Dubai: National Day of the United Arab Emirates is an occasion when Emiratis and expats celebrate their achievements.
A family of Indian expats in Dubai say the UAE National Day is a reminder of the past and their success in the Emirates.
The owners of Dhanji Motiram Jewelers, Kirti Kishore Dhanji, 65, of the family, said: “My father Dhanji Motiram emigrated from Gujarat, India, to the United Arab Emirates in the early 1950s in search of better economic prospects. . The rest is history as they say. We are so grateful to this country because it has changed our lives for the better. In addition, my father was also able to help a hundred Indian families by bringing them to the UAE for job prospects. Most are settled here and have made the United Arab Emirates their second home. This would not have been possible without the relentless support we received from the UAE leadership. »
Bimal Jagdish Dhanji, grandson of Motiram, said of his grandfather, “He was a skilled craftsman, a goldsmith. My grandfather started working as a goldsmith, designing and creating jewelry in Dubai.
The family opened their first retail store in 1958 at Gold Souk, Deira. Over the years, Motiram’s sons, Jagdish and Kirti, joined him and made it a family business.
Today, the company is run by the third generation – Bimal, the eldest of Jagdish, his younger brother Jeegnesh and Amit, the youngest son of Kirti.
With over six decades of experience selling jewelry in the UAE, the company has three generations of customers buying from them. “People who bought from my grandfather, their children started buying from my father and my uncle. Their third generation now connects with me, my brother and my cousin to buy jewelry from us. It’s really special and a testament to the life we lived in the UAE.
Kirti said that making a single gold bracelet at the time took at least a week. “There were problems with the electricity. Most of the time, my father worked all night making gold jewelry. Lanterns were kept nearby. Everything was done by hand and it was a lot of hard work,” he added.
Previously, jewelry was entirely handcrafted, with metals cast into shape and gemstones painstakingly set into their clasps. Today, however, with advances in technology, jewelers are equipped with a range of machines to help produce pieces faster.
Kirti explained how her father spent days making just one bracelet.
“I remember seeing him as a child, the painstaking effort he took to skillfully design a bracelet. It all starts with carefully heating the metal until it forms a block that can be slowly molded. is then placed on a wheel where it is rolled to create sheets or wires that will make the jewel. Once all the pieces are created, they will be soldered together. Finally, the piece is polished and cleaned. The gems are then set in a clasp with the utmost precision.
Kirti, who was a little boy when her father moved to Dubai, witnesses several UAE milestones. And so he is equally proud to celebrate the National Day of the United Arab Emirates.
He said: “I still have something my father brought with him six decades ago. It looks like an old treasure box. Inside, he kept his tools and precious stones. I kept them all and they are on display in my house. Today, these tools are little used thanks to technological advances and available machines.
100 rupees rent
Kirti recalled that one of the three branches of the jewelry store at the Gold Souq in Deira cost only 100 Indian rupees. “I have a piece of paper where two parties made the contract in writing. My father wrote in Gujarati that he was renting the place for 100 Indian rupees. It was accepted by the landlord who gave written approval in Arabic. It was duly stamped by the parties via a thumbprint. Then when the Dubai Municipality was formed, we had the first official rental contract written in English and Arabic.
‘It’s our home’
Bimal said: “We cannot imagine living anywhere else. We are now four generations of the Dhanji clan living here. It’s our home. As for what my grandfather started, the goal now is to take it to another level and grow our business. In the future, we want to push our presence further. Today’s challenge is different from the one my grandfather faced.