Vol. 26 No. 2 (2023)


Published 06/28/2023


  • Migration,
  • Migrants,
  • Temporary labour migration,
  • Cultural heritage instrumentalization,
  • UAE,
  • Dubai,
  • Abu Dhabi,
  • Aviators
  • ...More

How to Cite

Gergova, L., & Gergova, Y. (2023). WHY I BECAME AN AMBASSADOR OF THE BULGARIAN CULTURE ABROAD: THREE FORMER EMIRATES FLIGHT ATTENDANTS. Psychological Research (in the Balkans), 26(2). https://doi.org/10.7546/PsyRB.2023.26.02.05


The United Arab Emirates are considered the largest recipient of labour migration in the world, as the share of immigrants is 90% of the total population or about 8 million people. But the UAE maintains an immigration policy to attract temporary workers, and citizenship is not granted even to children born there to non-citizen parents. According to unofficial data, about 5,000-6,000 Bulgarians live in the UAE – in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. At the beginning of the 21st century, many aviators came – pilots and flight attendants in the two largest airlines of the UAE – Emirates and Etihad. At the moment, some of the oldest migrants have been there for about 18-20 years and work in the field of sports and arts, mainly music.

In the article, the authors tell the stories of three women who used to work as flight attendants at Emirates, and today they are among the pillars of the Bulgarian communities in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. In recent years, for various reasons, they have chosen not to return to Bulgaria, but are actively involved in presenting Bulgaria abroad and building Bulgarian migrant communities. The research is based on semi-structured interviews conducted in February 2022 with the respondents in connection with their function for the consolidation of the Bulgarian communities.


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