investors.

He said that the Kashmir Pavilion in Dubai Expo 2020 was a showcase of artwork of Kashmir, especially handicrafts that impressed people from the Middle East.

He said that recently a business delegation of 36 members from UAE went to Kashmir to explore the business opportunities.

Sharma added that several UAE based businesses signed memorandums of understanding (MOUs) with Jammu & Kashmir, which includes, Lulu International, Al Maya Group, MATU Investments LLC, GL Employment Brokerage LLC, Century Financial, and Noon E-commerce. One letter of intent (LOI) was signed with Magna Waves Pvt. Ltd and Emaar Group.

Highlighting on social and political front, Sharma said that nomad tribes such Bakrwals, Gaddis and Gujjars are now availing Indian constitution benefits from scheduled tribes and other traditional forest dwellers Act, 2006. The successful election for 3 tier local bodies in Jammu and Kashmir also showed people’s trust in the system, he added.

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