From left: Mereseini Laladidi, Jeremaia Kilicanasau and Maniue Vilsoni
Many of the Fijian Diaspora living in the United Arab Emirates move due to family commitments and job opportunities.
Despite working there for many years, they still miss Fiji, the place they call home.
Teacher Maniue Vilsoni is one of the many Fijians working in the United Arab Emirates since 2006.
“I’m one of the very lucky ones; I’m over 61 and I’m still on contract.” I first taught at Abu Dhabi University, and then I was head-hunted to Al Ain, an English-speaking school. We are very lucky the way we have been looked after. My two daughters were educated here, an international setup. I could never afford that back in Fiji. I could never afford that back in Fiji, and I did not need to pay any fees. “That was part of my contract.”
Mereseini Laladidi is now a retired nurse who went to the UAE to provide for her family.
“Well, we came because of our families, and it’s nice because there are a lot of things that we come and learn here, which I really appreciate, and we think about how the natives here are well looked after, even in the hospitals where we nurse them; they are sort of priorities of what we do every day.”
UAE-based Fijian Diaspora President, Jeremaia Kilicanasau says they’re a very close community who get together every month.
“We are from different provinces, and we are so glad that we are all here as Fijians.”Some of us are pilots, some are teachers, some are nurses, and we are so fortunate to be a part of the UAE.”
Some Fijians in the United Arab Emirates live in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, and Dubai, to name a few.